limiting it to two breeds, but which two?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by brummie, Sep 29, 2014.

  1. brummie

    brummie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2013
    The more breeds you have the harder it gets to manage them if you want to keep a somewhat closed flock to breed from and develop your own good utility strains and become somewhat self sufficient, especially if you are limited on space.

    So If you wanted

    1. Good amount of eggs per chicken
    2. Half decent meat supply (say atleast one chicken per week at a minimum of 4lb per chicken - so chickens should be 4lb by about 16 weeks to achieve this)
    3. Half decent broodies to do all the work for you (no incubator headache)
    4. Lowest possible feed cost, especially for the egg layers
    5. Strong, hardy disease resistant birds.

    but you could only keep 2 breeds of chickens along with the 1st generation crosses from these 2 breeds which 2 breeds would you choose?

    This is a very real situation for me, and I know I could do all the above with 3 breeds, but I want to try and limit it to 2 breeds, so any thoughts and ideas to help me out?

    My current thinking is to keep RIR and Light Sussex becasue

    1. The cross will give me great red sex link layers
    2. Half decent meat supply from both pure breds as well as crosses
    3. Light sussex do go broody but not enough I think - this is where the biggest problem lies with these 2 choices, not enough broodies to keep hatching more chicks to grow on for the table.
    4. Dual purpose will eat quite a lot for the amount for eggs layed but the RSL crosses will be worth it.
    5. You don't get much hardier and disease resistant than LS and RIR.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    St. Louis, MO
    I agree with your ideas.
    I only have room to do justice to one breed. Not as heavy as your two choices but good layers, DP, frequently broody, excellent forager and predator resistant. The Black Penedesenca. But back to your question.

    Both RIR and Sussex are very productive.
    The Sussex might make it but I'm not sure the RIR will make your weight by 16 weeks.
    Sussex can be good setters so you may be ok there.

    You can select for size and quick growth with both breeds in your closed flock. Keep in mind however that as body size grows, egg production tends to go down since they are competing genes.

    Other ideas
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf
     

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