looking for a quadruple threat (meat, eggs, cold hardy, mothering)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by serinat, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. serinat

    serinat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi! i'm new. i hope this is the right forum for this question...

    i'm hoping to start a small to moderate flock of chickens for my growing family of five. we want to raise a heritage breed that is dual purpose, but we also want to consider cold hardiness and broodiness/mothering ability. we live in southwest michigan, close enough to the coast to get lots of lake effect snow (ohmygosh the snow this year!) and plenty of cold. something that will lay eggs through that (even if not prolifically) would be great.

    as for mothering, of course, i want the perfect balance of broodiness and egg laying. [​IMG]

    our main goal is to have eggs and meat for ourselves, but we also want to share with others and (if all goes well) sell extra eggs on a very small time basis.

    i've browsed a lot of threads here (a LOT) and i'm pretty excited about chanteclers, wyandottes, and buff orpingtons, among others. comments on these?

    recommended hatcheries? books? i know only what google has taught me.
     
  2. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

  4. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Your choice will be inconsequential 5 years from now. All the breeds overlap in performance. You can simply select on "looks" alone and you will do absolutely fine.

    Good luck with your choice!
     
  5. serinat

    serinat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how well do orpingtons lay in winter? in your personal experience, that is?
     
  6. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    Nothing lays well in winter unless you put lights on them. If you put lights up, then everything lays well in winter.
     
  7. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Before you order your birds, first ask this question. What is going to be your main goal while doing this?

    To have a heritage breed dual purpose chickens? That lay average, and have below average meat?

    Is it more imoprtant to you to have a heritage breed?

    Or is it more important to make sure your family gets meat on the table and eggs for your families consumption?

    I think we have all taken this path and when it comes down to it, most tend to choose the production type of chickens.

    In my honest opinion I would get about 12 golden sex-links for eggs, and in the summer get some broilers for meat.

    A golden sex link will lay about 92% and most dual purpose will lay about 50-70%.

    For the meat aspect..... the broilers will out preform the dual purpose birds by 300%.


    But it never hurts to have a great dual purpose breeds such as the Buckeyes and Dominiques. Why not get both. Get 6 of the heritage and 6 of the sex links. As long as you know going in that your not going to get much meat from the roosters and the hens are not going to be great layers you will be fine. It will be more of a hobby than a self-sustaining flock.

    Good Luck,
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2009
  8. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    Delawares are great for meat, lay jumbo eggs, very hardy in the winter, good mothers, PLUS they're very beautiful to look at. Also, they're listed as critical on the ALBC list, so you'd be helping the surivival of a breed. [​IMG]
     
  9. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:My thoughts exactly. I want to add that if you go with a heritage-breed dualie such as Delaware or Dominique, try to get your initial birds from a breeder (one who shows, would be best) rather than a commercial hatchery. That way you'll get birds true to type, hatchery birds often are not.

    All dual purpose breeds are NOT equal. Some are extremely slow growers, some don't lay well at all, some take 9 months to start laying, etc. (Please note: With commercial hatchery birds, the differences between breeds are diminished, because of the way the breeding is handled. All breeds except broilers become more and more like layer breeds over time, in the hatcheries.)

    I would not choose based on looks alone.

    As far as nothing laying well in winter unless you add extra light, that depends on where you are. Greyfields is in WA, and that far north, the days are very short in winter, I remember only having about 6 hours of daylight in winter, when I lived in Seattle. Up there, or any place where there's less than 9-10 hours a day of daylight, I'm sure you would need additional light. I'm now in KY, we currently have almost 10 hours a day of full daylight, and now that they're through molting, I've been getting from 15-22 eggs per day, since just before Christmas. I have 25-28 layers. A few of my pullets may not have started laying yet, I'm not certain, that why the 25-28. Some of my hens are around 5-7 years old, too. Not absolute peak, like some people need, but fine for my purposes.
     
  10. serinat

    serinat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 12, 2009
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    Quote:My thoughts exactly. I want to add that if you go with a heritage-breed dualie such as Delaware or Dominique, try to get your initial birds from a breeder (one who shows, would be best) rather than a commercial hatchery. That way you'll get birds true to type, hatchery birds often are not.

    thanks for your thoughts. how might one locate a local breeder? i don't know where to begin looking.

    re: delawares - i read a thread that indicated that their combs might freeze in severe winters? has anyone found that to be true?

    as for hatcheries, are there some that are better that others, esp. in terms of true-to-type heritage breeds?
     

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