Lots of questions and a super long scenario.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kfacres, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, just joined, still trying to get my 10- posts so I can make a WTB post. It's a long one, so don't get bored reading it. I'm looking to pick some chicken brains on this one..

    Here’s what I want:
    A range flock of dual purpose type birds to provide entertainment, eggs, and meat—just like the millions of other people raising chickens.

    Here’s what I have:
    A mixed assortment of Partridge colored hens- ranging from a lighter (buff colored) partridge color—to a real dark definite Partridge color. One hen is single comb, and lays white eggs, the others have either Rose combs or pea (it’s been a long time since I was up to par on my chicken lingo), and about half lay light green and half brown. The color patterns and body types are consistent, but the eggs are not. I’m thinking that these hens came from two scenarios: A- they were purchased about 3 years ago as “EE”, or they are daughters of an old Partridge colored, white egg laying hen that we had. I don’t remember what she was, but I’m thinking I remember her being something like a Rose Combed Partridge Leghorn. For years, we used a couple of EE roosters on our hens, and kept back what pullets we produced and a new roo every year, this would make sense on our Partridge colored green layers with rose combs and the partridge colored white layer with a single comb (I think I remember a single combed EE rooster at one time), but it doesn’t make sense on the brown eggers because this mating would be (white x green). Some of these hens have muffs and beards- which help confirm my EE theory.
    I know that when I was in grade school, (15+ years ago), I had over 200 chickens and other poultry- from all kinds of breeds and crosses (just found my old Standards of Perfection too when I was moving into the new house). I do know one thing, I never had a single Partridge colored chicken until the one I mentioned above—so they aren’t rocks or Wyandotte’s (I did have several SPW over the years). When I got into high school, I turned the chickens over to my mom, and we reduced to just enough to keep eggs on our table and the neighbors- then when I left for college I became 0% involved with the chickens—until recently I got a portion back from my mom to start my flock with at my new house.
    My current rooster is sired by a RIR, and appears to be dammed by one of the Partridge ‘EE’ hens. He has a single comb, and a beard- but he was hatched early this spring- so he’s not old enough to do anything yet—not even crow. My mom produced him from this set of hens and hers… She only have one roo, so the RIR sire is for certain. He has more black than a normal RIR should.
    I also currently have 3 chicks, which are about 8-10 weeks or so old. They would be half siblings to my current roo, being sired by the RIR. I’m confident that 2 are hens, and one I’m still on the fence over. One confirmed hen is a sex link black, single combed obviously from one of mom’s barred rock hens. The other for sure pullet is also black and rose combed; but has a beard—I suspect her to be out of one of the partridge colored hens that I now have, but the black color I’m not sure about. The 3rd and most questionable is a red bodied chick, rose comb, and appears to be a NH Red x RIR—but it has a rose comb; so I don’t know. I checked it’s feathers last night, and I’m still on the fence- comb doesn’t do much good either; larger than the others, but still not a for sure roo. My mom also kept back 2 pullets that appear to be this same RIR x NHR cross, but also with rose combs.
    My mom has about 10 hens, and the RIR roo. She has 1 or 2 that are the same as my hens, a couple of white rocks, a couple barred rocks, a golden comet, a black star, and one last NH Red (that’s older than dirt), maybe one more that I can’t think of right now. I think that mom gets about one white egg, and a few greens every day, but mostly browns; which makes perfect sense to me.
    I guess what I’m saying is that we have a unit of mixed and crossed up chickens, that we really have no idea about, other than we either purchased them from McMurry, or TSC—or we raised them ourselves. I know that we have kept several EE roos over the years to up our potency of green eggs- but highly doubtful pure green egg layer.

    What I am thinking…
    I would like to get a Cornish roo (and a couple hens of course) to add some meat into my culls and roos which have no other purpose than freezer meat. From what I have read, the Cornish hens also make good layers. I don’t care about color on my butcher stock, so whether it’s dark or red and white really doesn’t matter.
    I also would like to get some hens for setting on eggs. I’m thinking that a couple of Cochins (really loved them when I was younger) would do the trick. Again, I don’t care about color, but from what I remember the buffs always wanted eggs back in the day. Had buff, black, white, and maybe one other color. I would also like to get a pair of banty hens, but I’m not sure what breed. I have probably tried 50 banty’s in my day, and could never find one that would do a good job of setting, prob had 10 breeds. Brahma’s would set, but not very often.
    I also wouldn’t mind some different colored eggs from the EE brand.
    I remember that our RIR and BO hens were always some of the best we've ever had- but sometimes they seem just so 'average'.
    I’m really not interested in buying a new set of chickens every year- just doing my own hatching and retaining. I don’t care if I have purebred birds or not, just birds that fill my needs, and do a good job of doing so. Crazy colors would be well accepted, and I’m not sure what I can get from my Partridge colored hens. Probably the most important thing is egg color (white discriminated against), egg size, and a high laying percentage. Meat qualities would rank next.

    Edited to add:
    I would like a layer that's fairly adaptable to climate, as our hens really slacked last week when the temps hit triple digits (from 7 for 7 a day, to 2 out of 7), and our winter's can be harsher (snow pretty much from Thanksgiving until April), cold in teens. We're in west central IL> I also wouldn't mind an easy keeping bird, as mine will be range chickens; not free range like my moms who roost in the sheds and trees at night; mine get penned up at night- and I'd like to be able to feed a limited ration (tight budget).

    Man sounds like I want the perfect chicken, but I think a crossbred could do what I want!
    I would like more info on how dominate the green, white, and brown shell colors breed on when mated to each other.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    eFowl.com is one source for large fowl Cornish. They are not real common in dark feathering and nearly unavailable in white, as I understand it. Also as I understand it, any egg color is added to white, so if you breed colored egg layers, you are unlikely to get white eggs. Breeds that are most likely to go broody are Kraienkoppe (my favorite) and OEG, with other games also likely. Also Silkies, but that means black meat, which you may or may not want in your flock. Of course you will get a few broodies in many breeds, with some (like Cochins and Orps) more likely than others. Henderson's makes guesses about this for most if not all breeds. My current broodies or past broodies are EE, BA and mutts. All the Kraienkoppes I had were also great broodies. That's about all I know of your questions.

    We started with a LF assortment, like rocks, EE, SS, orps, etc. We also use our large fowl flock for both meat and eggs, and chickens are added mostly by broodies. We mostly gave up on free range, and currently have about 20 (have had up to about 50) in about a 70'x70' fenced yard. I bought a few feed store chicks this year when I was between roos and had broodies. The only "purebred" (hatchery version) chickens here were bought, not hatched, and most are mutts now. We find that flavor and tenderness are mostly a matter of age (we prefer 14-18 weeks.) It doesn't seem to matter a lot which breeds were involved. We're not planning on butchering old hens who stop laying.

    Really, you are asking a number of questions that might belong in more than one forum. You should be able to learn something about blue or olive egg layers in the breeds and genetics section, maybe in some of the threads about EE's.

    Good luck to you.
     
  3. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    I can only comment on the egg part, as I know nothing about meaties. MY BO lays regularly, every day, excluding when she's broody. She is by far my favorite of all my assorted breeds. I think BO's a re a great breed.
     
  4. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so any other thoughts?
     
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    You ask alot, but you will probably have to have a number of pens, one for layers and another for dual purpose.

    If I were you I'd get some red laced Cornish hens and a roo and I'd use those for you meaties.

    Then I'd cross some pullets.... leghorns, red, exchequer.. get something exotic along with some Cinnamon Queens and Black Stars and Perhaps a polish or two and then I'd get a pure bred Wheaten Ameraucana roo and a French Black Copper or Wheaten Marans roo and that could be your layer coop. That would give you some fun mixes and some beautiful birds.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     

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