Making decisions is the hardest part.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SheilaV, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. SheilaV

    SheilaV Out Of The Brooder

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    I have not committed to either breed or size/limitations of the housing and run/pen size. I am in the midst of another project that I must finish first before I jump into a new one. In the meantime, I am trying to settle on my intentions. I LOVE Light Brahmas, to be sure. I like their temperment and I gravitate to large breeds of anything. I am considering the merits and responsibilities of taking on a rare breed, with the purpose of promoting the breed and keeping the breed pure. I did contact a rare-breed site last year, where I had to be approved prior to being allowed to join their forum.[​IMG] I guess I didn't pass muster because I was not permitted. I do not even remember the site, as I immediately decided I wanted no part of such snobbery. [​IMG] However, I see the value of keeping heritage breeds available, especially after reading Temple Grandin's books. She describes in some detail how the current poultry market is being dessimated by breeders' excessive/obcessive breeding practices, that are breeding out the hardiness of the majority of the breeds they use. Her predictions are dire, and I can see her point clearly. I do not plan to become commerical, but I would like to do some small part towards this end. Any/all animals in my care are pets first and foremost.

    I am not a total neophyte to poultry, but neither am I especially qualified. I see myself as a seasoned Newbie.So, I would like to ask for some input from ya'll.

    WHAT I HAVE AVAILABLE:
    I have a large fenced yard that can be modified to make it secure for up to a dozen birds without too much effort. I will have to do some MAJOR work to protect the birds from my dogs, but I know how to do that (from prior experiences) I plan to have a fully protected run inside of this area where the birds will have free access while I am not at home, yet be able to turn them out into the larger area when I am available. Initially, I will be enclosing a corner of an existing structure to serve as shelter/hen house.


    WHAT I WANT AND NEED:
    1) I envision beginning with a simple trio (2 hens and a rooster). I want these birds sexed, as I do not want to have to deal with extra roosters and decisions about what to do with them.
    2) I would like to choose a rare breed, one that is in some danger of being lost as a true breed. I am looking for a breed that has some attributes that will lend themselves to future breeds, in survival, hardiness, and productivity.
    3) I prefer a large breed, partially because I just like large breeds, but historically, large breeds of most animals are more calm, agreeable, and gentle than the smaller breeds. (no disprespect to toy breeds, bantums or minis intended. Please indulge me.) And, as I will need to keep my birds confined in a fenced yard with no full top (while I am home), I do not want a breed that likes to or can fly out of the yard to get at that grasshopper outside.
    5) I am concerned about shipping birds in Texas this time of year, and any chicks will have to be decided upon and ordered soon. In fact, I am not adverse to taking on some older/adolescent birds. Regardless, I would prefer finding birds that I could pick up rather than have shipped. I am quite prepared to drive a couple of hours, if that is what it takes, but I am having some difficulty finding breeders in this area. North or central Texas, Oklahoma or western Arkansas or Lousiana are all viable. Besides, most have a requisite minimum purchase, and I only want a few, and they need to be sexed.[​IMG]
    5) I am seriously considering the Jersey Giants, or a Brahma variety, but I am open suggestions. I want to buy them from a source that I can be sure of the health and heritage, else there is not much point to seeking out heritage breeds with the intent to keep them pure.
    6) I need some advise on where I can find such rare breeds.

    Am I being obcessive? [​IMG] I could easily just go to the local feed store, buy a few chicks, and move on, but once I commit to a breed, be it a pure breed or just the run-of-the-mill backyard chicken, I am locked into it. I am not a breed snob, and do not want to become one. I am looking at this as an effort at conserving a breed, not just a way to get fresh eggs or have a new pet.

    Advise me, please. Be kind, but be honest. Believe me when I say I am not faulting anyone for whatever others may be doing. Your purposes and priorities are yours to honor, and I do not intent to imply any judgements on anyone else. I am looking at it from my own little perch.

    thanks,
     
  2. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:your best bet is to buy adault trio that way u know the quailty and sex of your birds
     
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    If you like BIG gentle birds, try some of the English Import type Orpingtons. They are not easy to sex as chicks, but they are very gentle, good layers, good broodies, and the boys make a fantastic table bird in just a few months.
     
  4. chickendales

    chickendales Chillin' With My Peeps

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    brahmas are one freindly birds a round and nice ones are pretty rare
     
  5. mrheinz77

    mrheinz77 New Beginnings Poultry

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    I commend you for this. I am trying to do this same thing with a handful of breeds. I found some Iowa Blue that I will be picking up in a couple weeks. Six hens and a Roo. I have eggs in the incubator from a friend that is working with a group trying to conserve the breed. The other 7 are from another in the breed. I have a chick that hatched last night from purchased eggs.

    I am hoping to breed Jersey Giants, Black Langshan, and Speckled Sussex towards the Standard of Perfection.

    Hopefully some day I will be able to offer these breeds to others to continue my work to conserve the breed
    Jim
     
  6. SheilaV

    SheilaV Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:You just made me realize something I had not considered. Being a conservator of any breed (be they chickens, dogs, or heritage tomatoes) implies that I would also have to filter out those detrimental traits that can injure the breed. Birds that produce unhealthy offspring cannot be allowed to perpetuate a bad or damaging trait. That would require me to deal harshly with some situations I would otherwise tolerate. Is that really what I want to do? Maybe not. Maybe I should just settle for seeking large breeds, not have a rooster and forget any lofty apsiration of conservatorship. Or better yet, not jump in at all. The primary reason I have not taken on any more is because I am too soft-hearted for them. I can spay/neuter my dogs and be done with it. With the chickens and geese I had, they got broody. If I didn't let them sit on the eggs or if I replaced them with plaster eggs, then I felt guilty. I had a goose that sat on her nest for 2 months before I broke down and bought 2 chicks for her, which made her happy and loaded me down with 2 more geese I did not really want or need. I can no more give them away than I can give away my dogs. When I take in an animal, except for rescues, I take them on for THEIR lives as well as my own. Any dog that stayed with me long enough to become attached stayed with me until he/she died. I felt like the promise I made to them included NOT rejecting them myself. I feel doubly responsible when I actually go out and buy birds or allow them to reproduce. (I'd make a terrible farmer ... )

    So, now I am really having a reality check. Thanks. I need to look at things carefully before I make ANY decisions.[​IMG]
     
  7. HatchingFever

    HatchingFever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2011
    First off I would buy an adult trio from the best place you can find. If you wanted to help a breed I would chose the chockolate or orps or serames I know there small But I like Going with breeds where there is something I can try to improve on them. But whatever Yolu get go with best quality It probley will br pricey for my serames my first pair was $250 but if you chose to go with chocolate orps you could easily have a $900 dollar project on your hands It just depends on how serious you want to be. And do you want to try to improve the breed or just start with a rare breed and make it more openly avalable?
     

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