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omega hills farm or greenfire farms?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cutipatooti, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. cutipatooti

    cutipatooti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be getting chicks this spring and wanted some rare and beautiful birds. I do want to try to breed them as I have young kids and have not had the experience of our previous chickens hatching any. I was thinking Greenfire Farms as they have a few breeds I am interested in, but they are pricey. Omega hills farms has a package deal on bielefelder chicks and they are from the greenfire line.

    I was hoping to have a layer flock of different breeds and maby a few roo's . I was thinking maby 2 of each of the breeds I was interested in from greenfire but saw a post with pictures here on byc and realized how diverse even 6 chicks of the same breed can be. and the post was on chicks from greenfire farms. it made me realize that I might need to get more then a few chicks of each breed if I'm looking for the best of a breed or if I intend to breed them.

    I guess what I need to know is should I go with 2 of each breed I like or a mass of one of the breeds I'm interested in? if I go with the mass I guess I keep the very best and eventually get rid of the rest and order another mass of a different breed next year.

    does anyone have any experience with any of these breeders or have one they suggest?

    I am interested in eggs but want a colorful basket. also would love to breed to sell some chicks locally and freshen our flock, and eat the majority of the roo's. we will do mostly free range and organic feed. as of right now we moved to a new house and have no chickens. my boys will be getting silkies which will have their own coop

    any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
  2. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd get a good number of one breed for now and once you have your breeding program up and running, expand. As for who to go through, maybe some from both? That way you have a more diverse gene pool. Even though OHF gets their flock from GFF, they likely have concentrated on different parts of the breed to bring out.
     
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Quote: Hi,
    Rare breeds are very interesting. But there is a reason they are rare, Sometimes it is because the color is so difficult to breed correctly. If the breed falls out of economic favor and the color is tough to breed, that's 2 reasons it may be rare. So if you are just starting our in poultry, you want to position yourself for success, not frustration. usually, the more colors a bird has, the more complicated color pattern, the tougher it is to bred correctly...because ....think of the colors as being paid on a canvas in layers...each color needs to be correct for the whole to look right. Or you could pick a single colored breed whose silhouette is striking. The tailless, muffed Araucana ( the real thing like skybluegg breeds. http://skyblueegg.com/
    bielefelder http://omegahillsfarm.com/product-category/bielefelder/ Looks to be a crele colored breed. That's wildtype with the barring gene. Lovely birds. With a breed this rare, you will want to buy chicks, not eggs. This gives the breeder time to select the chicks for quality. The "starter flock" looks like a good idea;. If it is a pair only add and extra chick. A good idea is to have the 2 females from one flock and the cockerel from another. Also the breeder should help you plan the 1st several breedings until you get to know his strain.
    Best
    Karen
     
  4. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hum,
    You could buy 2 males and 2 female chicks from Greenfire ( called a quad).
    Nice to have an extra boy, just in case. Ask t have males from one flock and
    females from the other unrelated flock.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2014
  5. Omegahillsfarm

    Omegahillsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi cuti,

    Thanks for asking about us and our chickens.

    You mentioned bielefelders and they are a good choice for a dual purpose breed with the added benefit of being auto sexing. That will help when you start to grow your flock of laying hens. We were one of the first farms to receive a shipment of chicks from greenfire a little over a year ago and have been hatching chicks since late last summer. We have two separate flocks with 3 total roosters. So you will get a decent amount of genetic diversity from our chicks. That being said the gene pool is not very deep as all bielefelders are going to originate from GFF's imports.

    If you are looking to add some color to your eggs you may want to look at isbars. They lay a mint green to moss green egg. The color varies daily from each hen. Sometimes they will even be speckled. You never know exactly what you will get. We have sourced our flock from two different breeders whose flocks came from GFF. So our breeders are second and third generation GFF.

    If you are looking for something really rare check out the augsburger. This breed sports a duplex comb. According to GFF there were only about 20 roosters left in the world just a few years ago. We were the first to receive them last spring and our flock has done very well.

    We also have another GFF breed that they have since discontinued selling. The partridge barthuhner. This breed is very docile cold hardy breed. We have not seen any slow down in egg production this winter. They lay a medium to large cream colored egg. The beards they sport are always a head turner when visitors come by.

    I would be happy to answer any specific questions you may have. Just pm me or you can contact us through our website.

    Best regards,
    Joe
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Something to always keep in mind when wanting to breed multiple breeds is space. How much space do you have for breeding pens? How much for brooders? What about grow-out pens? How many birds do you plan to hatch out? Housing for all the chicks you hatch needs to decided in advance, and that's what constrains most of us from doing all the breeding projects we'd like. So, I'd say start with logistics first, and see what you'd be comfortable with in your own space and set up.


    You may want to have your breeding project and then also just a small flock of layers, for different breeds and egg colors.
     
  7. Omegahillsfarm

    Omegahillsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    ^ This 100%. I had intended on mentioning your facilities but forgot to. Housing and spaces are the number one issue for most of us. If we had a 1000 coops and runs guess what?? We would all have 1000 different breeds/projects going. Most of the time we are limited by our available space. If you want to keep your breeds true then you will need separate spaces for each one.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Hmmm...1000 pens.....yeah, that might be about right!

    Then again, I'm sure I'd come up with just ONE more project or combo or trio I wanted to try....[​IMG]

    Honestly, one of my favorite daydreams is winning the lotto and building a big ol breeding facility.
     
  9. cutipatooti

    cutipatooti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks to all for the great info. Space wise I have just over an acre so not very much. its surrounded by acres of woods on 3 sides. This is a new property for us. previously we had about 6 acres mostly wooded. The ticks were so bad we were told to get chickens to eat the ticks. my one son got lyme disease the within 2 months of moving to our previous home. we pulled tons off every day. I guess I missed one. anyway the chickens worked great. reduced the number by 80%. we had a mixed flock of about 25 at one point. long story short we had a sick fox make off with about 8 during the day time, then I guess he died. then a neighbor who fed a local bear moved away and the bear discovered the taste of fresh chicken when at 2:30 in the afternoon it grabbed my sons 4- h project silkie. there was no stoping the bear after that. he wiped out most of my flock and I rehomed the rest.

    so new house new property new start. my sons want silkies again. we only had 2 last time. they were of a really nice quality from a woman about an hour and a half from our house. lots of people sell silkies but most here are not such a great quality. we have seen her breeding stock and pens, her property her chick setup and her layer flock. we are confident with her birds and if her hatches do well we will be getting silkie chicks from her. they will have their own coop with a covered run. they will have as much yard time as possible but my sons are feeling over protective after the bear. Their coop will be a small coop with a small run. I think it will hold about 5 standard chickens. I am hoping for a silkie roo for my son to show in the fair. he is in the cloverbuds division of 4- h so he can bring any bird really as practice for when he can really compete. I don't plan on having more then 6 adult silkies at a time. my experience with them is they don't go far and don't take up much space yard wise.

    of our previous chickens we had several roo's. at least 6 at one point. those that were aggressive attacking us and the kids went into the slow cooker as did the one who crowed from 1am to 8am. we had a buff go broody. when we finally found her and the nest there were 26 eggs in it. they never hatched and a predator got her as she nested out of the coop. the chickens spent a majority of their time in the first 20 feet or so of trees that surrounded the property...where all the ticks were coming from. mostly I want a flock to do the same here and give eggs. it would also be good to have some meaties for dinner. after all I will soon have 4 boys and quality meat is expensive and hard to come by. we like knowing where our food came from and how it was treated. we could do the commercial hybrids but would prefer a more sustainable option.

    I guess that's where my interest in the bielefelders comes from. I like the auto sexing function, fast growth, and jumbo eggs. I find the roo's good looking too. I would keep 1 boy and 2 girls. I thought I would need to get at least 12 to get a good breeding trio, I have now learner that is not really the case with this breed. I think I would keep about 25 eggs to hatch out. if half are boys I can keep for meaties if a better roo comes along I can replace the first or if girls production slows or we lose someone to a predator we can replace. I will sell the chicks or even give them away if I had to. às far as a breeder pen I assume I could use another small coop like the silkies. small with a nest box and run.

    I assume that one the egg collecting is done I can put them back in the main pen with the rest of the flock. I know I should not keep the first week or 2 of eggs for hatching because they might not be fertalized yet. after I'm done with that I am hoping it would be ok to try to breed a different breed. I would only do 10 to 15 of theses eggs. if I knew someone who wanted any they would have to buy 6 chicks by law in our state. they can buy what they want once they are older. I'm more curious about how this all works and for my pleasure then making money. if I cant sell them I will offer them to friends with chickens or offer them for free if I don't end up eating them.


    maby someone can help me with this question or idea I read about. can you keep a group of roosters in the same coop and pen together seperate from the females? I read an article on this. keep roo's together in a seperate coop put the girls in a breeder pen. put the roo you want to breed in with them for several hours each day and then back with the other roo's. this keeps the other roo's from attacking the the one you are using to breed. if you keep him in with the girls for a few weeks and then put him back they fight. of coarse there is a pecking order but no major fighting providing they have enough space. I have no experience with this just read about it. i had a lot of roo's at one point and they spared but nothing too major. I remember one roo always being attacked and his comb bleeding a lot but mostly he was over heated from running. I cant remember if it was another roo that would do this or the male guinea fowl. I remember the guinea was always going after this one roo. he would chase the roo and grab on to the hackles
    until they fell out. the guinea was the worst to the roo's. anyway if anyone has any experience with what I'm talking about let me know.

    so is an acre of land ok for a main coop a silkie coop both with a run and both let out to free range during the day. a movable tractor for meaties a breeding coop and maby a seperate coop for roo's? I'm hoping the silkie coop or breeder coop can double as a salad table. you know the one where the roof can be planted.

    I figured I would get 3 bielefelders from one place and three from another as was suggested. I also had an interest in the isbars but see omega hills farm will soon have polish and would like to wait for their polish so I can get a three breeds in one shipment. omega hills farm do you have a minimum of chicks you will ship?

    sorry for the huge post but appreciate any and all advice. thanks.
     
  10. Omegahillsfarm

    Omegahillsfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry for the late reply. I just now saw your question for me. We will ship as few as three chicks at a time. We prefer to ship at least six for warmth especially this time of year. When we do ship smaller amounts we make sure the chicks are aged at least two weeks. This gives them time to feather out some and gain strength for the trip. Of course we always send extras so if you order three there will be more in the box. Maybe not the same breed though.

    On a side note our polish are several months out from being released. I'm not sure if you want to wait that long for your other chicks.

    Joe
     

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