Opinions on breeds, please

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by One Chick Two, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi!

    What do you think are the prettiest, heritage, or non-hybrid standard-sized birds that are good, dual-purpose large egg layers/ meat with nice feathers? We're looking for breeds that are not too high maintenance to keep (we do supervised foraging), or, are huge food guzzlers like Giants. We also have hot CA. summers with cold winters. I make Edwardian styled hats and would love to have some lovely feathers to put on them.

    We currently have Production RIR for eggs. Although mutts, we think they are pretty, friendly birds that lay well… but we notice that they have no egg color uniformity- our eggs colors range from dark tan- pink- light beige to even speckled, ex-large to small. Part of the hybrid breeding I think. However, they all did well during 114 degree days this summer. Some of their feathers can be brittle, or, oddly colored, so most of their feathers are not the best for hats.

    Heritage RIR are extremely lovely, but we read that due to their much larger size, comparatively speaking, they eat much more than P RIR, but produce tremendously less eggs in a year, overall, so not our first choice for that reason. Welsummers are so gorgeous, but are a smaller bird with a small egg. Cream legbars, Golden Campine, Golden penciled Hamburgs, Phoenix I think may be small too, with small eggs, but please correct if wrong.

    Was considering possibly(?) Copper Marans, or, Gold laced or Blue red Wyandottes? Speckled Sussex, or Australorps? Any other ideas? Buff Orpintons are so pretty, but probably wouldn't do so well in our wide range of temp. extremes. We do have a nice looking partridge cochin, but it's taking him forever to mature, and are hoping not to find birds who take a year to mature. Single combs preferred.

    Thank for you thoughts! Photos much appreciated too.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2013
  2. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Coopacabana

    Coopacabana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can we see a picture of one of your hats? They sound really beautiful.

    Barnevelders have beautiful feathers, especially the blue variety. Otherwise I think Wyandottes (Silver, Gold or BLR) or Speckled Sussex would fit the bill.

    [​IMG]


    (not my bird)
     
  4. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    My Coop
    Here ya go :

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ka-fly-tying-chickens-info-for-the-interested
    Introduction

    Genetic Hackle chickens are some of the most exotic chickens on the planet! These birds have been bred for many years to produce feathers for use in tying fishing flies. Their feathers are up to five times longer and thinner than feathers on domesticated birds. There are less than 20 breeders of genetic hackle birds in the United States, therefore they are very rare.
    Genetic hackle birds have been selectively bred for about half of a century for their feather quality and are a testament to the flexible nature of the chicken when it comes to extreme genetic manipulation.
     
  5. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kathryn P- thank you so very much! Your pair of speckled Sussex are GORGEOUS! Your roo is such a handsome fellow! So, what do their feathers look like when they have fallen out? Can you see whole dots of white (or colors mixed) or, are the markings seem more muted and gradient?

    3riverschick- Thank you! What LOVELY birds! I will read the thread through and do some more follow up research on Genetic Hackle birds. Love Phoenix longtails too, but they lay small eggs.

    Coopacabana- Thank you so much for your great suggestions! I will definitely research the blue variety of Barnevelders, especially.

    When I am making hats, I use a variety of feather types. There might be a chicken feather inner ornament that I might make, surrounded by vintage ostrich feathers or upstanding aigrettes, silk ribbons, hand made silk flowers, jet/ beads, buckles, silk netting, etc. on a handmade wired, buckram frame, then covered in a natural fabrics. I try to make my hats seem real- authentic to the era.

    Sorry, I didn't have any closer shots readily available.
    [​IMG]

    Here's my friend Kate wearing a white 1880's ensemble that I made and sewed by hand of antique fabric bits and pieces. The bonnet was made of pink and white silk and lace, with huge pink ostrich feathers, and pink dyed chicken feathers fanned near the ties. It was the last dress I sewed all by hand. lol
    [​IMG]

    The middle photo is a 1912, Elise McKenna style, "Somewhere in time" movie outfit, made for the Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island "Somewhere in time" weekend, for an attendee. The straw base had ivory ostrich feathers mixed throughout with chicken feathers. The pink poppies were cut out of stiffened velvet and silk.
    [​IMG]

    In the last photo, I am wearing a 1912 Titanic style ensemble of lavender lace on net. The hat I made. It's 22" across, made of ivory silk velvet with lavender and ivory dyed ostrich feathers, with ivory faille ribbon. Chicken feathers made up my faux hat bird, stuffed and made of a buckram body. Copied an old vintage hat bird.

    By 1912, so many small birds lineages were threatened by the hat industry, they made a law to switch bird use over strictly to millinery birds instead of using real birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  6. Coopacabana

    Coopacabana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow. Those are amazing! I'm in awe! They are really works of art.

    My great grandfather tied flies. I have a bunch of the flies he tied in a shadow box. I've been thinking about learning to tie flies with feathers from my chickens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  7. SA Farm

    SA Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks [​IMG] Some of the feathers will have the white tip with that mahogany color and sometimes more white or black. From the rooster, some of the feathers have that iridescent green and sometimes purple too. Some of the feathers are more graded, some of them look like they've been painted. There's a really nice variety in my opinion!
    You're hats are lovely, by the way!
     
  8. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    I would have to say WYANDOTTES.
    They have the best colorings with all the types.
    They lay reasonably well and are dual.
     

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