Possible Roosters, Pros and Cons of These Breeds?

3KillerBs

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
2,252
3,579
346
North Carolina Sandhills
Thinking out loud here in a place where I'll have a good record of the evolution of my ideas and hoping for input.

As the placement of our house gets closer and we start budgeting for the increase of the flock and pondering what to do if Piccata, the Silver-Laced Wyandotte or Omelet, the Light Brahma, turn out to be cockerels instead of pullets (still uncertain at 12 and 10 weeks respectively), I've more or less decided that, as much as I love Brahmas for their beauty, I don't really want one as half the genetics in my flock. Nor do I think that an SLW is the best option for me here in the steamy southeast.

In time there will probably be two or three roosters as the flock grows and gets large enough to divide, but the current plan is to start with one.

My overall goals for the flock are:

Good temperament
Vigorous good health
Relatively rapid growth/maturity (hoping to sell my extras as started pullets/butcher spare cockerels and don't want to have to wait half a year)
Good egg laying
A variety of egg colors (hoping to sell eggs at farmers' markets)
Large and extra-large eggs (because small eggs don't sell well)
Colors and patterns I find attractive (black, white, and black and white -- absolutely no red)

Other factors:

I like feathered feet
Not too flighty -- they won't free range but will be in an open pen
I will probably be ordering from Ideal and/or Cackle

My thought is to follow advice often given here by raising a number of straight-run chicks and select the cockerel(s) I like best out of the bunch. I'm considering the following breeds:

Delaware -- Large, attractively patterned birds that grow rapidly, are well-adapted to heat, and lay good-sized, medium-brown eggs

Australorp -- Large birds that grow rapidly, are well-adapted to heat, and lay good-sized, medium-brown eggs. Possibly less visible to hawks than the light-colored birds.

French Black or Cuckoo Marans -- Large birds, attractively-patterned (cuckoo), with dark egg genetics. Feathered feet.

Black/White/Blue/Splash Ameraucana (Cackle) -- Medium birds, blue egg genetics.

Since all chickens are awesome in the hatchery catalogs I'd appreciate feedback from people with experience with these breeds. Especially if you live in a hot, humid climate.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,300
9,392
596
western South Dakota
You are going to love the Delaware - they meet your color, size, and disposition requirements. Make nice broilers, thicker than the average dual purpose birds.

I am going to throw this out there, but I would consider a leg horn - fantastic layers, white egg. Nothing makes the colored eggs stand out more, than a few white ones in the bunch! If you plan to sell eggs - then the egg laying breeds are where you need to go.

Heat tolerant birds - check Mediterranean birds, I think would work well. As for blue egg layers or green - I can't think of any that meet your feather color - I just don'e know.

But I think a flock of BA, Delewares, and leghorns would be very pretty. Could add a barred rock...but more brown eggs.

Mrs K
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
2,252
3,579
346
North Carolina Sandhills
You are going to love the Delaware - they meet your color, size, and disposition requirements. Make nice broilers, thicker than the average dual purpose birds.

I am going to throw this out there, but I would consider a leg horn - fantastic layers, white egg. Nothing makes the colored eggs stand out more, than a few white ones in the bunch! If you plan to sell eggs - then the egg laying breeds are where you need to go.

Heat tolerant birds - check Mediterranean birds, I think would work well. As for blue egg layers or green - I can't think of any that meet your feather color - I just don'e know.

But I think a flock of BA, Delewares, and leghorns would be very pretty. Could add a barred rock...but more brown eggs.

Mrs K
I have a California White in my current flock of pullets to help ensure a nice mix of contrasting eggs but I didn't think I wanted a white-layer rooster contributing half the flock genetics and diluting the egg colors.

Chipotle is my mischief-maker -- the one who can fly out of the pen if she wants to and who is always the first to check out something new.
 

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