Possible Roosters, Pros and Cons of These Breeds?

jmns

Life is good...
Premium Feather Member
May 5, 2020
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On a rock in the Pacific
If you are looking at Marans, the black birchen is gorgeous and has Silver instead of copper coloring over the black feathering.
Marans are fast growing, but slow to start laying eggs. Just my 2 cents in a very long and well answered thread😊
 

HiEverybirdy

Chirping
May 5, 2020
110
286
83
Cosby, TN
Breda Fowl and Silverudd's Blue (SB) come in black and white, though I think the latter is BBS, so you could end up with blue, too. The Breda has feathered legs and white/cream eggs, and the SB are supposed to lay gorgeous, colored eggs.

No idea about growth rate, egg-laying rate, or temperament, and because these breeds are so rare here, those characteristics are probably all over the map.

Besides rarity, a downside of the Breda would be that, like the Brahma, its heavy feathering, small comb, and leg feathers mean they pant in temps over 80 (at least my Brahmas do).

Lastly, Dorkings come in black or white and are said to lay a white egg, but even the more common colors (silver gray or red) seem to be hard to find.

Ulterior motive: I have no experience with these breeds, but I want to. We're in the smoky mountains just over the TN line, so practically Carolinians--if you get interested in any of these and find good sources, let me know :):):)
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
2,252
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Took a quick look through the Ideal and Cackle Hatchery sites. Looks like Ideal has more variety right now. Cackle has a lot of breeds out of stock.
I'm making lists for Ideal, Cackle, and Welp -- but for next season because we can't build the new, larger chicken facility until our house has been placed.

In fact, as soon as I'm certain of the sexes of the current 7 I have to weed down to 4, 5 at the absolute most (and that's pushing it in a 4'x4' coop), unless something unexpected happens.

The house *should* have been placed already, but things happened -- including the manufacturer not having work crews because they could make more money on COVID unemployment and an appliance shortage.
 

Ruthster55

Songster
6 Years
Nov 23, 2013
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I'm making lists for Ideal, Cackle, and Welp -- but for next season because we can't build the new, larger chicken facility until our house has been placed.

In fact, as soon as I'm certain of the sexes of the current 7 I have to weed down to 4, 5 at the absolute most (and that's pushing it in a 4'x4' coop), unless something unexpected happens.

The house *should* have been placed already, but things happened -- including the manufacturer not having work crews because they could make more money on COVID unemployment and an appliance shortage.
Then it's going to be a while!

I think the hatcheries will open up their 2021 ordering around December...

Since you have plenty of time to consider your future chickens, you might also consider checking out breeders local to that area who are on Craigslist.
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
2,252
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Then it's going to be a while!

I think the hatcheries will open up their 2021 ordering around December...

Since you have plenty of time to consider your future chickens, you might also consider checking out breeders local to that area who are on Craigslist.
I am not interested in paying the price for show birds, even "pet quality" cull show birds and I trust the hatcheries more than the casual backyard breeders -- especially after so many threads on the What breed/gender? forum where the birds are nothing remotely like what they were sold as. :)

I know that sounds strange considering I intend to sell my backyard mixes and hatchery spares as started pullets, but I will be very clear and upfront that they are mixed breeds.
 

Ruthster55

Songster
6 Years
Nov 23, 2013
781
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Northern South America
I am not interested in paying the price for show birds, even "pet quality" cull show birds and I trust the hatcheries more than the casual backyard breeders -- especially after so many threads on the What breed/gender? forum where the birds are nothing remotely like what they were sold as. :)

I know that sounds strange considering I intend to sell my backyard mixes and hatchery spares as started pullets, but I will be very clear and upfront that they are mixed breeds.
Yeah ----- that's true. One needs to be careful with breeders. Some of them are reputable, including some folks who are on here. However, there are others on Craigslist or in the local classifieds who try to make a quick buck with barnyard mixes claiming that they're something they're not.

Would recommend getting a photo of the parents of any chicks or started pullets bought from a breeder. If the "breeder" can't provide a picture of the parents, they're likely selling barnyard mixes for more than they're worth.

Good Luck with the new farm next year!! You're going to be swamped with work!! One of the things I have enjoyed doing on the farm when I was new here was to make sure that a bunch of fruit trees were planted.

My guess is that you'll find a huge amount of brush and branches that need cutting and a bunch of space that needs to be tilled up for a garden!
 

3KillerBs

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
2,252
3,579
346
North Carolina Sandhills
Good Luck with the new farm next year!! You're going to be swamped with work!! One of the things I have enjoyed doing on the farm when I was new here was to make sure that a bunch of fruit trees were planted.

My guess is that you'll find a huge amount of brush and branches that need cutting and a bunch of space that needs to be tilled up for a garden
Thank you.

One of my tasks today is to choose 2 pear trees and make a wishlist of other fruit trees. We planted muscadines and a fig last year.

DH is planning on setting up an aquaponics system. We're living on the property in a 2-room cabin and I used plastic tote wicking beds for what gardening I could do this year.
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
3,144
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USA
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.
I suggest you buy 2-3 cockerels of each of those breeds, and plan to butcher most of them, as you find reasons to dislike one and another--the one that bites you, the one that grows slowest, the one that's mean to the hens, etc.

I suggest you also buy 1-2 hens of each breed, because then you can learn what hens of that breed are like. When you know which hens you like best, you can hatch their chicks the next year, and maybe order males of that breed next.

White eggs look good in a carton of mixed eggs, so I would add a few Ancona hens. But you have a point about getting lighter colored eggs in later generations--just do not hatch any white eggs, and that will not happen. (And a few white eggs in a carton make all the other colors look even darker by comparison.)

It would be easy to breed Easter Eggers in colors you prefer:
Black Australorp rooster plus Easter Egger hens gives mostly black chicks.
Cuckoo Marans rooster plus Easter Egger hens gives mostly cuckoo chicks.
Delaware rooster plus brown or red hens gives mostly white-and-black patterned chicks.

From all of those crosses, most daughters will lay green eggs, but a few may lay brown eggs. If you cross those daughters back to brown-egg roosters, you will get about half green egg layers, and half brown egg layers.

So you could get a few Easter Eggers, put up with colors you don't like for one year, and then breed Easter Eggers you like. (And you might get lucky and find colors you like among the purchased Easter Eggers anyway.)
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,734
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Southeast Louisiana
One of my tasks today is to choose 2 pear trees and make a wishlist of other fruit trees. We planted muscadines and a fig last year.
You probably already know this, but for most fruit trees you need two different varieties for pollination.

In North Carolina my list would include plums, peaches, and apples. Some people don't like them because of the way the ripe fruit stains but I really enjoyed my mulberry tree in Arkansas. For the six weeks it was producing when I'd open the coop in the morning the chickens would rush over to see what mulberries fell overnight. I made jelly with the juice.

Don't neglect berries. Blueberries can be a pain to grow but I really liked mine. Blackberries are worth it to me. If you are planning on staying a long time consider nut trees. They may take a decade or more to start bearing but pecans or black walnuts make good trees. I also planted maples for the fall color.

Sorry to kind of go off topic but this brings back memories. when i moved to 2 acres in Arkansas I planted a lot of trees.
 

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