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Quality Rare Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by enggass, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. enggass

    enggass Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    I want to hear from all of you where you would suggest I go for quality chicks for next Spring.
    I am looking for:

    Black Copper Marans
    Easter Eggers

    'My Pet Chicken' is the only place I have found so far that has all of these breeds. I know they are production-ish, and that's ok, but how is the quality overall?
    Can anyone share any photos of these breeds from MPC?
    Where else may I be able to find these breeds all in one place?
    Where can I find any of these breeds that are quality even if not all in one place?


  2. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    Quote:By "quality" are you meaning SHOW/BREED STANDARD quality ? Or are you meaning "happy/healthy" quality?? This might determine the answers you get [​IMG]

    Of course EEs aren't purebred so there is no breed standard.

    I've never ordered from MPC so I can't speak to either ...

    Enjoy your chickens!!
  3. enggass

    enggass Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    I just mean quality, as in decent and pretty. They do not have to be show quality, just resemble closely the breed 'I think' I am ordering... ie. A Welsummer that looks like a Welsummer.
    I am aware EE are mutts and come in many styles, but that is fine...
  4. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Songster

    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    I have a group of girls from MPC, 2 EEs, 2 Silver Laced Wyndottes, 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Orpingtons.

    If you're going for show quality, you'd have to go elsewhere. But as far as pet/production quality, the girls I have are wonderful! They are very friendly, all very reliable layers and very hardy.

    It looks like from your list you are trying to get a mixture of birds that lay very dark or colored eggs. For truly, truly dark egg layers, I doubt you will be impressed by the color quality from the BCM, Barnevelders and Welsummers from MPC. Though I don't have those breeds from MPC, I'm guessing (and maybe someone can chime in and confirm or not) they won't compare to the breeder quality.

    However, both of the EEs I got from MPC lay green/blue tinted eggs.

    Lemme look through my pictures in a minute and I'll post some of my MPC group.
  5. enggass

    enggass Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Love to see your pics...
    You are correct that I am looking for some more unique colored eggs, but they don't have to be high on the color scale - just darker than your standard brown egg.
    Part of what I am looking for is the look/style of the bird alone. I think these are all very attractive breeds. I currently have 3 RIRs and 2 BRs, but want to add some spice to the flock.
    Can anyone here show me some pictures of eggs/breeds I've mentioned that came from MPC?
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2010
  6. sewandgrow

    sewandgrow Sewandgrow

    Sep 7, 2010
    Turlock California
    Quote:Good morning,
    I started out with hatchery stock & was mainly about collecting a variety of colored eggs. The hatchery stock were fine as far as healthy & happy (Murray McMurray) but when I decided to get more serious about breeds I went to the breed threads here on BYC & read, read, read............Marans,Black Copper, Wheatens & Cuckoo, Ameracuanas etc............. With a little patience which I am short on since I started later in life than most.....LOL you can get help finding whatever you decide you want & learn alot along the way & internet "meet" alot of nice people.............Also, I got my first chickens from Ebay & Craigslist.
    Good Luck
  7. I'm looking for good quality chicks also - different breeds than the OP (although I love my EE and may get another) and am curious as to the logistics of procuring good-quality stock.

    If you want to raise them from day-old chicks, how do you manage the timing of bringing together diverse breeds if you don't go the MPC route - especially if you want them to be sexed. My understanding is that birds from different sources have to be quarantined so it seems like a logistical nightmare to gather, say, a Silkie, a Polish, a D'Uccle, EE, Cochin and a Speckled Sussex of superior quality. I'm not looking to show or breed either, but would like to have the best-quality birds possible.

  8. enggass

    enggass Songster

    Mar 8, 2010
    Mid-Coast Maine
    Quote:EXACTLY. Well put. If I go to different sources for different breeds there is the timing issue and contamination issue. I am looking for one source for different unique breeds of 'decent' quality. So far, MPC is the only one I can find. I would love to see some pics of adult birds from MPC.
  9. chickens_rock

    chickens_rock In the Brooder

    Mar 29, 2010
    We have an Easter Egger hen, 2 Barnevelder hens, and a Cuckoo Marans hen and roo. We also have 3 Isa Brown hens and one 1 Barred Rock hen. We have lost a Buff Orp hen and a Marans hen. This is our first time raising chickens and this has been my experience since spring...

    I purchased our first group of chicks when they were less than 24 hours old at a local farm store. In doing some more chicken "research" I ran across a pic of some beautiful dark brown eggs, and I knew I just had to have some. I found a lady who breeds Barneys and Marans about an hour from my home. Our chicks were one week old at the time, so I got one week old chicks from her. We had handled our first set of chicks from day one, and they were all friendly with it. The new chicks never adapted to us touching them, and that continues to this day. Our first set of chickens are much more friendly than the barneys and marans. It's not that they're unfriendly, they're just more stand-off-ish. I don't know if that's because they weren't handled in their first week of life, or if it's just the way they are.

    We lost my favorite chicken, the buff orp. I loved the way she looked, I loved her personality, she was sweet and a little sassy and I like that in a girl. Her eggs were very nice. I plan to get some more buff orps next spring.

    Our Easter Egger, Rosie, is the most friendly chicken ever. We started out with 2 EE's but one was a roo and had to go. Rosie LOVES to be picked up, held, carried around, petted. When we go out she comes running no matter where she's at. She'll run right up to our feet and lay down. If we go out and sit, she'll hop on our lap. She's adorable with her fluffy little cheeks. She lays a nice large blue egg. She's not a consistent layer. She'll lay 4 days in a row, then take 3 or 4 days off, lay a couple more, then take a day off... The problem with Roise is a lot of the other chickens pick on her - particularly the Isa Browns. From what I've read, EEs are not the brightest chickens in the flock, so they tend to get picked on. Since Rosie is the lone EE in our group, and she does look different from all the rest, that probably adds to the bullying. She doesn't give up, though. If all EE are as friendly as Rosie, I would give a thumbs up for EEs for that reason alone.

    As for the Marans and Barnevelders... don't let the egg pictures fool you. There are a lot of factors that influence that chocolate brown egg color that I fell in love with. All our hens have been laying for quite some time now, and I would say we have gotten maybe 3 eggs that would be "photo worthy". The rest are darker brown than our other eggs, but not that rich chocolate brown that I was hoping for. Their eggs are smaller than the rest as well. More of a medium sized egg. I can usually count on roughly 4 eggs a week from each hen. Personality wise, the Barneys are kind of the keepers of the flock. Our chickens free range, and they come back to the coop to lay throughout the day. Without fail, there is ALWAYS one of the Barneys nearby when one of the hens is in the coop laying. All the other chickens will be out and about, and the one of the Barney's always stands guard outside the coop. I think that's pretty cool. I LOVE the feathering on our Barneys. They are very pretty birds. As free rangers, I think a group of just Barneys would probably stick fairly close to home. They’ll go out with the other chickens, but 7 times out of 10, when I go outside, the Barneys are usually close by.

    Our Marans roo is a bit of a jerk at times, but I'm hoping once he out grows his adolescent cockiness, he'll turn into a gentleman, or he'll turn into chicken and dumplings. His choice. He's a very good looking rooster, and he's very good to his girls. The Marans girls and barred rock are hard to tell apart aside from one their legs are different colors. The Marans that we lost was to a coopers hawk attack just a couple weeks ago. Yesterday, I heard a bunch of racket and went out to find a cooper's hawk on the back of our other Marans. She had dove her head into a hole under the neighbors chain link fence. Smart chicken. She saved herself long enough for me to get out there and chase the hawk away. Otherwise, she would be history, I'm sure. So.... in doing some research on hawk attacks, I came across a person who said that hawks had only attacked their chickens with that black/white barred pattern. I've had 2 attacks on my barred chickens.... probably more coincidence than anything, but who knows???

    The Isa Browns are nice consistent layers of a nice large egg. They’re very friendly, but one of them has recently started to get a little pecky. She’ll run up from behind and peck at your leg. I don’t know if that’s a sign of affection or aggression. Whatever it is, it’s kind of funny.

    They all add something some different to the flock and I enjoy them all. I love the variety I have in my flock, and I love variety in my egg cartons. If I had to decide on one type of chicken, I would really have a hard time choosing. Get some of each, that’s my suggestion : )
  10. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    I don't know about the breeds you want exactly, but Cackle has some pretty nice birds.

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