Question for breeders of Welsummer, Marans, and other dark eggers

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by andham, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. andham

    andham Out Of The Brooder

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    I have started a new flock. I very much hoped to have dark egg layers and/or olive eggers. This proved rather difficult as I could not have a rooster and I am starting with a very small flock (6 hens). This ruled out chicks from most local breeders as they were unsexed and having just six birds shipped to eastern washington was a bad idea.

    I have been reading a great deal about those who seek to raise chickens that conform to a breed standard having to cull many chickens whose appearance was irregular. This prompted the following question:

    When I expand my flock next year, would it be a realistic plan to post an add here asking to buy pullets at the point of laying or other younger laying hens that fail to meet the standard? I would be seeking decent layers of dark eggs. I simply do not care what the chicken looks like. The could be Mike the Headless Chicken for all I care.

    I would pay for shipping (can a grown bird be shipped?) and would be willing to pay somewhere in the $25-50 range for a hen. Do you think I would find takers?

    Thanks
    ANDHAM
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Yes grown birds can be shipped.
     
  3. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes and No.
    Some one would gladly ship their birds for a fee, but that would include about $75 to box and ship 2-day guaranteed. You are looking at maybe $100 for 2 birds.
    Therefore, the Yes and No.

    Do you want to spend that much is a big question. Then, finding somebody that will ship a Welsummer pullet that is not up to snuff with the gene pool is another.

    Let us know what you decide and how you make out.
     
  4. andham

    andham Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Kevin. Do you think I would find breeder who would want to sell me a couple of their cull birds under the conditions I described? As I see it, my options are to find a group of folks who would be willing to divide up 25 shipped chicks here in my area, or buy a few unsightly layers of pretty eggs. I really like this option as I get to skip the brooder box as well.
     
  5. andham

    andham Out Of The Brooder

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    Also, for those who would be concerned with the concept of shipping and therefore preserving bad genes, I am a family backyard egg set up. We will have no roosters and will never be raising chicks from these birds. These are simply a way to get a colorful egg basket for family get togethers.
     
  6. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Yes I do believe you might be able to find a breeder willing to sell you some culls for your flock. Though if you can find someone in your state in might be cheaper to actually just drive up and buy a few to save shipping costs.
     
  7. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would just start out contacting local breeders who advertise here and elsewhere.
    There are always culls, but I would look for some as close to home as possible, so trip is easier on birds. The closer the better.
    Good Luck.
     
  8. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Problem with this is you can't really tell the good from the bad until they have grown out some.
    Where are you located?
     
  9. andham

    andham Out Of The Brooder

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    I am in Spokane. The ideal result for me would be to find someone within reasonable driving distance who could call when his or her chickens reach the point where they are proven layers, but may not be up to snuff for a breeding project. I would load up the dog crate, drive to the breeder with some cash and bring the ugly lady home where she will be loved for her abilities if not her looks.

    I am asking this now, because the raising of chicks requires some planning and I would want to know which path I would be taking well in advance.

    I appreciate the advice.
     
  10. dretd

    dretd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi andham (love the name!) I guess I am confused about wanting show quality birds when it sounds like you are raising them for their eggs?

    I have had 2 hatchery Welsummers. The first was from Privett (I think) and aside from a few feathers on her feet she looked really close to the SOP and otherwise could have been shown. Her eggs were a beautiful terra cotta with spots and she was a good layer. She passed and we replaced her with one from a different hatchery. She quite obviously has some infusion of game (her build is lighter, slight spur growth and she went broody at 1 year). However, she was the last to stop laying this winter and the first to start up in January and is giving me about 4 eggs a week where the other girls are 1-2 (its still really cold and we don't supplement the light).

    If you are looking for egg production, you may just as well be off getting hatchery chicks from a Feed Supply store as the HQ chicks are really geared more for production instaed of beauty.
    Her eggs are consistently a perfect terracotta, even at the end of the season. Here's a shot of one by a terracotta pot-can you find it?:
    [​IMG]
     

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