Seeking advice on breeds and breeders

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by TorieRice, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. TorieRice

    TorieRice New Egg

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    Jun 17, 2013
    Hello all!
    This is my first time posting in the BYC forum, but I've perused it a lot seeking answers (and generally finding them).
    My partner and I recently purchased a small farm, and one of the value-added sidelines we're looking at is chickens. We've had a small group of laying hens before, and last spring raised 24 Cornish crosses, which--to us--turned out fantastic. Now, after some research and streamlining, I'd like to have more of a heritage-type meat bird to raise and sell, especially because they will be pasture-raised, and I'd like opinions and info on breeds and breeders. I'm willing to have a little extra outlay at the beginning to have a superior bird, and the same with the egg-layers. I've considered Whitmore Farms and their Delawares as a dual-breed, and then another...S&J? S&G? I don't have my notes with me, but they raise Golden Comets, which looked interested.
    Anyway, any and all input is helpful. I'm kind of hoping to find breeders through BYC that could advise and supply me.
    Thank you!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Golden Comets are egg laying machines, but a little on the light side for meat birds. I would suggest Black Australorps. They have enough meat on them to be decent meat birds and they are the best layers of the brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days. If you want a little larger dual purpose breed that lays well, you might want to consider Orpingtons or Brahmas. Murray McMurray has an excellent "chick selector" tool at https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you determine which breed is best for you. Just be sure and click on "show more characteristics."
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You have a couple choices. You could raise a meat breed and an egg breed or a good laying fast growing DP breed.
    You also may want to consider if your customers will want white or brown eggs or both.

    If for eggs, you go with a sex link like golden comets, stars, cinnamon queens, California whites, etc., keep in mind you will be buying stock from year to year unless you want to do the hybridizing yourself with a couple different breeds since they won't breed true from generation to generation.

    If you want a breed for eggs consider leghorns or even anconas or minorcas.

    If you want a breed for meat, do you want it to be fast growing like Delaware, Rocks, New Hampshires or slow growing like Cornish, La Fleche or Brahma. Or the super fast like Cornish X and Freedom Rangers.

    The Australorp records were set in the 1920s with black Orpingtons in Australia so those days are gone. With American Australorps, one would be fortunate to get 250 a year. Still though, they are very good layers on a par with RIRs and a good choice for a fast growing meat bird.

    ETA
    Where are you located? Climate may have a bit to do with your choices.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree you're not going to reach the kind of incredible laying numbers that were reached with that team of BAs in the 1920s, but I still occasionally have a Black Australorp that will exceed 300 eggs in a year. The BAs sold by Dunlap hatchery seems to be especially prolific layers, although they still don't quite reach the consistent performance of my Black and Red Sex Links.
     

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