SQ bantams - do any of them lay much at all? Ameraucanas maybe?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by lceh, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 7 year old DD is just getting into Showmanship and we'd like to buy her a few show quality bantams for her to work with (right now she's using a barnyard-quality silkie and has a little flock of hatchery bantams). The deal is, she is expected to pay for feed, medicine (within reason), and incidental expenses for her flock, and she covers this by selling their eggs. So far this arrangement is working well. Now she would would like a couple of nicer quality birds to handle, but she still needs to make sure the new additions can produce enough to help cover feed, etc. I know SQ birds don't generally lay like hatchery birds do, but are there some breeds or SQ lines that actually do produce well? She is thinking about bantam Ameraucanas, and I think the blue eggs would sell well in this town. She also likes the "miniature standard" breeds (bantam Brahmas, barred rocks, etc.) but they do tend to be a bit large for her to handle, even as bantams. The EEs we have seem to be pretty docile and about the right size. We also keep the birds in a tractor, so breeds that can't take confinement are out.

    Any suggestions, SQ bantam experts? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2009
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Well, I am far from an expert, but I do have a bantam Ameraucana, and while she just started laying, and it's late in the year, so I expect her numbers to pick up, but her first week laying I got 3 eggs from her. She is from John Blehm, and he has some really nice birds...in fact, I have a young trio of his coming later this week from someone who bought them as chicks...can't wait!!! [​IMG]

    My son also does 4H, and his showmanship bird has been a pet quality silkie, but he will be showing the ameraucanas in conformation.
     
  3. kawonu

    kawonu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Both our kids have been doing showmanship for a couple years now. Our daughter was last years Ohio National 1st place and this years APA 1st place in her age group for showmanship. You don't have to have show quality to do showmanship. In fact some of the questions they get asked are what kinds of defects does your bird have. She uses a snowy call duck that is just pet quality, but will just lay in your lap. Its better to have a bird that is tame and will let the kids hold them well than to have a quality bird that they can't handle. Also, if you use a pet quality bird, that leaves your quality ones in the show to be judged!

    We have call ducks and just got into bantam wyandottes. The wyandottes have just started laying and we get an egg a day from both of them.
     
  4. jimnjay

    jimnjay Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know no reason why a bantam would not lay as many eggs as the LF counterpart. Bantam Barred Rocks and RIRs should be excellent layers. My Bantam Faverolles were very good layers and only one went broody in the 2+ years I had them. It makes a great way to help the expense of owning chickens. Now if you select Silkies or Cochins or any other breed that is prone to go broody then the egg production will certainly fall off. My Silkies and Sizzles have always laid all year long as long as they were not sitting.
     
  5. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I wasn't so much asking if the bantams would lay as well as the standards, but if there are any show quality bantams that lay as well (or almost as well) as their hatchery counterparts of the same bantam breed, if that makes sense. For example, are there SQ banty Wyandottes that lay almost as well as the hatchery banty Wyandottes, which are known to be good producers? We do love our miniature standards, that's for sure.

    I'm glad to hear the quality of the bird doesn't matter so much for showmanship, I'd heard some different opinions on that. There's certainly no shortage of "bad points" for her to point out on her Silkie! It would be nice for her to have something a bit closer to the SOP, even if the bird's not going to win as a show bird at the top level.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  6. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Quote:I think it really depends on the show. If it's 4H it doesn't seem to matter, especially in Cloverbuds, but we went to an APA show and were told by the show secretary that the quality of the bird WOULD be taken into consideration, and that if we chose to bring a pet quality bird, it would not be provided a cage, and would have to spend the whole weekend in whatever crate I brought it in! So, needless to say, he didn't do showmanship at that show!!
     
  7. kawonu

    kawonu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless you are showing the showmanship bird also, we haven't seen any shows that provide cages for those in showmanship. The only time they are in a cage is when the showmanship is actually going on. Its for the part of putting the bird in the cage the right way, taking it out, handing it over to the judge. My daughter has used that pet quality call for 90% of the showmanships that she has done. She has done very well with showmanship having placed 1st at 2 different national shows. The judge we talked to explained it is what the kid knows about his/her bird and not the quality of the bird itself...more about what the kid knows.
     
  8. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Happily for us, her first show is the Va. Poultry Breeders Association show later this month. Tom Roebuck is the show secretary, and he made a point of letting us know that showmanship competitors do NOT have to show their bird, and also said he'd find a cage for her. Maybe it just depends on how accomodating the particular show secretary is; Mr. Roebuck has been great in patiently answering all our newbie questions! As she gets older though I think she really ought to have a more decent quality bird.

    That aside, any other thoughts on show quality bantams (or particular lines of a specific breed) who also lay well?
     
  9. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any bantam Ameraucana people want to chime in here [​IMG]? I'm really curious if there are SQ lines of this breed that lay decently.
     
  10. millebantam

    millebantam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These are tiny, and lay like crazy. Also, they have super sweet temperments.
     

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