Starting Out with New Breed suggestions

kmpcfp

Songster
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
131
35
116
Southern Maryland
Good morning. I currently have a small flock of assorted hatchery/barnyard mix birds. I just sent in a producer/packer license to the state (Maryland) and am in the process of getting my current flock NPIP certified, so I can also register as a hatchery in the future. (Not to breed the current flock, they are just table eggs)

With that said I am looking into getting serious with starting out a line of birds for hatching and selling. I just don't know which breed to go with, there are so many! I would like for them to be good-excellent layers, personable (or atleast not flighty), and colorful. Autosexing is also a huge bonus. They need to do well in potential 95 degree humid summer days and 0 degree winter days (typically 25-88 year round). Obviously the above requirements are a "golden goose" so to speak, but one can hope. (A quiet crowing rooster?? Lol)

There is someone nearby that sells crested cream legbars, so they are out.

I am hoping they would also be good layers in that if instead of culling pullet faults, I can atleast use them for table eggs. Or if the hatchery doesn't work out, I can fall back on table eggs.

I realize that this is not a huge money maker, but ideally they would atleast cover the feed bill, and it'd be a fun hobby (maybe?)

Thanks!
 

NHMountainMan

Crowing
Premium member
Feb 25, 2019
935
3,635
492
New Hampshire
My Coop
My Coop
Not sure if you might be interested in preserving heritage breeds that are in danger of disappearing, but you might want to look at The Livestock Conservancy list of heritage chickens. I don't know this for sure as I don't breed / show/ sell - but intuition tells me that rarer chickens might command a better price for an easier break-even.
Hope this helps:
conservation-priority-list
 

grayjay11o

Songster
Jun 24, 2019
284
680
162
New Hampshire
Are you going to be breeding bantams or standards? EEs and fancy colored (Black, Blue, Lavender, Silver-Laced, and Isabel) Austrolorpls, and Orpingtons are always popular. Especially Isabel Orpingtons, they're gorgeous. Breeding rare breeds is also a good idea since you can charge more and hopefully help the population recover.
 

kmpcfp

Songster
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
131
35
116
Southern Maryland
Thank for the replies. I think I want to stick with standard size breeds, just for the eggs. I did find the NPIP list of local farm breeders/hatcheries that are within an hour driving distance from me. Standard breeds that were disclosed include (going from memory when I browsed a couple hours ago). Orpingtons, Brahma, Legbar, Cochin, Wyandotte, Ayam Cemani, Easter Eggers, Copper Marans, Swedish Flower, Polish, Partridge Rock, and Australorps. So I would like to stay away from those as well.

I will check out the conservation heritage list. Good idea.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,044
2,774
406
NEK, VT
The Partridge Rock near you is actually a good bird and in need of breeders. The breeder is Norm Enis in Maryland. He recently returned to breeding "fancy" birds as he calls them. Took over a decade off when growing meat birds for one of the major producers like Tyson. He managed to locate some of his flock that he'd dispersed previously. Worked them for four or five years now, this was his second year showing them at nationals. Very nice stock, still improving.

He doesn't breed to sell. His intent is to work his line of Partridge back into shape and get them distributed again to breeders that will maintain/work them. Won't ship eggs or birds. Sells birds from his home or at the show in Springfield, MA.
 

blackandtan

Crowing
Aug 30, 2016
585
2,140
277
Thunder Bay Ontario canada
Not sure if you might be interested in preserving heritage breeds that are in danger of disappearing, but you might want to look at The Livestock Conservancy list of heritage chickens. I don't know this for sure as I don't breed / show/ sell - but intuition tells me that rarer chickens might command a better price for an easier break-even.
Hope this helps:
conservation-priority-list
That’s exactly what I was thinking, if you’re considering keeping and breeding pure breds, why not choose one that’s in trouble. I’m sure there’s one out there that would suit your needs pretty closely, and in addition to helping preserve genetic diversity from a purely financial aspect you may see a better return on your investment.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,044
2,774
406
NEK, VT
From the Conservancy List Rhode Island Whites are threatened. That would be an excellent bird. Solid color are easier for beginning breeders. Body type is hard enough to maintain/improve without tossing fancy feathers in the mix.

Good layer, Rose Comb, mid sized dual purpose bird.
 

kmpcfp

Songster
5 Years
Mar 24, 2014
131
35
116
Southern Maryland
I like everything about the Rhode Island white.... Except that it's white. Personal preference, though. White birds just look dirtier, for obvious reasons. I don't know how marketable it will be or how many other people will have that same view. Though, I agree, it looks like a good starting bird with respect to it's standards.

Faverolles were another I was considering, but it doesn't seem to be a heavy egg layer.
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
257
779
121
Not sure if you might be interested in preserving heritage breeds that are in danger of disappearing, but you might want to look at The Livestock Conservancy list of heritage chickens. I don't know this for sure as I don't breed / show/ sell - but intuition tells me that rarer chickens might command a better price for an easier break-even.
Hope this helps:
conservation-priority-list
My plan when I retire in a few years is to take a breed that is endangered and do my small part in preserving it.
 
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