STILL can't decide on breed...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by grandmaof5, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    We've got the free window to start the build, and a general idea of how we want our coop to look, even where it is going, but can't make up our minds as to what breed the ladies should be. Every time I come on here, I see things I like about different breeds, but I THINK I've got it narrowed down to three...Buckeye, Welsummer or Marans.

    I want a hen, not white, that will lay brown eggs (darker is better). We live in a northerly area (Canuck-land) where -40 isn't unusual in the winter. We'll only have 4, but I can't make up my mind what kind. I had asked before and got great advice, but I'm still hesitant...

    DH wants a heritage, breed and I'd like one of the endangered or rarer breeds. Help!
  2. poultryhaven

    poultryhaven Addicted to Seramas!

    Jan 19, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    why not get all three? [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  3. M To The Maxx

    M To The Maxx Baseball+Girls=Life

    Jul 24, 2009
    I would go with Marans out of the 3 choices you posted.
  4. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    I would not get a breed with a single cone because of frost bite risk. You also want to be sure and get a breed that lays good thru the winter. Henderson's chart on chicken breeds is a good resourse.
  5. FrizzleFreak

    FrizzleFreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Marans are bloody expensive right now. As in, I have seen people pay 100 dollars for 12 hatching eggs. PLUS SHIPPING! If you can't live without them, wait until the bubble bursts.
    I have heard that Buckeyes are not the best layers, but I think they will probably do better through the winter. They are heritage, and endangered, but they are also more on the meaty side.
    The only problem that you might have with Wellies is that the comb on roos (not hens) can be fairly large, and may have frostbite trouble. This is easily remedied with Vaseline on the comb(prevention, not cure) You could also consider dubbing the comb if you have a real issue-this is a subject of great controversy right now, but my personal opinion is that it is for the health of the bird, and if the cut is sharp and clean, it is better to dub than to have the bird die of frostbite complications.
    Wellies have lovely eggs, and are very steady layers. They lay fairly well thru the winter. I'm assuming since you can only get four that you live in a non-free range environment? aka a suburb type thing?
    If this is the case, supplemental light may be your friend. Average 14 hours a day of light, and your hens will lay more often thru the winter. This only works if they are put into a coop before it truly gets dark. Also, using a lamp will keep things warm in there. Some people don't do it because of the fire risk. I think that if it's -40 you're not worried about fires. Just don't store gasoline with your birds:D
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  6. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    Quote:The ALBC did a production study on Buckeyes and they average between 150 to 200 eggs per year per bird. Not bad IMO!

    I say go with Buckeyes, stay away from a single combed bird, been in -40, got the t-shirt (lived in Saskatoon for six years, and Duluth for five.)

    Buckeyes, Buckeyes, rah rah rah!

  7. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Any more opinions, folks, or will it be Buckeyes for us? Remember, cold-hardy, dark brown eggs, rare or endangered you all agree that Buckeyes are the way to go?
  8. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    buckeye out of your list of three but what about chanteclers?
  9. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    I don't know squat about cold hardiness, but if you've never had chickens before I'd recommend Wellies over Marans. It's just too hard for a newbie to reliably find GOOD Marans, and they're too expensive to pay the current market prices for bad ones. Wellies are nice reliable birds that lay pretty eggs but aren't terribly expensive.

    But you're on yer own for judging how they'd do in serious cold. I've never lived north of zone 6!
  10. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    Quote:I have had hens before, but it was when my children were young, over 25 years ago. The birds were a generic "take what you get" breed from the feed store. We also had meat birds back then. This time I want hens that I can do a small part in the effort to keep a breed going. Back in the day, we listened to the 'experts' who told us we needed medicated this, and medicated that. This time we would like to free range at least a part of the day (afternoons when I'm not at school or summertime) and try to have as natural a life as we can give the ladies. I won't push for egg production, and at least for the first while, we'll have no cocks.

    Brainstorm here! I am wondering if there will be a minimum number of each type of pullet I can get from the breeder...maybe she'll sell me 2 Buckeyes and 2 Welsummers... [​IMG] Or one Buckeye, one Welsummer, one Marans and one....hmmm ( I like the Partridge Chanteclers, but not white ones)...arghhh!!

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