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Survival poultry?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Freeholder, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    This may seem like a weird question (then again, the way the economy has been going, maybe not!), but what breed of poultry, preferably chickens, would do best on a low-protein diet? I've been following the Buckeye thread, and read most of the back posts on the Buckeye yahoo group website, and while I'm very interested in them, I wonder if they'd be a good choice in a survival situation with them needing a higher protein level that most of the other breeds. I can't free-range here year-round (maybe half the year at best), and even then, can't have birds that will be flying over the fence into my neighbor's yards (which probably lets out the Games and most of the Bantams).

    Right now I buy chicken feed (18%), but if we couldn't buy chicken feed any more, I'd have to raise feed for them. They'd get stuff from the garden; I can grow a little bit of grain by hand; alfalfa (goats get first pick on that, though); surplus milk at least part of the year; and I want to start raising earthworms for them. They also get offal from butchering rabbits and goats (and even from butchering excess chickens), but there's not enough of that for very many chickens to get all their protein from it. So what breed would be best for a situation where we couldn't free-range and couldn't buy expensive chicken feed? (I know geese can graze during the summer and eat hay in the winter, but they don't lay very many eggs.)

  2. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    It's a good question but a hard one to answer. I think you would find that if it got to that kind of survival, you would have to free range and have something like games that could survive predators and still fend for themselves. Otherwise I think you would have to cover that pen because most of the birds that do well with forage kind of feed can fly.
  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2008
    Klamath County, OR
    Well, my pens are getting covered anyway because I lose too much feed to the wild birds, not to mention the potential bio-security issues with wild birds having access to my pens. So maybe I'd better just get some OEG's -- I know they aren't great layers, though.

  4. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    If you want eggs go for a lean egg layer type such as leghorn cross. (They have survived commercial egg layer facilities with no extra anything.)
  5. catwalk

    catwalk Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2009
    If you would feed them hay, really leafy hay would be best. I have a mixed hay in some pens, and the grassy pieces are eaten like spaghetti and get stuck. I've pulled on little pieces of grass hay in their mouths, and gotten a foot of unbroken grass out of them!
  6. ve

    ve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Palmetto GA
    Iova Blue is your bird.A little biger then Leghorn.Dark color - predator proof.Broody,good mother.Eggs are small to med but exelent layer.My flock is from Ideal Hatchery.I get them on 03.19.08. They start to lay at 15 weeks on 07.04.08. All went broody for 45 days and continue to lay until summer 2009.Went broody for 45 days and continue to lay to november when start molting.They are much tamer then Leghorns.(Sorry for my sp)
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009

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