Tractor Supply hen

Discussion in 'What Breed Or Gender is This?' started by MartyD, Dec 22, 2014.

  1. MartyD

    MartyD New Egg

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    Dec 22, 2014
    Any idea what breed/mix this hen is. She's 8 month's old and I got her in with yellow chicks which all turned out to be white leghorns. She was yellow as a chick, but with dark edges on her first wing feathers. At first I thought a possible Delaware, or a Columbion Rock, but after her molt, the some of the feathers on her back developed a brownish tint She grew much larger than the leghorns and lays a medium large size pinkish tan egg. She's one of my best layers (has not slowed down in the cold), an active forager, and very friendly, if a bit bossy. This spring, I would like to try to hatch some more chicks like her. What breed rooster should I get for her?
    [​IMG]The one in the background is an Egyption Fayoumi.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    To me, she looks like an off-colored Delaware.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    She looks like a mixed breed to me, but that is unusual since Tractor Supply usually sells "purebred" chicks from hatcheries. My best guess is a Delaware with brownish leakage on its back.

    I don't know much about chicken genetics, so I can't tell you what rooster to breed to the hen in order to get more like her. She's a pretty bird, though!
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree.
     
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmmmm....I agree she looks Delaware-ish with something else that may have gotten mixed in.

    The type of rooster would depend upon what you are going for...if just to reproduce her, either the Rock or the Delaware would be a good addition to her keeping the ability to be a good egg layer. My Delawares have been heavier than my Rocks, so if you want to keep the size more medium-ish, then a Rock may be more of the route to go.

    Both Rocks and Delawares have been generally middle of the flock kind of bird..but of the two breeds, my Delawares could be bit bossy, and lay a bit less frequently the the Rocks. I did find my Rocks out performed my Delawares going into laying year 2...the Rocks still go strong while the Delawares went on a long hiatus and got very fat and lazy for me this winter and I retired them out...but that is the experiences I have had with hatchery Rocks and 2 breeder quality Delawares from one line.

    Lady of McCamley
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Unfortunately, after Delawares became close to extinction, hatcheries bred in several different breeds to try to get them back, sadly tanking the type and coloring in the process. One was Columbian Rock, also itself quite rare now, and oddly enough, Production Reds. Your off color could be from the latter. It happens.

    Delawares should be completely white, though some lines tend to yellow, period, just genetically prone to it, and others will when kept in full sun all the time and if you feed them too much corn in their diet, as would most white birds. My lines, thankfully, do not tend toward that issue, but mine are not hatchery stock, either so haven't had some issues that the hatchery stock does. My heritage Delawares have always been excellent layers, though I have only one remaining 6 yr old hen. She is laying right now, happy to say. I won't be replacing my Delawares when they're gone because they are less than heat tolerant and I just am not a big fan of white birds in general, though I've loved having them.



    ETA: I did have a few hatchery descended Dellie chicks before I hatched from good lines and they were awful. Sold all of them before they even grew up.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  7. MartyD

    MartyD New Egg

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    Thanks folks for your help my hen's ID. You confirmed what I suspected. I'll try to get a Delaware or Rock rooster this spring for my first attempt at hatching eggs. I know my girl's not a quality purebred, but she has a lot traits I like. Eventually I'd like to get into breeding a heritage breed, but the only breed I have any experience with are the white leghorns my grandparents kept. So for now, I have a flock of 44 assorted laying hens/bantams from hatchery and feed store stock to experiment with and gain some experience as I research the different breeds. Once I decide which breed suits me best, I'll commit to getting the best stock I can find.
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sounds like a good plan. Just realize that some of the true heritage stock is so different from the hatchery versions, that it may not be exactly what you're used to, even in the same breed. My RIRs were a prime example. I started with a group of hatchery hens, though sadly, like most hatchery production types, they one by one died from reproductive malfunctions, and among those were three RIR hens. Later, I got some gorgeous true RIR stock. Those hens were almost double the size of the hatchery hens and the personalities were completely different. They were calmer, less bossy, minded their own business, laid their eggs and just went out to forage. Generally, to me, they had less personality, overall, but they were good girls, all of them. Both hatchery and heritage lines were good layers, though in a turnover, I did sell the dark RIR hens to a friend for her own project she was doing and didn't keep them past a year or so old.
     
  9. jane s chickens

    jane s chickens Overrun With Chickens

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    You could breed her to a RIR roo and get red sex linked chicks. They are great layers.
     
  10. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    That's actually a very good idea IF she is a purebred Delaware or pure enough in the coloring genetics...if she is not, and her coloring indicates some funkiness (as does the tail...it just looks a bit off to me for a pure Delaware), it might not work....others may step in that have better genetics than I who can tell by looking at her if she is likely to have the genetic makeup for a good sex link...not all hatchery Delaware do.

    If she does, I would get a really good quality RIR rooster and breed to her....a good sex link is hard to beat for temperament and laying ability AND the ability to sex females and males at hatch.

    Lady of McCamley
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014

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