Trying to decide on ONE breed to replace my mixed flock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by rilly10, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    So come spring I have decided to hatch out some babies to grow out to replace my mixed layer flock. All of my layers are who I started out with from the feed store ( Ideal hatchery stock). I originally wanted to add a roo so if I needed replacements I could hatch fertile eggs, but then decided I would much rather breed purebred chicks than mutts that I would not know what to expect out of the eggs.

    So I live in PA so cold hardy is a must. I want lots of eggs, will probably process the extra roos, so dual purpose is a plus. I also would like a bird that is not monsterous in size since our nest boxes are build for out hatchery birds so are not huge. I would like friendly birds and prefer light brown eggs. I may sell extra hatching eggs so popularity is important to me as well. Some breeds I was considering were:

    -Heratige Delawares
    -Heratige Barred Rocks
    -Silver Penciled Rocks
    -Lavender Orps (may be too big)
    -Coronation Sussex (may be too big)

    I also really like wyandottes in BLR or SL but have heard they are meanies.

    Any input or advice on a breed would be appreciated!
  2. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Heritage Delawares are excellent layers of nice eggs. They are the friendliest, calmest, sweetest breed you can imagine. They would be an excellent choice. Alot of Heritage breeds are not the best layers, if that is important to you.
  3. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Thanks! I did not realize that about the heritage birds. Out of my mixed hatchery flock my barred rock, and my delaware are my 2 favs! They were also the first two to lay. I have been getting an almost egg a day from them, but they are hatchery stock.

    How much bigger are the heritage delawares than hatchery?
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  4. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    I vote for Barred Rocks (they are such funny, bossy birds!) or Delaware (they're pretty). Wyandottes aren't very friendly, but they aren't mean either, and they're very pretty also.
  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:Bred towards the SOP .... Delawares should weigh:
    Hen 6 1/2 lbs
    Pullet 5 1/2 lbs
    Cock 8 1/2 lbs
    Cockerel 7 1/2 lbs
  6. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Hubby likes the barred rocks the best. I really like the Heritage rocks ( I have been following that thread too) but wonder how ther are as layers? Also If I did want to sell some hatching eggs is there really a market for them?

    I would like to show also as I will be showing my silkies this year and it seems harder to find LF breeders of BR or Delawares that have exhibition quality birds.
  7. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    The guy I got the Heritage BRs from said they are not the best layers. I don't know, because mine have not yet started to lay.
  8. Lotsapaints

    Lotsapaints Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2010
    Paso Robles, CA
    I really enjoy my breeder quality Delawares they lay almost the same as the hatchery girls and are a 1 1/2 bigger but the hatchery girls don't weigh to the standard. Heritage breeds need more breeders what's nice about Dels is you can have another "red" breed and create sex-links. So you could try and find good New Hampshires or Rhode Island Reds not hatchery and have some very nice birds. Heritage breeds should stay productive longer too 4 or 5 years maybe longer depending on the strain. It seems that there is a renewed interest in good quality heritage breeds right now so selling chicks or eggs might work out well it all depends on what you want to try. Have fun first whatever you decide.
  9. rilly10

    rilly10 Clover Field Farm

    May 18, 2010
    Pottstown, PA
    Thanks for all the great info!

    I am interested in the heritage breeds since i felt like breeding the mutts was a waste. If I am going to be feeding and taking care of a layer flock why not work with one breed to try to preserve them?

    Anyone have a recommendation for a breeder to get some hatching eggs from?
  10. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Two days ago I would have recommended Dominiques but I sold the last I had to sell this year yesterday. [​IMG]
    I would recommend that you wait until spring if you plan on starting from chicks. In my experience large fowl hatched in the fall never seem to get the size they should have. Also they'll need supplimental heat throughout the winter.

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