Which one? Or both?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by thekidd88, Jan 24, 2015.

  1. thekidd88

    thekidd88 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2015
    I live in a place where it is COLD in the winter, with lots of snow on the ground and HOT in the summer- heat waves with the whole nine yards. I want a good, dual purpose chicken. I want to be able to have the home grown eggs that I have grown up with and I also want to know where my chicken has come from and what it's eaten.
    I'm sick of the poor, hormone injected and cruelly treated and executed chicken we get at the store. I want to know the chicken I'm eating has had a good life and know that I've executed it quickly and with as little pain as possible since it has provided me with eggs and now with meat so I do not starve. I am a pagan and believe in treating all living beings with respect and that everything has a purpose in life; some animals to simply be pets and give comfort and love and others to help sustain the life of all living creatures. Mother Nature has put them here for a reason, but I know She never meant for us to kill them and treat them with utter contempt and disrespect.
    Now that I'm done with my rant of reasoning... Onward.
    I have been looking at the Faverolle chickens and the Russian Orlof chickens and cannot seem to decide.
    I have found mixed reviews about the Faverolle, some saying they're excellent as a dual purpose chicken and others saying they give too small of eggs and are only good for meat. Plus, they're loud, however, docile.
    With the Russian orlofs I have found they seem to be the opposite: good layers and small for meat. I've seen they're questionable for brooding, but docile. I've also found that though they are meatier, they have a thick or tough skin.
    So, do I get a mixture, or one or the other? I figure, they are both docile so they should be okay together, but I'm not sure. My family has always had the speckled Sussex I believe they are called; we just used them for eggs.
    I would like five total, four hens and a rooster, just enough for my family. Please give me all the advice you can, I'm all ears!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If as you say it gets very hot, stay away from the Orloff, they're built for cold.
    I have the same problem with temps as low as --20 in winter and up to 120 in summer, though more often it stays between 0 and 100.
    I recommend more than 5. You'll eat more eggs than you currently do when you have delicious fresh eggs in your backyard. After the first year, the hens will take an annual break when you'll get no eggs for weeks or months. They keep a long time so you can store in late summer for the lean times to come. It's a real bummer to go to all the trouble of keeping chickens and still need to buy eggs.
    I would probably try a variety of breeds till you find what suits you. There are so many good ones. Peruse these outstanding breed charts for more complete information.

    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf

    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    You might want a breed developed near you intended to be dual purpose and can handle your climate. I don't know where you are but Java, Buckeye and Jersey Giant come to mind.
    You could also get a few egg types like leghorns, anconas, minorcas. Jaerhons are productive smaller birds that can handle extreme cold and heat.
    Then get a DP rooster with a few hens of the same breed.
    How cold is cold and how hot is hot where you are?
    I've settled on Black Penedesencas as an ideal meat bird that lay very well for 9 months of the year.
     
  3. thekidd88

    thekidd88 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2015
    Cold cold is about -20 and rarely hits that, but it does consistently get into the single digits every night in winter. In summer, a heat wave is usually only about 100, but sometimes it is 100 with high humidity- nothing close to your 120.
    I picked those two because I like the look of them. Their fluffed necks and the longer neck of the Russian and the poofed butt of the Faverolles. I know, sounds silly, but I don't want a plain white chicken running around my acres, for one. Also, they stick out too well for predators.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    With the temps you're describing, most of the dual purpose birds would work well. Rocks, Reds, Aussies, Wyandottes etc will all tolerate that climate. As personal preference you may want to avoid straight combed breeds. Wyandotte, Buckeyes, Dominiques would be good choices then.

    I always advise folks to start with a mix of breeds. Folks stress over finding the perfect breed, and you really don't need to stress. Purchase one or two of several different breeds. That lets you experience a variety of breeds. Most backyarders also want to be able to tell their birds apart, and having different breeds helps with that.

    If you have kids eating these eggs, you've got to throw a few Easter Eggers in the mix, IMO. Everyone loves blue or green eggs!
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Given your temperature ranges, I would suggest Black Australorps. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds) and they are extremely hardy. I've raised them where winter temperatures dropped to 30 F below zero, and where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and in both climate extremes they did just fine. They are calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them), and the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days. Whatever breed you end up getting, good luck with your flock.
     
  6. thekidd88

    thekidd88 New Egg

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    Jan 24, 2015
    Thank you all so much for the advice! I'm getting a nice list of breeds to try; I now plan of getting a couple of each and a few more than five! [​IMG]
     

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