Chicken breeds

  • Chicken breeds

    Posted by dflint1873 on January 21, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    What breed of chickens are you finding to be the most self sufficient? I am looking for a large bird that could be raised for meat with minimal inputs. I am less concerned about how long it takes especially if I’m not doing much to maintain them.

    GoldenGryphon replied 11 months, 4 weeks ago 10 Members · 25 Replies
  • 25 Replies
  • JerseyGiantChick

    Member
    January 21, 2023 at 1:58 pm

    Definitely Poule de Bresse over here!

    We have Jersey Giant, Barbezieux and Poule de Bresse.

    • dflint1873

      Member
      January 23, 2023 at 1:37 pm

      How are the Bresse doing?

      • JerseyGiantChick

        Member
        January 23, 2023 at 5:55 pm

        The Bresse are doing the best, if I was a farmer would take them for eggs and then after 1 one laying season meat. They will lay maybe a couple less eggs, but the cost will be less because they are such good foragers and will pay extra with excellent meat.

  • Stpdsteve

    Member
    January 21, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    I added bielefelder chickens to my flock.

    • dflint1873

      Member
      January 23, 2023 at 1:36 pm

      How long ago did you add them and are they doing well?

      • Stpdsteve

        Member
        January 23, 2023 at 7:25 pm

        I’ve had them for almost 2 years now and they are great chickens. I’ve cross bred them with the chickens I already had and love the variety of color that I got. I’m working on having chickens with small Combs because of the cold here and have quite a few with small Combs now

  • dflint1873

    Member
    January 21, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    Have you had them for a while and compared to your other chickens are your feed requirements down?

  • KimC

    Member
    January 22, 2023 at 4:26 am

    Does anyone know what the best bantam breed is for laying, or for laying larger eggs? I want to add two to my flock and I’m having a hard time finding a place to get them locally. Does anyone sell and/or ship pullets that can be recommended? Thanks!

  • CharlesK

    Member
    January 23, 2023 at 12:45 pm

    Following….Also interested in what layer breed would do well in USDA9b Arizona.

    • AlphaDelta

      Member
      February 28, 2023 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Charles, We have cream leghorns in 9a South Texas. They seem fine with our Winter and Summer. They are 3 years old now. Laying has slowed, but they still make 3 or 4 eggs each per week. Large and good foragers.

    • GoldenGryphon

      Member
      March 10, 2023 at 1:16 am

      I keep Dorkings, Silver-grey and a few other varieties. The Silver-grey do well enough in the heat, but I make sure they have shade and some shallow water containers. They will stand in the shallow water in late July through August when we’re hitting 109F and high humidity.

      What you’re looking for in a chicken is a leaner, smaller bird with large comb and wattles. Leghorns and their close relatives, as well as Mediterranean birds, and types from South America.

      I’m in 9A, so my birds have to be able to deal with heat, humidity, and the occasional sudden Arctic blast. What your birds will need to deal with depends on where you are in Arizona and how much protection you can give them.

      Here’s a list of Chicken breeds that’s fun to go through: https://www.chickensandmore.com/chicken-breeds/

      Good luck finding your perfect match!

  • MarianK

    Member
    February 27, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    Could anyone suggest some good breeds for the far north (on Canadian/US border) … so small comb I guess … for egg-laying rather than meat … that are adventurous foragers? If any such bird exists! 🙂 I love the idea of at least a few black chickens also, brilliant, hawks are an issue here too.

    • Stpdsteve

      Member
      February 27, 2023 at 9:43 pm

      I would probably go with the Icelandic breed for cold tolerance.

      • MarianK

        Member
        February 27, 2023 at 9:48 pm

        wow, pretty wonderful-sounding breed. Thank you!

      • Stpdsteve

        Member
        February 27, 2023 at 9:53 pm

        👍

    • SLINGSHOT

      Member
      February 27, 2023 at 10:28 pm

      That’s my problem, i would like to get some chickens but there are so many hawks. A friend of mine said a hawk got one of his a few weeks ago. I like hawks but they like chicken. I would research colder climate chickens and you might need more protection from the elements.

      • Stpdsteve

        Member
        February 27, 2023 at 11:12 pm

        I would suggest raising a goose up with your chickens if you have aerial predators.

      • SLINGSHOT

        Member
        February 27, 2023 at 11:47 pm

        I’ll check on it. Thanks

      • Stpdsteve

        Member
        February 28, 2023 at 3:32 am

        👍

      • GoldenGryphon

        Member
        March 10, 2023 at 1:08 am

        I have African geese with my flock and they scare away most of the raptors, but I still had a Caracara who didn’t mind the geese but *did* mind the Very Angry Rooster who attacked it when it went after a pullet. The pullet lost, the rooster won, and I gave the geese a stern talking to about sleeping on duty.

        Other than fencing them in and putting netting over the top of their run, there’s not much that is perfect protection. The best you can hope for is deterrence, warning, and survival-minded chickens.

      • AlphaDelta

        Member
        March 10, 2023 at 1:13 pm

        Interesting that you have Caracas where you are. I didn’t realize they had traveled that far North. We are NW of Victoria and they are common. That being said, our biggest aerial threat to our flock is chicken hawks.

      • GoldenGryphon

        Member
        March 13, 2023 at 3:24 am

        We’re lucky enough to have had a breeding pair move into the area about 15 years ago. We now have at least 2 breeding pairs in the area, along with Red-tailed and Broad-tailed Hawks. Turkey Vultures and Buzzards are a constant. Gotta love the Big Birds!

    • GoldenGryphon

      Member
      March 10, 2023 at 1:27 am

      Buckeyes (the chicken breed) were developed just for your area by someone who lived there. As far as I know, it’s the only breed developed by a woman, and they are a dual purpose, pea combed chicken. Nice birds with a lovely color. Everyone I’ve chatted with online with them has liked them, but ymmv.

      Good luck finding your perfect match!

  • GoldenGryphon

    Member
    March 10, 2023 at 1:40 am

    I’m a fan of Dorkings. I’ve had about half my flock made up of them at any given time over the past 10 years or so. The Silver-greys from Murray McMurray have really lost a lot of the telling breed characteristics, but the chicks I got from Sandhill Preservation are wonderful. They are a short, 5-toed breed that characteristically has a “sweet meaty breast”. They are slow growing.

    Depending on where you get them and what variety, there are a range of combs and colors, but I’ve found the temperament remains the same – broody hens that lay a small to medium cream/off-white egg, nice roosters with good tempers (not attacking me!) and good size.

    Right now I have 8 roosters in a 32 member flock and am planning a cull. Other than some minor squabbles, and my lead roo tackling an eagle and taking some damage from that, they seem to get along and work together really well. I have watched three of the roos stand together against a dog that wandered into our yard, and watched two of them work to distract a feral cat.

    As a group, they are great foragers but don’t stray too far from home. I have had trouble with Easter Eggers and Dominique who wandered off while free ranging, but the Dorkings don’t go much beyond about 5 feet from the fenced yard and seem to like staying within easy sprinting distance.

    As with any living creature, ymmv. Good luck finding a good breed. I would think that most of the dual purpose/heritage breeds would be good meat producers. That is a good part of why they were kept around so long.

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