Author Topic: Best chickens?  (Read 7228 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Best chickens?
« on: July 28, 2013, 10:43:08 am »
I am looking at getting two or three chickens for eggs. I would like to get a heritage or older breed. I also want ones that are friendly.

I saw some Belgian ????????? birds at a local swap, but was too slow to buy and they were scooped up by someone else.

Any suggestions?

http://www.backyardchickens.com/products/belgian-duccle
BTW the second picture down in this link is what they look like. They are a mottled brown with a bunch of feathers extending out and back from their legs.
Cheers
Al

Offline jessica

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,049
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 01:09:24 pm »
I am not a fan of Belgians or silkies because their eggs are super small and tend to be less hardy birds in general.  plus if you ever want meat birds they are kind of small themselves.

I think all birds can be sweet with the right handling and proper understanding of the social structures they create, which is unique for each situation.  Roosters can even be helpful, but not sweet, just depends on the birds and how they interact.

I never really know the names of what breeds I am working with.  Right now I am feeding 100 turkeys an chickens as a part time job, they are awesome, all kinds of mixed breeds, some of the turkeys have even mated with the wild turkeys out in the pasture, they are sweet birds.  When the owner gets back I'll ask what she suggest and then send an update.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2013, 02:06:59 pm by TylerDurden »

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2013, 04:40:04 am »
Thanks Jessica! I appreciate what you can find out.
Cheers
Al

Offline RogueFarmer

  • Chief
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2013, 02:47:56 am »
Buckeyes are huge, friendly, great foragers, red feathered and yellow skinned. they rock. i love them. they come in bantam too. i dont mind smaller eggs, smaller chickens are closer to wild, better foragers, better mothers and eat less feed per egg lb. they have larger yolk for the size of the eggs.                                  however i always try to turn folks away from chickens to ducks. ducks law more, larger, better tasting, more nutritious eggs. they are better foragers and they taste better. they are more weather resistant and more disease resistant than chickens.                                      that said, they are quite loud. my favorite birds are muscovies. they lay less eggs, but both them and their eggs taste the best and they are the best mothers and foragers of all domestic birds. they are almost silent too. and extremely friendly. they were not even provoked or frightened when i caught and eviserated one of their own right in front of them. which made me wonder a bit. would they mind if i did them all in one by one?

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2013, 12:11:38 pm »
Thanks Rogue Farmer,

There was a guy at the chicken swap who had some ducklings. They looked very cute. I'll bet we'd have  dozen if my daughters were around. LOL

I like the muscovies idea. Maybe that's the direction I will go. I am in a neighbourhood, so I don't want to upset the neighbours with a lot of noise. I'll probably get two.

Being ducks do they require water to bathe in? Where can I learn about raising them? I have a book right now on chickens called "Raising Poultry The Modern Way" http://www.amazon.ca/Raising-Poultry-Modern-Marcia-Leonards/dp/0882660586
Cheers
Al

Offline jessica

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,049
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2013, 12:31:05 pm »
everyone always says those small egg yolks are larger, but they still aren't that big. 

I think ducks are awesome, I love cambells, orphingtons, and even eaten wild mallard duck eggs.  mine were always out on large pasture with ponds so it was hard to find the eggs, but you could figure out times and patterns in egg laying and be pretty successful.  I never noticed they were louder then chickens, definitely better eggs, especially if they are feeding on water bugs and plants.  I also like turkeys for eggs and as live stock, they make the best eggs and are pretty quiet and easy.  I have no idea what kinds I have raised but just took care of some that started to breed with the wild but non native turkeys outside of their very large run.  really cool to see the mixed babies

still not sure what kind of chickens I like best, those raised by good people mostly. I really like barred roosters though, they are the only ones I have seen who are really beneficial to a coop, like they protect their ladies, round them up into the coop at night and don't start eating til all their ladies are in the coop, its really interesting to see those behaviors after seeing roosters just be aggressive in the past.  all there little families get mixed between breeds once you start breeding them yourself, because only certain hens will become broody enough to hatch chicks but everyone can lay eggs.  that is, of course, if you start out with a mix of breeds.  then once you know who you've got you can start only hatching certain eggs and allowing hens and chicks and roosters to take different roles.

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2013, 02:23:48 pm »
Thanks Jessica,

Very interesting.
Cheers
Al

Offline jessica

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,049
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 10:11:58 pm »
your welcome al.  I wish I was better at remembering certain breeds.  I've worked with so many and I work up there once a week you would think I could remember to ask next time!

its just so interesting to see social dynamics and personalities, especially when you don't just have one age of birds or when you mix turkeys, ducks and chickens, which is possible, they will cohabitate, although they like to roost different so you just have to have some different structures for them to sleep in at night.  sometimes  you have to referee but sometimes its just because you end up with one or two mean birds no matter what, those are the ones you eat first and don't breed

Offline jessica

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,049
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2013, 08:43:45 am »
hey raw al, yes your ducks will need water,  that's kind of why its best to go with chickens if you don't have a nice natural pond or source.  kinda wrong to have them swim in plastic pools

you don't need a rooster for chickens, hens aren't loud besides a few times a day they usually have a flair up in the coop, but it dies down and is never near as loud as a rooster crowing.

Offline RogueFarmer

  • Chief
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 04:46:43 am »
The lighter breeds of ducks like Campbells and Runners don't swim very much and are very good walkers. Same goes for Muscovies. They need water to bath in and clear muck off of their bills which can clog their nostrils.

Actually you have to be careful with muscovies because they are not as water proof as real ducks and I lost one to a livestock water trough. They need an exit ramp.

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 07:56:35 am »
Actually we happen to have a small pond so that will fit the bill (sorry :) ) perfectly.
Cheers
Al

Offline jessica

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,049
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 08:55:32 am »
sweet! keep us updated.  look into something like effective microorganisms to put into your pond to keep it nice and fresh for them, you use a very small amount, its just natural bacterias that keep water healthy.  the best source is http://www.teraganix.com/Effective-Microorganisms-and-Aquaculture-s/42.htm

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #12 on: August 07, 2013, 12:47:07 pm »
Thanks Jessica, we were thinking about that. The previous house owner said that the frogs in our pond are a rare example of frogs that used to inhabit the island we live on. Apparently they are almost all gone due to some animal that is quite fond of eating them. There are a lot of tadpoles out there now. We were concerned that the pond which is artificial might be getting rotten with who knows what as it is a rubber lined artificial pond.

I will be going to a couple of retreats in early September and when I return I will get whatever. Probably ducks as I notice that there are lots on Craigslist locally.
Cheers
Al

Offline RogueFarmer

  • Chief
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 02:48:51 am »
Uh, unfortunately both the ducks and even the chickens will eat the tadpoles and perhaps even the frogs unless you fence them off good. Perhaps geese? lol... or quail?

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2013, 03:00:08 am »
I kind of guessed that. Better eggs. :)
Cheers
Al

Offline jessica

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,049
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2013, 03:52:16 am »
geese make HUGE eggs, but have short laying seasons, like three months.  and they are aggressive when you try and grab their eggs, lol!

raw al you should make sure you encourage some of the tadpoles to become mature so you can keep up a population, maybe ask other locals with ponds if they would be willing to host them as well.  they are great for catching bugs!

Offline RogueFarmer

  • Chief
  • *****
  • Posts: 575
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2013, 03:58:56 am »
You can preserve fresh eggs in sealed containers in a bedding of sifted wood ashes. just have to make sure the eggs don't touch each other.

Offline raw-al

  • Mammoth Hunter
  • ******
  • Posts: 3,961
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Best chickens?
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2013, 04:48:10 am »
How do you make the wood shavings for the bedding? Sawdust doesn't seem like a good idea.
Cheers
Al

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk