Rare Breeds Eggs & Chickens

Eggs, we are so loving having our own eggs, our family loves them and we would go through 3-4 dozen a week easily it is so nice to not have to buy them anymore.

We have had our challenges with our chickens mainly too many roosters.  Our first 3 chickens were 9 week old barred rock chickens they said they were pretty sure that they were all hens as none of them were showing any signs of rooster behaviour… sure enough they were all roosters.

I really wanted to get some Americaunas and found someone selling chicks we were supposed to get 15 Americauna chicks a few days before getting them she emailed me that she didn’t actually have that many but had a bunch of rare breeds that she would give us a mix of.   We get there and there were only 12 and some were sick, we got home and counted them and there were only 11.  Two ended up dying before we could get the med that they needed.   So we were left with 9, of the nine 6 are roosters!  (You can read more details about the chick saga by clicking on chick saga!)

We finally gave up on ckicks and bought 5 laying hens.

We knew that having roosters together was not a good idea but as we went into the winter they were just starting to show their roosterness (I made that word up.)  Our fear was if we got rid of all the roosters the few hens would freeze we needed their body heat.  There really wasn’t enough room in the other coop for all of the hens.

Until just a couple of weeks ago all our roosters were getting along roaming the property.  Two of them started fighting and it got rather nasty so we broke up the fight and now one is living in a dog kennel in our summer kitchen.  I realize we could kill them all and have chicken dinner but they are all rare breed roosters and they are lovely looking.  We are hoping to find new homes for most of them.  

Of the 3 hens one is a bantam polish cross and is really more of a pet to the kids.  The two other hens have started laying one we believe is a mix of two rare breeds and she lays a smallish brown speckled egg.  The last one is a black copper maran and she lays the beautiful chocolate coloured eggs.

We have 3 black copper maran roosters so we have decided to keep one and breed the 2 black copper marans.  We also believe out of all those chicks we have one Americauna rooster so we are going to keep him to breed with our poor black copper maran to see if we can get some olive eggers.  

We are also hoping to find someone who has rare breeds that are willing to sell young proven hens:)

We are wanting to raise some meat birds too, the black copper maran are supposed to be a good dual purpose bird, anyone have experience with them as a meat bird?  I know they take longer to reach their desired weight than something that has been ‘engineered’ to put weight on fast but we were hoping to work with birds that aren’t going to break a leg from putting weight on so fast.   I have heard good things about Freedom Rangers for meat birds but have not found anyone in Canada carrying them.  I’d love to hear meat bird suggestions.

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Comments

  1. Linda says:

    Your eggs are beautiful…….so are your chickens!

    Blessings, Linda
    Prairie Flower Farm

  2. Jess says:

    Cheryl,

    After a ton of research into Freedom Rangers last year, we decided to go with Buff Orpingtons. They're a nice dual-purpose bird that lay regularly all winter long (it was – 20 last night and we still got six eggs!). Like your Americaunas, they are slower to put on weight (I think we slaughtered around 14 weeks, when the roosters were getting a bit rough with each other), but we had a 0% mortality rate (we ordered our stock from Murray McMurray), no leg problems and very little fighting until the very end. We kept eight hens and two roos for this year's chicks, something we couldn't have done with freedom rangers because they are a cross breed (the next generation will show different characteristics).

    I will admit that we did get one rare-breed mystery chick (who turned out to be the flightiest rooster I've encountered recently), and we did send him to freezer camp with the others. I decided early on that I wouldn't keep mean roosters because of what they do to other people's perceptions of the species (and my own psyche). It may seem harsh, but I'm trying to ensure everyone is pulling his/her weight and not stirring up trouble.

    Glad to have found your blog!
    Jess
    My recent post Planning for the 2012 Flock

  3. What a lovely photo of the eggs all in a row! Such nice dark shells!

  4. Karen Joyce says:

    Hi! Love your blog! We have a mixed group and get sporadic egg production. I would say my buff is my best producer, but, as it goes here, she is the current whipping boy in the hen house~ they always pick on my best layer! :(
    Do to county regulations I am ceasing chicen ownership for now, but have a plan hatching for hens in the future :)

  5. Hey it is great that you got some eggs either way and you know they are fresh
    You choose what to feed them and that makes a difference when it comes to the qualty of the Egg

    Well done
    My recent post Cheap Holidays to Spain and to Other Nations Staying Clear of Budgetary Woes

  6. mopsyflopsy says:

    I read everything on your web page. I find a lot of it funny because it is amazing what you learn when you are hatching eggs and also have a broody hen. I have a lot of experienc with chickens, I have raised a lot of different breeds…..let me know if you need anything. I really love your blog! I didn't have this when I was making all my mistakes….how cool!! =)

  7. mopsyflopsy says:

    Just wanted to add…..I had a hen that looked like a naked chicken running around due to my over zealous, YOUNG rooster. She looked like she had one foot in the broiling pot ….she had no feathers from the shoulders down. LOL So don't feel bad about the picture you posted…we all know how men can be!! LOL

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