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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Don't be a victim of "Oh Ain't that pretty"

Spring is coming and some of us have our sights on poultry.

One can get carried away with their chicken desires. Pretty pretty birdies. . . .

You need to take a good look at the birds you are eyeing. Right now, you really ought to think about a breeding stock that fits your needs, be it egg or meat. You can get some amazing birds that fit that criteria.

Next look at how well they breed. Some birds will be listed at only a 55% hatching rate. Not good for your long term needs. You want them to set or be good mothers. If however you are dead set on a low breeding or non setting bird, get a bantam. They will hatch out anything.

Price is of course important. Look at the values your company has, do they support the same bird related cause or farm causes you do (NAIS comes to mind)

Carefully read the descriptions of the birds you want and match them up with what you want to do, how you want to raise them and how you want to dress them out.

As to where you should buy them, local is best. However Kansas has limited supply of hatcheries, and I am picky about my birds (I tend to get birds that are critically endangered)

I suggest McMurray Hatchery (oh stop it, they are a family company and just because they are a large corp, does not mean I will stay away from them)

Ridgeway

Sandhill Preservation

I also recommend that you get them vaccinated at the hatchery.

Now that you have your orders straight in your head, go ahead and order one or two of those pretty birds. I always do.

5 comments:

American Prepper said...

John at Pioneer living had good advice too...Don't name your food, especially if you got kids.

My wife raises Black Austrolorps they seem to make both good layers and meat birds, but don't do worth a darn as sitters. So for SHTF when there's no power to run an incubator we have bantams which seem to make for good sitters.

Phelan said...

I have some Austrolorps. The ones I picked up from bi-l aren't as hardy as I like in a bird. I'll talk a bit on my choice in birds later if anyone is interested.

American Prepper said...

We ordered ours from Murray Mcmurray, they seem to do quite well even in our harsh Northern weather. One thing we did learn though is not to have too many Roosters, they'll start killing off the hens. Yeah, we'd like to learn more about your choices in chickens

idahobob said...

Buff Orpington's for me.

Maybe some Araucanas thrown in for some different colored eggs.

Bob
III

Phelan said...

Bob, Buff Orpingtons are a wonderful dual purpose bird. We raise them as well.

Buff Orpingtons - Males weight 10lbs
Female weight 8 lbs

brown egg layers that will lay in the winter, great setters, and a good eating bird.

Jersey Giants -males weight 13 lbs
females weight 10 lbs

They are on the ALBC watch list (endangered)
Brown egg layers. Good layers even in winter, iffy setters. Black version gets heavier than the white.Both grow slowly however and food to weight conversion isn't very good for those wanting a shorter term dresser.

Light Brahmas
Males weight 12 lbs
females weight 9.5 lbs

On the ALBC watch list.

Brown eggs, good layers in winter. decent setters. easy to dress. Slow weight gain, food to weight conversion not good for those looking for short term butcher.

Mottled Houdans
Male weight 8 lbs
female weight 6.5 lbs

Listed as critical on the ALBC list.

Good layers of white eggs. Natural Setters.

Then my choice in banny's is the pretty ones. Mainly because banny's love sitting, and that's all they are really good for. I enjoy the frizzles and partridges, as well as the silkies.

When looking at butchering birds, remember that white feathers mean they will dress out easier.

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