Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

Explore the blog, Then Check out our website
Chicken Scratch Poultry

Friday, January 31, 2014

Chicken Breed Information - What Breed Will Suit Your Needs

The seed and hatchery catalogs are beginning to arrive in the mail box and it's time to start planning for spring.  If your like me the first catalog that shows up gives me some awful spring fever.  I'm receiving many emails from first time poultry purchasers and they're needing advice as to what breed will best suit their needs.  Some people are looking for chickens that are best for children, or the best egg producer. Others just want a variety of color in their flock.  Most want a beautiful basket of eggs when they go to gather them.  It's a very good idea to do your research on the breeds you are most interested in to see if they fit your needs.  It is amazing how different each breed can be, they all have very distinct personalities. Some chickens are better with children, some a better foragers, others are good for free ranging but others aren't.  We offer 13 different breeds on the farm to choose from, some have very similar personalities but others can differ greatly.  I thought this would be a good time to give you as much information as possible before you begin to choose the breed that fits your farm or backyard perfectly. Since we have so many different breeds I will touch on a couple of breeds each week, so stay tuned...

Let's begin with the Welsummer.  The hen is a beautiful brown, her head is a shimmering golden. Photos don't do her justice.  They're a very hearty bird, good foragers.  Welsummers are calm not flighty, friendly but not over curious.  Some Welsummers hens can be very chatty so if you need a very quite bird, she might not be for you.  She will love to announce she has laid an egg.   I enjoy hearing them but your close neighbor may not.   Welsummers lay the most beautiful Terra Cotta colored egg with spots, some produce fine tiny spots, some produce bigger spots.  This happens to be my most favorite egg layer on the farm.  If I produced an egg as pretty as she did, I would want to holler loud and announce it for all to see as well. The Welsummers aren't a good winter time layer, they will stop laying the first sign of cold weather and won't start laying again until the first sign of spring. So if you need a bird that will lay all winter she may not be for you.  She will however make up for it during the warmer months when she will turn on the laying and lay a nice large spotted egg that are totally worth waiting for.  I have heard feed back from folks who ordered Welsummers from large hatcheries and the hens did not produce the nice dark brown eggs.  If you want a nice dark egg don't make that mistake and order a cheaper chick from a large hatchery, only to wait 6 months for an egg and then be disappointed with a washed out slightly brown egg.
The Welsummer roosters are great while free ranging your flock.  You won't find him with his head down, he will always be at attention watching for any sign of trouble.  You might remember the Corn Flakes rooster, Cornelius, he was a Welsummer. The Welsummers can tolerate cold temperatures but the roosters will get frost bite on the comb, as you can see pictured here.  I've not received any feed back from customers in warmer climates, I would be interested to know if the Welsummer continues egg production in warmer areas.
Welsummer chicks are easily hatched, I can't say this for all breeds.  The chick is brown, striped like a little chipmunk.  The Welsummer is a breed that can some what be sexed as a chick with the brown V on the head  and stripe across the eye.  We do not sex our day old chicks and they are always sold straight run.  This breed is excellent around children.




Blue Laced Red Wyandotte

It's difficult to pick a farm favorite but if I did, this breed would rank right up at the top of the list. When breeding this bird you will get three different colors but they are still all Blue Laced Red Wyandotte and they are all equally beautiful.  The rooster pictured above is the Blue Laced coloring, the hen above him is the dark laced or black laced and the third color is called splash.  The picture to your right has 3 splash hens and 1 splash rooster.  Even though they are a splash color the feathers are still nicely laced.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is a very docile, calm, friendly, curious and social breed.  I highly recommend them with young children.  Even though they are our breeding flock, when I let them out to free range, they run to the grand kids to see what treats they have to offer.  We've never had the time to spend taming them since they are used for breeding but they act as though we have hand raised each one.  We have 3 roosters in our breeding pen and they all get along fine.
The Wyandotte lays a very pretty pick egg.  They are good layers and it is one of our breeds that will continue to lay during the winter months.   Egg production does slow in the winter but you will still get a few.
The Blue Laced Red Wyandotte is an easy bird to hatch and the chicks are healthy spunky little birds. It takes a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte 2 years to fully color out.  So don't rush your bird and judge the coloring to early.  They are a heavy breed and I love there big blue fannies!!

I hope this is helpful information and if you have any questions your welcome to drop me an email on the website at /http://chickenscratchpoultry.com/ .  It's not to early to get those chick orders in, so stop in and take a look around.  I'm sure you'll find a breed you'll love!

Have a great Day!
Angie

4 comments:

  1. I love our BLRW, Willow. She is spunky and watches over her more flighty Light Sussex sisters. It took a long time for her to start laying but she is going strong now, even in this horrible winter.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These two breeds are on my Most Wanted list for my next flock!! I have a Silver Laced Wyandotte and would love ALL the different Wyandotte colors!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh, please described more of your lovely birds!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How can you pick one or even two breeds? I have been debating for days now and I can't make up my mind!

    ReplyDelete