Thoughts on chickens

If we are interested in helping to rescue breeds that are considered Critical by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, these appear to be the best choices for our situation, imvho:

Hollands have earned a good reputation as being ideally suited to farm conditions. They are good foragers with calm temperaments. The breed is fairly cold tolerant, though during periods of extreme cold the males may suffer some frostbite to their single combs. The hens can become broody and will sometimes raise their own offspring. Hollands also tend to have a slow to moderate growth rate. But this fact must be weighed against their ability to rustle a significant portion of their own food.

Sumatra hens lay an abundant number of white, or lightly tinted, eggs and are considered excellent winter layers. They are also among the best of mothers and broodies. Both adults and chicks are very hardy and easy to raise. Sumatra chickens are active and alert and are especially good at launching themselves vertically to escape dangers.

Threatened chickens of interest to us are AndalusianCubalayasFavorolles, and Lakenvelder.  They are more for egg laying than meat.

Getting what is easiest to acquire from Ol’ Mill Hardware is our most likely choice, though.



Filed under Chickens

2 responses to “Thoughts on chickens

  1. I wonder why those breeds are endangered? perhaps they don’t do well in the mass chicken farming condition that the big producers use. They sound like very good prospects for a smallholding, though.

    My mom had chickens in the country, probably whatever she could get at that (war) time. I remember Rhode Island Reds and White Wyandottes, which as a little kid I thought were White Winedots! either way, I got to feed them, very scary, they’re as tall as a two year old and very anxious to get at their feed, and to collect eggs, not so scary, since they didn’t rush at me then. My mom used to wash the eggs and dip them in isinglass, probably a preservative, but I dunno.

    So there you are, childhood memories you conjured up with your chicken post!

  2. I suspect that the endangerment has to do with popularity and, as you say, commercial viability.

    We plan bees for me this year and chickens for Chuck next year. I’m looking forward to them, too. But, he gets to make the real decisions about it.

    Since we don’t eat the meat, all we really need is good layers.

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