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Heritage Breed Chickens — The Grow Network Community
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Heritage Breed Chickens

LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning ModeratorManitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,058 admin
edited September 2018 in Raising Livestock
Thanks Laurie! I hope to learn more about the Buckeye breed, an if you can convince your friend to join here or at least make a guest post, I would be most interested to follow!

Comments

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,058 admin
    edited September 2018
    I can't see her joining here. She is not a gardener. She is focused pretty much on her birds, work & that's about it.

    I have arranged to get some Buckeye chicks from her next year, so can post more as my exploration continues. She said that so far, hers are very calm & great foragers. She doesn't know much more about them for herself yet, as she is only starting out with them.
  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 225 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning saw your post about heritage chickens. Been hearing a lot about the Jersey giant breed. A nice dual breed chicken. Sounds pretty good for my area. Finally found a hatchery with decent prices for chicks. Little more research and will order me some. Any info you may have on the breed would be nice. Thanks and stay well.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,058 admin
    edited April 25

    @EarlKelly Giants are large & grow well. They are beautifully majestic birds. They are good foragers, the roosters are powerful and move fast if they need to. I find whether hen or rooster, they tend to keep cannibalizing hatchery stock (browns, reds...the egg layer hybrids), in their place & restore order.

    This breed will grow its bone structure first (so tall & somewhat skinny), then put on the meat. They mature at 1 1/2 years to 2. You butcher long before their full size, however. If you intend to breed them, keep the slowest maturing largest birds. They will give you the strongest legs (important to support the weight). They regularly lay large tinted eggs.

    They do not grow any faster than normal sized chickens, but take longer to mature. They eat a lot during their growth phase. Once mature, they consume a lot less.

    If you want them pure, look for distinct yellow on the underside of their feet, and slate legs. This differentiates them from the Australorp (a large, black similar Austrailan breed). The accepted colors available are black, blue (a diluted black) & splash, the last which happens to be a result of blues crossing. There are white "Jersey Giants" suddenly appearing in U.S. hatcheries. I would not trust the purity of these and believe crosses have happened to give the hatchery a wow factor. White JGs are reportedly very rare...a hatchery would not get them.

    You don't want the roosters tail to be too upright, 45° is best. Good stock will have strong legs that will not get hurt if they jump off a 2' height.

    I have one hen who loves to set, but she never hatches anything. She doesn't know that she needs to sit on the eggs, but mostly arranges them around her. She is super protective & determined nonetheless. Haha! They are not known to be reliable broodies, and due to their size, can hurt their young.

    If you want these, I recommend not going with hatchery stock, as the best traits are often lacking (temperament, strong bone structure, size, purity...all very important with the JG). It is quite difficult to improve poor stock, so good quality stock is best to begin with. You are best going with a breeder (ask their source & about their experience with the breed). True to breed, good quality stock where the breeder selects for best traits & wants true to type will cost more. It is an investment that is worth it.

    This place breeds the best in the US & has impressive stock: https://mariasjerseygiants.com

    Here is a site with excellent information on the JG, including articles, illustrations, history (developed by the Black brothers in Jersey), and more.

    Another more recently developed breed that shows great potential as an excellent breed to own is the bielefelder (German origin). A pair have been my most recent acquisition. I am hatching them this year.

    Keep me updated on your chicken journey. Have fun!

  • EarlKellyEarlKelly Penn state master gardener Northeastern Pennsylvania zone 5bPosts: 225 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning thanks for all the info. You will keep me busy for a while I see. Lots of information to digest. Stay safe and thank you very much.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,058 admin

    @EarlKelly My "while" has turned into many years so far & certainly will continue as I pursue the hobby. It is a fun subject with many facets and full of the most wonderful people.

    Enjoy the learning!

  • Obiora EObiora E Posts: 519 ✭✭✭✭

    Does anyone have any knowledge about the best heritage breed for controlling ticks??

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 2,058 admin

    Guinea fowl is the best for ticks. They have all other birds beat.

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