chickens?best variety for homestead

LOVEZUKES(z7 piedmnt NC)February 14, 2003

i plan to order chicks soon. i want 1-broody for a sustained flock 2-hustle most of their food on free range during the day.i wonder about the araucanas? i had rhode reds at the farm but they would not lay well unless fed a substantial amount of pellet.also had an araucana rooster given to me years back and remember he was mean as a snake.are the hens ornery also? have heard they were more intelligent or is that an oxymoron.maybe i'm the moron-don't think my spellin' is much to brag about.

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I had auracanas they are great for brooding at least mine were. I also had rhode slands and they never went broody.They say alot of thats bred out of them. Im getting 24 black austalorps in May Im wondering if they go broody I hope too, to keep flock going.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2003 at 4:23PM
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Lynn9(z9/z15 NorthCa.)

auracanas are a tiny tiny bit smarter than other chickens. But that isn't saying very much. They usually have a few brooders in the bunch. My rooster used to "stand watch" sometimes if a cat was around. They will find some of their own food but will probley need supliments unless you have big feilds full of insects and seeds. Domestic chickens generally need feed in order to lay year round day in & day out.

I love their blue and pink eggs. They don't lay as much on average as other more bred chickens, but they lay enough and they taste different- a little more "yolky" tasting- stronger. Very good. Neither flock I had was mean at all.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2003 at 5:15AM
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chicken_lady(z3/4 Maine)

Try bantams, the majority of my hens are brooders (which can be a problem as they don't lay eggs after they have enough in their "clutch" to hatch out. I've never had a mean bantam rooster (had a rhode island red that we raised from a chick and had to beat him off with a shovel everytime I went near the chicken coop!) We feed ours some cracked corn and layer crumbles every couple of days. A 50lb bag of each lasts almost a month as most of their day ia spent free rangeing. The hens will hide eggs outside and before you know it you've got a hen showing up with a dozen or more chicks in tow! lol We have a couple dozen hens and you don't tend to miss one or two of them when they are sitting on their hidden nests...I think we had about 30 new additions to the flock last summer that survived! You get alot of roosters, but they make the BEST tasting soup or chicken salad!


    Bookmark   June 21, 2003 at 8:33AM
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I like bantam auracanas for my egg layers. They don't scratch deep so do well keeping bugs and weeds out of the garden without disturbing the plants. They're very self sufficent so if they have open range they only require a small amount of feed to keep them coming home at night. I toss a couple handfulls of laying pellets out in front of the barn every evening. They all show up to eat and roost in the tree closest to the barn.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2003 at 11:06AM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

Dunno how far north they can live but bantoms are lousy fryers. Bantoms are miniature chickens, they are really cute, but they lay very small eggs and as far as cooking them, they are very small and hardly worth cooking. I suppose they could be made into soup, though. I think a White Leghorn would have a better carcass and those are not high on anyone's list as a frying chicken.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 3:55AM
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White leghorn will give the most eggs with the lowest input of food . Austrolops are good for eggs and size . "Jersey giants" are also popular for size . check for more info . If you are going to free range chickens think about camophlage coloring to evade preditors such as partidge coloring .

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 12:11PM
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Delawares (sometimes called "Indian Rivers")! We have raised many popular breeds over the years, but these are by far our favorite all-around chicken; an endangered heritage breed. They are very hardy, docile, adaptable to confinement or forage, good brooders, and prized for reliably laying the largest brown egg of any breed. They also seem to be smarter than our other breeds.

Some info:

Here is a link that might be useful: Good source for well-bred Delawares

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 5:15PM
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Agreed, Delawares are the best all around for the homestead. They lay a large volume of huge eggs. Their confirmation as a meat bird is outstanding. (If you like bones and no meat, you'll love leghorns.) Delawares are social and docile. I have prettier breeds --although Delawares are handsome in an understated way-- but none are productive or reliable as the Delawares.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2008 at 11:53AM
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Maybe just the red version of a Deleware, but I had some New Hampshires for a while that were egg machines. I bought mine (6) from a local egg factory (no cages) as retirees and got eggs (big) almost everyday for the next 2 years. Found a speckled Plymouth Rock rooster and had a mix that was just as good as the originals up until I got rid of everything 2 years ago.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2008 at 5:19AM
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Most say Rhode Island Reds are the best meat and egg bird .

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I've had several varieties, but found the best all-around meat and egg chicken to be a Golden Comet. They're a hybrid, they're a calmer, more gentle chicken, and they will sit eggs if you let them.

For their size (medium) they produce large eggs, and until my hens are about two, will give you an egg a day, even in low light/winter. The meat is light, a quality I find more desirable for frying or roasting. Since they aren't huge chickens, they are a lot more thrifty to feed than the larger breeds I kept, like Barred rocks or Buff Orps who weren't any better eggers than the Comets.

Since they're hybrids, they don't produce more Golden Comets if bred against themselves, but I breed mine against a Rhode Island Red or a leghorn and still get a Comet-type offspring.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 8:40PM
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