Well… people are loving the eggs and supply isn’t really meeting demand so I guess that means I got a few slots to fill this Spring! Yay!
So here’s what I am going to do. First I am going to see if anyone wants the Orpingtons. They’re very large birds so they eat a LOT and besides this they are uncannily stupid. Just today I went outside to collect eggs and found one of them soaking wet – not just a little wet but her whole body soaked right through to her skin. None of the other hens were even damp. I still have no idea how she managed. Getting rid of these five will leave room for growth too. In addition I will likely get rid of the six partridge rocks. The rooster has to go anyway and the hens… they’re not skittish or anything but they are not friendly either. I think the whole set up would be a great starter project for someone.
In the meanwhile I have decided on three new breeds. I have found one little farm that does all of them and sells her eggs at a VERY decent price, especially considering these are quite rare heritage breeds and I can’t find them anywhere else for under $8 PER EGG. Nevermind buying chicks or adults!
This first breed are called Cream Legbars. They were developed after WWII in England and haven’t been in the states very long… hence the reason when I do find them its for $75 for an old hen. They’re in high demand because of several unique qualities. The first is fairly common – they lay proficiently even through winter and are friendly, absolutely beautiful duel purpose birds. The other two characteristics are far more interesting. For one they lay blue eggs. Secondly they are the only true 100% auto sexing breed. This means the males and the females look drastically different from hatching (in most other breeds all chicks will have the color of a hen until the rooster starts hitting puberty and his plumage will change only then – by that time he’s already distinguished himself as a rooster by crowing and growing!) Anyway, this means I could potentially sell the roosters on day one. I wouldn’t have to wait for them to get big and get attached to them before realizing they’re boys.
The second breed I picked Golden Cuckoo Marans are also autosexing, they’re just not quite as defined as the Cream Legbars – they rely on shade. They lay dark chocolate colored eggs. With so many colors I can tell who is laying how many and if they’re really worth it as layers.
The last are the Barnevelders my boyfriend likes (as they remind him of his childhood chickens in Holland.) They lay regular brown eggs and are not autosexing but they are pretty, docile, and good layers.