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Old 06-25-2011, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Absolutely! View Post
beg to differ -rirs don't lay a lot.

They're always either moulting, or brooding, or farting around having hormone issues. The eggs are delectable however. Big brown pert things.

And you need a wee section on australorps

and also if you know anything about cobbs I would love to hear it.

Thanks for some very useful information.
Yup, I'm going to remake the list if I can get more input and opinions. Right now the editing of the list has expired otherwise I would.
I'm learning more too about these breeds too, so the second list would be more accurate and detailed.
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Old 06-25-2011, 08:11 AM
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Australorps do need listed.
The traits I can't find much about are hardiness. I'd like to find a breed that feeds itself, reproduces itself, and withstands weather extremes. The "survivor" chicken. Modern breeders have breed based on egg or meat production, not survival. The same applies to all livestock.
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:22 AM
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Local extension office? I live in the borderline civilized countryside. There isn't even a local police jurisdiction, nor any that would want to. Just think of the movie Deliverence with a bunch of yokals. I'm the only one in this town that has Dish Cable and Internet. It's a paradise for survival if you can just keep the hellbillys in check


lol

I checked out jungle fowl. Looks like a hybrid chicken. I found two for sale. Kind of pricy. Do you have any, or have experience with these?
I live in a county that has more miles than people. And we have an extension office. Everywhere in the US does.

I have no experience with them but others do.
Old 06-25-2011, 02:06 PM
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The free range breed most likely to survive predator pressure is the American gamefowl. They roost high in trees, are on constant alert, and can fly like a pheasant. If you want a slightly more subdued bird, cross them with Ameracaunas. Most of the breeds listed in this thread are only suitable for living in a protected, enclosed run. They won't last two weeks in most rural areas if they were allowed to range at will 24/7.
Old 06-25-2011, 09:04 PM
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Perhaps this question is best left to a local farmer, but what does the consensus seem to be in regards to the best breed of chicken for colder weather? I'm in Wisconsin.

Is there a book that anyone might be able to recommend as far as chicken care goes for specific regions? Or is that a stupid question? Again, I apologize - not exactly a farmer and I've never raised chickens, but I know this is something I'd like to eventually get into.

Keep this thread going... lots of information and everyone seems to be right on key with all the input given to the OP.
Old 06-25-2011, 09:13 PM
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Perhaps this question is best left to a local farmer, but what does the consensus seem to be in regards to the best breed of chicken for colder weather? I'm in Wisconsin.
We have: white leghorn bantams, Ameraucanas, Lohmanns, Rhode Island Reds, Cochins and Australorps.
Old 06-25-2011, 09:16 PM
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We have: white leghorn bantams, Ameraucanas, Lohmanns, Rhode Island Reds, Cochins and Australorps.
Thanks for the info and the quick reply!!
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:02 PM
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I have orphingtons and sex links!
Old 06-25-2011, 10:10 PM
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Cold usually isn't a factor as long as they have somewhere to get out of the wind. We get down into the -30's without windchill here.

That said, Orpingtons are the fluffiest chickens I've ever seen. They're more feather than bird.
Old 06-25-2011, 10:20 PM
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I've had many types of chooks, and found the silkie to be one of the best alrounders.
They are very good mothers, and go broodie offen. So if you wanted a self replacing flock of chickens, they would be a good choice. I also used them to hatch Isa Brown eggs, as they never got broodie.
Old 06-26-2011, 12:08 PM
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Perhaps this question is best left to a local farmer, but what does the consensus seem to be in regards to the best breed of chicken for colder weather? I'm in Wisconsin.
There are some cold hardy breeds that have recently been imported into the US. Probably the world champion in this competition is the Swedish hedemora.
Old 06-26-2011, 12:13 PM
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I agree with you Buff Orpingtons are the best chickens. We have ones that are a buff orpington and Rhode Island cross they are so sweet.
Old 06-26-2011, 03:01 PM
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Right now we've got mostly RIR and Black Jersey Giants in hopes of somehow getting something as big as the Jersey with the laying capacity of the RIR. Also to keep a broody type around.

Has anyone had any lucky trying this?

Oh, and back a couple years ago we had some chickens that we bought locally that we think were some kind of Barred/Jersey cross. They were 24/7 free ranging in upper NY state and out of 12 birds we only lost one to wildlife.

though I have to say only letting them free range sucked meat wise, as they were stringy birds and had an odd flavor even when souped.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:50 PM
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I've had Jersey Giants. They take a LONG time to mature and the carcass is not particularly meaty. Huge frame but not a lot of thick meat. Orpingtons are good if you keep them confined. Nice birds, not human aggressive, but too slow and stupid to effectively free range. Delawares are good dual purpose birds that are reasonably good at free ranging. Lots of eggs and a nice carcass.

If you're looking for pure survivability in a rural setting, American gamefowl and Araucanas are the only decent choices in large fowl. Not particularly large, but if you cross them you can turn out smaller meaty birds that lay a ton of eggs. No bird will do you any good free-ranging unless it can dodge predators, and no commercial breeds were created to have this trait. So, you're going to have to ignore conventional thinking if you're serious about raising chickens in a predator-rich free-range environment. You will need to adapt and breed your own birds.
Old 06-26-2011, 05:43 PM
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Sticky???/
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:20 PM
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Sticky???/
I concur.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:53 PM
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I have never heard of a american game fowl, anyone have any information on it.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:33 AM
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I have never heard of a american game fowl, anyone have any information on it.
They're the fighting chickens raised for the pit, but they're the best free range chickens you can get. 'Game fowl' is the term for the overall type of chicken, and within that type there are many breeds, colors, and varieties. The hens are the best setters and mamas you'll find anywhere. I once turned a rooster and 3 hens loose in April, and had over a hundred by September.

They're extremely wary, and they fly like quail. They'll roost in the top of the trees or the rafters of the barn. It takes a very sharp predator to catch them. The roosters are the prettiest chicken in the world, IMHO. If you free range them, you have to keep the roosters thinned down, because they will fight when they get older.

Google 'game fowl', and you'll find tons of info and pictures.
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:48 AM
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They are all good choices. However, if I had to pick just one breed for the survivalist then I would go for the old english game. I have had these for years and alongside being the hardiest breed I have come across in terms of surviving disease and foraging they are pretty fast and keep out of the way of predators. Indeed one of my cocks actually attacked a (fortunately non venomous) snake which had come after eggs.

The only downside is that while they are good layers, they are not usually too meaty.
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Old 06-27-2011, 06:23 AM
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OEGBs would be good survivors, but their carcass is barely a mouthful and their eggs are small. I would recommend going with a large variety of American gamefowl, greys or the like.
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