February 7, 2011 at 12:38 pm #254399
I have just given away our girls to a friend at work who wanted some to control her locust plague. We are looking to get a new flock asap but most of the fodder stores only sell hi-line browns, isa-browns and the like. We’ve always had them without too many probs, but I would like to branch out into some chooks that have a bit more personality and might go broody once a year in case I wanted to get some fertile eggs to put under her. There are so many breeds out there – I just don’t know what to choose. It’s also going to be reasonably hard to source them. Apparently a heap of chooks had to be killed with bird flu recently and so most chooks you buy need to vaccinated (and hence expensive unless you buy the hi-lines etc).
So, can anyone recommend a good breed which is mainly for egg laying that might occasinally go broody. And where can I buy some in Adelaide?
PS It’d be nice if they looked nice too 🙂February 7, 2011 at 1:17 pm #489859
Bel – have a look on the Backyard Poultry website
There is a breeds and breeders index there and lots of chookie people who would be happy to recommend breeds, and might be able to put you onto suppliers. 🙂
Another link that might help you choose something is this one (has a description of the various qualities of each breed):February 7, 2011 at 2:04 pm #489860
Love my Barnevelders! All these breeds went broody a few months after they began laying! Blue Australorp, Red Sussex, Rhode Island White,Cochin and Gold Laced Wyandotte.All fabulous mums except the Rhode Island White who had very little clue what to do with her chicks.The Barnies are a little younger and also all went broody but I didn’t allow them to “sit” as I already had way too many chicks…..I still do!Good luck with your plans, Bel.February 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm #489861
I have pmed you.February 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm #489862
Possibly not what your after but I noticed in my local Fodder store that they had silky chicks for sale, apparently not that great for egg laying but I have heard they make great mums (and surrogate mums too), and I think they look groovy with their fluffy boots and afro hair.
They also had baby ducks too. Indian runners and another type which I cant think of the name but the way the guy explained them they were the type that you typically think of for duck shooting, with the pretty iridescent blue feathers on the wings.
My neighbours have ducks I think they are Muscoveys, big white ones, with the red around their face, really quiet, only hear anything from them when the drakes are having a bit of a power struggle between themselves, but I did hear that they had to get them down of the house roof one day when they got out of their pen and decided to go for a fly (I dont think they have clipped wings).
I have heard that if you go to some of the poultry shows there will be people selling their “rejects” fairly cheep, because they dont have the right patterned or coloured feathers, or their to big/small, wrong shape head, whatever poultry shows judge chook’s on. I’m sure it doesn’t affect their garden activities or egg laying.February 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm #489863
I have silkies and they did very well over the hot weather we had, I’m getting 2 to 3 eggs a day from three girls.
I think though if I was going to start over or get a different breed I would go with an australorp/australorp x or a leghorn/leghorn x as they seem to do well here in Adelaide.
I went to the lyons club auction on the last Saturday of Feb and it was very hot, it was interesting to see what breeds did and didn’t seem to be doing well and how each bird in that breed was reacting.February 9, 2011 at 12:49 am #489864
Thanks for the advice guys. I have emailed a guy suggested by gypsyoak and hopefully he’ll get back to me soon. We used to have a silky and she was nasty! She was broody more often than not and pecked anyone who went near her. Unfortunately, she’s put me off the breed. DH would prefer we just got isa-browns again due to their egg laying properties, but I really want a more ‘natural’ chook. Hence the reason I’m looking for a compromise between a good layer and an occasional broody. I thought leghorns and australorps sounded good as well. However, we had an australorp for about 18 months and she didn’t ever go broody, so I’m wondering if they ever do? Would also love barnevelders (too be honest, they’re on my short list), but I do wonder about the heat. How have others in the hot parts of Adelaide found them?February 9, 2011 at 1:35 am #489865
Australorps ok here, but cooler in Mount Gambier.
I’m renting so limited to the less destructive chook varieties – gold laced wynadottes and pekins here. I do love my pekin though, such a sweet personality and cute big round eyes.
If I had the room I would go back to having indian runner ducks – so much fun and great snail controllers.February 9, 2011 at 1:35 am #489866
You’re right Bel.Barnevelders were bred in Holland from the town of that name and they do best in a cool temperate climate.Just remembered this list from Organic Gardener Sept/Oct 2010.For Cool temperate and sub-Alpine areas – Barnevelder,Rhode Island,Wyandotte, Langshan,Orpington, Cochin . For Arid inland and Warm temperate areas – Australorp (early developer, great layers,more than 300 eggs per year.One holds the world record 364!!), Plymouth Rock (160 -180 eggs a year), Welsummer (large dark brown eggs,up to 240 eggs a year), Sussex (260 – 280,happy in a small space as well as free range) Leghorn (300 plus eggs, but seldom go broody), Minorca (200 – 240 eggs, likes human contact).I’m sure there are other lists around too. The notes in brackets are from “Keeping Chickens, an Australian Guide. Decisions, decisions!February 9, 2011 at 9:37 am #489867
Thanks Bluesnip – we have just acquired a little Indian Runner duckling and are getting its sibling in a week or two. He is just gorgeous! We hope he will do a good job of pest control.
Thanks for that list Bluewren – it’s a big help. Looks like leghorns might be the way to go with perhaps a few australorps as well. Will do a bit more research on the other breeds you listed as well.
Thanks again to ALS’rs for your advice. Really helpful as always! 🙂 🙂February 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm #489868
I would recommend you only get a couple of hens from reliable broody breeds such as sussex. otherwise you end up with everyone going broody and no eggs!! I haven’t had a drama with barnevalders and the heat.
xxxFebruary 9, 2011 at 5:04 pm #489869
gypsyoak post=304146 wrote: I would recommend you only get a couple of hens from reliable broody breeds such as sussex. otherwise you end up with everyone going broody and no eggs!! I haven’t had a drama with barnevalders and the heat.
You are SO VERY RIGHT gypsyoak! As an enthusiastic but ignorant chook newbie who wanted “different” breeds , six , that is exactly what happened!! :blink: The first chicks hatched on 7th October from hens that began laying in about June, and the last of 5 batches on 20th December.Apart from those five mums the three Barnies were the youngest and the last to go broody and I had to unbroody all three of them , poor girls.Plus the Blue Australorp and Wyandotte went broody AGAIN when their chicks were only twelve weeks old, so I had to unbroody them as well.Enough was enough – it was fun, 26 chicks in all but now I’m trying to home Barnevelder cockerels that are crowing their handsome heads off.One has gone to guard his own girls, the next two are destined for someone’s lunch if I can’t sell them this week……:( and there are still younger ones…….The upside is I can get good money for the Barnevelder pullets, as Dad Mr Clogs is a good Barnie, so at least I was bright enough to mostly let the girls sit on Barnevelder eggs!! And I have a cute little Red Sussex/ Barnie cross to remind me of my first broody and favourite chook, Red Sussex Little Miss Chatterbox, 🙁 who died from peritonitis……. It’s been quite a year !!!February 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm #489870
Did you guys read my mind? I want a few different types of chooks too. I was hoping that if I got several australorps, leghorns and barnevelders I should get plenty of eggs and not too many broodies. What do you think? Or should I throw a few isa-browns into the mix? I’m looking to get 8 in all….February 10, 2011 at 2:25 am #489871
What about two Barnies plus one something else reliable to brood, and five good non broody layers from two breeds?They should give you more than enough eggs.The Barnies are nice chooks.My “book” says they tend to be lazy and don’t always get the excercise they need but I have found mine to be very active, one is very chatty, and inquisitive birds.Mind you by the colour of their eggs I don’t think mine are as pure bred as they were sold to me to be , although their chicks with Mr Clogs look OK.That Organic mag I mentioned in an earlier post has a whole article on Barnies and does discuss different strains and resulting quality of Barnevelders.Want a trip to Tassie? Paul Healy , author of the article , I think still lives there and has an original strain brought by Dutch immigrants early in the 20th Century.February 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm #489872
I read the article in Barnies in the OG mag as well – it was what originally got me thinking about getting some new chooks. They sound so gorgeous! I think the other thing that will influence my decision is what chooks are available at the moment. I don’t think they’ll be as easy to source as I originally thought. At least I’ve narrowed down the breeds now….
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