Sunday, August 14, 2011

--> Link is fixed...sorry about that.

This is a useful, informative and very interesting site about rare breeds of livestock and poultry.

Fighting off the blues, I am trying to redirect my thoughts towards what kinds of poultry would be well suited to foraging under the apple orchard I would like to have someday. The breed(s) should be good foragers, hardy, calm/gentle/or at least not aggressive, dual purpose (produce both eggs and meat in meaningful quantities), and ideally, rare, endangered, or not very common. This last is because I intend to raise the chickens for more than one year and to hatch out chicks. I am concerned about breeds of animals going extinct...the Dorking chicken, for example, has been around since Roman times, and it is now listed as "threatened". The breed is noted for being calm, gentle, with delicious meat and laying eggs even in the winter. For those who haven't raised chickens before, eggs are a seasonal product unless you want to use light and timers and burn your chickens out at an early age. Winter farm eggs are a very worthwhile commodity, as is winter milk.

Or how about the Chantecler, a breed bred in Quebec to withstand extreme cold and to produce eggs in winter as well as meat? They have a "massive structure" as well as being "calm, gentle and personable". Preserving a rare genepool was never so practical! Eggs in winter from a pleasant bird that doesn't need extra care to survive in the cold, with nice, meaty roosters: what more could someone in my climate want from a chicken?

Also--->if the hens go broody, I might end up with more chicks than I can use. Having uncommon-rare breeds would make my chicks more salable. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I know....counting my eggs before they hatch and all that jazz......

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