Chickens - hybrids vs pure breeds

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Living the good life
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Post: # 110022Post farmerdrea »

When you say hybrid, it sounds like you're talking about the commercial ones available? If Iv'e got it wrong, just ignore me. :roll:

When I say hybrid, I'm talking about my own, most of which are Barred Rock/Australorp/Wyandotte X, which I've been breeding myself for about 5 years now, and which make a very good dual purpose bird. I didn't set out to create anything, I just started out with some hens and a rooster given to me, all of which came from an original flock of the 3 above-mentioned breeds, all allowed to interbreed for years.

They lay for years (1 of the original hens is still laying a few eggs a week and she was about 2 years old when I got her) and the roosters are nice and solid for eating at about 6-8 months of age. They are also very pretty; we usually end up with muddy barring on the hens, often with gold pencilling at the neck, and the males are a gorgeous gold or silver barred. I also get straight black hens with the faintest hint of reddy-gold at the throat.

If you're only wanting hens for laying, I think you'd do better than the commercial hybrids. They aren't bred for longevity, either life or laying ability, but do some research and find a good productive (not show lines!) line of pure breed or two, with similar personalities and sizes.

Most of all - have fun! I have never tired of watching my chooks' antics - many of them are very clever!


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Post: # 110088Post VM »

Yes, when I talk about hybrids I mean what are being called here, 'modern hybrids,' which are the ones developed for intensive farming, but are now being sold to many novice chicken owners as being easy and good because they lay better - but people selling them don't tell you, unless you ask, that they don't lay for very long.

Basically I want to support people breeding older varieties - and would rather have chickens that lay eggs for longer even if not so many all at once.

The main problem I foresee is that I want whatever breed I'm looking at - if they're good healthy chickens - so am clearly going to end up with too many chickens!

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Post: # 110122Post Millymollymandy »

oldfella wrote:
Millymollymandy wrote:No, if you are going to get some hybrids get the red ones!

The black ones go broody so often (I already told you that), so you won't get so many eggs. They'll be off lay on and off all their first summer with gaps of 3-4 weeks with no eggs, and hogging all the nest boxes!
I agree with you MMM , we started with the black hybrids, and after two years ate the the lot, and got the big reds and they are still going strong four eggs a day from 5 chooks and we've had them 2.5 years. ( Umm maybe fried chicken time again)
You are lucky because mine only laid for 2 years then stopped.

Now my only laying hen (a light Sussex) has gone broody, surprisingly, as she didn't last year (her first egg laying year). :roll:

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