Thursday, March 29, 2012

Choosing Wisely

  "God made mud, God made dirt, God made guys so girls could flirt!"


  • FAUNA  
Narcissus and Muscari
Kind of overcast today, but the sun is hanging in there. Noticed the apricots are forming, and the pear tree is in full bloom and keeping the bees busy.

Our baby chicks are growing like weeds! They love to play freeze frame...they hear me and freeze in place, until...I reach in to change their feed and they come alive! Scurrying, scurrying...

So, now what we know what to feed our baby chicks, we need to choose what breed will fit our purpose the best. When I first got chickens, I thought they just came in different colors. I didn't know that there were different breeds of chickens. Here are some of the more popular ones:
Buff Orpington

ORPINGTON: These are one of our most favorite chickens. They are sweet, get along with every other breed and are good layers. They are very pretty and the Buff Orpingtons are golden and love to be petted and cuddled. They lay a pinkish egg. 

The original Orpington, the Black, was developed in England in 1886 and brought to the U.S. in 1890. Today Buff, White, Black and Blue Orpingtons are recognized color varieties. 

Barred Plymouth Rock
BARRED PLYMOUTH ROCK: You could probably find these in every chicken coop. The Plymouth Rock originated in New England  in the 19th century and was first recognized as a breed in 1869. Great bird due to hardiness, egg laying, & broodiness (sitting on eggs). Lays a light brown to pink egg.
 AUSTRALORP: Another favorite chicken of ours because the one we have is an extraordinary mother and loves to "go broody" or want to sit on eggs. The Australorp breed was developed in Australia at the end of the 19th century by crossing a Black Orpington with Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, Langshan and Minorca breeds. The purpose of this breed was high egg production. It was originally known as the Black Utility Orpington. The breed was standardized after WWI, and renamed Australorp in 1929. Historically, australorps have been egg-laying champions. An australorp hen once laid 364 eggs in 365 days ( she must have been a rooster favorite!)  They are exceptionally beautiful bird with black glossy feathers that have a green sheen. They lay a brown egg.
Large Fowl Rhode Island Red
 LARGE FOWL RHODE ISLAND REDS: This is one of the oldest breeds of chicken and was first bred in Little Compton, Rhode Island in the mid-1840's. It is the state bird of Rhode Island. The breed was developed to withstand the harsh winters of New England and be a hardy bird who produced excellent large egg yields. They lay a brown egg.

AMERAUCANA: The ameraucana was developed in the 1970's by those trying to standardize the Araucana breed, The ameraucana is easier to breed as there are no complications due to lethal genes. They lay a lovely green-blue large egg. 
ARAUCANA: This is a very rare breed with much controversy and a lot of challenges. Hatcheries add to this confusion by representing their 'mongrel' Easter Eggers as Araucana and Ameraucana chickens. While Araucanas and Ameraucanas are recognized breeds, Easter Eggers are not a recognized breed because they are a cross of different breeds to produce various plumage colors and eggshell colors. The origin of the Araucana is still murky, however many believe that they came to America from South America sometime during the 1920's or 30's. The primary reason for breeding Araucanas was their ability to lay blue eggs. The araucana have two distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from other breeds. They are rumpless (have no tail and the complete absence of a tailbone) and they have tufts (often called earrings) which grow from a protuberance called a peduncle around the ear lobes or neck area. This tufted trait is a lethal gene on araucanas, which makes it difficult to breed. Two copies of the tuft gene are fatal and results in chicks dead in the shell, typically around 18-21 days in incubation. Even a single copy of the gene has been known to reduce hatchability.

LEGHORN:  Leghorn, Italy had its own native common chicken for hundreds of years which were very good layers and came in black, white, brown or gray with white earlobes and yellow legs. Some of these were taken to America in 1828 and bred with other birds to make their body size larger and to produce more colors. They lay a large white egg. They are the number one breed used for large-scale commercial egg production in the United States. 

They are many, many more chicken breeds, and you can research them online. We just gave you a few to think about and start with. These are the ones you would probably come across in a feed store in the United States. You international readers probably see a whole different kind!
Tomorrow we will explore chicken coops! 


Why did the cow cross the road?
To get to the udder side !
Why did the chewing gum cross the road ?Because it was stuck to the chicken !
Why did the chicken cross the "net" ?It wanted to get to the other site !
What do you call a rooster who wakes you up at the same time every morning ?An alarm cluck ! 
Why does a chicken coop have two doors ?Because if had four doors it would be a chicken sedan!
How long do chickens work ? Around the cluck ! 
Why did the chicken end up in the soup ?Because it ran out of cluck !
Why did the cow cross the road ?
To go to the moooooovies !


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1 comment:

Virginia said...

so that's how you spell Buff orpington!