Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Featured Breed/Variety for the month of July 2012

Black Australorps 

I can honestly say that My Australorps are about the best layers that I have. The Black Australorp was developed in Australia, from Black Orpingtons imported from England, hence the name: Austral for Australia and Orp for Orpington. Before the name was widely adopted they were also called Australian Orpingtons and Australian Laying Orpingtons. The first Australorps in the United States were imported in the early 1920s, and they were accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1929. They are  extremely docile, dignified, calm, and sweet and they don’t mind being confined and tend to be a little shy.Australorps are smaller than English Orpingtons and are more dependable layers. They will lay in excess of 200 brown eggs each year, and some have been known to lay as many as 300. One hen set a record by laying 364 eggs in 365 days! Black Australorps, while smaller than the English Orpingtons from which they were originally derived, are still heavy chickens. They have big, stately bodies. The bottoms of their feet are pink, and they have a comb with five points. My Australorps are from Jeff Thornton. He got his start from APA breeder Mr. Wiley.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Featured Breed/Variety for the month of June 2012

Buff Orpingtons

I have recently been gifted 20 of Jeff Thorntons line of Buff Orpingtons...here is his story regarding these Buffs. 

In the fall of 1984 while on an Elk hunt in northern Idaho, I noticed the rancher kept a large house full of chickens to feed the family and the ranch hands. After a couple of days I went out there with the cook one night to gather eggs, I guess I was missing the 1000 head of gamefowl back in Texas at Diamond T or hungry or just nosey. Never the less when we got there I was amazed to see, I'm guessing in excess of 100 Orpington hens, most of them  buff  or as the cook called them “Yeller”, and about 4 or 5 white colored ones with yellow streaks. Now as I look back I assume those were sports. There were also 8 of the biggest buff roosters I had ever seen. I asked the cook about them and he shared all of his knowledge about them with me “they lay bout a foot tub fulla big o eggs a day”, Yea he was a real scholar. The next day I ask around and found out that the ranchers wife had gotten them from her father in Oregon who because of health issues had been forced to get rid of most of his Orpington show birds and had brought them to her. She said he would bring 10 or 15 marked pullets every year and some roosters and he would pick up a few hens and all the roosters. She said that was what he showed for the year. She said he showed his birds in Oregon and did very well. Now I wish I had written down names and such. Because I was back there in the spring for their round up. I worked for a big cattle company that contracted their calf crop every year, and while I was there the lady gave me 8 dozen eggs. Well about 2 weeks later after hauling them in a truck and turning them by hand, I got back to Diamond T and loaded the Incubator. Out of 96 eggs I hatched 39 chicks, That was the start of our exhibition Buff Orpingtons. Over the years  I have bred the very best to the very best and continuing to cull to the guidelines of the Standard of Perfection, as well as trying to keep egg production up, I have added some top bloodlines. 

hen looking for bugs

hen on perch
4 mos old
4 mos old
4 mos old

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Featured Breed/Variety for the month of May 2012



Every morning as a kid I ate cornflakes and I never knew the Kellogg's Corn Flake Rooster, "Cornelius" was a Welsummer. I do remember thinking he was such a wonderful rooster.
Named after the village of Welsum, this Dutch breed has in its make-up such breeds as the Partridge Cochin, Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Leghorn and still later the Barnevelder and the Rhode Island Red. In 1928, stock was imported into this country from Holland, in particular for its large brown egg, which remains its special feature, some products being mottled with brown spots. The dark brown pigment of the egg can actually be rubbed off as it is added at the end of the egg laying sequence. Welsummers have their own distinctive markings and color, and fit nicely into the light breed category, although it has good body-size. The colorful Welsummer has an upright stance with a strong, short beak, broad back, full breast and large full tail. It has a small single comb and medium wattles. The skin and shanks are yellow. The almond-shaped earlobes are red, and the eyes are reddish bay. While the standard color is red partridge, the male plumage is quite different from the plumage of the females. The saddle, head and neck of the male are golden brown; the back, wing front and wing bows are bright reddish brown. The female’s feathers have a distinctly lighter shaft, and each back feather is reddish brown, dotted with black. The breed was admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1991. There are 3 varieties, Silver Duckwing, gold and black-red partridge. Judges and breeders work to a standard that values indications of productiveness, so that laying merits can be combined with beauty.

Interesting facts about Welsummers
  • Welsummer chickens are purported to be one of the top free-range foragers of all the layers and lay more eggs than Marans. They lay a large rich brown Terra cota colored egg.
  • Pullet eggs average 1.96 oz (55.5 g) just a hair shy of the USDA "large" classification of 2.00 oz. Eggs from adult hens consistently hit the large and extra large USDA weights. The hens lay around 160 eggs per year.
  • Chicks are strong and are easily sexed as females have much darker head and back markings than males.
  • They lay fewer eggs during the winter.
  • They are friendly, easily handled birds which love to free range and forage for food but can also be kept in runs quite happily.
  • They do go broody but not usually until late spring but are not particularly good mothers.
  • They are productive for 3 years of their 9 year lifespan.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Featured Breed/Variety of the month for April 2012

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire were developed from the Rhode Island Red around 1915 in New Hampshire. Farmers in New Hampshire continued breeding and came up with a hen that matures early, has large brown eggs, feathers quickly and has lots of strength and vigor. The New Hampshire was recognized by the Standard of Perfection in 1935. The New Hampshire is a large dual purpose bird, with a single comb. They are known for their friendliness,can be easily handled,and can be docile if they are handled frequently.
The accurate name for the breed is simply New Hampshire. These birds are of German bloodlines. If you are interested in raising quality New Hampshires email me at carondesign@yahoo.com and I will give you the contact information to order them. Mine are chicks right now so I can not provide eggs or chicks.
photo courtesy of J. Jefferson

photo courtesy of J. Jefferson
photo courtesy of J. Jefferson

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Featured Breed/Variety of the month for January 2012

The Barred Rock 

The Barred Rock is one of the all time popular favorites in this country. Developed in New England in the early 1800's by crossing Dominiques and Black Javas, it has spread to every part of the U.S. and is an ideal American chicken. Prolific layers of brown eggs, the hens are not discouraged by cold weather. Their solid plumpness and yellow skin make a beautiful heavy roasting fowl. Their bodies are long, broad, and deep with bred-in strength and vitality. These chickens are often called Plymouth Rocks, but this title correctly belongs to the entire breed, not just the Barred variety. Whatever you call them, you can't beat them for steady, reliable chickens. Baby chicks are dark gray to black with some white patches on head and body.The face of a Plymouth Rock is red with red ear lobes, a bright yellow beak, bay-colored eyes, and a single comb of moderate size. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. The chicken's bottom feathers are soft and downy, like baby chicks feathers.
In terms of temperament, both roosters and hens are calm and will get along well with people and other animals such as pets. The hens often will go broody if in the right environment, and are good mothers. To read more about these magnificient birds and to view more pictures click here.



My Barred Rock pullet "Baby" won Best of Variety, Best of Breed and Reserve American Class Champion at Bluebonnet Classic 2012.

Baby in the photo-shoot box at Bluebonnet Classic 2012

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Featured Breed/Variety of the month for December

Silver Laced Wyandottes
 The Silver Laced Wyandotte has white feathers with black edges to every feather, an effect called lacing. The tail is black and the standard of perfection states they should have yellow legs. The silver laced was developed in New York state in the early 1870s and was admitted to the standard in 1883. The silver laced wyandotte was the base for all other colors. Wyandottes lay good-sized light brown eggs and at maturity they weigh in at 8 1/2 pounds for the males and 7 pounds for the the females. Wyandottes are good dual purpose birds, especially the White and Silver Laced varieties which have been bred for utility, as well as for show. All pics are of my birds below.

All material © 2011 Wyandottes and Rocks (WAR's).  All rights reserved.

one of my 5 month old cockerals spreading his wings (bird belongs to WAR'S)
cockeral and hen (birds belong to WAR'S)
5 months old and still has a long ways to go to reach full size (bird belongs to WAR'S)
1 year old hen looking for bugs (bird belongs to WAR'S)
Girls looking for things (bird belongs to WAR'S)
To see more pics of these lovely birds click here