Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Our Feathery Kids

I thought it might be a bit of interest to share with you the breeds of chickens we have on the Cluck-n-Neigh and tell you a bit about why they interested me so.

Americauna: Four words: Green and blue eggs. Why would I not want these birds in my flock? My Americauna hens are particularly fun as they seem to find me completely fascinating. They follow me around as I gather eggs, and are often clucking right in my ear as I bend to collect their lovely Easter eggy treasures.

Barred Holland
: Considered to be the most endangered chicken in the country, I was interested in them from the moment I heard from them. They are a dual purpose breed (meaning they are good for both meat and eggs) noted for their barred black and white feathers. The breed originated in 1934 when white eggs came into fashion. Though the name implies it is a Dutch breed, the Barred Holland was developed in America. It was the use of Dutch breeding stock that resulted in such a name. This breed is known for its mild-mannered disposition as well, something I really wanted in a chicken. They have a yellow skin and feet, which makes them particularly desirable as a meat source for Americans who are used to this color from the grocery store birds. I am very fond of these birds, and plan to breed them this year if I can locate some hens for my beloved Floyd.'

Buckeye: A gorgeous red bird, this is going to be our new addition to the flock this year. They hold the unique distinction of being the only poultry developed entirely by a woman (Nettie Metcalf). They are extremely friendly, and good layers of brown eggs. Most interestingly is that they show no feather picking behavior, and are the only breed consistent in this desirable trait. They are extremely aggressive to rodents, and will hunt and kill any hapless mouse or rat that wanders in. But most interesting of all is their entirely unique vocalization. Yes, the Buckeye roars like a dinosaur. Roars. Like. A. Dinosaur. Who wouldn't want a chicken that freakin' roars like a dinosaur, I ask you?? If I'm lucky enough to catch this vocalization and record it, I promise to put it up on You Tube.

Buff Orpington: These birds are so adorable as chicks. They look just like the Bon Ami chick, all fluffy and yellow. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the actual type of chick they used in the ad campaign. They lay brown eggs quite regularly and are also very calm and pet like. They are heavy bodied and have a sort of fluffy appearance due to their thick feathering. In other words, they are just darned cute.


  1. Orpingtons are my favorites thusfar. Maybe you should get some Salmon Faverolles...

  2. I was thinking of breeding Orpys too for awhile, but they are no longer on the "critical" list for heritage breeds. But the upswing of that is that they are not almost impossible to find breeding stock for. I've been searching for days for some Barred Holland breeding stock so we could hatch them as well as Buckeyes, but no luck. :(