Friday, February 4, 2011

Some Breeds Of Poultry For The High Country


Standard Weights: Cock 6 lbs., Hen 4 ½ lbs., Cockerel 5 lbs., Pullet 4 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: White

Use: An egg-type chicken, Leghorns figured in the development of most of our modern egg-type strains.
Origin: Leghorns take their name from the city of Leghorn, Italy, where they are considered to have originated.

Characteristics: A small, spry, noisy bird with great style, Leghorns like to move about. They are good foragers and can often glean much of their diet from ranging over fields and barnyards. Leghorns are capable of considerable flight and often roost in trees if given the opportunity. Leghorns and their descendants is the most numerous breed we have in America today. The Leghorn has relatively large head furnishings (comb and wattles) and is noted for egg production. Leghorns rarely go broody.

Contact: American Brown Leghorn Club
Don Schrider
13794 Hollowell Church Road
Waynseboro, PA 17268

Varieties: Single Comb Dark Brown, Single Comb Light Brown,
Rose Comb Dark Brown, Rose Comb Light Brown,
Single Comb White, Rose Comb White, Single Comb
Buff, Rose Comb Buff, Single Comb Black, Single
Comb Silver, Single Comb Red, Single Comb Black
Tailed Red, Single Comb Columbian


Standard Weights: Cock 8 ½ lbs., Hen 6 ½ lbs., Cockerel 7 ½
lbs., Pullet 5 ½ lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown

Use: Meat or Eggs.

Origin: America. The Silver Laced variety was developed in New York State and the others in the north and northeastern states in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th century.

Characteristics: Wyandottes is a medium-weight fowl for small family flocks kept under rugged conditions. Their rose combs do not freeze as easily as single combs and the hens make good mothers. Their attractive “curvy” shape, and many attractive color patterns make them a good choice for fanciers as well as farmers. They generally have a good disposition. Common faults include narrow backs, undersized individuals and relatively poor hatches. Also, it is not uncommon to see single combed offspring come from rose-combed parents. These single combed descendants of Wyandottes should not be kept as breeders.

Contacts: Wyandotte Breeders of America
District 5 Director
Jesse Paul
Dade City, Fl

Varieties: White, Buff, Columbian, Golden Laced, Blue,
Silver Laced, Silver Penciled, Partridge, Black

Rhode Island Red

Standard Weights: Cock 8½ lbs., Hen 6½ lbs., Cockerel 7½ lbs., Pullet 5½ lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Varieties: Single Comb, Rose Comb
Use: A dual-purpose medium heavy fowl; used more for eggs than meat production because of its dark colored pinfeathers and its good rate of lay.
Origin: Developed in the New England states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, early flocks often had both single and rose combed individuals because of the influence of Malay blood. It was from the Malay that the Rhode Island Red got its deep color, strong constitution and relatively hard feathers.

Characteristics: Rhode Island Reds are a good choice for a small flock owner. Relatively hardy, they are probably the best egg layers of the dual-purpose breeds. Reds handle marginal diets and poor housing conditions better than other breeds and still continue to produce eggs. They are one of the breeds where exhibition qualities and production ability can be successfully combined in a single strain. Some “Red” males may be quite aggressive. They have rectangular, relatively long bodies, typically dark red in color. Avoid using medium or brick red in color for breeding because this is not in keeping with the characteristics of the breed. Also, don’t breed from undersized individuals or birds with black in their body feathers (smut). Black in the main tail and wing feathers is normal.

Contact: Rhode Island Red Club of America
Mike Hawkins
5963 Dwady Drive
Miami, AZ 85539

Plymouth Rock

Standard Weights: Cock 9½ lbs., Hen 7½ lbs., Cockerel 8 lbs., Pullet 6 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Use: Meat and Eggs

Origin: Developed in America in the middle of the 19th century and was first exhibited as a breed in 1869. Several individuals claimed its invention, using crosses of Dominique, Java, Cochin, and perhaps Malay and Dorking, The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties developed later. The breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively as the Barred Plymouth Rock. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken; hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat. Early in its development, the name Plymouth Rock implied a barred bird, but as more varieties were developed, it became the designation for the breed. The Barred Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry in the 1920’s, and the White Rock continues to be used as the female side of the commercial broiler cross.

Characteristics: Plymouth Rocks are a good general farm chicken. They are docile; normally will show broodiness; posses a long, broad back; a moderately deep, full breast and a single comb of moderate size. Some strains are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They usually make good mothers. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. Some males and hens are big and active enough to be quite a problem if they become aggressive. Common faults include shallow breast, high tails, narrow bodies and small size.

Contact: Plymouth Rock Fanciers of America
Robert Blosl
14390 South Blvd.
Silverhill Al 36576

Varieties: Barred, White, Buff, Partridge, Silver Penciled, Blue, and Columbian


Standard Weights: Cock 8½ lbs., Hens 6½ lbs., Cockerel 7½ lbs., Pullets 5½ lbs.
Skin Color: White
Egg Shell Color: Brown

Use: Generally a very good egg producer with a fairly meaty body of intermediate size.

Origin: The Australorp was developed in Australia from Black Orpington stock. It is smaller than the Orpington with a trimmer appearance.

Characteristics: Australorps have intense beetle-green sheen on the black birds, dark eyes, deep bodies and are very attractive. They are one of the best dual purpose fowls, having gained attention in the 1930’s and ‘40s by being one side of the successful AustaWhite cross. This cross of Australorp X White Leghorn became the successor to purebred breeds on many midwestern farms. Broodiness was a problem with the cross and some markets discounted the tinted eggs they laid. Therefore, it soon fell victim to the inbred hybrid crosses of “Hyline” and “Dekalb.” Australorps are good egg producers and hold the world’s record for egg production with one hen having laid 364 eggs in 365 days under official Australian trap nest testing.

Contact: American Australorp Breeders
278 County Road CNA
Champion, MI 49814


Standard Weights: Cock 11 lbs., Hen 9½ lbs., Cockerel 10 lbs., Pullet 8 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Varieties: Light, Dark, Buff
Use: A very heavy fowl for the production of heavy roasters or capons. Fair egg layers.

Origin: The ancestry of the Brahma traces back to China although much of their development took place in the U.S. between 1850 and 1890.

Characteristics: Good Brahmas are beautiful, stately birds. Their large size and gentle nature combined with intricate color patterns makes them favorites for the country estate. The Brahma’s appearance in the showroom never fails to command the admiration of one and all. These qualities have made them a favorite with showmen and fanciers. Brahmas do go broody and are fairly good mothers. Their small comb and wattles, together with profuse feathering and well-feathered shanks and toes enable them to stand cold temperatures very well. The relatively slow rate of growth and long time required to reach maturity have caused Brahmas to be passed by as a commercial fowl.

Contact: American Brahma Club
Doris Robinson Secretary
Zipperer Rd.
Bradenton, Fl 34202


Standard Weights: Cock 10 lbs., Hen 8 lbs., Cockerel 8½ lbs., Pullet 7 lbs.
Skin Color: White
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Use: A heavy dual-purpose fowl for the production of both meat and eggs.

Origin: Orpingtons were developed in England at the town of Orpington in Kent County during the 1880’s. They were brought to America in the 1890’s and gained in popularity very rapidly, based on their excellence as a meat bird. As the commercial broiler and roaster market developed, the Orpington lost out partly because of its white skin.

Characteristics: Orpingtons are heavily but loosely feathered, appearing massive. Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. They exist only in solid colors; are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations; and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together. They are a good general use fowl.



Standard Weights: Cock 11 lbs., Hen 8½ lbs., Cockerel 9 lbs., Pullet 7 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Brown
Use: Mainly an ornamental fowl, but their ability as mothers is widely recognized and Cochins are frequently used as foster mothers for game birds and other species.

Origin: Cochins came originally from China but underwent considerable development in the U.S. and now are found and admired in many parts of the world.

Characteristics: Cochins are literally big, fluffy balls of feathers. They are mainly kept as an ornamental fowl and are well suited to close confinement. The profuse leg and foot feathering makes it desirable to confine Cochins on wet days and where yards become muddy to keep the birds from becoming mired or collecting balls of mud on their feet. They exhibit extremely persistent broodiness, are good mothers and are intense layers for short periods of time.

Contact: Cochins International
Jamie Matta
283 State Hwy 235
Harpursville, NY 13787


Standard Weights: Cock 7 lbs., Hens 5 lbs., Cockerels 6 lbs., Pullets 4 lbs.
Skin Color: Yellow
Egg Shell Color: Light to Dark Brown
Use: Meat and Eggs

Origin: The Dominique breed developed from the fowl introduced during the early settlement of New England. These were the type predominating in the south of England and from which the Sussex and Dorking descended. This stock was widely distributed in the Eastern half of the U.S. by the mid 19th century. The breed was generally known as Dominiques except in the region of origin where they were known as Plymouth Rock and occasionally as Pilgrim Fowls. The differentiation between Plymouth Rock and Dominique was not made until 1870 when the management of the New York state poultry show ruled that only one rose combed fowl of intermediate size could compete as Dominiques, and that all medium and large single combed fowl of this color would be know as Pymouth Rocks. A small single combed bird of this color was called a Dominique Leghorn.

Characteristics: Dominiques have many advantages besides their handsome appearance. They are hardy, do well on open range as well as in confinement, and are generally calm by nature and are easy to work with and show. They hatch well, are early feathering, mature young, and are of moderate size.

Contact: The American Livestock Breed Conservancy
Box 477
Pittsboro NC 27312

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