Chicken for next year

I just discovered the “Partridge Rock” chicken breed. Apparently it’s a good dual-purpose bird and a good egg layer; I suppose I only just heard of them because they’re fairly rare. But look how beautiful!

Via Trying to Be Green

Via ChickenCrossing.org

According to the McMurray Hatchery site, Partridge Rocks “are considered one of the best setters and broody hens”. Hm. It would be good to have one broody-type hen, I suppose, in order to hatch out chicks when I want to increase the flock. Which I might be able to do if I had that gorgeous rooster! But chickens go broody on nobody’s schedule but their own, so it might actually be pretty inconvenient.

Things to think about.

I’m also thinking about turkeys for next year – more specifically, getting a whole bunch of them to raise for Fall harvest as gifts to friends and neighbors. Our scrubby woodlands are a free-range turkey’s paradise. I’m looking at heritage breeds because (if I go with turkeys at all) I’d like to keep a tom and a hen in order to create more turkeys of our own next year, and – did you know? – modern-day turkeys have been bred to be so large that they can no longer mate naturally. That’s right: we’ve bred mutant birds that can’t have sex because they’re too fat. Heritage turkeys can still propagate their own species however, so that’s why I’m considering the Narragansett.

This breed is rated a “threatened” species by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. They get to a good size (30lb toms, 17lb hens), and according to McMurray are calmer than most and good mothers, both of which traits I would certainly appreciate. Especially after having once been attacked by a guard-turkey in Guatemala.

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