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Custom Chicken Breeds- Part 2

June 1, 2010

Good Morning, Dear Reader.

In Part 1 of our custom chicken breed article we learned about Barnevelders, Sultans, Buckeyes, Blue Hamburgs, and Golden Sebrights.  Those birds occupy the north side of the deluxe chicken house at Poultry Plus (Contact Mike at   mgerringer2@gmail.com).

Let’s take a moment to review the custom chicken house layout.  Our friend Mike has developed a sweet setup, and I really recommend a visit to see his design.  Upon entering, one faces an aisle slightly wider than your shoulders.  The first door on the left is a brooder room.  It is warm in there!   You might find day old chicks, up to about 3 week old babies in there.  They are separated by breed, and have their own heat lamp, feed and water per cubicle.

The birds we examined in CUSTOM CHICKEN BREEDS-Part One are on the left side. Starting at the far end of the Right Side, we see Americaunas- the chickens that lay the blue eggs.

Americauna Pullet

An Americauna Pullet

There are 8 colors recognized for the Americauna breed.  The one above is a wheaton.  All Americaunas will have slate-gray legs, and a beard and muff

Americauna Chickens

Americauna varieties

At Poultry Plus they have White Americauna, Black Americauna, Wheaton and Blue Wheaton.   Everyone that raises egg-laying chickens ought to have some Americauna in their flock.  It is such fun to find blue eggs, just like on an Easter Egg hunt!

Americauna varieties

White, Black and Wheaton Americauna

And in the next pen is the very popular White Plymouth Rock. These are very large dual purpose birds, which leads to their popularity.  They are great layers, and provide good size for butchering.

White Plymouth Rock chickens

White Plymouth Rocks

Another popular American chicken breed is the Barred Rock.  These were the first breed accepted into the American Standard.  While not quite as large as the white rocks, the feather details are intricately beautiful.

Rocks- White and barred

Barred Rocks in the Background

Here are the Barred Rocks in the foreground, with Cochins in the background:

Barred Rocks and Cochins

Barred Rocks in foreground, Cochins in background

Now this is a good time to comment on pen layout. In the photo above, you see a long roosting bar with a shorter, perpendicular roost to the right.  The perpendicular roost gives the hens access to a pair of nest boxes, which can be accessed from the aisle by lifting an access door.  This well-thought out arrangement makes chores go so much smoother!

Directly below the nest boxes Mike has placed another box. Various colorful names might exist for these, as they protect the feeder and waterer from … chicken droppings.  GREAT IDEA, Mike!  And the chickens can appreciate having unfouled feed and water, too!

Black Mottled Cochin

Black Mottled Cochin

These interesting feather-balls are called Cochins.  Mike has both Black Mottled and Blue Mottled Cochins.  Both are feather footed chickens, so it looks like they are wearing slippers!  These are delicately colored and the unique feathering just has to be seen in person to be appreciated.

Dear Reader, these are the premier breeds being developed at Poultry Plus, but there are literally dozens more in the main barn.  The unique yelps of Guinea Fowl can be heard in the barn yard, as they go about their day. And the observant visitor might even find a duck sitting on a clutch of eggs.  Once again, if you like poultry, you should set up an appointment to visit with Mike, North and West of Bippus at Poultry Plus.  Contact Mike at   mgerringer2@gmail.com

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