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Hatchery Blog
  1. Spotlight Breed Of The Week Buff Brahmas 
    Buff Brahmas Chickens
     
    Brahmas are one of the largest breeds of chickens. These birds are mellow gentle giants with fluffy feathered legs and feet. The Buff Brahma has a buff, or golden, colored body with black feathers on the tail and neck. The Brahma will stand around 30 inches tall. It has a long, deep and wide body. It stands tall giving it a narrow ‘V’ shape when viewed from the side. The roosters weigh in around 12lb and hens around 10lb. They lay a fair amount of light brown eggs and due to their gentle nature make good mothers. Brahmas are very cold-hardy and do well in confinement as well as free-range environments.  
     
    There has been considerable controversy over the origin of the majestic Brahma Breed. It is believed that the Brahma Breed was developed around 1840 in the United States from large birds imported from China and were referred to as the "Shanghai" birds. It also appears clearly that Chittagong fowls were used to a very small degree, which stamped head and comb characteristics onto this breed differentiating it from the Shanghai birds (now known as the Cochin).The Buff Brahma became a standard variety and were recognized by the American Standard of Perfection  1924.


    The Brahmas breed is still considered rare and is in high demand.  The American Livestock Conservancy currently has the Brahma breed status listed as recovering. We only hatch Brahmas February through May and they sell out quickly so place your order early before were sold out! Click here to order now!
     Buff Brahmas chickens
     

    Adult description: Massive bodies, Pea combs, fully feathered shanks and toes. Buff Brahmas are mainly buff in color with, black-edged feathers in the neck, wings, and tail. They have heavily feathered shanks and outer toes, a pea comb and a ‘beetle brow’ where the forehead slightly overhangs the eyes.
     
     Buff braham day old chicks

    Baby chick description: Pea combs, feathers on the legs and feet. Black backs and golden heads.
    The wings tips and chest are light yellow. Their beak, legs, and toes are yellow.

        


    Classification Type: Asiatic Class
    Temperament: Friendly, pet-like demeanor adaptable to confinement or free range
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Exceptionally  make good mothers
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  20-22 weeks                              Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                       Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: good                                       Eggs per year: 250-275

    Weight: Hen   9.5 lbs     Rooster:   12+ lbs       
                  Pullet  
    8 lbs      Cockerel   10 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times at least 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.
      
    Roost height:  
    2Ft -4FT
      
    Life Span: Of the Buff Brahmas, depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Buff Brahma will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     
    Varieties:  
    DarkBlack, Buff, and White. More often the white variety is referred to as a Light Brahma chicken.
     
     
    Other facts:  
    Brahmas were first exported from the US to England in December 1852, when George Burnham sent nine "Gray Shanghaes" now known as Light Brahmas to Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150.

    We hatch Buff Brahmas February thru May.






     



  2. Spotlight Breed Of The Week Silver Laced Wyandotte's 
    Silver Laced Wyandottes Chickens
    The Wyandotte breed was created by four gentlemen from the eastern United States area. They were trying to create a breed that would be a dual-purpose bird something that was seriously lacking in the 1800’s. They were first referred to as the American Seabright or the Seabright Cochin. They were later renamed after the Native America Wyandotte nation but have no direct historical association with the tribe.  There is a bit of mystery as to the true origin of the Wyandotte, but they are thought to have been developed from a Dark Brahma and a Silver Spangled Hamburg. The original Wyandotte was the Silver Laced which was first accepted into the standard of perfection in 1883. Today there are many more color varieties developed from the Silver Laced by crossing them with a variety of other breeds.

    Wyandotte’s are beautiful birds famous for their docile disposition and their ability to lay eggs in the cold weather.  They are an excellent dual-purpose bird, which can be raised to produce both eggs and meat. The hens make good mothers and will lay large brown eggs in a color range from light to medium.  They are particularly well suited for regions that have cold winters. They tolerate confinement well and they are also good foragers which makes them well suited for any free-range environments.   Wyandotte’s mature fairly quickly males will weigh in and about 8 1/2 pounds and hens about 6.1/2 pounds.  

    The Wyandotte breed graduated from the livestock Conservancy priority list in 2016 in his no longer considered endangered.
    Silver Laced Wyandottes Chickens
     
    Adult Birds description: The male and female have completely different plumage appearances. The head of the male is a silvery white with each feather having a black stripe. The web of the male’s neck feathers is a luxurious, green black with narrow lacing of silvery white. The male’s back is silvery white in appearance and the tail is black. The web of each breast feather of the male is white with a narrow, sharply defined lacing of luxurious green and black. The web of each breast feather of the male is white with a narrow, sharply defined lacing of luxurious greenish black. The web of each feather of the body, back, breast and lower thigh of the female is the same as the male’s breast feathers. The plumage of the female's head is silvery gray in the tail is black. They have rose combs that are low and firm on the head, have an oval surface covered with small rounded points, and tapered to a well-defined point that curves to conform to the shape of the skull.

    Silver laced Wyandotte Day Old Chicks
       

    Baby Chick description: The chicks are black with white streaks down the back the chest and abdomen may either be white or grey, the wing tips are white. They have rose combs, feet, and legs are yellow with some black or grey.  

    Origin:  United States                                                             
    Classification Type:  American Class
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Occasionally make good mothers
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  18-22 weeks                               Mating ratio: 9 females to 1 male
    Egg Color:  Brown                                       Egg size:   Medium - Large
    Rate Of Lay: Good                                       Eggs per year: 180-260

    Weight: Hen   6.1/2 lbs      Rooster:    8 1/2 lbs       
                  Pullet 5 1/2 lbs      Cockerel   7 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.  

    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT 
     
    Life Span: Of the Silver Laced Wyandotte depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard the Silver Laced Wyandotte will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years.
     
    Varieties:   Golden laced - Blue laced red- -Barred-- Buff--Black -White-Red- Blue-Silver Penciled--Partridge- Columbian- Buff Columbian-Mille Fleur-
     
    Other facts   The Silver Laced Wyandotte is the original Wyandotte and is the parent stock for all varieties. 

    We hatch Silver Laced Wyandotte's year round

    Click here to order now!









  3.  Spotlight Breed Of The Week Buckeyes
    Buckey Chickens


    In the late 1800's Nettie Metcalf, a housewife from Warren Ohio created a red chicken breed and appropriately named it Buckeyes after the state of Ohio. Buckeyes are unique in the American Class of chickens in that it is the only breed created entirely by a woman and officially accepted into the American Poultry Association in 1904. The industry was dominated by very influential businessmen heavily invested in the new Rhode Island Red breed and they did everything in their power to oust the Buckeye breed. Their attempts to do so failed. However, somehow the breed disappeared from the records of the American Poultry Association standards around 1915. It’s unclear how or even why that happened but the breed reappears around the mid to late 1930’s again as a recognized breed. However, like many other things, the great depression had an impact on the Buckeye breed and it nearly faded into obscurity. This breed is still considered quite rare but in the last couple of years, they have been upgraded from the threatened list to the watch list by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

    The Buckeye is the only purely American breed to sport a pea comb, and this, combined with its stocky build, makes it a supremely cold-hardy bird. Buckeyes have rich yellow skin, with mahogany feathering and black tails. They adjust to confinement well but prefer to range on grass. They are extremely friendly docile birds. A good dual-purpose producer of brown eggs is well suited for small farmyards and backyard flocks. 



    Buckeye Chickens
                                  

    Adult Birds Description: Plumage is a rich and lustrous reddish brown or mahogany, though tail contains some black. Most of the under color is bright red with slate-colored bars down their backs. Beaks are yellow with reddish horn shanks and toes are yellow.
     
    Buckeye Day Old Chickens




    Baby Chick descriptionBuff color with some dark brown speckling on heads. Beaks, legs and toes yellow.




    Origin:  United States
    Classification Type:  American
    Temperament: Great for free range, calm & docile. Do not tolerate confinement well.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production.
    Broodiness: Occasionally but make good mothers.
    Hardiness:  Very hardy can tolerate almost any climate.
    Maturing: 20-22 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
    Egg color:   Brown                                         Egg size:  Large
    Rate Of Lay:  Good                                        Eggs per year: 200-50 

    Weight: Hen   6 ½  lbs     Rooster:    9  lbs       
                  Pullet  5 ½ lbs     Cockerel    7 lbs
     
    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird
     
    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT

    Life Span: Of the Buckeye depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. Buckeyes will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     

    Other facts: Mrs. Nettie Metcalf is the only American woman to have developed an officially recognized breed (Buckeyes).
     
    We Hatch Buckeyes twice a week February thru May. 














  4. Spotlight Breed Of The Week French Guineas
    French Guineas
    Guineas originated from West Africa and were introduced to the United States right before the Civil War era.

    The young hatchlings are a little larger but can look very similar to quail and are known as keets, they are very active and easy to raise.  The day old keets should be kept in a brooder as you would any other birds until about 5-to 6 weeks of age, then at that time they will require very little attention and will take care of themselves by hustling for their food. Once matured the birds are a purplish grey color with small white spots.

    Guineas are considered watchdogs and generally will not attack people but will follow you around the yard at times. However, they are known for their alert behavior and vocal nature they will sound an alarm anytime anything unusual occurs.
    They are known to be effective at warding off hawks, rats, foxes, and snakes with their cry, helping to protect not only themselves but other birds on the farm that are prone to attack by predators.

    Also, as Lyme disease a tick born illness has become more and more prevalent, many farm owners with livestock and family have turned to Guinea fowl to help eradicate the danger. Guineas are especially known to immensely enjoy snapping up ticks out of tall grass where they tend to thrive and pose threats to dogs, children, and livestock nearby.


    Once raised from the young, Guineas will pretty much live wild and roam free, but since they are territorial, they will stay in close proximity to where they have been raised. Guineas also are an excellent bird to harvest for its meat, tasting almost identical to pheasant and their meat is known to be extremely tender and lean. The birds prefer to be free- ranged instead of being cooped up. If the birds must reside in a coop, ensure that each bird has 2 to 3 feet of living space and when fed a high energy, high protein ration similar to broiler feed, they will weigh in excess of 4 pounds at 12 weeks of age. The guinea hens will lay triangular shaped small brown speckled eggs from approximately March through August.


    Guinea Fowl are truly one of the most useful and hardy domesticated land fowl in the country and are a great addition to any flock whether it be small or large.

     French Guineas
    Adult  French Guineas Fowl 
     
    Day Old Keet
     
     
     
    Egg Color: Small brown speckled
    Production: Approximately 135 eggs /yr
    Weight : Cocks 4.5 lbs
    Hens 4 lbs

    Other Facts: Guinea Fowl eggs are a creamy color with light brown spots. The small end are more pointed than the chicken egg. They have a higher yolk to white ratio than normal chicken eggs. Guinea fowl eggs are smaller than chickens' - the general rule is that 2 guinea fowl eggs equals 1 large chicken egg.


                             We Hatch Guinea Keets March thru May click here to order now!



  5. Spotlight Breed Of The Week Mallard Ducks
    Mallard ducks

    Mallards are the most popular of all ducks and when most people envision a duck, they usually imagine the colorful mallard. They are beautiful and the ancestor of most other duck breeds. They are also the oldest and most common breed, the Mallard has a long history of being domesticated, hunted and observed.


     
    The Male Mallards are known as “drakes” and will sport a remarkable green iridescent plumage on their heads with a white band around their necks. The female Mallards are known as “hens” and have a mottled brown to tan plumage. Both male and female have a white and blue speculum along the back edge of their wings. However, until males start to get their colorful feathers at 12 weeks of age, they are the same coloring as the females. By 16 weeks the males are fully feathered and retain these colors until the end of the breeding season when they molt into more drab, less brightly colored feathers. After 3-4 months, their beautiful feathers grow back and these are retained until their molt the next summer.
     Day Old Mallard Ducklings
    The vast majority of wild Mallards migrate. In the summer they can be found in the northern parts of the US and all of Canada. When fall arrives and food becomes scarce, they fly south to more temperate climates such as the southern US and parts of Mexico. Come spring, they again return to their nesting grounds. However, If you release Mallards that have not been hatched and grown in the wild, it is highly unlikely they will migrate. Studies show they go no further than five miles from where they were released. Though your released birds may fly away, the Mallard’s ability to fly and escape predators makes them much more likely to survive than any domestic ducks released into ponds and streams. Also, the Mallards will forage in water by dabbling, submerging their heads and necks, up-ending, rarely by diving and forages on land by grazing, plucking seeds and grubbing for roots.


    Mallards are generally monogamous and will usually form pairs in October and November and will stay in pairs until the end of the breeding season, which occurs in early March and extends into late May. Mallard eggs vary in color from creamy white, pale blue to blue-green and they can lay between 60 to 120 eggs a year on a farm. In the wild they will lay 10-15 eggs in a nest. If their first brood is raised early or their nest is destroyed, they can lay a second set of eggs and are excellent mothers.



    Egg Color: creamy white, pale blue to blue-green 
    Production: 100-160 eggs/yr
    Matures: 20-24 weeks
    Weight: 2 - 2.5 lbs
    Broody: Yes
    Hardiness: Very hardy in all climates
    Temperament : Calm, Very Good Flyers




    We hatch Mallard duckling March thru May Click here to order now








  6. The Barred Plymouth Rock chicken is another well know old time favorite brown egg layer and one that, in true breeding style, delivers big profits. This is one of the oldest and most selected strain of Barred Rocks in the U.S. The Barred Plymouth Rock Chicken has held its own because of its great merit as a profitable year-round brown egg layer, as well as its meat production. The barred rock chicken originated from a cross between a Dominique rooster and either a black Java or a Black Cochin hen in the mid-1800s. The Barred Rock chicken is truly one of the best dual purpose birds a hardy bird even in cold weather, it is also docile, tame, and active. Barred Rocks like to run, but they don't demand much space. Also, due to their heavy structures, they don't fly, meaning you don't need a fence to be too high to accommodate their needs. They don't need much to thrive, so are very easy to keep and breed. The Barred rock males and females have an upright carriage and are graceful, stylish birds. The hens are rarely broody but are good mothers and roosters matures early into a broiler.  The Barred Rocks are a great practical addition to any flock for every day in the year use.
    Barrred Plymouth Rock Chickens
    Adult Birds description:    Long, broad bodies with a well-rounded moderately deep breasts. All of their featherings are black and white horizontal lines (barring) that extend out to their moderately short tails, which are spread well in the roosters but tend to be a bit shorter and twice as much black per line in the hens making them much darker.  Their combs are red medium size, single comb evenly serrated with 5 well-defined points that are straight upright. Their beak feet and leg are yellow.

    Day Old Plymouth Rock Chicks

    Baby Chick description: The chicks are black with a white spot on the top of their heads. The wing tips and abdomen are white, and they have a single or serrated comb. The beaks, feet, and legs are yellow with some black.

    Origin:  United States                                                             
    Classification Type:  American Class
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: not generally but make good mothers
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  18-20 weeks                                Mating ratio: 10 females to 1 male
    Egg Color:  Brown                                        Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: Excellent                                 Eggs per year: 280- 300

    Weight: Hen   7 lbs     Rooster:    9 1/2 lbs       
                  Pullet 6 lbs     Cockerel    8 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.  

    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT  
    Life Span: Of the Barred Plymouth Rocks depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Barred Plymouth Rock will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years.
     
    Varieties:   Barred--- Buff-- Silver-- Penciled--White--Partridge- Columbian--Blue
     
    Other facts   Barred Plymouth Rocks are commonly incorrectly referred to as "Dominiquers". Both the Plymouth Barred Rocks and the Dominiquers have the same horizontal black and white barring color line plumage. However, the Dominiquers have a slightly more angular body and a rose comb.

    We hatch Barred Rock year round click here to order now!




  7.  Spotlight Breed Of The Week White Pekin Ducks
    White Pekin duck
    The White Pekin duck is a domesticated duck used primarily for egg and meat production. They were bred from Mallard ducks in China, then brought to the United States about 1873, where it remains the most popular commercial duck breed today. Pekins have a nice temperament and are talkative ducks that do well as pets. Owners commonly report that their friendly ducks follow them around like dogs normally do. However, it is highly discouraged to purchase ducklings as Easter gifts as they are a commitment that requires special care and can live up to 20 years.

    Pekin are good layers upward to 150 to 200 eggs a year is not uncommon, but they rarely go broody and don't often sit on their eggs.  So, if you want to hatch your own you may need to use an incubator.  However, hatchlings should never be given free access to swimming water unless they have been hatched naturally by other ducks. The feathers of a young duckling are not sufficiently developed to properly protect them for extended periods in the water and they do not produce enough preen oil to waterproof this plumage. In the wild, a mother duck will monitor the time her ducklings spend in the water as well as supplying additional preen oil to supplement what is produced by the hatchling. Although a Pekin Duck’s eggs can be eaten, this type of duck is primarily used for meat. Pekins grow very quickly and have an excellent feed conversion rate weighing between 6 and 8 pounds at about 9 weeks of age. Since Pekins are a Domestic duck they do require shelter from the wind and rain, access to food and water, and fencing to keep them contained.

     As the white Pekin matures the female will have a very loud quack. The male’s do not quack, but instead emits a low, hoarse, raspy noise.  The male will also have a curled tail feather called the Drake feather. The most famous of all Pekin Ducks is Donald Duck, who was modeled after this breed.
     Giant White Pekins

    Adult Description : Yellow bills and creamy white plumage, with orange shanks and toes.
    Day Old Duck

    Day Old Ducklings: Bright Yellow Plumage.

    Origin:  China                                                            
    Temperament: docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production.
    Broodiness: Rarely
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  22-24 weeks                               Mating ratio: 6 females to 1 male
    Egg Color:  White                                        Egg size:   Large -Extra large
    Rate Of Lay: Good                                      Eggs per year: 150-200

    Weight:  Hen   9 lbs.     Drake:    10 lbs.       

    Roost height:  Floor 
     

    Life Span: Of the Pekin Duck depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard White Pekin will generally live for approximately 8-12 years but have been known to reach 20 years.
     

    Fun Facts:
    The reason ducks are able to stay afloat in the water is because of air sacs inside their bodies that increase their buoyancy. Also, a Ducks feathers trap air in between them, which is another adaptation that helps them to float. Their feathers are also covered with a waterproof substance that keeps the ducks warm and dry and their webbed feet allow them to maneuver easily in the water.
     We only hatch ducks seasonally Feb thru the end of  May.





  8.  Stoplight Breed Of The Week Amberlinks
    Amberlink Chickens
    Amberlinks are a high production bird designed and bred for dependable egg laying and are a hybrid from the ISA Hendrix genetic line. They are a result of breeding 2 pure breeds, the Rhode Island White male with a Rhode Island Red female. These hybrid Breeding’s are complex, and you may not get the same results if you simply bred a Rhode Island White with a Rhode Island Red. Also, since Amber links are hybrids You won't get an Amberlink chick if you breed two Amberlinks together.
     
    They are calm docile birds that mature early and have an excellent feed conversion rate. Amberlinks are excellent foragers for the free-ranging environment but also do well in confinement. They are cold hardy as well as heat tolerant birds.
     
    Adult Description:  The males have red plumage with a white undercoat that shows through in some areas. The females are mainly white with tints of red or amber in their wing feathers and tails.
    Amberlink day old chicks
     
    Baby Chicks description:  Pale yellow in color, single comb with yellow feet and legs
     
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Brown egg production
    Broodiness: Rarely
    Hardiness:   Very hardy can tolerate almost any climate.
    Maturing: 18-22 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
    Egg color:   Brown                                         Egg size:  Large -extra large
    Rate Of Lay:  Excellent                                  Eggs per year:  300-325

    Weight: Hen   5.5  lbs     Rooster:    6.5  lbs       
                  Pullet 4.5 lbs     Cockerel    6      lbs
     
    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird. 
    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT

    Life Span: Of the Amberlink depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. The Amberlink is a Hybrid and will generally live for approximately 2-4 years but have been known to reach 5-6 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     
    The Amberlink’s are harder to find and only a few hatcheries produce this breed, and we only hatched them Feb thru May. Click here to order now! 






  9.  Spotlight Breed Of The Week Dark Brahmas
    Dark Brahmas Chickens






    There has been considerable controversy over the origin of the majestic Brahma Breed. It is believed that the Brahma Breed was developed around 1840 in the United States from large birds imported from China and were referred to as the "Shanghai" birds. It also appears clearly that Chittagong fowls were used to a very small degree, which stamped head and comb characteristics onto this breed differentiating it from the Shanghai birds (now known as the Cochin). In 1850 an American businessman sent Queen Victoria of England a much publicize gift of some of his light Brahma chickens. Soon after these birds were in much demand and his stock was the basis for the Dark Brahma variety which was developed in England and later shipped back to America. However, the Dark Brahma was not Recognized by the American Standard of Perfection until 1874.

    Brahmas are one of the largest breeds of chickens. These birds are mellow gentle giants with fluffy feathered legs and feet. They have a warm, medium grey appearance with black hackles shading to silver and white at the head. The Brahma will stand around 30 inches tall. It has a long, deep and wide body. It stands tall giving it a narrow ‘V’ shape when viewed from the side. The roosters weigh in around 12lb and hens around 10lb. They lay a fair amount of light brown eggs and due to their gentle nature make good mothers. Brahmas are very cold-hardy and do well in confinement as well as free-range environments.  

    The Brahmas breed is still considered rare and is in high demand.  The American Livestock Conservancy currently has the Brahma breed status listed as recovering. We only hatch Brahmas February through May and they sell out quickly so place your order early before were sold out! Click here to order now!
     
    Dark Barahma chickens

    Adult description: Massive bodies, Pea combs, fully feathered shanks and toes. They have a silver penciled plumage pattern with the male’s plumage color very different from the female's plumage. The male head is a silvery white. The web of the hackle feathers is luxurious, greenish black with silvery white narrow lacing. The main tail feather is black with the sickles being a luxurious greenish black. The females head is a silvery gray each feather of the back-breast body, wing bows and thighs should have 3 or more penciling patterns. The body, breast, back and shanks and toe feathers are steel grey with distinct black penciling. The hackle is black slightly penciled with steel grey in laced with silvery white.

    Dark Brahma chicks

    Baby chick description: Pea combs, Brown backs and heads with light gray wing tips, chest, and feathers on legs and toes. Their beak, legs, and toes are yellow.

        


    Classification Type: Asiatic Class
    Temperament: Friendly, pet-like demeanor adaptable to confinement or free range
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Exceptionally  make good mothers
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  20-22 weeks                              Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                       Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: good                                       Eggs per year: 250-275

    Weight: Hen   9.5 lbs     Rooster:   12+ lbs       
                  Pullet  8 lbs      Cockerel   10 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times at least 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.
      
    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT
      

    Life Span: Of the Dark Brahmas, depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Dark Brahma will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     
    Varieties:   Black, Buff, and White. More often the white variety is referred to as a Light Brahma chicken.
     
     
    Other facts:  Brahmas were first exported from the US to England in December 1852, when George Burnham sent nine "Gray Shanghaes" now known as Light Brahmas to Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150. Burnham’s stock proved of quality and formed the basis for the Dark Brahma variety – which was developed in England and later shipped back to America. 




    We hatch Dark Brahmas February thru May. 




  10.    Stoplight Breed Of The Week Speckled Sussex
     Speckled Sussex Chickens
    The Speckled Sussex chicken It's one of the oldest known breeds that originated in Sussex County, England and there's evidence that the Romans found a similar breed when they invaded England over two thousand years ago. However, the Speckled Sussex breed didn’t reach America until about 1912 and was recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1914.
     
    The Speckled Sussex bird became a famous table chicken breed because of its pleasantly pleasing flavor, pinkish white skin and their finesse at fattening up. The Speckled Sussex is considered a medium-sized bird in the heavy breeds class. The rooster will dress out between 8-10 pounds on average and hens at about 6-8 pounds. Their main coloring is a deep rich mahogany with cream color speckles and they have innumerable differences in the speckling patterns. With each yearly molt more, speckles appear so they become even more colorful the older they get.


    The Speckled Sussex Breed is one of the best backyard chickens for being adaptable. They are friendly docile birds that are heat and cold tolerant. They do well in confinement and are an exceptional bird for a free-ranging environment. This is due to their speckled coloring which makes them blend in with the background and camouflages them from predators such as coyotes and foxes. They are also great layers of tinted or light brown eggs, and they lay right through the coldest weather. These hens are very likely to set and become broody as soon as the weather warms in the spring and are excellent mothers.
    Speckled Sussex Chikens


     Adult description-Their main color is mahogany with each feather tipped with a small cream speckle and a narrow black bar divides the cream color from the remainder of their feathers. The females main tail feathers are black mottled with brown, and each feather is tipped with a cream color. The males tail feathers are luxurious greenish black and are also tipped with a cream color. Their beaks color is horn while their legs and toes are a pinkish white.
     Speckled Sussex Cicks
     
    Baby chick description- Chicks are dark brown with 2 light brown streaks lengthwise down there back and have white wing tips, chest, and abdomens. They have a single comb, beaks are a brown color and feet and legs are a pinkish white.
     
    The Speckled Sussex breed Is very popular with our customers and is always in demand. The  American Livestock Conservancy list the Speckled Sussex breed status as recovering. We only hatch this breed seasonal February through May, and we sell out quickly. So, make sure to place your order early!


    Origin: England                                                              
    Classification Type:  English Class
    Temperament: Calm and curious, adaptable to confinement or free range.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs and meat  
    Broodiness: Yes good mothers
    Hardiness:  Very hardy
    Maturing20- 22 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 10 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                           Egg size:  Large
    Rate Of Lay: Good                                         Eggs per year: 180 to 240  
    Weight:     Hen    7 lbs                                        Rooster:     9 lbs       
                      Pullet  6 lbs                                        Cockerel    7 lbs
     
    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird. 
     
    Roost height:  4Ft - 8FT  
    Life Span:  Of the Speckled Sussex chickens will depend on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Speckled Sussex chicken will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease each year.

    Varieties:  Speckled, Red and Light.
      
    Other facts:  In England, another variety is recognized, the Brown (a very dark red color). Some breeders have created additional colors, such as Coronation, Buff, White, and Silver.
  11. Starting a flock in the fall equals more eggs in the spring.




    It’s that time of year again pumpkins are in season and soon all the beautiful autumn leaves will have fallen off the trees. However, did you know fall is a great time to start your new flock or add to an existing one? Traditionally spring is when most people think it's the best time you should start your new hatchlings, but did you know fall offer some exciting benefits? Chickens normally reach point-of-lay at around 18 to 20 weeks of age depending on the breed. one of the best arguments for starting your flock late in the season is the arrival of fresh eggs in the spring. Day old pullets purchased in the fall will mature during the winter and will begin to lay their first eggs in the spring as the days grow longer. Not only will you have eggs in the spring, but eggs will also be larger, egg laying will also be more regular and steadier due to the fourteen plus hours of daylight each day.

    Another advantage of starting your flock in the fall is pest control.  Mature birds love to eat bugs and are known to greatly reduce and nearly eliminate ticks, mosquitos, spiders, and grubs along with a host of other insects that may invade your barnyard.

    Delayed molting is another good argument to start a flock in the fall. Your chickens will lose their feathers (molt) to grow a fresh set of feathers before winter. At that time the birds will divert protein energy away from egg production to produce new feathers and will stop laying until the molt is finished. Since a flock started in the fall will have new healthy feathers in the spring and summer they will not molt until the following year.

    When starting chicks in the fall you would still need to select a brooding area where you can control both the ambient temperature around the brooder as well as within the brooder, just like you would for day old chicks you would start in the spring. At about 8 weeks of age, you can introduce them to your coop. However, make sure your coop is winter ready. Young fully feathered birds can handle 55 degrees, but should you be in an area of the country that is colder you can add a heating element to your coop. Use a safe form of heat such as a flat panel, radiant heater. Gradually reduce the temperature for about a week or so to transition the coop temperature to the natural temperature they would experience in the coop without it, then remove it.

    We hatch our most popular breeds every Wednesday year-round. To check our availability, go to our website at www.mtheathy.com
  12. Spotlight Breed Of The Week  Freedom Rangers 
    Freedom Ranger Chickens

    These birds have been developed to be pasture grown, hardy birds and excellent foragers! Freedom Rangers are a broiler chick that are a great alternative to the fast-growing Cornish Rocks or the slower-growing heritage breeds. They grow at a moderate rate reaching 5-6 lbs in 9-12 weeks. This makes for a great broiler without some of the health issues that the faster-growing chicks might encounter. Their meat is tender and contains more yellow omega 3 fat and less saturated fat than the faster-growing birds. The genetic stock is derived from an American and European heritage breed that was developed in the early 1960's to meet the high standards of the French Label Rouge Free Range program. This program began 40 years ago as a grassroots movement led by visionary farmers in France. As poultry became more industrialized after World War II, demand grew in France for the taste of traditionally raised farm chickens. The  Freedom Rangers are very active and robust chickens that thrive if allowed to free range, scratch, and dust bathe in natural sunlight.

    FreedoRosterm Ranger

    Adult Birds description: Red or tri-colored feathers and yellow shanks, skin, and beaks.

    Freedom Ranger Baby Chicks
     
    Baby Chick description: Buff color to light red with some having brown specks on their heads and streaks down their backs.


    We hatch Freedom Rangers February thru May.






  13.  Spotlight Breed Of The Week Leghorns
    Brown and White Leghorn Chickens
    It’s not exactly clear the origin of the Leghorn (pronounced leg-urn) however, it appears they derived from a lightweight brown breed in Italy around the early 1800s and were known as the “Italians”. By 1850 there were two varieties the original brown version, and white. Years later in the US, they have renamed leghorns after the Tuscan port they were exported from. They immediately became popular for their prolific laying abilities, feed-to-egg ratio, and their rarity to exhibit broodiness resulting in uninterrupted egg-laying cycles that had not been seen before. Although leghorns are a leaner bird their value as egg layers earned them greater appreciation despite their small size. These beautiful birds are clever, alert and are a very active breed. They feather quickly, mature early and the pullets often begin laying at 4 months of age. Leghorns are efficient foragers and are one of the best birds for free-ranging that can avoid predators. The White Leghorn is one of the premier commercial egg-laying breeds of today and produces the majority of the world's crop of white eggs. The American Livestock Breed Conservancy have the Leghorn breed status listed as recovering and is considered a heritage sustainable breed.


    White and Brown Leghorns chickens



    Adult Birds description: Short backs, short shanks, low set bodies with graceful curves and long flowing tail feathers.  All the plumage of the White Leghorn is white. The Brown Leghorn roosters heads are orange-red, shading to golden yellow toward the shoulders, and then deep, orange-red over their backs. Their tails, wings fronts and breasts are black. Hens are more brown in color with an orangish head and neck. Leghorns have white earlobes and yellow legs.
    White Leghorn chicksBrown Leghorn Chicks

    Baby Chick description: The white variety chicks are pale yellow or creamy white. The brown variety is brown in color and have two light brown streaks down their backs. 


    Origin: Italy                                                              
    Classification Type:  Mediterranean Class
    Temperament: Flighty, noisy avoids human contact, adaptable to confinement or free range.
    Purpose: Eggs laying production
    Broodiness: Rarely
    Hardiness:  Very hardy
    Maturing: 17-20 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 12 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  White                                            Egg size:       Large to extra large
    Rate Of Lay: Excellent                                   Eggs per year: 300- 320

    Weight:     Hen    4 1/2 lbs                                  Rooster:     6 lbs       
                      Pullet  4 lbs                                        Cockerel    5 lbs
     
    Spacing:  Confined at all times 7 1/2 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 3 square feet of space per bird.  
    Roost height:  4Ft - 8FT  
    Life Span: Because Leghorn chickens are productive egg layers, their lifespan is less than the average bird they live to be around 4-6 years of age. However, egg production will decrease each year.
     
    Varieties:  Black, Brown, Buff, Dominique, Silver Duckwing, and White.
     
    Other facts: Most breeds that have white earlobes lay white eggs. The unique color pattern of the brown Leghorn helps to camouflage them making it harder for predators to detect them when free ranging.
                                                         









  14. STOPLIGHT BREED OF THE WEEK WHITE PLYMOUTH ROCKS
    White Plymouth Rock Chickens
    One of the most popular heritage breeds for a brown egg layer are the Plymouth Rocks and White Plymouth Rocks are the second most popular variety of that Plymouth Rock family. They originated in the United States around 1850 in the town of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Several individuals claim the invention of this breed by careful selection and breeding of a Spanish, White Cochin, Dominique, Buff Cochin, Black Java and a Brahma. The white color is the result of recessive white genes. This is a different inheritance than the dominant white color inheritance found in white breeds such as White Leghorns. The White Plymouth Rocks were accepted into the American standard of perfection in 1888. The Plymouth Rock breed became popular very rapidly, and in fact, until World War II, no breed was ever kept and bred as extensively as these birds. Its popularity came from its early laying abilities and being an outstanding dual-purpose farm chicken. They are extremely hardy docile birds that can handle cold weather as well as excellent producers of large brown eggs, and meat that was considered tasty and juicy. They seldom go broody and do well in confinement or are content to free range. The Plymouth Rock hens approximate mature weight is 7 ½ pounds and Roosters 9 ½ pounds. The Plymouth Rock was one of the foundation breeds for the broiler industry in the 1920's. The American Livestock Breed Conservancy have the Plymouth Rock breed status listed as recovering and is Considered a Heritage Sustainable Breed.
    Adult Birds description:  Long, broad bodies with well-rounded moderately deep breasts. All of the feathers of White Plymouth Rocks are white, which produces a uniformly white bird.  Their combs are red medium size, single comb evenly serrated with 5 well-defined points that is straight and upright. Their beak feet and legs are yellow.
    White Plymouth Rock Baby Chicks
     
    Baby Chick description: The chicks are mostly white with some having a smoky gray tint. They have single or serrated combs. The beaks, feet, and legs are yellow.

    Origin:  United States                                                             
    Classification Type:  American Class
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production.
    Broodiness: Not generally but make good mothers.
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  18-20 weeks                                 Mating ratio: 10 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                         Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: Excellent                                  Eggs per year: 280- 300

    Weight: Hen    7 1/2  lbs     Rooster:    9 1/2 lbs       
                  Pullet  6 lbs            Cockerel    8 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.  

    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT  

    Life Span: Of the White Plymouth Rocks depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard White Plymouth Rock will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, laying abilities will decrease each year.
     
    Varieties:   Barred--- Buff-- Silver-- Penciled--White--Partridge- Columbian--Blue
     
    Other facts: The most popular Plymouth Rock variety is the Barred Plymouth Rock. Growers who like a leaner meat prefer raising White Plymouth Rocks for their broiler meat. 






  15.                    STOPLIGHT BREED OF THE WEEK PARTRIDGE PLYMOUTH ROCKS
    Partridge Plymouth Rocks or "Partridge Rocks", as they're called, are a rare and beautiful unique dual-purpose bird. They originated in the US in the late 1800s and their heritage is a little sketchy. However, it is believed that the breeds used to produce the Partridge Rocks were Partridge Cochins, Dark Cornish, Brown Leghorns, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Barred Rocks and a single comb Golden Laced Wyandotte male which were mated in various combinations to produce this new variety. Their striking color patterns make one of the best varieties for the exhibitor. The Partridge Rock roosters have rich redheads and mostly red upper backs, while their body, breast, and main tail feathers are black. Their hackle and saddle feathers are greenish- black laced with red, and their wings are black and red. Hens are a deep, reddish bay color with black edging on their back, breast, and body plumage.  In the 19th century, all the varieties of the Plymouth Rock breeds were by far the most popular breed of chickens during that time. Although their numbers have dwindled over the years, the Plymouth Rocks are still very popular among small-flock owners for their early maturity, their cold-hardiness, and their robustness. They do well either confined or free-range and do not slow down laying eggs quite as much as other dual-purpose breeds during the winter months. Not only are they dependable brown egg layers but also are calm, docile birds and are very good setters. Despite their popularity, their conservation status is listed as "Recovering" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

    Adult Birds description: Their backs are long and broad throughout the entire length with a slight concave sweep to the tail. The body is long, with the breast being broad, well-rounded and moderately deep. Partridge Rock males have rich redheads and mostly red upper backs, while their body, breast, and main tail feathers are black. Their hackle and saddle feathers are greenish- black laced with red, and their wings are black and red. Hens are a deep, reddish bay color with black edging on their back, breast, and body plumage. The comb is an even serrated, single comb, having five well-defined points, and it is straight and upright. Their feet and legs are yellow.

     

    Baby Chick description:  The chicks are a rich dark brown resembling the color of an expensive fur coat.
     
     

    Origin: United States 
    Classification Type: American  
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production.
    Broodiness: Not generally but make good mothers.
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy & can tolerate heat well.
    Maturing:  18-22 weeks                                 Mating ratio: 9 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                          Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: Great                                        Eggs per year: 280- 300

    Weight: Hen   7 lbs     Rooster:     8.5 lbs       
                 Pullet  5 lbs     Cockerel    7.5 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird  

    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT  

    Life Span: Of the Partridge Plymouth Rock depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Partridge Plymouth Rock will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     
    Varieties:   Barred, White, Buff, Silver Penciled, Partridge, Columbian, Blue, Black. 
     
    Other facts: Partridge Plymouth Rocks are not quite as large as their cousins the Barred and White Plymouth Rocks. Very few hatcheries have chicks available of this unique rare variety of Plymouth Rocks.








  16.  STOPLIGHT BREED OF THE WEEK NEW HAMPSHIRE REDS


    Many people assume that the New Hampshire Red Chicken is an old-time breed. The truth of the matter is the New Hampshire Red is actually a relatively newer heritage breed. This breed was just recently in the news for being selected as the state poultry bird for the state it is named after, New Hampshire. This successful dual-purpose bird was developed around 1915 in New England using Rhode Island Reds as the breeding foundation stock. There is no record of any other outside bloodlines being introduced into the breeding program. Many generations of an intense selection from the Rhode Island red breeding stock for early growth and maturity, quick feathering, vigor, plump carcasses and production of large Brown eggs thus produced the New Hampshire Red breed. With time, the New Hampshire Red was recognized for its specialized traits, and it was admitted to the Standard of Perfection in 1935. The New Hampshire’s as they were commonly called were a significant contributor to the egg production industry. The breed’s rapid growth and early maturity were also recognized by the large broiler industry at the time. However, the New Hampshire differs from the Rhode Island Red in several respects. The color of the plumage was noticeable, being a lighter shade of red. This lighter shade was similar to some strains of the Rhode Island Reds in which poultry raisers had concentrated on egg-laying ability without regard to color. The body of the New Hampshire has been described as more triangular than that of the Rhode Island Red. The New Hampshire chicks also feather out rapidly, grows quickly, and matures early. They do tend to go broody and make good mothers. The New Hampshire is a reliable and robust cold hardy breed that adapt well to confinement or free ranging. This fine dual-purpose strain produces large brown eggs with an extra good shell texture. Medium-heavy in weight, with a yellow-skinned carcass free from dark pinfeathers which dress out a nice, plump carcass for either use as a broiler or a roaster.

    The New Hampshire is not considered a rare breed however, the American Livestock Breed Conservancy has placed this breed on their watch list.
    Adult Birds description: Compared to a Rhode Island red the body of the New Hampshire is much shorter and more compact. The coloring is primarily a chestnut red with black tail feathers. Males appear to be somewhat darker in color than the females. The combs are single with five well-defined points and are moderate in size. The comb of the male is straight and upright. The comb of a female may be lopped. The legs and feet are rich yellow tinged with reddish horn.

     
    Baby Chick description: Light buff red color with even lighter color chest and wingtips. They are much lighter than Rhode Island red and Production Red but darker than a Buff Orpington. They had single, serrated combs and yellow legs and feet. 

    Origin: United States  
    Classification Type: American 
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Typically make good mothers
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  20-22 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 10 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                          Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: Great                                         Eggs per year: 280- 300

    Weight: Hen    7   lbs           Rooster:    9 1/2 lbs       
                  Pullet  5 1/2 lbs       Cockerel   7 1/2 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird  

    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT  

    Life Span: Of the New Hampshire Red will depend on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard New Hampshire Red chicken will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease each year.
     


     
    Other interesting facts: New Hampshire Reds and Rhode Island Reds were used as the foundation stock in producing the Production Red Breed.  

    We hatch New Hampshire Reds February thru May.







  17.                                                                 
                                   Spotlight Breed Of The Week Light Brahmas

    There has been considerable controversy over the origin of the Brahma Breed. It is believed that the Brahma Breed was developed around 1840 in the United States from large birds imported from the Chinese port of Shanghai and were known as the "Shanghai" birds. It also seems clear that Chittagong fowls were used to a very small degree which stamped head and comb characteristics onto this breed differentiating it from the Shanghai breed (now known as the Cochin). Back in those days, there were no written standards, no poultry associations, and no registries. Since what became known as the Brahma chicken was being presented under at least twelve names, there was much confusion. In 1852 a group of poultry fanciers met in Boston to declare the official name to be Brahmapootras after a river in India, which was later shorted to Brahmas. The credit for shortening the name to Brahmas goes to the publisher of The Northern Farmer, who in 1853 did so for very practical reasons, simply he needed to save space on the printing page! This unique breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as “Hen Fever” – a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850. For the following 80 years, the Brahma breed became the main source of chicken meat in this country. After 1930, other breeds were deemed more economical for massive meat production farms, and the Brahma breed declined. Now the Brahma breed is considered rare and often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”. The Light Brahma chicken is appreciated for its size, strength, and vigor. They are attractive birds with their smooth fitting full plumage, stately massive bodies and heavily fully feathered shanks and outer toes. The Brahma is an ideal bird for colder climates and is considered a superior winter-layer for their size.  Brahmas make excellent mothers, are very calm, docile and are a good dual-purpose bird.  The roosters can weigh up to 12 pounds and the hens close to 10. They adapt well to confinement or free range.  The Light Brahma breed is truly a unique and interesting bird that will produce lots of large brown eggs and would be a great addition to any flock.

    Adult Description:  Light Brahmas are mainly white in color with, black-edged feathers in the neck, wings, and tail. They have heavily feathered shanks and outer toes, a pea comb and a ‘beetle brow’ where the forehead slightly overhangs the eyes.

     

    Baby Chick description:  Creamy white color with feathers on legs and toes. They have pea combs and legs and toes are yellow. 

    Origin:
    Classification Type: Asiatic Class
    Temperament: Friendly, pet-like demeanor adaptable to confinement or free range
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Exceptionally  make good mothers
    Hardiness:  Cold hardy
    Maturing:  20-22 weeks                               Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Brown                                        Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay: good                                       Eggs per year: 250-275

    Weight: Hen   9.5 lbs     Rooster:   12+ lbs       
                  Pullet  8 lbs       Cockerel   10 lbs

    Spacing:  Confined at all times at least 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.
      
    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT
      

    Life Span: Of the Light Brahmas, depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Light Brahma will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     
    Varieties:   Black, Buff, Dark, and White. More often the white variety is referred to as a Light Brahma chicken.
     
     
    Other facts:  Brahmas were first exported from the US to England in December 1852, when George Burnham sent nine "Gray Shanghaes" now known as Light Brahmas to Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150. Burnham’s stock proved of quality and formed the basis for the Dark Brahma variety – which was developed in England and later shipped back to America. 

    We hatch Light Brahmas February thru May. 





  18.       Welsummers The Spotlight Breed Of The Week

    Welsummers are a rare breed chicken with Dutch origins, named after the village of Welsum, Holland and were developed sometime early in the 1900's. This practical and beautiful breed was quickly imported to England and other parts of Europe and finally made its way into the US in 1928. However, the American Poultry Association did not include the  Welsummer breed in its Standard of Perfection until 1991. This Breed was particularly sought after for their ability to lay large brown eggs. Their eggs range in a variety of reddish brown colors from terracotta to mahogany, with varying amounts of brown speckles. However, the pigment of the eggs is far from ordinary the deep brown colors can actually rub off on your hands. This is because the pigment color is only added at the end of the egg-laying sequence. They Occasionally go broody and tend not to be good mothers. They are intelligent docile fast-growing birds with friendly personalities, which love to free range and forage for food but can also be kept contained quite happily. The famous colorful Kellogg’s Rooster was a  Welsummer.



    Adult Birds description: The Welsummer is a large, upright, with a broad back and full breast, The Males and females have very different Plumage coloring. Males have an intricate and beautiful coloring which includes a dark red across the saddle and bright green in the wings, as well as beautiful, black large tail feathers. Each feather of the back of the females is reddish brown, stippled with black and has a distinct lighter shaft. They have a single bright red comb, wattle, and earlobes.
    Welsummer Baby Chicks

    Baby Chick description: The chicks are a reddish brown with chipmunk like striping on the top of their heads and down their backs

    Origin:  Holland
    Classification Type: Continental
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Occasionally generally do not make good mothers
    Hardiness:   Very hardy can tolerate almost any climate.
    Maturing: 20-22 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 9 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Dark Brown with Speckles          Egg size:   Large
    Rate Of Lay:  Good                                        Eggs per year:  180-220

    Weight: Hen   6   lbs     Rooster:    7  lbs       
                  Pullet 5  lbs      Cockerel   6  lbs
     
    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.
     
    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT

    Life Span: Of the  depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. Generally, they will live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     .

    Other facts: The Famous rooster named Cornelius you find on the Kellogg’s Cornflake cereal box is a Welsummer.

    We Hatch  Welsummers twice a week February thru May.  






  19.   Cuckoo Marans The Spotlight Breed Of The Week

    This breed was developed in France in the mid-1800's in the town of Maran. In the early 1900’s They made their way to the UK and have gradually made themselves popular in various countries around the world. However, Cuckoo Marans are still very rare in the United States. These are a fast-growing nice dual-purpose bird for both eggs and meat. They resemble a  Barred Plymouth Rock except the black and white barring is not as perfect on the  Cuckoo Marans which results in a subtle difference in their feathering patterns. The Marans are best known for their ability to lay deep chocolate brown eggs. The brown egg color can vary in darkness as the hens go through their laying cycles. Calcium and Vitamin K have been known to help aid some in maintaining the chocolate brown egg shell color. Marans adapt well to confinement and are also great foragers for free ranging. They are a calm docile bird that can adapt to almost any climate and have been known to be disease-resistant. 
                                                                             
    Adult Birds description:  Cuckoo Marans resembles the Barred Rock in color by displaying feathers which are all crossed throughout with irregular dark and light slate colored bars. Hens have twice as much dark slate color per line making them much darker. They have Long, broad bodies with well-rounded moderately deep breasts. Their combs are single red medium size, with a rough texture and sharp edges. Beaks, feet, and legs are white.
                                                                           
    Baby Chick description: The chicks are black with a yellow spot on the top of their heads with yellow wing tips and abdomens. Males chicks tend to be a lighter shade of black almost silver with a larger yellow spot on their heads than the females. The beaks, feet, and legs are mostly white with some black coloring and have single or serrated combs.


    Origin:  France
    Classification Type: Continental
    Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
    Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
    Broodiness: Occasionally but make good mothers
    Hardiness:   Very hardy can tolerate almost any climate.
    Maturing: 20-22 weeks                                  Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
    Egg color:  Dark Brown                                 Egg size:  Large
    Rate Of Lay:  Good                                       Eggs per year:  180-220

    Weight: Hen   6 ½  lbs     Rooster:    9  lbs       
                  Pullet  5 ½ lbs     Cockerel    7 lbs
     
    Spacing:  Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird 
    Roost height:  2Ft -4FT
    Life Span: Of the Cuckoo Marans depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. Cuckoo Marans will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
     
    Varieties:  Black Tailed Buff, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Columbian, Black Copper, Wheaten, Birchen, Black, White.

    Other facts:  Not only are the Marans' eggs very dark, they also tend to be more spherical in shape than other breeds.

    We Hatch Cuckoo Marans twice a week February thru May.  




  20. Mt Healthy Hatcheries Buckeye Chicken The Buckeye is truly the feminist's chicken!


    March is Women’s History Month and with the social climate of today empowering women and finally giving them recognition, it only seems fitting to honor Mrs. Nettie Metcalf. She is the only American woman to have developed an officially recognized breed of chickens.

    In the late 1800's Nettie Metcalf, a housewife from Warren Ohio created a red chicken breed and appropriately named it Buckeyes after the state of Ohio. Buckeyes are unique in the American Class of chickens in that it is the only breed created entirely by a woman and officially accepted into the American Poultry Association in 1904. The industry was dominated by very influential businessmen heavily invested in the new Rhode Island Red breed and they did everything in their power to oust the Buckeye breed. Their attempts to do so failed. However, somehow the breed disappeared from the records of the American Poultry Association standards around 1915. It’s unclear how or even why that happened but the breed reappears around the mid to late 1930’s again as a recognized breed. However, like many other things, the great depression had an impact on the Buckeye breed and it nearly faded into obscurity. This breed is still considered quite rare but in the last couple of years, they have been upgraded from the threatened list to the watch list by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

    The Buckeye is the only purely American breed to sport a pea comb, and this, combined with its stocky build, makes it a supremely cold-hardy bird. Buckeyes have rich yellow skin, with mahogany feathering and black tails. They adjust to confinement well but prefer to range on grass. They are extremely friendly docile birds. A good dual-purpose producer of brown eggs well suited for small farmyards and backyard flocks. 


                                  



  21. Mt Healthy Hatcheries 10 Most Popular Breeds Year After Year


    Our 2018 hatching season has started! As many of our customers start planning their new flocks the most frequently asked question is what are our top selling breeds?

    1.
    Cornish Rock cross

    Cornish  Rock Cross 
     
    The large massive Cornish Cockerels are bred to large broiler type White Rock hens. The cross produces one of the finest quality broiler type chicks that can be found anywhere. They make market weight in 7 weeks. Many of our customers report 4 lb. broilers in 7 to 8 weeks. 

     2.
    Golden Comet Chickens

    Golden Comet Chickens 

    The  Golden Comet pullet is easily one of the finest brown egg layers available today. They mature early and lay eggs of excellent size and quality. She is an extremely quiet bird, that seems to be able to withstand the colder, non-insulated, laying houses of the small flock owner, better than most breeds.  
    3.
    Araucanas/Ameraucanas Chickens
    Araucanas/Ameraucanas


    Originally from Chile, in South America, they are called the Easter egg fowl. They lay colored eggs: blue, green, pink, and olive drab. These birds vary in size and color, some may have whiskers and others muffs of feathers that cover their ears. Their eggs are reported to have more nutritional value than ordinary eggs

    4.
    Buff Orpington Chickens

    Buff Orpington Chickens
    An old time favorite with poultry people for many years. These are a nice quiet breed. They are a beautiful buff color and will lay lots of nice brown eggs.  
                

     5.
    Barred Plymouth Rocks
     

     Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens

    This is another old favorite and one that, in true breeding style, delivers big profits. This is one of the oldest and most selected strain of Barred Rocks in the U.S. The Barred Plymouth Rock has held its own because of its great merit as a profitable, practical fowl for every day in the year use.

     6.
    Rhode Island Red Chickens

    Rhode Island Red Chickens 

    If you are striving for the "Peak" in egg production and still want a heavy bird with good market possibilities, these Reds are for you. A check of national egg laying contest records will reveal the superior egg laying qualities of this breed.         

    7.
     Silver laced Wyandotte Chickens

    Silver Laced Wyandottes Chickens



    These are truly magnificently colored birds. Their silvery white feathers, laced with black make them a most attractive bird in your barnyard. They are heavy producers of large brown eggs.

     8.
    Golden Laced Wyandotte Chickens

      

    Golden Laced Wyandottes Chickens              



    Is one of the most beautiful breeds we offer. Their feather pattern is a combination of rich golden brown laced with a greenish-black tipped feather. They have rose combs, and are good producers of brown eggs

     9.
    Black Australorps Chickens

    Black Australorps


    Is an eye-catching bird. It is black with an intense beetle-green sheen on its feathers. Australorps are very good brown egg layers, in fact, one hen still holds the world's record by laying 364 eggs in 365 days under official Australian testing.

     10.
     Black Sex Link Chickens

    Black Sex Link Chickens


    This valuable chicken is produced by mating an R.I. Red male to a Barred Rock female. The pullets are black with a reddish cast and are splendid layers of large brown eggs. Roosters resemble a Barred rock.




    Due to the popularity of these 10 breeds, we hatch them year-round. Right now, we are hatching every Wednesday and will be in full swing by February 21st hatching twice a week all 28 breeds of chicks that we offer. Hopefully, this information will help guide you in selecting what breeds to add to your new flocks. For the best selection get your orders in the early before they are gone! Also, you can request a free catalog or download our catalog from our website at www.mthealthy.com.

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