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Hatchery Blog
Listing all posts with label American Livestock Breed Conservancy. Show all posts.
  1. 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!




  2.  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.





  3.    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.
  4. 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
  5.  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.
                                                         









  6. 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. 






  7.                    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.