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Hatchery Blog
Listing all posts with label Heritage Breed Chickens. Show all posts.
  1. 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. 






  2.                    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.








  3.  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.