Kathleen Sanderson wrote:
Organick, you can certainly make 'sex-link' chickens from many different breeds, as long as you are aware of the genetics and choose the proper male and female colors to start with. Sex-link specifically means the ability to determine the sex of the chicks at hatching by their color. The sex-links that are sold as egg-layers, however, come from stock specially selected for egg-laying ability. Whether or not home-grown sex-links would equal the egg-laying performance of commercial sex-links would depend on what you had for parent stock.
I imagine ducks would do just fine on rotated pasture, especially if you have a livestock guardian dog to protect them from predators (esp. aerial predators), since they probably wouldn't have much cover in the paddocks. It would be simpler, IMO, to keep ducks that way than chickens, since (most) ducks don't tend to want to fly (Muscovies and some smaller breeds are exceptions) and are pretty easy to fence in.
FWIW, they do still sell Magpies which are similar to Ancona's (slightly smaller) and I can vouch for their foraging capabilities. Also, they apparently dodge well, the neighbors haven't lost any to hawks yet. I'm planning on switching from chickens to Magpie ducks next year.
Unfortunately, they don't sell Anconas anymore, as they needed to cut back, so they are specializing in the rarer breeds, and sold their line of Anconas to someone else, who charges a bit more for them than the Holderreads did.
Tim Canton wrote:
John Polk wrote:
The sex-links are also excellent layers, but since they are hybrids, they will not breed true. They are some of the most docile/people friendly hens around (and often, the first in the flock to begin laying). Since they will not breed true, I know of nobody that keeps the roos beyond freezer camp, but I would imagine that they would continue to breed good, docile egg layers...worth a try for a generation or two.
how do the boys add up as meat birds?? I could see keeping a flock of BR and throwing a RIR roo in there with them and end up with some sex links. The egg layers would out produce but what about meat?
Tim Canton wrote:Just wondering what everyone likes to raise? I like "pure breeds" because it give me the ability to not have to rely on outside inputs for my birds. I have some black australorps right now and they are ok. I am thinking about getting a different breed this fall though. Just looking for opinions of any sort.
Genral desires are good foragers, broody, good dual purpose breed, cold hardy, not people agressive since i have 2 kids.
I have always liked barred rocks, RIR except i hear the boys are mean sometimes. A few others have recommended buckeyes, dominiques, delewares.
Just curious what you all like and keep.