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Chicken varieties? Options
#1 Posted : Saturday, February 16, 2008 2:18:15 AM
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Hi Frosty,

No experience with them but I wanted to check in and say hello.

I looked up those birds online since I never seen them.  Are you trying these birds for the color of their eggs? I see the Welsumers have a reddish-brown egg. The Cuckoo Marans remind me of my old Wyandottes, but those chocolate brown eggs are stunning!

I've been chicken-free since moving to Maine a year ago but I'm settled now and a new batch of Chantecler's will arrive next month. I miss letting the birds have the run of the yard of a summer evening while I sit on a lawn chair with a glass of wine and having the odd hen jump up to sit on my  lap to watch its siblings.

Simple pleasures for the price of chicken-feed.


#2 Posted : Saturday, February 16, 2008 4:56:00 AM
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Hi Wayne!  Yes, I am going for the egg color... I ordered Welsummers, Cuckoo Marans, leghorns, Orpingtons, and Americaunas.  So should have chocolate brown, terracotta, white, brown, and green eggs.  Should look beautiful (in my opinion!).  Also threw in an order for a few Black East Indie ducklings... They called the other day, should be shipped in about 2 weeks!!!  Yeah!!!  I am having serious cravings for baby birds.  What are the Chantecler's like?  Are those the ones that roar?


#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2008 3:44:45 AM
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I'm curious about the Americaunas. Have you had them before? I love the colour but I'm also interested in the difference between them and Araucana. I found this recently:

"First, a note about Ameraucanas vs. Araucanas. Both breeds lay eggs with shells colored various shades of blue, have pea combs, and should have red earlobes. Beyond that few similarities exist in specimens meeting the requirements of recognized poultry standards. Perhaps 99 percent of chickens sold as Araucanas (or Ameraucanas) by commercial hatcheries are actually mongrels, meeting the requirements of neither breed."

They also go on to say that there are eight different kinds. And here I thought it would be a simple choice. lol When i first saw mention of the coloured eggs it was with the Araucana. They do seem to be quite similar. The very small combs appeal to me as well. As a kid we had a very diverse flock of standards and bantams. But we lived in a much milder climate then. With winters the way they are here I prefer not to take any chances.
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 20, 2008 11:54:19 AM
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The ones in catalogs are listed as Ameraucanas (never can spell that right!), but very likely are what is termed 'Easter Eggers'.  They used to list them as Araucanas, but the folks that raise the true Araucanas fought to get them to change.  If I understand correctly, the Ameraucanas and 'Easter Eggers' do have Araucana in their background, but have been crossed with standard chicken varieties.  Araucanas are not very hardy, aren't very good layers, and are not as reliable to hatch, which contributes to their rarity.  The folks that do raise the true Araucana are fanatical about them, and get upset when the crosses are referred to as Araucanas (I don't blame them).  The true Araucanas are also usually 'rumpless'.  They don't have a tail.

That all being said, I have raised what the catalogs call Ameraucana for at least the last 6 or 7 years, and I love them.  They don't lay as well as the leghorns or orpingtons, but are beautiful chickens, pretty good temperaments, and the eggs that they do lay look beautiful with the other eggs.  I usually have 5 or 10 added in when I order replacement layers.  I don't know how the temperament would be with the roosters, though... I hatched out some eggs for a friend, and some were Ameraucana crossed with my Buff Orpington rooster.  Buff Orpingtons are wonderful, mellow birds and I never had any problems with them - hens and roosters alike.  One of the crosses was a rooster and he was mean!  That had to have come from something in the Ameraucana's background... would be interesting to find what all is there!

Shirley in ND


#5 Posted : Thursday, February 21, 2008 5:41:52 PM
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Thanks for the site. You confirmed what I thought. I was thinking about a few Ameraucana mixed into the flock. I didn't realized how different the two breeds were though. Glad i was already thinking Ameraucana.

Your experience with the Roo is interesting. How primitive are these considered to be? I breed hunting dogs and relatively primitive breeds have some very distinct differences in behaviour when compared to the modern domestics. I would assume that the same things apply with chicken breeds. I certainly remember as a kid having a couple of different Roos that were quite mean, and it was one type of Bantam, don't remember which though. I'm surprised that you had such a distinct difference when crossing with the orpington. A gentle breed creating a mean one.

I've recently been thinking about showing some national pride and trying some Chantecler. I'm Canadian of course. I need something that is tough, and they were developed for our weather. I'm partial to the partrige varieties look.
#6 Posted : Friday, February 22, 2008 12:41:52 PM
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After Wayne mentioned them, I looked up the Chantecler... they have quite the mix in them, don't they?  I am also partial to the Speckled Sussex.  They are a heritage variety, beautiful and also very mellow.  When I was little, my parents would get chickens and I loved taking care of them.  Then I was chicken free until I moved here 15 years ago and a friend gave me some Barred Rocks.  I won't raise those again, they can be some mean birds, too!  A tornado took down part of the hen house so a bunch were loose and the roo's chased the kids around trying to attack them. 

Just be very careful... this can be an addictive hobby! 


#7 Posted : Friday, February 22, 2008 5:51:18 PM
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That is exactly what I remember. When I was very little we did not have a toilet, but an outhouse in the back. Our one Roo would wait at the side of the house for me. I would have to wait for the right moment then make a run for it and hope I was fast enough. After being attacked by it multiple times with scratches, my Grandmother decided to do something about it. This involved a baseball bat and a lot of loud noises. Eventually my stepfather shot it because they couldn't catch it.

Speckled Sussex is a very nice looking bird. I like the distinct speckling over the base colour.

Interest in heritage breeds, chickens and pigs, comes down to a preference for what is not the norm. I have never had much interest in that which everyone has. That is part of the reason for our interest in Norrbottenspets hunting dogs. We have the only ones in Manitoba. There are less than 200 in North America. I don't want a golden retreiver or some other. That same preference applies here.
#8 Posted : Friday, February 22, 2008 5:51:18 PM
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Does anyone have experience with Welsummers or Cuckoo Marans?  I just ordered some and was wondering what to expect for temperaments...


Shirley in ND

#9 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2013 8:28:46 AM
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Posts: 10
Well good info on this page and helpful for others who are interested in solving of this problem.This page is really helpful for me indeed.
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