Pasture Raised Chickens

Buckeye, New Hamsphires & Phoenix non gmo fed, pasture raised

 

 There are so many choices available when it comes to breeds of chickens to raise.  First of all for us we knew that we wanted to raise heritage breeds and also breeds that could be shown.  So, that alone narrows the search.  Secondly we knew that we wanted multi purpose breeds that would be good layers and also produce a substantial table bird.  We also knew that we wanted hardy birds that could free range our pastures and be able to handle the cold winters.  We currently have multiple breeds on the farm.  We also have various other laying hens and have also created some of our own crosses breeding for particular traits that do well on our farm. 

 

We have chosen Buckeyes, New Hampshires, and Phoenix.

 

The Buckeye is a dual-purpose breed of chicken with a deep, lustrous red color of plumage. They have yellow legs and skin, and, thanks to their pea comb, are very cold-weather hardy. While Buckeyes adapt readily to a variety of living conditions, they do best under free-range conditions, or conditions where they have room to move around. Because of their active nature they do not do especially well in small confined spaces. Roosters weigh approximately nine pounds; hens weigh approximately six and a half pounds and lay medium-sized, brown eggs.

The New Hampshire New Hampshires are a relatively new breed, having been admitted to the Standard in 1935. They represent a specialized selection out of the Rhode Island Red breed. By intensive selection for rapid growth, fast feathering, early maturity and vigor, a different breed gradually emerged. This took place in the New England states-chiefly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire from which it takes its name. They possess a deep, broad body, grow feathers very rapidly, are prone to go broody and make good mothers. Most pin feathers are a reddish buff in color and, therefore, do not detract from the carcass appearance very much. The color is a medium to light red and often fades in the sunshine. The comb is single and medium to large in size; in the females it often lops over a bit. These good, medium sized meat chickens have fair egg laying ability. Some strains lay eggs of a dark brown shell color. New Hampshires are competitive and aggressive. They were initially used in the Chicken of Tomorrow contests, which led the way for the modern broiler industry.

The Phoenix chicken is an alert breed with a pheasant-like appearance. They are fair layers and do go broody. The chicks are hardy, but require extra protein when their tails are growing. The breed is well-suited to estates where it can roam at large, thriving best when given a good deal of freedom.

Phoenix chickens are recognized by the American Poultry Association as a standard breed in three varieties: Silver (1965); and Golden (1983); Black Breasted Red (approximately 2003).  Males weigh 5.5 lbs and females 4 lbs.

 
Our farm cross was created by crossing birds that exhibit our favorite traits.  We are trying to breed birds for good foraging ability, smaller combs, good layers, broody and good mothering instincts, multiple colored eggs, and produce a decent size table bird.