Chicken Breed Focus – Delaware

I’ve always been interested in this bird, but know little about them. They seem to be available at hatcheries, although in moderate numbers.  After reading this article, thought I was sold… until I read all the reviews and the word noisy kept popping up!

Passing the information along to you, maybe they’ll be of interest to you.

Delaware BYC

Delaware aka Indian River

The Indian River was developed in the 1940s in the United States by George Ellis in the state of Delaware. He selected the occasional light colored sport produced from the popular broiler cross of Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens. Continue Reading Backyard Chickens | Chicken Breed Focus – Delaware

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New Articles for Chicken Keepers | March 26, 2016

Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers is an updated collection of chicken keeping articles from across the web archived in one convenient library on our menu bar.
Have an article to submit? Send it to amyichi@yahoo.com with ARTICLE SUBMISSION on the subject line.

New Articles | March 25, 2016
How Old is the Average Supermarket Egg? | Fresh Eggs Daily®
Cooking Eggs For Chickens | Backyard Poultry Magazine
Chicken Wire or Hardware Cloth for Coops – Timber Creek Farm
Secrets To Predator-Proofing Your Chicken Coop | Off The Grid News
Sick Chickens? Spot the Symptoms [Infographic] – Hobby Farms
Fox Deterrent | Nite Guard
Dominique Chickens: Heritage Poultry Breeds
Delaware | Whitmore Farm   About the Delaware Chicken
Barred Plymouth Rock Will Rock Your Flock – The Fowl Blog
How to Get Rid of Your Chickens’ External Parasites – For Dummies

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What’s New at TBN Ranch
Below is one of two coops that has been predator proofed, I’m confident there’s no chance of any predator ever getting inside. My once not so handy husband is turning into quite a hand! He’s not much into the chickens, but he was pretty upset about the coyote attack and this is what he did for our feathered family members. Coop is now raised 21″ high, and and has a solid wood floor. I dare even a tiny sparrow to find entry!

Raised Coop 32516

This coop is where chicks go after they leave the brooder, they’ll stay here until they’re ready to join the flock at about four months old.

Piper and Cookie, a Standard Cochin and Buff Silkie are the only youngsters who survived the predator ordeal three weeks ago. They are from my Fall 2015 chicks, and although integrated into the existing flock, still stick together as best pals. So happy they still have each other. They’re inseparable, they even lay their eggs together!

I’ve said in the past to keep flock members that are all about the same size to minimize bullying… but I’m kinda sorta changing my mind about that. Piper is close to seven pounds and Cookie is barely a pound, no problems with the other lightweights in the flock either. However, let’s just say it’s always a good idea to keep in mind that sometimes size does matter in the chicken world.

Cochin and Silkie Pullet 32016

Picking out my Chicks!

Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam

1st choice: Black-tailed White Japanese Bantams

I’ve never had bantams before, thought this year I might see if I can locate a few Japanese bantams.  My Pet Chicken carries them, but they are out of stock. 😦

Bantams aren’t anything special other than for their size, they are small, about half the size of a chicken.  Japanese bantams aren’t easy to find, but lately, they have been advertised on Craigslist by a private party about 30 miles from here. They most likely won’t be sexed, but I’m positive re-homing roosters of this breed will be a breeze.

delaware hen
DELAWARE

If I don’t find my pretty bantams of choice, I’m choosing the Delaware. They are available Sept. 30th from My Pet Chicken, but hopefully I can find them local, shipping is pretty spendy!

I’ve chosen this breed because I may try to hatch fertile eggs. The Delaware is a setter, and hopefully at least one of these ladies would like to be a foster mommy.

The brooder is ready, but the coop for young pullets? Well… it’s gone, I sold it, ha ha! Better get busy!

Preparing for Baby Chicks

Decisions, Decisions…

The brooder is all set up and now it’s time to decide what kind of chicks to order. October is the best time to start day old chicks here in Phoenix.  Hopefully the breeds I’m interested in will be available.  You’d think 3 months advance notice would be sufficient time for a hatchery to ship my breed preferences, but most likely, it still boils down to LUCK.

Hatcheries don’t make it easy for the little guy, they only ship minimum orders of 15 birds and most all the fancy breeds and bantams (miniature chickens) are a straight run, not sexed.  Urban chicken keepers who have city codes banning roosters avoid straight run chicks because chances are good they’ll have unwanted roosters to re-home. Feed stores sell sexed chicks, but they are rarely the fancy type such as Silkies or the Crested varieties.

I bought a straight run from Murray McMurray Hatchery a few years ago, out of 15 chicks 9 were roosters! After spending 5 months of worrying about who was a hen and who was a rooster, I ended up with only two fancy pullets on my wish list… all six roosters went on CraigsList. I didn’t learn my lesson and again bought 12 non-standard variety chicks from a private party… half turned out to be roosters.

I can however, be guaranteed all pullets (hens, females) if I order standard breed chicks,  the minimum of 15 chicks still applies. But wanting just a small flock, I’ll be able to easily sell the unwanted female chicks.  So, there are decisions to make, the breeds I pick must be marketable, and marketable means good layers of large eggs.  Good egg layers are not what fancy chickens are known for, they are often considered exhibition birds, and only fair layers of small eggs. Fancy roosters are not in demand at all, and will most likely be looking for a home with many others in the same situation.

So I must decide, do I play it safe and buy standard breed sexed chicks, or take a gamble on fancy chicks and hope I don’t get stuck with a bunch of roosters who’ll be hard to re-home. I’d like to raise Polish and Silkie Bantams, those two breeds are at the top of my wish list… both sold in a straight run only.  And, both fair layers of small white eggs.

 

 

 

If I Play it Safe…

I can order all standard bred ladies, my chicks of choice are Delawares.

This breed was founded in the state of Delaware from an original Barred Rock and New Hampshire cross. The Delaware is considered a heavy breed which lays a nice size brown egg.  Cute babies!

But, this is what I really want,  the Silkie Bantam: Fair layer, small white eggs.

It’s either or, I won’t split the order and buy both Delawares and the Bantams…. however, if I order the Silkie Bantams,  I’ll probably mix the order with  7 White or Golden Polish Crested, for resale purposes.

Golden Polish Crested