HillCroft Heritage Farm

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What are they good for?

Posted by Simon & Shelley on January 26, 2011 at 7:23 PM

Birds that are good egg layers are often not good meat producers! However, heritage breeds are not genetically engineered to be specialized and so lay eggs as well are produce tender, delicious meat.


Columbian (picture) are solid egg layers and all round meat birds making them an ideal multi-purpose breed.


Leghorns are kept for egg production. They lay white eggs. They are able to forage for themselves and so are good for free range situations, although they do not go broody as well as some of the other breeds. Basically this means that they are not good about hatching their eggs if you want to raise chicks on your homestead. They also don't produce alot of meat.


Bantams lay tiny eggs which are often colorful pastels. These birds are small and make good pets or show birds for children.


Plymouth Rock is a heritage breed. As with most heritage breeds you will find that it is multipurpose. It is a good egg layer, a good brood hen, and produces a fair amount of meat. It is a docile breed.


Rhode Island Red - another heritage breed that is dual purpose and lays abundant numbers of eggs and is probably one of the best dual purpose breeds for a small homestead.


Delawares are excellent egg layers, a good dual purpose breed. They are listed as critical on the American Livestock Conservancy list.


Holland, another breed on the critical list. This is currently one of the rarest of the heritage breeds and one of the few that lays white eggs.


Wyandottes are not particularly rare, however they are a heritage breed.


Silkies are so cute moderate egg layers provide specialist meat rarely used in the West and tend to be very good for hatching as they go broody quite easily.

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