Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

February 12, 2008

Minorcas and Leghorns

Well I made up my mind. I'd say we, but really it was me. As long as the family gets the white eggs, I get the birds. I looked into rare breeds, to try and see if they were something that I want. I know there are a lot of good reasons to get the rare/heritage breeds, but I chose these two for a couple of reasons. First of all, our primary purpose for getting chickens in the first place is for eggs. We're pretty pragmatic about that fact. As much as I could reason that the heritage breeds need the help, and I'm sure they are very good pets, if we're only going to be allowed 5 birds, we want producers. Later on when I have more land and more time, I'll indulge myself.

The two that I did settle on, actually three, are Black and Buff Minorcas, and Leghorns; particularly "Ideal 236 Pullet". Ideal 236 is a special breed of Leghorn that breed in the 60's by the company that I am ordering my chicks from. (More on them later.) I am getting three of the Leghorns, and one each of the black and the buff minorcas, I'm getting the different types because I just like the idea of having a little variety in the clutch. I figure one black and one buff (Tan) bird will break up the monochromatic white of the leghorns, and they are also supposed to be prolific layers of white eggs as well.
So next I need to figure out how to set up a brooder to keep chicks in for the first few weeks. Anyone have any good ideas? I'll probably just use a cardboard box with a heat lamp and feed and water. As they grow, I can add a second one if need be.

I have a question for my readers that do have chickens or are experienced with them. I heard the other day that one of the hens, in the absence of a rooster, will take on the role of a rooster and "rule the roost" but will not lay eggs. I don't know about this one way or the other. Any help?
Till next time

White Leghorn Picture - http://content.answers.com
Black Minorca Picture - http://www.mypetchicken.com


Laura said...

Congrats on your birds! Sounds like you'll have a nice assortment. A box and heatlamp should do just fine. I've got all hens and while there's definitely usually a top bird, I haven't a problem with that bird stopping laying. Every flock is different though...

Anonymous said...

I have heard the same thing. That one hen may actually crow, stop laying and actually try mounting hens, but as I've always had a rooster I've never witnessed it first hand. I did have a pair of hamburgs, that were kind of loners from the rest of flock. They were nervous, flighty and preferred they're own company. One of those birds took on male characteristics, larger bird, larger comb and quit laying. But, upon butchering it appeared that the bird also seemed to have a bit of both sexes in her. SO maybe that kind of thing only happens to the rare bird that already has a hormonal/physical difference?

We had rhode island red hens when I was growing up and I never noticed any sex change happen among the girls.

Congrats on your decision. So....when's the big day?! :)

Susan Och said...

There is always a pecking order. There is always a bossy hen and one who only eats when everyone else is done. They start working this out at a young age. I read recently that the shape of the comb determines who is boss; an upright comb will always have more status than a rose comb, but I've always had both sorts and didn't have problems. We did have a few Polish birds, once, and they got picked on a lot.

I've never had Minorcas, but leghorns are nice, pretty birds, a little skittish.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 hens. One is definately dominant, but she still lays.

On another note... I don't know how big your family is but you are going to have eggs coming out of your ears!

Because hens are only really productive for a few years, I've heard of city dwellers trying to stagger the age of their flock. For example if the limit is five, start with 3 then add 2 next year or the year after.


P~ said...

Thanks everyone for for your feedback!
L~ I was hoping to hear from you on this, since I didn't think you had a rooster, and could give me a good perspective.

FM~ Hmm? Interesting, My neighbor is getting Reds, I have heard that they are great layers. Keep checking in, they could be coming soon.

S~ I;ve heard the same about Leghorns, but we are hoping to hand train them to not be so skiddish with our boys, We'll see I guess.

C~ Our Family is five, with a 10, 11, and 12 year old boys and we all love eggs and the wife bakes a lot. Extra eggs are allways welcome at the neighbors house I bet. As far as rotating hens in, the ordinance change proposed contains an exception for "dependant young." so I should be able to raise a replacement for any birds that are getting older.

chuck said...

Hello new to this place live in syracuse was wondering about the ordinance and when it will be in effect and how many chickens we will be able to have? Right now i have about thirty cotournix quail also wondering what the are laws are pertaining to them any input would be welcome.Or direct me where i can get information on the laws regarding the sale of their eggs? thanks

chuck said...

Hello again: when i got my quail i went down to walmart and bought some rubbermaid tubs clear ones about 30"or 36" long and about 18" ro 20" deep cut an area out on the lids and screwed either hardware cloth or a thin grill wire you can find in walmart also in the BBQ section cut it out on one end so you can put then heat lamp on the wire and if the chicks get too hot they can move away from the heat a 250 watt bulb is too hot at that close i used a regular 100 watt bulb and it kept right around 95-100 deg and you can move it up or down to regulate the heat also use screws and nuts to hold the wire down so their are know sharp ends to poke the chicks heads i also used pine shavings on the bottom so they can walk without sliding non slip shelving cloth works well also

P~ said...

The Ordinance is up for public comments on Mar 4, and should be voted on by the city counsel the following Tuesday. I hope you'll try to make it out on March 4th and add some input. As for the current laws regarding your quail, I would call Syracuse city and ask for Judy, she has been very helpful to me.
Glad to have you here. Don't be a stranger. By the way, how did you find me?

Anonymous said...

I have 21 hens and three roosters. One is a Leghorn, one is a Bantie and the third is a Plymouth Rock. The Leghorn rules the roost. I have a very large coop and a pasture which is fenced and cross fenced. I bought my hens on Feb. 21 2008 and they have not started to lay. The Plymouth Rock has just found his voice. Any advice on what may be missing for my hens to begin laying?

P~ said...

Well anonymous, I'd say patience is the only thing missing. I asked the very same question of Laura at urbanhennery.com and got the same answer. I'd say you should start getting eggs by or before next weekend. Mine hit their 20 week mark on the 7th and started laying on the 12th. If yours were bornon the 20th, they should've hit 20 weeks yesterday. Make sure they always have clean cool water and access to food, and you should get eggs. If your birds are always out in a pasture, the eggs may be hiding out there. If they first lay in the field, you may have to move hidden eggs into the laying boxes where you want them to lay to "instruct them". Good luck and please keep me posted, I'm curious as to how close I guessed?