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Good breed of heirloom chickens for cold climate (Minnesota)

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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 03:02 PM
Original message
Good breed of heirloom chickens for cold climate (Minnesota)
My dad has asked me to find the best breed of chickens for establishing a flock on his farm in central Minnesota. He's mainly interested in eggs, especially brown eggs, and wanted a breed that will be as hardy as possible up here in winter. They'll have a chicken coop against one of the barns in a sheltered area, and we'll insulate it with bales of straw in the fall.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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gaspee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. RI red
Edited on Sun May-06-07 03:11 PM by gaspee
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SmokingJacket Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 03:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. I ran your questions through the Chicken Selector Tool
at My Pet Chicken and they said Sussex would be a good breed for you, and also the Barnevelder. Try it yourself!

http://www.mypetchicken.com/breedQuestions.aspx

Backyardchickens.com is another place with lots of good chicken advice.
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DKRC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
3. Here's a great place to start
Sign your Dad up for their free catalog and he can see all the different breeds he might be interested in raising. Lots of good info there.

McMurray Hatchery

We haven't lived anywhere we could have chickens in years, but still love looking at their catalog.


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galledgoblin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-07-07 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #3
13. McMurray's is fantastic
with mail order chicks, keep in mind the special shipping requirements. you'll probably have to pick them up from the post office.

long feathers are beautiful in dry weather, and those with feathers covering their feet might be slightly more comfortable walking around in the snow, but for the most part avoid hens with feathers that drag along the ground. they get muddy and miserable.
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Whit Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. I have been raising free range chickens on my small 30 ac. farm and
after trying several breeds over the last 10 yrs ...my choice is buff orpingtons.
They are healthy and lay med. brown eggs right though the winter. They are easy to clean and good eating. Not very good setters so I use a off breed for that.
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lazer47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-07-07 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. You are right on the nose
I have "buffs" and that would be my suggestion
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wellstone dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
5. If he's going to sell the eggs, be sure to put a note
in the Minnesota forum. I'm from central minnesota and would be interested.
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burf Donating Member (745 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-06-07 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Greetings from
East Otter Tail County. Where you from?

We did White Rocks a few years ago and had pretty good results.
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kjosephs Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-07-07 09:37 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Otter Tail Chickens
Hi -- West Otter Tail County here -- Pelican Rapids -- looking for a first-time chicken success. I may try the white rocks. Any idea where to pick up locally? Thx -- KJ
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. I'm currently living in Dakota County
My dad's farm is on the border of Stearns and Morrison County, north of St. Cloud.

Funny you should mention Rock chickens, I was just talking to some of my dad's neighbors about their Barred Rock's a few days ago, and they had nothing but good to say about them.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-07 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
9. Barred Rocks are heirloom, brown eggs, good layers. Website for heirlooms
Plymouth Rocks that are barred were rare, now recovering (beware industrial ones, pump them out fast, though they are good egg layers and might be a way to start a flock, work on it over the yrs). We have some Brahmas, a bit bigger, friendly nice birds, well feathered and lay decent amounts of brown eggs. We got these originally because they were described as the "labrador retriever of chickens", sort of doofusy but they have character, size, fluffiness and are nice, gentle and friendly. http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/poultry/chickens/brahma/ind...

But, go to this website for good heirloom info. http://www.albc-usa.org /
I got that website from this one: http://www.danielleconger.com/Homeschool/Ppoultry.html
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-08-07 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Here's my favorite site for fowl:
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html

I currently have a mixed flock, with the following:

Buff Orpingtons
Australorps
"Easter Egg" hens (mixed breed that lays green eggs)
An australorp/wyandotte cross
An orpington wyandotte cross

I got rid of my wyandotte hens last fall; my roosters were really rough on them. The crosses are two that my broody hen hatched out last summer.

All of my hens lay well and do well in the winter; it gets very cold here. Our low for the winter was -4, and we spend a lot of time with nights in single digits and days in twenties, never thawing out. My roosters sometimes get some freezing on their bigger combs.

The Orpingtons are my best all-round for size, eggs, and disposition, with the australorps close behind.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-06-07 06:12 PM
Response to Original message
12. "heirloom breeds" for cold weather:
Many good suggestions so far, but if "heirloom" is important, you might try the Dominique:

It's one of the oldest breeds in America, is currently rated "watch" with the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. It does well in cold weather.



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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-13-07 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. Chantecler
Bred specifically for cold tolerance, winter laying. Come in many attractive colors. Rare breed.
http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGA/Chant/BRKChantic...
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