Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Useful dual purpose birds...
The Holy Grail!
Yes: a chicken that lays a sufficient number of eggs for the hens to be economically viable to keep, but that also keeps a household supplied with meat in the form of spare cockerels.
There are unfortunately very few seriously utility bred purebreds around in Australia. So I've been trying to make my own.
The recipe is fairly simple: take a batch of straight leghorn hens (utility preferred, but most show bred leghorns still have a reasonable egg laying ability) or other high-level laying types. Then stick them with a Malay game rooster, the gentle giant of the chook world.
Unlike an Indian game (the meat bird of choice for home breeding), Malay games don't have much trouble treading the hens, and so fertility is generally not an issue. Unfortunately it can be a big gamble with Indian games (cornish).
Now, having made these grand claims, I have to be honest and admit that my chicks are only 3 weeks old, so the experiment is far from over. I'll let you know how they're shaping up at 6 weeks of age.
Posted by Erica Bandanna at 6:53 PM