Saturday, September 26, 2015

Chicken Breeds Illustrated

I have 5 different chicken breeds in our flock.  Three of them are shown here.
From the top,
Production Red, a cross between Rhode Island Reds, and White Leghorns (remember Foghorn Leghorn of cartoon fame? He was a white Leghorn). Production Reds are bred for heavy production of very large eggs consistently.

Plymouth Rock, an old heritage breed, solid white, like your grandmother or great grandmother might have raised.

Light Brahma, these are also an older breed, very large and heavy, and supposedly good for winter egg laying when ither breeds slow down.  This will be mynfirst time trying this breed, so we will find out. My teo roostees are both Brahmas, nice boys so far, and very good to the hens, finding bits of food on the ground and calling the hens over, racing to protect them if a hen calls a distress call. So far they are totally non agressive to us.

I also have New Hampshire Reds, and Black Australorps, which I think are by far the prettiest, but also the hardest to get to pose for the camera.

You can see the differences in comb type, some large, some small.  A smaller comb is generally better for cold weather climates, as those little points can get frostbite.

Here is a little known fact.  You can tell what color eggs a chicken will lay by their earlobe.  What? Chickens have earlobes?
Here you can see an earlobe, the red comb-like structure right where you would expect an earlobe to be on the side of her face. Her actual ear is a hole covered by fine feathers right above the earlobe.

So, if a hen has red earlobes, she will lay brown eggs, or in the case of certain special breeds, colored eggs in shades of blue or green. If her earlobe is white, she will lay white eggs. This girl lays brown eggs.

Now go impress someone with this bit of trivia this week!

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