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Changes for 2023

Every year I “tweak” the way things are run with chick hatching. Mostly that is getting some new breeds and getting rid of other breeds. In 2023, I am planning to cut back on the numbers of chicks I hatch for sale. Most of my flocks are smaller now and will produce fewer eggs than last year. I want to concentrate more on my genetics work to create new color varieties. For anyone wanting new and unique birds for their flocks, I will often have surplus chicks with great genetic variation.

Breeds that are new in 2023

In 2022, I added several new breeds of chickens, plus my first geese. After expanding my flocks, I should have these to sell in 2023:

  • Ayam cemani – these chickens are almost mythical. All black, and I mean completely black. Their blood is red and their eggs are normal (light brown), but everything else is jet black – eyes, skin,combs,wattles,flesh, even their bones. These are prized for their meat in some Asian cultures, but are really just pet chickens, IMO.
  • Ayam ketawa – the Laughing Chicken. These are close to wild jungle fowl in appearance and behavior. Rooster’s laugh is supposed to sound like laughter. Haven’t found that to be true in my flock yet.
  • True Blue Opal Legbars – Previous years, the Opal Legbar chicks could end up laying light brown eggs instead of blue. Because of breakthroughs in genetic blood tests, I hope to use only roosters with 2 copies of the blue egg gene, guaranteeing that their daughters will lay blue eggs.
  • Sexlinked Ameraucanas in black and lavender – These are the culmination of years of genetic work to overcome the greatest drawback of standard bred Ameraucanas – they are not sexable at hatch. These sexlinks are sexable, and they are pure Ameraucanas. Blacks are easily sexed, lavenders a bit harder, but still sexable at a much younger age than the Ameraucanas I used to sell as straight run only.
  • Sexlinked Olive Eggers – These were new in 2022. What is new this year is that I am using Copper Marans instead of lavender Marans for the black sexlinks. Hopefully that will produce darker green eggs.
  • Lavender Olive Egger project – Unique line of autosexing lavender birds that lay medium brown or olive colored eggs. Project is still not complete, but offering some of these for sale for the first time. They are Welsummers that contain genes for sexlinked barring (making them autosexing) and lavender, as well as some having a copy of the blue egg gene making their eggs dark green.
  • Jumbo Coturnix quail – 2 color varieties and a sexlinked hybrid of the 2 for those interested in raising all females for egg production
  • Shetland ducks – a lightweight egg layer breed that is calmer than the Campbells and Welsh Harlequins I have raised in past years. They are also super rare, so having more people keep flocks of these is a help in conserving them.
  • Hybrid laying ducks – I am taking hints from Metzer’s hatchery. They sell a hybrid duck called a Golden 300. They don’t say what they use to create the hybrid, but looking at the pictures, it seems pretty obvious that they are using Khaki Campbell drakes over Blue or Black Swedish hens. The Campbells are top-notch layers, but much too nervous for my taste. My flock of Shetland ducks are much calmer, more like the Swedish breed, but lighter in weight, and a result, probably better and more efficient layers, so why not use them instead of Swedish? I recently obtained some nice looking Khaki drakes and will be pairing them with some of the Shetland ducks. This will be a new cross, so no track record here, but if you are looking for locally bred laying ducks, I think these may be just the ticket. My goal with this hybrid are ducks that look like, and lay like, pure Khaki Campbells, but have a calmer disposition. Oh, and as a bonus, the ducklings are sex-linked, males will be black and females will be khaki (brown).
  • Pilgrim geese – Autosexing geese. These are medium sized and a very practical breed if you want to try adding geese to your flock. Goslings that are hand reared become deeply imprinted on humans. Geese are often used for protection of other birds. They are large and can be intimidating for the smaller predators.

Breeds that are being retired in 2023

This will be the last year I have these chicks available. I would love to find a local breeder to take over supplying these chicks. Contact me if you are interested.

  • Lavender Marans (keeping Copper Marans)
  • Lavender Cochin bantams (keeping mottled frizzles)