At Sleepy Creek Farm, we know it is spring when it's time to hatch out chicks! We are constantly trying out a new breed of chicken - there are so many kinds and colors to choose from! One year it will be Barred Rocks and the next will be Leghorns; Spring 2013 will be bringing on a batch of Buff Orpingtons. We like Cornish Cross for fast-growing meat but are steering away from breeds that can't be reproduced the old-fashioned way: with a hen and a rooster. And what can be more fun than watching your own farm-grown eggs transform into live "cheepers"?
The Overlooked Leghorn
Many backyard poultry raisers pass up the Leghorn hen because they are the 'white egg' chicken. What they do not realize is that the white egg from a Leghorn which has been fed a wholesome diet of natural feeds will taste every bit as good as any brown egg from the farm! Leghorn hens are incredibly prolific layers that will keep you in the egg business all winter long when the other girls have quit. They can also be reproduced the natural way - with a hen and a rooster! Leghorns do have a short life - three years is exceptional - but that alone is a blessing in disguise because you are not tempted to keep an old, non-productive biddy around due to sentiment. Their lovely white eggs add that bit of artistic flair when arranged with the pretty shades of reds and browns from a mixed backyard flock.
Buff Orpingons - Solid Gold!
Buff Orpingotn chickens are a beautiful all-purpose poultry breed. The hens reach about 8 pounds and lay big, brown eggs. Roosters can be up to 10 pounds and make excellent fryers when culled before their first molt. The Orpington chicken comes in other color varieties but the Buffs are most popular. They tend to have calm dispositions and reproduce naturally on their own. Buff Orpingtons are a great bird for those seeking self sufficiency. You can hatch out your own chicks, send the males to Freezer Camp and either keep or sell the pullets as layers.