The downsides of experimentation
After some experimentation, Mark and I settled on Black Australorps
as the breed that best fits our farm. But then last spring I thought to
myself, "I'd really like to try a few more types of chickens that I've
never raised before." And so a mixed flock of Australorps, Buff
Orpingtons, Dominiques, Rhode Island Reds, and New Hampshire Reds showed
up on our farm.
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new breeds drive me nutty. Dominiques are so flighty...that they end up
in the garden. Buff Orpingtons are so people-oriented...that they end
up in the garden. Rhode Island Reds --- well, I'm not sure what they
are...but they end up in the GARDEN.
We put three bad hens in
the tractor last fall to deal with that issue, then I pushed everyone
else into the woods where they mostly behaved for the rest of the
winter. Now that I'm turning the flock back onto pasture, though, renegades are getting clipped. In case you're curious, the two renegades so far have been a Dominique and a Buff Orpington.
Which is the long version of why a box of layer chicks
came in the mail last week and the birds inside all looked exactly the
same. While it's probably unfair to the New Hampshires (who have yet to
cause any problems), I've decided to stick to the breed that has proven
itself multiple times over the past decade --- my favored Australorps.
Homesteading word to the wise: if it ain't broke, don't fix it.