We raise Barred Rock and Light Sussex. We also raise a crossbred that are sexable at hatching. The boys hatch out black with a yellows spot on their head and we raise them for meat. They are not double breasted like the broilers or cornish are, but they make a very decent boy averaging around 7 lbs butchered. The females hatch out all black and are raised for egg production. They start laying younger, at around 4.5 to 5 months of age. The Barred Rock and Light Sussex are sold as straight run only. We sell eating eggs, hatching eggs, and chicks, but shipping is a problem due to our location. Occasionally we will have started chicks as well.
Barred Plymouth Rock
Notice the white feather on the roosters tail? Immediate disqualification. However, he is the sweetest roo. He had really good size too.
If you look close you will see two barred rock hens. The other one in the upper right side is on a nest.
One of the original small backyard chickens developed in New England in the 19th century. They are a dual purpose bird, being good for both meat and eggs. Eggs are a light to medium brown with a pinkish hew to them. The Barred Rocks are consistent with their laying, and their eggs are a bit smaller, averaging a large egg rather then an extra large egg. They all winter very well, even putting on weight in our harsh winters. We have had our barred rocks hatch out clutches of chicks consistently every time. The roosters are known for being a bit aggressive, but as with our other birds, we do not accept that. Our barred rocks are production lines only and although we do get hens that would be fit for show, we do not show them.
It is not uncommon for miner frost bite to happen to the comb over winter. I have never had fertility issues.
One of our hens.
Light Sussex was one of the original dual purpose birds raised in Britain, where they used them for meat and eggs, we do the same here. The Light Sussex tend to start laying in the spring a bit later then the Barred Rock, but only by about two weeks. The eggs are a pinkish brown color and they are large, about the same size as the Barred Rock. The roosters can be temperamental, but we don't put up with it and they end up in the pot. The hens tend to be very laid back and lay well most of the year. The birds are not show quality, but we do breed only the best of them each year, so they are improving over time.
We butcher these roosters every fall and use them as our primary meat chicken.
These hens make excellent layers.
These crossbred chickens are very easy to tell apart at hatching. The males hatch a different color than the females. This is called sexlink. In this case, it is a black sexlink. The females hatch out pure black and the males are black with a white spot on the head. As adults, the hens will be black with varying amounts of coloring on the necks. The hens are also the first to start laying at 4.5 to 5 months old and usually lay throughout their first winter with lights. The roosters will look remarkably like a barred rock, so keeping them separate from barred breeding flocks is a must. When people want chickens in town, this is usually the bird I suggest. They are usually quiet and they can raise the chickens from chicks and get the full experience without having to deal with roosters when they are older.
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