Deciding to keep chickens is of course one of the easiest of decisions to make. However, deciding which breed you want to keep is an altogether different matter, especially when, like us we visited many breeders, and were faced with so much to choose from it was difficult not to want them all.. and in fairness we did in fact buy
one of each of the hybrid breeds all those years ago to provide us with what most people want chickens for.... EGGS! :)
Choosing A Breed To Suit You...
It is sad that the girls shown above are no longer with us, but on reflection it was
these wonderful girls that gave us the first look and experiences with keeping chickens and allowed us to progress further with introducing the many different smaller Bantam Breeds that we keep today. We still keep hybrids for their wonderful character... six lovely Goldbelles (available from us from Day Old Autosexed - see Hybrid section below) which supply us and many of our
neighbours with lovely fresh eggs.
Over thousands of years Chickens have been established through selected breeding for a good many reasons... Lay more eggs, faster growing, more meat produced, calmer nature, different coloured eggs and resistance to diseases. Below we have hopefully simplified the basics of what you need to know about various type breed to give you an idea of what you are looking for.... we of course breed Bantam Breeds, but are they what you are looking for?
You Choose :)
We have several types of Hybrids which are auto sexed at Day
Old. This enables you to purchase these from a young age with the eventual advantage of having some great laying hens, but also the added bonus
of watching them grow up.
Tel/Text: 07838 928470
These are the most commonly chosen as they are not in fact a breed but those
that have been chosen from crossing two purebreeds to be produced for reasons which we have already mentioned above and their increased health and
productivity. They are bred as random because breeding two purebred breeds means there is no knowing what you will get!
These birds are then used for that particular trait/s alone... i.e they are not
used as breeding stock but for a means to supply. Hybrids are also known as
'Dual Purpose Breeds', 'Eggs Layers' (they do not go broody to hatch chicks and so produce more eggs per year) and 'Meat Breeds'.
Belle Hybrid Breeds:
These are chickens that have been bred to similar chickens which have then maintained colour, size shape and traits of their parents. Purebreeds are bred for showing purposes or to provide a 'prettier' chicken in the garden. Although there are over 200 breeds of existing chickens with their many colour variations less than half are common breeds which are kept from extinction by breeders such as ourselves to keep the breed alive.
At Belle Bantams UK we breed Pure Bred True, Rare & Ornamental Bantams.
These are housed separately to keep to their true breed, characteristic and
colour. We hatch throughout the year providing Day Old's, Growers and POL.
For Hatching Eggs from the above see: Belle Barn - Hatching Eggs
The term 'strain' is used when a breeder has a particular strain that he/she feels
that his/her particular stock should look. This can be for both purbreeds and
hybrid types. These strains can be for a hardier, more colourful or even a
different size of that particular stock. The strains produced by these individual companies or breeders are often named and are offered in large numbers and
may be available in a number of different strains.
A mutation is a 'difference' in the bird from which it was bred from. This can
be a different in character, behaviour, size and colour. These are sometimes seen as a good result and this mutation then becomes a named breed with careful breeding. Mutations are caused by natural genetics becoming rearranged by accident. Mutations can also be a bad thing or completely unimportant.
This is the 'Mongrel' chicken section whereby the type, original breed, size, colour etc is not known and can be a mixture of many previous breeds. This generally occurs when a hobbyist or breeder who has many different
purebreeds allows them to roam together and therefore breed which in turn
will produce these Mixed Breeds.
Having mixed breeds is a super way to start if you are just looking to keep chickens, however should one of them have a particular look, colour, size or characteristic that you like it would be very difficult to repeat it due to the unknown background of the chicken itself.
Still not sure, or would like to ask us a question....
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