Heritage Breed Chickens

Kricklewood Farm Heritage Chickens

We have a flock of heritage breed chickens which we buy as day old chicks, primarily egg layers so that we may offer eggs for sale at the farm gate.  They are mostly considered dual purpose breeds as opposed to some of the modern egg breeds and meat breeds which have been selected for one or the other.

The reasons to keep heritage breeds are many.  One of them is to help keep the gene pool going.   As is the case with most aspects of modern agriculture, the number of varieties has dwindled significantly over the past century.

Another reason to keep heritage breeds is that they produce an amazing varieties of egg colours with shades of beige, from chocolate brown to an  almost pink with some speckling to add more interest.  My favourite is the green egg layer which range in shades of robin’s egg blue to what I would call a light fern green.

The varieties of feather colours and patterns also add interest. Colours range from white and buff to black with every colour in between also represented.   Bands of colour  and differences in the size and texture of feathers are interesting to note.  The cochins with their feathered feet are always a nice addition to any flock.

The heritage breeds also tend to be calmer and easier to handle so they are good for those interested in keeping a small flock.

Some the breeds we keep include Orpingtons, Ameraucanas, Brahmas, Wyandottes and Faverolles.

 

 

 

18 thoughts on “Heritage Breed Chickens

  1. Sue Anne Stephenson

    We have a small group of 11 laying hens now. They have a beautiful home to live in and they sometimes free range and if not, they have two large runs to be outside. We have a mixture of Plymouth Rocks, Red Sex Link, New Hampshire X. We are looking to expand our group and want to add some more exotic looking hens. Do you sell any? Do you recommend a certain breed to be hardy for Ontario? We are located just west of London, Ontario. (south western Ontario). Any information you could give me, with you expertise and experience, would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Sue Anne Stephenson

  2. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hello Sue Anne, Thanks very much for your posting, we are no means experts but we have come to know some hatcheries that specialize in heritage and rare breeds. One is Performance Poultry, located near Belleville which is more eastern Ontario but I know they do ship almost anywhere. Luckily your climate means that most standard heavy breeds will be fine through the winter if you have good draft-free housing. If you go to their site and go under poultry and then standard-heavy breeds you will see many examples. One is the Wyandotte which has gold and silver varieties, both very beautiful.

    You may also want to consider the Chantecler, the only Canadian variety which was developped in Oka, Quebec by monks to survive Canadian winters.

    The main thing to look for is small combs as that is what tends to get cold and frost-bite in bad weather.

    Hope this helps and thanks again for your posting!

    Dale Horeczy

  3. Sonny Edwards

    Hi Dale, just wondering if you sell fertilized eggs? I would like to get some gold laced wynadotte and some chanticleer eggs to hatch for early January. Would like pullets to be laying by early summer. Alot of hatcheries don’t sell eggs until early spring so I’m looking for someone local to get some eggs from now. Let me know. Thanks
    Sonny Edwards

  4. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hi Sonny,

    Thanks for your inquiry about fertilized eggs. Unfortunately we are not able to help you out with this as our chickens are not segregated by variety so when we collect eggs we’re not able to say this egg is from that particular variety and if it’s fertile which rooster is the one. We do keep heritage varieties but not really involved with breeding.

    Dale

  5. Nicola

    Hey there!
    Hope this finds you well. =)
    Do you know anyone who is selling heritage pullets!?
    Thanks,
    Nicola

  6. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hello, Thanks for your inquirey. No chanteclers available at the moment, we do have some Buff Orpingtons from May 1st hatch. How many were you looking for? Where are you located?

    Dale

  7. Tim Schaefer

    hello,

    Im looking for gold and silver laced Orpingtons Do you have any or do you know of anybody that does?
    780-835-0071
    please and thank you

  8. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hello, Thanks for your email. To be honest, I didn’t even know such a bird existed until you asked but I googled it and now I want some too! Unfortunately we don’t have any and not aware of anyone in the area who has them. I can do a posting on a local facebook group and see what comes back. I assume you are in Alberta? We’re in Ontario near Ottawa so shipping might not be cheap. Dale

  9. Allison

    I’ve been trying to source Wyandotte pullets in eastern Ontario with little success so far. Do you have or know of anywhere? Long shot I know, but appreciate your advice.
    Allison

  10. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hi Allison, Thanks for contacting us regarding Wyandotte pullets – they are one of my favourite breeds. Where are you located exactly? If you are on Facebook there is are a few poultry and livestock groups that might be a good source. You can send a message to our page (https://www.facebook.com/KricklewoodFarm/) and I can send you some links to the groups. If you aren’t on Facebook, I can do some posting on your behalf and see what I can come up with. We actually get our Wyandottes as day olds from a hatchery near Belleville, called Performance Poultry. If you want to order for Spring, they will be taking orders soon.

  11. Andrew Little

    I am interested in raising a few backyard chickens. I need some info on cost to buy and raising expenses. I only want to start with eating chickens to start with. I am thinking around 12 woild be a good start. I live in the country, so no need to seperate sexes. 514-686-4379

  12. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hi Andrew, Thanks for contacting us about raising backyard chickens. As far as needing info on cost to buy and and raising expenses, the biggest outlay would be for predator proof housing and fencing. Day old chicks cost under $5 each and grain to feed them is about $20 a bag which goes a long way. If they are free ranging then they need even less grain. If you are on Facebook I would suggest joining a poultry group like “Poultry Gone Wild Buy and Sell Ottawa Valley”. This one is eastern Ontario but you can find a group in your own area. There is also a great website ‘Backyard Chickens’ http://www.backyardchickens.com/ and they have a whole section on coop with some plans: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/sunrise-chicks-chicken-coop-plans-and-progress-pictures

    As far as sourcing chicks, there are many hatcheries that place orders through local feed stores. If you have a feed store nearby, talk to them to see what they will have in the Spring as they will be taking orders soon.

    Whereabouts do you live and how much acreage do you have?

    Best regards,

    Dale Horeczy

  13. Asim

    Hi there,

    My Name is Asim .I am looking for some chicks for my backyard Asap for myself and for my kids this spring .I would really appreciate if you can help me or giude me to someone who can help me . I live in brampton.ontario.

    Thank you

  14. Dale Horeczy Post author

    Hi Asim,

    Thanks for contacting us about chicks for your backyard. We don’t sell chicks directly but if you are near a TSC store or feed store they usually do chick orders from the local hatcheries. Or you can contact one of the hatcheries directly and see where the closest location to you. Frey’s is one of them. (http://www.freyshatchery.com/). We buy our day olds from Performance Poultry (http://www.performancepoultry.com/index.php) and they also do mail order. I might also suggest you look at the Ontario Poultry group called Poultry Talk (http://www.poultrytalkontario.net/site/index.php) and they have listings for breeders as well. If you need info about breeds, coops and so on, Backyard Chickens is very helpful too. (http://www.backyardchickens.com/). Hope this helps, good luck with the chicks! Dale

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