Traditional Utility Breeds
Hens and Ducks (plus Quail and Bantams)
I keep a small number of breeds, concentrating on Barnevelders and
Barnebars and breeding them for dual-purpose utility. I also have Cream Legbars, for their pretty, blue-green egg and Salmon Faverolles, which lay tinted eggs and are dual purpose utility birds.
I also keep Pekin bantams, as they make good broodies for either hatching or fostering chicks and will sometimes have some available for sale.
I believe that the preservation of 'traditional' breeds of poultry is very important, particularly varieties that are classed as 'utility breeds' - ie, are kept for either or both egg production and meat production. Since the advent of 'hybrid' layers and broiler chickens a few decades ago, 'traditional' breeds are increasingly becoming 'rare' breeds and the strains that
survive are often bred for their looks rather than their usefulness. I feel that it's really important to keep as wide-a gene pool as possible going.
Traditional utility breeds will not lay as much as a purpose-bred laying hybrid in it's first year. But hybrids are often 'spent' by the time they are two years old (which is why 'ex-battery' hens are dumped when they start to moult after twelve months). A traditional utility hen will live longer and be productive over a longer time. For example, I have a five year old hen who is still layed reasonably well last summer, in between raising two broods of chicks for me. She moulted in October and came back in to lay; and I expect to be able to use her as a broody this summer, too.
The Small Print
Eggs will be labelled 'Fragile' and sent in a polystyrene
egg-travelling box, additionally wrapped to help protect them from
shocks if the parcel is dropped .
I feel that this gives the yolks a better chance of staying
intact during the journey and the best chance of hatching - although
the polyboxes are very good at keeping the shells whole, there is a
theory that any shocks to the box are transferred directly to the
inside of the egg. Wrapping the box in an extra layer is supposed to
help prevent that.
If you hatch cockerels and don't want to keep them, I will
take them back and cull them, but no refund will be made.
Eggs will be less than seven days old when they arrive with
you. I check fertility regularly through the season but as always when
eggs have been through the postal system, fertility cannot be
All the information and photos on this website is © Cheryl Arvidson 2010. You may reproduce it so long as you credit me and link back.