We have enjoyed all the chicks very much and now they are becoming teenagers. We are evaluating what we have learned about each breed.
The Buckeyes were my choice and I am very pleased over all. They are very interesting chickens. They are a breed listed as 'Threatened' by the ALBC and that means there are less than 1000 registrations in a year in the US with less than 5000 worldwide.
They are a lovely color..deep mahogany with iridescent tails on the roosters. They have pea combs and are suited to most climates.
This is the description from the ALBC Website.
The Buckeye is a dual-purpose breed of chicken with a deep, lustrous red color of plumage. They have yellow legs and skin, and, thanks to their pea comb, are very cold-weather hardy. While Buckeyes adapt readily to a variety of living conditions, they do best under free-range conditions or conditions where they have room to move around. Because of their active nature they do not do especially well in small confined spaces. Roosters weigh approximately nine pounds; hens weigh approximately six and a half pounds and lay medium-sized, brown eggs.
We noticed right away that the Buckeye chicks, although not nervous were extremely observant and active. They never stopped moving until they literally dropped mid run into nap mode.
We did have pecking problems when they got bigger, mostly due to the fact the Buckeyes did not back down at all and always seemed to pick fights with the bigger Australorpe chicks. We called them the Kungfu-Kick boxers. In retrospect we would not keep both these breeds together as growing chicks. Now they are nearly adults they are fine but the aggressive nature of the Buckeye caused more trouble than milder chicks would have.
They took to going outside exceptionally well. They forage and started to show that behavior when we first let them outside, they were always the chicks at the furthest end of the pen and now they range all over the place and thrive on the pasture and activity of free range. The showed the Australorpes the way around the pasture and the Buckeyes were also the first to eat the table scraps.
We often remarked at how they never walk, they run full speed from place to place and just check everything they see out.
They are not pet chickens. However they are very friendly chickens. If we are doing something in the yard they will come around to see whats up and when we work in the tobacco barn there are often Buckeyes laying near by. Picking them up.....well they seem to think that is plain old sissy stuff.
3 Month Old Buckeye Cockerel.
We still have to find out how suited to the table these birds are, we ordered straight run and right now it looks like we have about 60% roosters. Then we have to evaluate the laying ability and broodiness of the hens.
It is going to be interesting to watch them develop further. We have to admit we are looking forward to our first roast Buckeye.
God Bless you all.