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The Search June 11, 2009

Posted by Tamara in A little history.
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Well, after we moved to East TN about a year later we were starting to look for a home site to build on.  So it was only natrual I started looking for a breed that I wanted to raise.  At this time I was on the Homesteading Today forum and they have a poultry section so that is where I began.  From there I did a net search for chicken forum and found the Coop but it was too much on gentics and it was not what I needed at the time.  Then I came upon Backyard Chickens forum which fit the bill.  It covered all areas of poutlry from hatching to butchering and all the different hobby styles from show to pet.  So I started there with alot of my reading.  *You can find the links to these site in my link section.

After doing much reading a checking Hendersons Chicken Chart I decided to narrow things down a bit.  There are so many breeds out there it can get overwhelming at first.  So after reading my site for a month I made a list of what I really wanted in a chicken breed.  First off I became enamored with the thought of preserving a breed so went to ALBC and SPPA to see what was on those lists.  Well that narrow down a bit but not enough.  Since I wanted standard that took off any bantams and since i was planning on free ranging they had to be a certain weight/size.  Later I decided I only wanted to work with american heritage breed so that really narrowed it down.  This is where it got real tough.

Now I had a dozen or so breeds to pick from and colrs in some were multi.  Well, I did not want a breed with a state name ( some strange personal quirk with me) so that took out those like RIR, NH, JG and Delawares.  I really feel in love with the Gold Lace Wyandottes so that was my first choice. 

When we bought our property and house and while we waited for it to be finished I picked up a issue of Backyard Poultry Magazine at the local TSC.  It was the issue that featured the Java.  Well I decided I wanted to help with that so there went the GLW as I only wanted to work with one breed.  After we moved in and I got my computer back up and running I joined the Java list.  Since I now new what our property was like and after reading alot more of predators and such I changed my mind once again.  One must realize there were months in between these picks.

So out came the list once again with size being at the top and color also.  I then found the Speckled Sussex and almost chose that breed but because it was not american i passed it by.  GLW came back up but I wanted one more pound to my breed if i could for safty sake.  I know it would not make much differenace but at the time that what I thought it would.  So knowing our winters are not that cold single comb chickens were fine.  I wanted a pattern bird for the camo abilty so the partridge color seemed like a good choice and so did the Plymouth Rock.  So it was my final choice after 2 years of studying.  I even had my hatchery picked it was going to be Meyers in OH. 

By  the time I was ready to get chicks Meyers was not carrying that breed.  Oh no what was I going to do now pick another breed I guess.  Well, then things got tuff with gas so high and my hubby’s hours getting cut so I had to put off buying chicks.   6months or so later while on BYC forum in our state thread I made friends with a new person to the state that like on the other side of town.  Since we both had snakes I told Lisa that I had snake food that I was breeding and if she need a rat I would be glad to help her out.  Well, she did and I met her and her hubby and while we were talking she mention one of our localfeed stores (we have 6 of them) was ordering chicks.  Well, this feed store is close to my home and I passed it on the way home from meeting her.  So I stopped in as it was one of my favorite store since the sold plants also.  last year I bought alot of roses there.

Well, after talking to the lady that did the ordering and finding out they were ordering from Mt Healthy I placed an order.  MT Healthy did carry the partridge plymouth rocks so I was all set.  Well, I call when it was only a couple of days to when they were suppose to arrive only to find out they had been pushed back a whole month.  That was April 2009 well we were set up for them as hubby brought hame heavy cardboard from work and built the brooder to the size I wanted so all I had to do was wait.  Waiting is not easy when one is on BYC for many there are showing pics of there new chicks.  So in roles May and right before they are due we walk in on the way home to see if they are still coming in or had been delayed again.  They were coming in on Thrusday.  So Thrusday comes I get up late and there is no call from the feed store.  So I call them busy.  half hour later I get thru and ask if my chicks are in and they were. Yea off I go to get my new babies. 

When I pick them up the lady that order them said in all here years of ordering chicks(she been doing it for the ffed store for 20 years) she never had anyone order partridge rocks.  Even though the hatchies have them they are on the rare list.  It is next to impossible to even find a show breeder of them any more.  So I know how rare they are on a local level.  Many people might have one in a mixed flock but there are very few breeders outside of the hatcheries.  After boxing up my 25 pullets and as I was walking out the lady was telling everyone howpretty that breed was since they are choclate colored chicks.  I had order 25 pullets because I had heard stories on BYC where folks getting a straight run was getting all males.  So I took the chance and hoped I would end up with a roo or two in my all pullet order which I knew has happend with others.  Now 3 weeks later I find I do have at least one roo and i think two and could not be happier. 

A not on MT Healthy after hearing about and seeing other hatchery partridge rocks I was ready for a mixed colored batch of chicks in this breed.  It seems one of the big hatcheries down south has mixed there PR to the point you are getting off colors like orange instead of the brown red on the necks and their pattern are not right and some have white feet.  Well I have to say MT Healthy chicks show none of these variations.  I only had the two color fuzz pattern know for this breed chipmunk and the more solid brown.  So far I have seen all yellow feet but some a dark on top but bottoms are yellow so I know they will turn yellow with time. 

I have yet to talk to the hatchery but I am betting they breed these or have some one that does that supplies them that has the older heritage lines.  They are just developing just so well all the pullets got thier wings in fast and now have tails and now back feathers are coming in.  the males already have combs and now tails and no back feathers yet.  One more thing all are about the same size there is not much variation there at all.  All also have very good chick marking so I will be interested to see how that changes with time as this breed goes thru a few marking changes till it reaches adult pattern.  Pic are of the day olds and the 3 weeks olds.

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