Ping's chicks

As I'm fed-up with the quality - or rather, lack of it - of the poultry we can find in the supermarket, and at the same time is appalled at the conditions commercial chickens are raised under, I have started to raise chickens in my own garden.
Many people think that chickens belong only on farms, but in fact any normal garden has plenty of room for a flock of hens and their coop. If you have a small garden, you just choose a smaller race. Not only will you get better meat, but you will get plenty of fresh eggs as well. If that isn't enough to convince you, the fowl will pick your garden clean of pests like larvae, beetles and, snails - they'll even eat the dreaded Iberian 'killer'-slug. As an added bonus, chicken manure is a powerful natural fertilizer.


I have chosen to raise Faverolles, a race of French origin. Faverolles are rather large, 3-4 kg, pleasantly docile and have very tasty meat. On the downside, the urge to nest has been bred out of them. On that account, I will use a Sussex hen for nesting the eggs - and, who knows, in a few generations I may have a broody Faverolles hen.

Comparison of selected races
Name Weight Egg, g Number Shell color Nests Meat Remarks
Barnevelder 3,0 - 3,5m
2,5 - 2,75f
60   Dark brown Some   Somewhat feisty
Brahma 4,25 - 5m
3,5 - 4f
    Yellow-red-brown Usually   Calm
Dansk Landhøne 2m
55   White Eager   Flying, hardy
Dorking 4,5 - 6m
4 - 4,5f
55 - 60 Good Light Normaly Good Trusting, good mother
Faverolles 3,5 - 4m
3 - 3,5f
55   Light beige No GOOD Very calm
Luttehøne 2,25m
58 Good White Good   Good mother
New Hampshire 3,0 - 3,5m
2,0 - 2,5f
55 Good Brown No Good Very calm, hardy
Orpington 3,5 - 4,5m
3- 3,5f
55 - 60 Good Light beige Eager, clumsy   Calm and trusting, good mother
Plymouth Rock 3 - 3,5m
2,5 - 3f
55 Good Light beige Rarely Good Calm, hardy
R.I.R. 3 - 3,5
2,2 - 2,7f
60 Good Brown No Godd Calm, hardy, good mother
Sussex 3 - 3,5m
2,5 - 3f
55 Good Light brown Some GOOD Calm
Welsumer 3,0 - 3,5m
2,0 - 2,5f
65   Reddish brown Rarely Good Calm
Wyandotter 3 - 3,5m
2,2 - 2,5f
55 - 55 Good Brown Some Good Calm, eggs with large yolks

Light Sussex

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Updated 00-12-17 at 16:49