I know a lot of preppers are concerned about providing meat/protein for their family if the stuff hits the fan, and I've been thinking about that too. We have 14 chickens here on our little acreage (9 pullets/young hens, 3 older hens and 2 roosters), but wow the roosters are LOUD! Would they be safe if something happens and people start scavenging for food, particularly meat? Nope. My roosters would announce their presence that first day, and never again have the opportunity to crow again.
And seriously, we'll need roosters to increase our flock for not only our use but also to sell to other preppers! What's the solution? A quieter rooster.
So I'm working on a cross breed of chicken:
-bears confinement well
-goes broody (wants to set on and hatch eggs)
... and because my son likes green-shelled eggs, lays colored eggs. We don't want a dual-purpose bird (egg laying AND meat) because my autistic son would refuse to eat the birds, and really, so would I. We're just fine eating eggs every day.
I'm getting ready to order day-old chicks of two breeds:
small, broodiest of all chickens, sweet, don't fly because feathers are different, used to being confined, roosters crow quietly because of the smaller bodies, don't lay eggs very often. Their skin is black instead of white so it's unappetizing to most americans. Come in many colors, like white, buff, black and splash. Hens get up to 32 oz each, and roosters 36 oz each.
BANTAM EASTER EGGER:
lay green or blue eggs, lay about 200 eggs a year, bears confinement well, cold hardy, smaller than regular/standard easter eggers, not broody at all. Come in many different colors and changes every time they molt so you can never predict by looking at the mother or the day-old chick what the adult chicken will look like. Hens get up to 26 oz each, and roosters get up to 32 oz each.
A cross/hybrid of these two chickens should produce a very small chicken (at most from 1 1/2 to 2 pounds each). Should be small enough for even apartment dwellers! The resulting eggs would be just slightly larger than a quail egg and slightly smaller than a "small chicken egg" that you'd find in the grocery. Still, 5 laying hens from this cross should produce 2-4 eggs a day. That's a good source of healthy protein for one to two people.
Just a note: Our regular-sized easter eggers are very sweet. My son has even taught one to sit on his shoulder, and most of them come as soon as they know we have a plastic baggie (which means snack-time!) in our hands. We've been keeping a single chicken inside the house this past week, changing them out every 3 days) to see if we can tolerate the smell, and to see just how noisy are they. Answer: not too terribly smelly, and by themselves, the girls really don't make much noise, except to coo and trill as we walk past the crate.
Anyway, our plan is to create this special breed of "survival chicken". Eventually, we'll move them into the garage and possibly into a bedroom in the house (or apartment). They'll free-range when they can (weather/circumstances permitting) but for the most part, they'll be my/our pet chickens and egg-laying friends!
Question: has anyone else crossed breeds of chickens for their "survival" purposes? If so, what breeds did you cross, and how is it working out?
UPDATE MARCH 11 2014
I successfully crossed the eggers and silkies. Two generations. We call them "silgers"! The more silkie in them, the nicer and quieter they were. The more egger, the louder and flightier they were.
We still have some. The silkies are absolutely terrific moms, setting on a golf ball for weeks on end.
Planning on doing the experiment again, but with silkies and a diff bantam chicken instead of the easter egger. That is probably a 2015 project. Eggers are too flighty and unpredictable.
However, NONE of the roosters were quiet.
If you want a hidden source of eggs, you need an insulated room or garage, and quail. They aren't QUITE as noisy!
If you want a hidden source of meat, quail will work, but just as efficient is rabbits.
Think about it!
Please visit www.survival-cooking.blogspot.com for more information. Thank you.
Welcome to the blog, Colorado Preppers. Prepping doesn't mean we think the apocolypse is coming or the earth will blow up. It simply means that we are preparing for any eventuality that may strike here in Colorado (USA) ... from swine/bird flu to blizzards to global financial collapse to loss of income and more. // Come learn with us about things like water purifying and collecting, inventory checks and more. However, we are NOT political and not affiliated with any specific religion or group. // FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO WWW.SURVIVAL-COOKING.BLOGSPOT.COM OR TO FIND OUT ABOUT MY BOOKS ON THESE AND OTHER TOPICS, GO TO WWW.VIKKI-LAWRENCE-WILLIAMS.BLOGSPOT.COM