Chicks on the farm

baby buckeyeThe other day, I heard a noise as I got home from work that made me smile. We have an incubator in the house, and there was a soft cheeping coming from our incubator. We raise Buckeye chickens and we just had a hatch of chicks. It’s always so much fun to have chicks around.

baby buckeye
A buckeye chick

We started out with Kraienkoppe chickens originally because we wanted a hardy bird that would free range well and raise it’s own babies. We also wanted something that was a Heritage breed and not commonly raised by most people. Not many people have them.

Kraeinkoppe mama
A kraeinkoppe mama with a bunch of babies. Notice how uptight she looks. She’s watching for trouble.

However, we found that they can be a little too good at taking care of themselves. The Kraienkoppe is HARD to catch. So, we decided to do a little more research. We found the Buckeye which is easier to catch but not quite as good at self protection. However, since we have Anatolian cross livestock guardian dogs, animals don’t usually catch our birds.

Buckeye hens and rooster
A buckeye rooster with some of his hens

The Buckeye is a fairly large bird that produces both lots of eggs and meat. It is a good mama and usually raises a large clutch. They have large bodies that produce a lot of meat, and there isn’t hardly a mean bone in a Buckeye’s body. My family often has families with small children come to visit our farm and we’ve never had a Buckeye rooster decide to be mean. That was a downside to the Kraienkoppe. The roosters could decide to act like fighting roosters even though they aren’t bred to be fighters.

Kraeinkoppe rooster on watch
Kraeinkoppe rooster on watch

The positive to the Kraienkoppe was that it would successfully raise lots of babies. They were phenomenal mamas. We had one Kraienkoppe mama who hatched out 16 babies during an ice storm. She didn’t lose a single one of them. They also lay a lot of eggs and  they are experts at not becoming lunch for predators. The other plus is that it is hard to find a prettier looking chicken if you like a classic old style looking bird. The roosters are stunning!

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