Old Breeds?

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Scrubby

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Old Breeds?
« on: August 22, 2008, 00:18 »
Having had much long discussion (bickering) with my partner, I have finally got him to at least entertain the idea of eventually getting a couple of chickens on our lottie when we finally get the paperwork through.  (Geese at the moment being out of the question but I will have some one day, oh yes!)

I am so very tempted to rescue some ex bat girls, but I am also tempted by the idea of trying to get hold of some old breeds.  We do 15th century re-enactment and I was wondering did anyone know what the oldest breed of hen still around is?  It might be fun to take on a couple of those girls and see how they do.  Also, I may be able to tempt the boyfriend with the idea of old fashioned eggs  :tongue2:
Why so serious?

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Foxy

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2008, 01:16 »
hi scrubby, there are some old breeds you can get hold of - dorkings come to mind a lovely bird dating back to Roman times, or breeds like scots dumpy another rare and old breed. :lol:

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Lemon

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2008, 08:43 »
Hello,

I think chickens have a long dated history, originating from Jungle Fowl.  There are many breeds to choose from.  Not sure of the oldest, but here are a few for you to consider...

Here's what I have found for you:

ORIGINS OF CHICKENS

From their origins in Southwest Asia chickens have spread to all corners of the world due in a great part to their usefulness to man.

Charles Darwin considered that all chickens as being descendants of a single wild species, the red jungle fowl, Gallus Bankiva, which is found in a wild state from India through Southeast Asia to the Philippines.

The chicken is mentioned in ancient Chinese documents which indicate that they were introduced into China in around 1,400BC.

Chickens are also depicted in Babylonian carvings of around 600BC and mentioned by early Greek writers, notably the playwright Aristophanes in 400BC.

Indeed the Romans considered chickens to be sacred to Mars, the God of War.

A few breeds here:

OLD ENGLISH GAME - The Old English Game fowl has its historical origins centuries ago, being kept for pleasure and cockfighting which was made illegal in 1849. Many people began keeping the fowls for exhibition purposes as they are today.

SUSSEX - The Sussex is derived from the original Old Sussex fowls, bred for their meat and eggs in Victorian times.
Originating in Great Britain the Light Sussex is a hardy variety that will thrive in all weathers. In existence for 2000 years, the Sussex is one of the oldest breeds in the UK.

Aracauna - The Araucana originates from South America. Specifically the area of Northern Chile populated at the time by the Arauca tribe of aboriginals. Blue shelled eggs, produced by these birds, reared by the Arauca's were being reported as early as the Mid Sixteenth century.


....hope that's of some use to you... :D
Mama Hen to Bokky (Lt Sussex X) & Korma (R.I.R X) & wife to Chookie Papa

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Lemon

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2008, 09:05 »
.....also, as Foxy said...

Scots Dumpy - The breed was described as early as 1678 and it native to Scotland. The Scots Dumpy has also been known as the Bakie, Crawler or Creeper. It is a docile breed with a scavenging ability making it ideally suited to back yard or farmyard production systems.

Dorking - The Dorking is a distinctive, five-toed, heavy breed, similar to the type that was noted by the Romans when they invaded Britain. There are several colour varieties.

Scots Grey - The Scots Grey originated in Scotland where it has been bred for over 200 years. It is a hardy breed being well adapted to cold or damp conditions with excellent foraging ability. They are an excellent dual-purpose breed producing table birds with fine, well flavoured flesh.

POLAND - The Poland is a very old breed with similar type fowls being mentioned in many books of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries. Many suggestions are made about the origin, including Russia, Italy, Spain, and the Far East, but the breed was established in Britain during the 1700s and was standardised in 1865. Polands exist in large and bantam, in twelve colour variations, with all of the colours also existing in frizzle feathered form. The most noted feature of the Poland is the crest, which should be as large and globular as possible. The Poland also has a muff and full beard and is a very popular breed.

SILKIE - Silkie type fowls have been noted for centuries, and the origin of the breed is suggested as being in China, Japan, or perhaps India. The breed is well known for two endearing qualities - its soft, silky feathering, and its persistent maternal instinct which makes it an excellent broody. A relatively small fowl, a tiny bantam has been recently created and developed good support.

MINORCA - The Minorca can be traced back in Britain to 1780 but its origins lie in Spain, perhaps originally as the 'Castillian'. The Castillian is the common black fowl of Spain, the name of Minorca being derived from the port from which most of the birds were exported.

SEBRIGHT - The Sebright is one of the oldest British breeds, being created by the baronet, Sir John Sebright in the early 1800s. (Bantam)

ROSECOMB - Another of the oldest British breeds, an excellent specimen perhaps embodies all the selective breeding lavished on the native bantam over many years. (Bantam)

PEKIN - The Pekin is a charming breed with profuse plumage, fabulous temperament, and must look as globular as possible from every angle, together with forward 'tilt'. The breed was introduced to Britain from Pekin, China, in about 1860. (Bantam)



research from:
www.poultryclub.org
www.poultrymad
www.norfolkrarebreedscentre.com

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Bodger

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2008, 09:14 »
The two oldest breeds around are most certainly Game fowl and Dorkings. The former it is believed, were originally brought to these isles by Phonecian traders way before the Romans arrived. :D

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Scrubby

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2008, 10:45 »
Wow, so much information!  Thanks so much, guys :D

Does anyone have any experience with any of these breeds or is one much like the other to keep?

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Bodger

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2008, 12:06 »
There's only one breed for me Scrubby. Here are are some pictures that I put on chicken chat this morning.

http://www.chat.allotment-garden.org/viewtopic.php?t=22765

They are very self sufficient and easy to keep. :D

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Scrubby

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2008, 12:15 »
Wow, they are beautiful birds!

Just got my tenancy agreement for the site throught today.  Keeping hens is fine but they reeeeeally seem to hate cockerels and there is a total ban on them!  So, I guess that any form of breeding is out of the question!  Still, eggs will be nice... I just still need to convince the boyfriend that it is a terribly good idea!

He'll be impressed by the idea of the gamecocks I think, they are beautiful birds.  Do they lay well?

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Bodger

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Old Breeds?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2008, 12:18 »
They are very seasonal but some lay extremely well. :D



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