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Author Topic: Chickens  (Read 37871 times)

R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #135 on: August 25, 2019, 02:29:39 PM »
And don't you think a little knowledge from first-hand experience is sometimes more useful than a lot of 2nd-hand learning (i.e. reading blogs like this - ha ha!)?

Though I must admit that I've learned so much from other people's books, articles and films.  Permaculture especially, with all of its decentralized variety of species and cultivars still available on-line, might never have come into being to the extent that it has without the Web (am thinking about that tediously long list of suppliers that I posted a while back...  :)

ilinda

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #136 on: August 26, 2019, 07:11:39 PM »
Absolutely.  Access to the internet has changed about everything!  We can all remember, pre-internet, how long hard we labored searching for, then maybe finding, the information we were looking for, and it was often incomplete.  But now....well, the online crowd knows how easily we can find information, and how easily we can scrutinize it to determine if it's what we need, if it's accurate, etc. 

Just from PXTH, I've learned so much!

Socrates

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Re: Icelandic Chickens
« Reply #137 on: January 02, 2020, 03:14:00 AM »
When it's time for more birds, am thinking of Icelandic chickens, mainly because they are said to be good foragers, and can find food for themselves better than many of the heftier chickens.  Plus they are always such a colorful mix.
This vid goes into the history and traits of the Icelandic chicken landrace.

Possibly the oldest chicken today. Do not need to be fed (if they can forrage). 78% unique DNA.
They are genetically extremely diverse which means that of all the chickens in the world you might choose from, if you had to pick a handful for survival (and subsequent breeding) purposes, this is the chicken to go with.

The Icelandic chicken is really a product of our information age. Even in Iceland this chicken [so to be clear, we shouldn't call it a "breed", for it is a landrace, like the Ouessant sheep are unique among sheep] nearly died out because of hybrids and even 'heritage' birds introduced there. However, there are nowadays plenty of farmers and breeders that respect that the integrity of this bird's DNA must be carefully protected. The above-linked vid suggests 4000 birds in Iceland and 1000 in America.
It looks like every self-respecting 'prepper' needs to have (and keep properly!) some Icelandic chickens.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 03:30:59 AM by Socrates »
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R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #138 on: January 02, 2020, 04:13:41 AM »
This is very intriguing, and I'll ask our Amish poultry breeder about whether they are available here!

https://livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/icelandic

https://www.facebook.com/groups/icelandicchickens (official preservation group)

https://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Icelandic+Chickens.html

https://mackhillfarm.com/icelandic-chicken-page/ (breeding source in Missouri)

Love the speckled ones!





ilinda

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Re: Icelandic Chickens
« Reply #139 on: January 02, 2020, 09:19:31 AM »
When it's time for more birds, am thinking of Icelandic chickens, mainly because they are said to be good foragers, and can find food for themselves better than many of the heftier chickens.  Plus they are always such a colorful mix.
This vid goes into the history and traits of the Icelandic chicken landrace.

Possibly the oldest chicken today. Do not need to be fed (if they can forrage). 78% unique DNA.
They are genetically extremely diverse which means that of all the chickens in the world you might choose from, if you had to pick a handful for survival (and subsequent breeding) purposes, this is the chicken to go with.

The Icelandic chicken is really a product of our information age. Even in Iceland this chicken [so to be clear, we shouldn't call it a "breed", for it is a landrace, like the Ouessant sheep are unique among sheep] nearly died out because of hybrids and even 'heritage' birds introduced there. However, there are nowadays plenty of farmers and breeders that respect that the integrity of this bird's DNA must be carefully protected. The above-linked vid suggests 4000 birds in Iceland and 1000 in America.
It looks like every self-respecting 'prepper' needs to have (and keep properly!) some Icelandic chickens.
Totally fascinating about the Icelandic chicken's genetics.  It sounds as if their genes, at least 78% of them, are not even like that of the supposedly ancient jungle fowl of Southeast Asia.  Maybe "chickens" arose in at least two different parts of the world.

Seeing your videos, and those posted by RR makes me want them even more.  Every last one of our guineas was killed by predators in 2019, and it was mainly what everyone warned about:  they want to roost in trees and will begin to do so as soon as their wings will allow it.  It only took a couple of days for them to finally bite the dust.  This might be a good year to search for some pure Icelandic stock.

R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #140 on: January 02, 2020, 02:27:09 PM »
Quote
Every last one of our guineas was killed by predators in 2019, and it was mainly what everyone warned about:  they want to roost in trees and will begin to do so as soon as their wings will allow it.  It only took a couple of days for them to finally bite the dust.  This might be a good year to search for some pure Icelandic stock.

The very best wishes to you in your endeavors to start over with a different breed, and many kudos for not giving up!


Socrates

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my Icelandic chickens-to-be (i hope)
« Reply #141 on: April 24, 2020, 02:53:34 AM »
Yesterday i received the 12 icelandic chicken eggs i ordered from (neighboring) Germany. The man said he sent them off on Thursday and so one week later i received them.
My experience with hatching out my own quail eggs is that they can lie around a while before i put them in the incubator, so i'm hoping there's no problem there. Of course there's also the matter of how the eggs faired during transport, but they were very carefully packaged with loads of insulative material, so i doubt they got too hot or too cold en route.
Anyway, we will see in about 3 weeks...

One man here in Holland just offered one c0ck and two hens for € 100; so if these eggs don't work out i have that to fall back on, though it's a much more expensive option. Will keep y'all updated. I'm excited about having these genetics for safekeeping. [After this maybe i need to get a beehive going...  ;) ]
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R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #142 on: April 24, 2020, 05:19:39 AM »
That's so exciting that you are going to hatch out your own Icelandics!  Hope you'll take some photos for us as the process unfolds.

Might be best to get situated before getting bees, as it really stresses them to be moved around...

ilinda

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #143 on: April 24, 2020, 07:35:43 PM »
Soc, you definitely have an audience watching and hanging on to any updates you have on the new chickens-to-be.  Let us know when the first one hatches.  Oh, how I long for a batch of Icelandic chickens!  Good luck!

R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #144 on: April 25, 2020, 01:43:33 PM »
Ilinda, Am strongly envisioning you as "Mama" of an entire flock...

Socrates

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Re: my Icelandic chickens-to-be [failed attempt]
« Reply #145 on: May 15, 2020, 03:54:17 AM »
Yesterday i received the 12 icelandic chicken eggs i ordered from (neighboring) Germany. The man said he sent them off on Thursday and so one week later i received them.
No hatchlings:
- too cold in transition
- too hot during transition
- irradiated
- icelandic chicken eggs take much longer to develop? [I couldn't find any data on that.]

So this source was a bust. However...
After i had found this German source, the 'Dutch craigslist' showed this man selling 2 hens and a rooster. Yeah, for a lot of money [€ 100] but, hey, guy seems to know what they're worth, eh. Methinks they might be considered priceless at some point, so...
I reached out to him when i found out my eggs weren't developing and he quickly responded that he could provide me with a dozen. So that's in the works now. Fingers crossed.
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R.R. Book

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #146 on: May 15, 2020, 09:55:55 AM »
Good that you found another resource.  Don't fret too much; I've tried time and again to hatch fertilized Campbell duck eggs to no avail.  Perhaps a drive to a hatchery with Icelandic chicks might be Plan B if all else fails, even if it means an all-day trip?

Socrates

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Re: local sourcing
« Reply #147 on: May 15, 2020, 10:55:31 AM »
Well, this guy's only 100 kliks away, so not too bad.

[BTW, i recently learned from YouTube that Americans do use the metric system sometimes. And that's why soldiers in movies say "kliks". When i was first introduced to the metric system in 1976, it seemed introducing it to the USA had failed since everyone seemed to keep talking in miles and stuff. Apparently i was wrong. So, anyway, just 97 km away; piece of cake.]
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ilinda

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Re: Chickens
« Reply #148 on: May 15, 2020, 08:52:42 PM »
Interesting to follow this Icelandic chicken ordeal, as they are on the top of my list as well.  Sorry to hear about the 1 week delay between the mailing and your receiving them. 

A lot can happen in between.  I ordered 25 guinea keats last year and they did arrive as promised within two days, but they sat in an air-conditioned post office from early morning till late afternoon when I discovered they had arrived.  So when I picked them up from the P.O., they were no doubt thoroughly chilled, which contributed to the many losses in first few days, probably all pneumonia.  (They were dropping like flies.)

Well, maybe your second  try will work.  Anxiously hoping for your success.

Socrates

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Re: Icelandic Chickens
« Reply #149 on: May 16, 2020, 05:46:16 AM »
Great news, it looks like.
The guy i'm talking with says he too got his chickens from Germany and that there's [according to him] one source in Germany. But he was lucky since he knew a guy [...] and got his live. But there's more.
He says he knew a guy going to Iceland and asked him to get some fresh bloodlines. Great, right?! Because of the pandemic this other guy has yet to go, but the important thing is that 'Europe' is working on the problem, so to speak... And i'm apparently in the thick of it...  8)

As mentioned before, this genetic issue has been quite severe; with only 4000 chickens in Iceland and maybe 1000 in the USA, this is a (land)race close to 'instinction'. 1000 chickens in the entire USA! Really, that's next to nothing. And don't even get me started on Europe; countries like Germany and Holland are usually at the forefront of this kind of thing and if they've no genetic diversity to speak of, that's saying quite a bit.
AND I DON'T EVEN HAVE A PLACE TO PUT THEM! Still, even if they have to suffer in a cage until i'm ready to house them properly, for the sake of all of humankind i will save their genetics if i'm given half a chance.

'nuff said. LOL [As dramatic as i'll ever go, i think.]
Still, with the chicken as the ultimate homesteader animal, i still think the matter is worth any effort it demands. If i have to hatch chicks and set them out in nature, so be it. And they'll probably even survive as they're expert foragers. Thank god i work in the dunes... [and the foxes won't get them since they can fly up and perch in trees at night.]
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