Monday, July 12, 2010

Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

I was flipping through a magazine in Tractor Supply one day and came across a breed of chicken I had never heard of. It was a reddish orange with blueish grey laced feathers. Since seeing this first Blue Laced Red Wyandotte I've been slightly obsessed with the breed, and have been ever since trying to track down someone who sells them.
I have to confess to a slightly selfish scheme, I think those whom I've been scheming are on to me, and realize my devious plan. I have been trying to put together an order from a major hatchery who sells Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, however, you have to order a minimum of 25 chicks. Twenty Five chicks on top of the already 45 chickens that we have free ranging is quite the chicken collection. So my plan was to gather as many "Chicken People" as I could and split an order, thus acquiring a BLRW (Ok everyone, you know my plan, and you know who you are, sorry for the bamboozling.)
But after doing some research, I realized that hatchery BLRW's aren't the greatest of the breed. In fact after reading some on-line testimonials, some people were right out complaining about the quality of their chickens, saying the lacing wasn't consistent and that the birds were smaller and the plumage less filling. So there went that idea.
It was Zach who came to the rescue. He went online to the Backyard Chickens forum and found the magnificent Kathy, (I didn't ask her permission to post her last name) who was selling Farm Raised Blue Lacers. Seriously the most beautiful chickens I've ever seen. Her farm is a lot like what I imagine heaven to be like. Rolling plains of green pasture and chicken coupes everywhere you turn. Her chickens are perfect! Each breed separated in it's own little area, each chicken round and plump, each feather exactly in place, clean and shining.
She must have read the invisible "Sucker" label that was printed across my forehead, because we did not leave with the 3 adult birds as agreed in the e-mail, we left with 9 chickens! 3 adult BLRW hens, 2 BLRW cockerels, 2 Frizzle crosses, a pair of white Cochins, and a "Partridge in a Pear Tree".

Reminder: Tuesday, July 14th, 2010 is the first day of the Oakland County 4H Fair. See you there!

Not only was Kathy one of the nicest people I've ever met, but very informative. We learned that the American Poultry Association does not recognize the BLRW as a show-able breed because the coloring is not consistent. Breeding pairs can throw 3 different colors, the blue laced, the black (or dark blue) or a splash which is any of the former combinations but not in a consistent lacing pattern. Between our 5 that we got from Kathy, we got a combination of all three varieties. I am most interested in breeding the black and trying to get a consistent lace. Hopefully if the APA accepts the breed, we will be ahead of the game. If not, they are a beautiful chicken that has somewhat of a following and I'm sure we would get interested buyers.
The parent stock are from Jerry and Rebecca Foley of Foley Waterfowl and Poultry. They are known for their BLRW and for perfecting the breed.
The most exciting thing that came from our visit was that the 3 adult hens we brought home were laying fertile eggs, and tomorrow I will reveal a surprise that I've been keeping for (hint) 21 days!

1 comment:

Trisha said...

Hi. Do you sell your BLRWs, chicks or eggs? I have been interested in them since I first saw a photo of one. I'm well aware of the risk run with hatchery birds - I have some Salmon Faverolles I got from a hatchery. They are good birds, but have inconsistent coloring and probably half of them have toe problems - the kind of thing that would outright disqualify them as show birds. Eventually I'd like to specialize in a couple of breeds, with the BLRW being one of them. I think they're gorgeous!

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