- Mar 11, 2012
- Reaction score
- USDA 9a
Bummer... I just got Icelandics and I was NOT told about this... Nore had I read it anywhere. :/ Guess we will see!I've had several breeds throughout my chicken keeping years and finally identified what I wanted in my flock and bred to get it. I wanted large breed laying hens that would reliably go broody. I also wanted a flock that was very good at free-ranging most of their food. A few years ago I bought 25 Icelandic hatching eggs through Craigslist and hatched out I think 14 of them. I loved my Icelandic flock! But those little birds could fly quite high and laughed at my fencing. The roosters ultimately ended up sleeping in the trees and could leap at least 14 feet up in a single jump. They had to go. I live in a close suburban neighborhood and it just did not win me any points with the neighbors. But I managed to get a batch of mixed breed chicks before I rehomed or ate all the Icelandics. We ate all the roosters and I rehomed the purebred hens. I still have some gorgeous Icelandic rooster tail feathers in my hat.
Icelandics are very colorful and great free rangers and very reliable broodies. They are about halfway between a standard chicken and a bantam in size. Too small to be dual-purpose in my opinion. So I bred them up in size using some larger heritage breed laying hens. Each year I bring in a new rooster of a large laying breed variety and now my hens are almost all standard size. My flock is completely self-sustaining with the exception of bringing in new genetics with a rooster each year. Interestingly, I've never had to pay for a rooster. People gladly will give it away to a good home. People who order chicks will generally get a packing peanut rooster in there and in the suburbs roosters are not popular.
Got my first broody of the season starting today. Once I know she's solid I will move her to a pen in the backyard. The new rooster is an Easter Egger and I love a colorful egg basket as well.
Oh, and I try to get rose combs or pea combs because our New England winters can be rather cold.
As they say, your mileage may vary and I hope it does! If I didn't live in such a close neighborhood I would absolutely keep Icelandic. I really liked them. They really know how to feed themselves and they are good mothers.Bummer... I just got Icelandics and I was NOT told about this... Nore had I read it anywhere. :/ Guess we will see!