Heritage breeds

baymule

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How do you make your bacon? It looks like we will be slaughtering our pigs and I want bacon!
 

Hinotori

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Hatchery birds have given me nothing but health issues.

The only actual heritage breed I have is my silkies. The ameraucana aren't really old enough of a breed to truely be a heritage since they were split off of araucana over differences of opinion on standard, but they do well and lay an average amount of eggs without reproductive issues. The cockerels are big enough for a few people to eat for dinner.

I've thought about getting some faverolles. I have access to stock from a few people who are willing to enable me.
 

frustratedearthmother

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@baymule - it's definitely not hard to make bacon. I went online and picked a recipe that sounded good and went for it. The recipe I used called for a rub on the meat and then I put it into a big Ziploc and turned it every day for a week. Then I smoked it but it's a 'cool' smoke. You put the meat away from the heat source and just get it up to (I think) 150 degrees internal temp. The recipe I used had pink salt. I debated on whether to use it or not - but I did. It also called for Maple sugar. I need to see if I can find the recipe or something similar. If I do - I'll post it.
 

BarredBuff

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I've raised several heritage breeds over the past couple of years. Just poultry--we never had anything else.

I have a different perspective on breed selection these days. My degree is in agriculture, and I have learned all about other management methods besides the self-reliant way. It has helped understand things a lot better.

Breed selection comes down to your objectives for your flock. My favorite is the Orpington. When it comes to overall homesteading qualities--they are a clear winner in my book. They lay a good number of eggs, and will dress out at a fair weight. They are phenomenal mothers as well.

These qualities are not beneficial for a commercial poultry farmer (a necessary evil in my opinion). However, for those of us on a path toward Self-Reliance--you can't go wrong with them.

I also enjoyed my Dominiques I used to have. I had one hen that laid well into her fifth year, and then I believe something got her. I haven't seen her in a while, but she was a keeper for sure.

Breeds and breeding come down to your management plan. For folks like us, heritage breeds just make sense.
 

Mini Horses

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Oh heck yes! I have pork belly in the freezer waiting to be made into bacon. I need to get to it...just too much going on right now.
Yes & same here. :barnie Quite lean, too.

This is a front section of one side of belly. The back section has a little more fat in it but still lean. To be considered "lard hogs" I was very pleased with the lean meats. Yes, they have a layer of body fat, nice leaf fats but, the meat is lightly marbled not full of fat. The lard I rendered is very nice.

hogs butchered 007.JPG
 

Mini Horses

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Breed selection comes down to your objectives for your flock.
Breeds and breeding come down to your management plan. For folks like us, heritage breeds just make sense.
100% agree on both. I understand commercial "needs" for speed and profit. At my farm I don't have that stress and enjoy not having to conform to that intensity. Besides, the calmer family units are more appealing to my soul. :cool:

I have read that the Marans have excellent flavor to their meat. Haven't butchered any yet but will by this time next year. Personally, I feel any free range chicken tastes better but, supposedly these excel. I'll have some of several types -- I'll let ya know!

As far as EEs not a breed -- yes but, I love the fluffy faces :) and the ones I've had do well with laying and mothering. Plus, beautiful egg colors. Mine have been reasonably calm but, may be because others in flock are.
Much also depends on what you crossed with what.

The only "dumb" hens I have are some sex-links I got a couple yrs ago. Never again. Sllght build, not robust looking -- I feel sorry for them next to my other girls.
 

Beekissed

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I have 5 red sex links, I know Bee, but I wanted EGGS!! LOL And I have 10 Delaware hens, won't have them again! I have 4 Easter Egger hens, 3 of them with the HATED rooster, but I bought an incubator, have 14 chicks and 27 eggs in the 'bator. I am still searching for "the" chicken breed. I like Australorps and Speckled Sussex, but have not had either one.

We raise feeder pigs to slaughter size. The first batch were Large Black crossed with Berkshire. This batch is Red Wattle. I don't want to keep sows and a boar, I'll patronize those that do raise piglets and buy theirs.

Sheep are Dorper/Katahdin crosses, so I don't feel like I am "saving" a sheep breed from extinction.

Do you get bacon from the AGH? Or are they too short bodied? The Red Wattle are a bacon hog, I am drooling already!
Bay, you can get more eggs from good ol' Black Australorps than you ever will with sex link birds. Except, with the BAs, you can get tons of eggs for up to 5-7 years as opposed to the SL birds 1-3. BAs lay like machines in all seasons and for years. They are healthy, friendly, quirky, can be a little loud at times, and when they do go broody, they make excellent mamas.

If I were set up for a larger flock and desired to have penned birds, I'd do standard bred BAs right alongside my WRs. Two of the best breeds out there, IMO.

I agree with you on the Dels....poor temperaments, poor health, poor laying, HUGE eaters, good broody mamas though.

I've had the SS and was incredibly underwhelmed. Wouldn't have them again.

Bay, if you don't want to keep a boar, you could partner with your source of the red wattles and either work a plan for stud service or even do AI on a sow and pasture those piggies. That way you are a tad more sustainable on your source of pigs...I like everything I've read about those red wattles.

My sister raises the large blacks and I like their gentle nature but the gene pool here in the states is rather inbred and I see a lot of deformities coming out of her pigs.

The problem with a lot of people who get heirloom or heritage breed animals is that they want them and have good intentions on "saving the breed" but they do nothing to develop the breed towards the breed's standard traits. They just have them, breed them indiscriminately and sell them or eat them but there's not much effort put forth to develop or preserve the breed's desirable traits and keep strong genetics there.

Or you have the opposite side of the coin, especially poultry, but also beef, sheep, etc. and you have the people breeding for showing. They breed to the standard on looks but don't put any wrench time towards production, hardiness, disease resistance, fecundity, etc.

Somewhere in the middle is where these breeds may actually find sustainability and go on being as good as they were developed to be.
 

Denim Deb

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I have a red sex link that someone gave me. She will not be staying. Her eggs are so thin that they break either when she lays, or when she gets out of the nesting box.

I started w/Americanas. But, I have not bred to keep them true. My birds now, for the most part, are a mix. I do get those that are pure, but I'm working on getting broodiness into my birds. I like the egg color (as do the people that buy them) and those fluffy faces. I also like that I can tell my hens apart.

As for turkeys, I have one Royal Palm hen. She just showed up one day wanting in w/my chickens. I couldn't find the owner, so I kept her. If I had my own place, I'd try to get some fertile eggs so I could start raising them.
 

NH Homesteader

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Bee, interesting you say that about the Large Blacks. My friend had one he tried to breed for months to his very well proven (many times over!) boar, she never took. He ended up butchering her, and he said she was at least delicious!
 

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