This is a question that many first time poultry owners find themselves asking. By that I mean that that they find themselves asking “what should take priority when chosing your chickens?” Should you make your decision based on a fondness for the breed ( or the cause in the case of heritage or ex battery hens) or the birds productivity.
This question often highlights a conflict between head and heart. The logical, practical side of our nature, the side that justified the keeping of chickens to produce fresh, great tasting free range eggs, becomes at odds with the emotional side (that’s the side that convinced you that keeping chickens would be such enormous fun that all the potential drawbacks to keeping them could be easily overcome).
So, the answer to the question...
“What comes first, the chicken or the egg”?
Why, the chicken of course!
Or rather it should.
Choosing a breed because it touches your heart is the best way to ensure that your birds will always give you pleasure even if they don’t always give you a tasty breakfast!
For me, putting the needs of my chickens first is always my priority. Contented, well cared for birds that lead a stress free, natural life are a joy to own and in my experience if you make sure that you put your chicken first, your eggs will follow.
A LITTLE ABOUT THE BREED
I keep a range of breeds but specialise in breeding Croad Langshans. The Croads are a rare breed which has a fantastic temperament and beautiful big brown eyes. It’s easy to love them with their gentle, friendly and intelligent nature and graceful good looks.
I often sell my birds to back yard keepers who love to own birds who are great with children and family pets. Producing birds which are easy to and handle and train has makes my birds very popular with those who are new to chickens or want their birds to be part of the family.
The Croad Langshan is a very rare breed which originated in the Langshan region in Northern china where they are still kept. The Langshans were imported into Britain by Major F.T. Croad in 1872 who went on to develop the British version of the breed with help from his niece.
The large fowl Croads are good utility birds suitable for eggs and meat and the bantams produce a good sized egg in relation to their body size.
The egg colour is a pinkish plum and the large birds lay around 180 per year and the bantams slightly less. Their distinctive features are dark eyes, a neat comb, U shaped back, pink soles of their feet and feather down their leg and outside toes.
The breeds utility properties lead to their popular in the UK between the wars however the introduction of other commercial laying hybrids from America lead to a decline in their popularity after World War II. The breed was rescued by the Rare Poultry Society until 1979, When the breed club was formed.