Recently my wife suggested we get some chooks of our own after a long layoff due to living overseas and work travel.
She thought that some Croad Langshans might be nice as we had kept them previously and so that was it.
I called a mate at East Kurrajong and soon had four nice pullets and a cockerel.
Making it harder was that 'blue' was the required colour and so the cockerel was splash with black females so the next generation will have some of the blues.
Croad Langshans are a large to very large bird and were basically a dual purpose breed and still have some of these qualities.
They have been refined through breeding for show into a fabulous looking bird with feathered legs and that particular Langshan shape.
While not a breed for beginners, they are worthy as a bird that still forages well when given range and will put on a fair amount of size while the pullets give good quality and size in the eggs.
They don't lay as many eggs as lighter breeds so if you want quantity, they are not the breed for you.
The birds have an excellent temperament and I have found them quiet and sound with children.
Despite the foot-feathering, they do get around easily and if not showing they will happily range.
Show birds probably need to be kept more confined as they can and do damage the feathering.
They look fantastic in the pen and hold themselves well with little pen training and are suited to the show scene, despite their size and slow maturing.
The blacks are the most common colour and most popular on the show bench but whites and blues are less commonly seen.
I'll let you know through the column how things go and the pullets will be hens by the time we begin incubating eggs.
I like hen eggs over pullet eggs for breeding, mainly just for size but that's an argument for another column.
If any readers would like to share their experiences with a breed just write in and let me know, you might appear here!
One final tip - keep those birds dry and draught free for a good, healthy winter.
Hi Bruce, in an earlier edition of Smart Farmer you wrote about game fowl. Where can you buy them, in particular the Coturnix?
David Stearman - Tamworth.
Hi David, I usually see them at the local auctions and Tamworth has a poultry community which would help. I also googled Guinea Fowl NSW for sale and had plenty of hits including Gumtree and a few specialist places. Good luck with your search