Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dreaming of Spring

It’s December, the beginning of winter for a lot of people but the month when poultry people start thinking about what they’ll raise next spring. It’s a time to reflect on the past and look forward into the future. Tyler Danke of Purely Poultry in Wisconsin, has some unusual chickens available, as well as the old favorites.

He works with breeders who can specialize in their chosen breeds. He’s connected with a Marans breeder who is raising a rainbow of color varieties. Tyler has Black Copper, Blue Copper, Birchen, shown in this photo, and Wheaten available now, sold as an assortment. Blue Splash and Cuckoo are also available. He plans to add more colors in the future, such as black-tailed buff, copper splash, white and golden cuckoos. Let him know what you’re interested in by starting a flock in 2013. Only Black Copper and Wheaten varieties have been recognized for exhibition, and Tyler assures me that the birds he is offering are show quality. Contact the Marans clubs, the MaransChicken Club, and the Marans Club of America, founded after personal differences, for more information.

Tyler sold around 150 of the Marans chicks in November. At $18 a chick, that’s a good indicator of how excited poultry people are about Marans!

For other dark egg layers, he also has Penedescencas, Welsummers and Barnevelders.

For green eggs, he has true Blue Ameraucanas. Blue is a difficult color variety to produce, because the offspring are never all blue. Some are black and some splash. They will be available in March 2013.

Among old favorites are Rhode Island Reds, black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Black Orpingtons, and New Hampshires.

“My favorite breed is the Black Australorp,” he said. “Here in Wisconsin, the large Hmong population offers an instant market for black chickens. They are great layers, too.”

At Purely Poultry, Terri and Megan answer the phones (920-359-0554) and both have backyard flocks. “They are available 9-5 Central time to answer questions and help you choose the best backyard chicken for you,” he said.

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