My granddad was a rural mail carrier in northwest Iowa for over 40 years. My Dad was his substitute carrier for many of those years until he was appointed postmaster. Back then, most farms had a poultry flock that not only provided eggs and meat for home use but also provided grocery money when excess eggs were sold. Every spring a lot of these farmers ordered their chicks from hatcheries that shipped them in 100 count, ventilated cartons via the postal service. I couldn’t wait for spring to arrive so that I could ride along with Grandpa or Dad with a back seat full of peeping baby chicks. Seeing dozens of cartons full of chicks the other day at Rural King, a farm supply outlet, reminded me of those enjoyable times I spent on ‘the route’.
Baby Chicks, A Sure Sign Of Spring and More Baby Chicks, A Sure Sign Of Spring were two posts that dealt with chickens for your poultry flock. This post will give you some ideas of other types of poultry that could be a fit for your small poultry flock.
Broad Breasted White Turkey – is the most common domesticated, fast growing turkey used for meat. Besides having great feed conversion, it is easy to quickly dress and clean. I had one of these white feathered turkeys dress out at 52 pounds.
Orlopp Broad Breasted Bronze Turkey – has the coloring of a wild turkey. It is a fast growing bird and a great choice for turkey meat.
Pheasant – Sometimes called a common pheasant, the Chinese Ringneck pheasant is a great meat bird. It can also be used for training hunting dogs or released and hunted. Check your state laws before purchasing.
French Pearl Guinea – is a game bird that is great at alerting against predators in the area. It does an excellent job at controlling insects. There are guinea recipes available for those wanting to consume the meat.
Bantams – are colorful and great for using as ‘cluck’ hens. These ‘setters’ are a good addition to a farm flock or used as show birds for 4-H projects. They are a variety of colors and plumage in this type of poultry.
White Pekin Duck – is the most common choice for duck meat. They are fast growing, docile, and a great egg producer. My grandmother used the eggs for baking. This white feathered bird is a good addition for your all-purpose flock.
Rouen Duck – is almost the same color as a Mallard but are much larger and more domesticated. These birds are good foragers and a moderate egg producer for your baking and eating needs.
Khaki Campbell Duck – has a lovely khaki color to its plumage. It is a calm duck with high egg production. Another good choice for a farm flock.
Indian Runner Duck – is a good choice if you want to add a little uniqueness to your farm flock. This ‘penguin’ duck tends to run rather than waddle like most other ducks. This gray/brown feathered duck is a great egg producer and forager for your all around flock needs.
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