All About Raising Buckeye Chickens
Becoming a chicken farmer is a big decision that could affect the way you live. Before going out and buying a chick from a local farm, it’s important to learn a bit about some of the most popular chicken breeds. Once you know more about a particular breed, then you can decide if that is the right chicken for you. Take into consideration your purpose for raising chickens, your geographic location, the way the chicken looks and how the breed acts around people. Buckeye chickens are a solid choice for beginner or experienced chicken farmers. This breed has a lot of appealing features.
Traits of This Breed
Buckeye chickens may be the right choice if you’re planning to break into chicken farming. The breed was developed in Ohio during the 19th century by crossing Barred Plymouth Rocks, Buff Cochins and another type of black-breasted, red game bird. While this breed became popular after its creation, in the later 20th century it declined almost to extinction. Today, more chicken farmers are choosing buckeye chickens, so the breed is experiencing a rebirth. Here are some details about this type of chicken.
- Appearance – Looking at buckeye chicken pictures, you can see that they are a stockier bird with a dark mahogany red body and black tail feathers. They also have a pea comb and yellow legs.
- Egg and Meat Potential – Buckeye chicken egg production is one of the selling points of this breed. Their suitability as meat chickens is another plus.
- Climate Hardiness – This breed was created to thrive during the worst of Ohio’s winter weather. Because of the bird’s stockiness, it can handle cold temperatures and other elements.
- Personality – Buckeyes are curious about humans and friendly. They enjoy foraging for bugs.
Housing Your Chickens
If you’re ready to go out and start a new flock of buckeye chickens, it’s vital to spend time creating the perfect place to house them. You want to create the ideal space for your birds to be able to grow and live a good life. Here are some ways to do this.
- Have Enough Space – One of the biggest factors to having a successful chicken flock is giving your birds enough space. Free-range chickens need at least four square feet per bird in your coop. Permanently housed chickens need at least 10 square feet.
- Protect Your Flock – Keeping your birds safe from wild predators is essential to the health of your flock. Make sure you take steps to ensure that your birds are protected from foxes, wolves, coyotes or other hunters. Use an appropriately sized chicken wire around your coop.
- Keep Your Coop Pest-Free – You want to keep your coop clean and free from vermin. In order to do this, you must ensure that the space on the ground is not inviting rodents to burrow through and eat your flock’s food.
- Create a Comfy Spot – If you spend time making your coop as comfortable as possible, your buckeye chickens will thrive. Place a few quiet egg-laying boxes throughout the coop, and give your birds a roosting pole for resting times. Make sure you have a feeder and a waterer that is a few inches off the ground.
- Give Your Birds Room – You can give your birds more space by attaching a secure chicken run around the perimeter of the coop. Make sure you choose the right chicken wire around the run to keep your flock safe and secure.
Your New Flock
After you make the choice to raise buckeye chickens, you can see how fun and exciting the backyard chicken life can be. Ensure the health of your new flock by providing plenty of human interaction, fresh food, foraging opportunities and clean water. That way your birds can live a long life in privilege.