No sooner than I'm half way through preparing for one endeavor, I'm on to another!
I'm thinking chickens. Our ducks are wonderful, I love the Khaki Campbell breed and they have really intense and unique personalities. Their eggs are tasty, albeit large yolked and heavy, but they lack a lot of the greasy texture that most duck eggs have. The ducks are pets, and I love them dearly. What I'm really hoping for is a fast growing dual purpose breed that I can grow and then cull all but a small handful of the best, leaving them for layers. Of course I have to find an opportune moment to introduce idea to the land lady... I'm hoping to win her over with promises of organic, locally raised chicken meat and eggs.
Anyway, I put it to anyone who might be reading this to let me know your favorite dual purpose breed and your reasons for liking them. I am most considering the following breeds:
Wyandotte (Silver or Gold Laced, moderately early maturing, beautiful feathers)
Ameracauna (Easter Egg Layers, moderately early maturing)
Australorp (Black, friendly and curious, heavy layers)
Salmon Faverolle (White and Salmon, with muffed neck and feathered feet, ... funny looking)
Whatever I end up with needs to be either dual purpose or... I may just get two breeds, a layer and a meat breed.
I really hope my landlady lets me get chickens. I have the inside of the barn all planned out if she does. There is perfect space for two chicken coops, and I'd love to build a chicken tractor (see left) to move around my various gardens to fertilize and nibble the baby weeds. I wonder if she reads my blog... Hmm.. It wouldn't be hard for her to find if she really looked.