All of our hybrid chickens in the donkey paddock are “rescue chickens” which have been saved from slaughter after the commercial, factory egg farms have “finished” with them, usually only at eight months old.
They are extremely friendly, good layers and its a joy to see them healthy again, as when they arrive they usually have no feathers.
Hybrid birds are highly cross bred chickens. Most hybrids are based on the classic Rhode Island Red, Maran, Plymouth Rock, Sussex or Leghorns. The development of hybrid chickens started in the 1950’s when there was a hugh growth in the demand for eggs and meat. The most common hybrid is the warren hen which is a classic brown hen. In recent years however there has been a larger variety of hybrids becoming available which have both good egg layer ability and the looks to match.
Typically the chickens have been breed to be good egg layers, friendly and docile – rather than having a splendid display feathers common in pure breed hens.
There are a wide variety of hybrid birds available including Black Rock, Maran Cuivre, Bovans Nera, Calder Ranger, Goldline, Meadowsweet Ranger, White Star, Sussex Star, Bluebelle, Speckledy, Isa Brown. Many of these varieties are bred by specific poultry suppliers.