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Best Foraging Breeds

28062 Views 48 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Bee
What breeds have you found best for foraging?
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Well here's what I have and they all forage well. I only feed about 1 gallon of feed in the morning and about that before dark to make sure they have the protein and such they need. I have 20 chickens and 9 ducks, all are healthy.

ETA: 9/27/13 Since last year we revised our feeding a bit. Our Barred Rocks definitely forage the best. We are up to 28 chickens, 8 ducks, and 2 geese. I feed about 5 -6 cups of feed in the morning and free range.

Ancona - gone
Barred Rock
Buff Orpington - gone
Dominique - gone
Production Reds - gone
Red sex link
Mixed breeds

Pekin duck
Mallard ducks
Rouen/Jumbo pekin duck
African geese
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Before starting out , I researched chicken breeds as much as possible. I looked at Dark Cornish, Black Javas, and Speckled Sussex. These seemed to meet my requirements: A) Meat bird, B)Dual purpose bird w/ emphasis on meat production, C) Good foraging capabilities, D) Hens would raise chicks.
The Black Javas were my first choice, but they are difficult to find, and the few I did find were expensive. Dark Cornish were my next choice,until I saw how pretty the Speckled Sussex were! They were simply gorgeous! It's not like me to be swayed by such sentimentality, but what can I say? JA
my silkie and my light sussex are very good at foraging.
I have sex-link and silkie and they forage very well.
I let them roam my yard.
Buckeyes make excellent foragers....they are a dual purpose Heritage breed, good layers and outstanding meat!!!
My Buckeyes forage well, just like Jeff said. For strictly laying birds that forage, our Hamburgs are probably the most aggressive foragers I have. They seem to eat barely anything out of the feeder and range widely as long as they can stay in the shelter of tall weeds or brush. They're about the closest thing I've seen to wild chickens. Of course they don't get very big, so I wouldn't consider them dual purpose, but if you want independent chickens that lay white eggs on hardly any food, they're hard to beat. Low maintenance, low overhead.
My Speckled Sussex are hands down the best foragers out of my group, and their coloring provides excellent camouflage. They aren't nervous birds either - they're quite curious. My Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, Barred Rocks, and SL Wyandottes are decent foragers as well, but it's always the Sussex that wander the furthest.


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She's gorgeous hockeychick! Thank you for sharing the picture.
nice pic, everytime a pic appears i want what i see lol. gonna have to get a bigger garden ;)
nice pic, everytime a pic appears i want what i see lol. gonna have to get a bigger garden ;)
Here's another pic for ya Rob;

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Thanks everyone! Unfortunately due to molting and a Red Star that likes to pick feathers, my Sussex girls aren't too pretty these days, except for one. When they have ALL their feathers they are truly gorgeous birds, and they have fun personalities.


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wow fantastic. looks like a drill sergeant :D
I think my leghorn lives on air. My EE's do fairly well at foraging too, and my silkies even weren't half bad at it when not broody.
wow fantastic. looks like a drill sergeant :D
Hey thinks he is a drill sergeant sometimes, too!!! :)
I've had all kinds of breeds over the years and I have found that my Speckled Sussex are the best foragers. There is a reason that they were THE bird to have in the days before commercial chicken factories.
My american games are the best foragers here they are also good at evading hawks
Leghorns, American Games, Dominique, Buff Rocks and Sussex have all been great foragers for me. Having good foragers out with the lazy ones will sometimes encourage them to go out more. Buckeyes and Games are very alert hawk watchers.
Without a shred of doubt, game are by far the better foragers. They have the ability to survive in many different enviroments and can located in many parts covering the planet.
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