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Poultry Stories

Poultry of the American Southwest also deserve a place in the sun, or at least a place on this website. The pioneers relied upon Guinea Fowl, peacocks and chickens to keep the rattlers away from the homestead. You may read a story that includes something about my chickens in The Blizzard.

Oldtimer's note: don't leave eggs lying around during a drought. Rattlers can get so desperate that they will come around anyhow to eat the eggs. Found that one out the hard way:(

I breed Black Sumatras and Cubalayas, and have assorted other egg layer hens for breeding experiments. You may view a short movie here and a long one here of some of these chickens.

  Click here for more about Cubalayas.

 Click here for more about Sumatras. 
Fosdick, a Cubalaya cockerel at seven months, just watching the hens walk by. He hatched from one of the eggs I bought from Shamoman's Fowl Farm. You can see more photos of Fosdick and of a Cubalaya hen hatched from a Shamoman egg here.
Fabian, a Sumatra cock at twenty months in his December plumage. His tail became much longer the by summer. I got him as a chick from Privett Hatchery in Portales, New Mexico.

An interesting thing about Sumatras and Cubalayas is that they are the only breeds whose roosters have two or more spurs on each leg, as well as thick, abundant tails held horizontal or below. Sumatras are a pure breed from the wilds of the island of Sumatra. Cubalayas were developed in Cuba from birds brought from Asia (perhaps Malaysia or the Philippines) plus some European stock. Note that the development of this breed is not well documented. I would not be surprised if the Cubalaya breed benefited from Sumatra genetics, or perhaps they have a common ancestor. Perhaps someday DNA sequencing will resolve this question.

One of the Cubalaya eggs I got from William Bender (AKA Shamoman) hatched into a cockerel, Stretch, that I originally thought looked like maybe a Shamo sneaked in with a Cubalaya hen. Experts who have looked at Stretch's photos disagree. They say he is just a variation on the theme of beautiful things Cubalaya, and I guess they must be right. Stretch has a long tail, but the rest of his body is much more closely feathered that my other Cubalayas. Click here for photos of Stretch. He's much bigger than the other Cubalayas, and way more aggressive. In one of the movies on this site you can see Fosdick getting nervous, then running away, and then Stretch comes swaggering into the picture. That was the day before he almost killed Fabian. Auugh! Stretch now lives in the South Valley (south of Albuquerque) where he is participating in a breeding project to create exceptionally vigorous long tail roosters.

To learn more about poultry, please see these books.


    

© 2005 Carolyn M. Bertin. All rights reserved.