I like Buckeyes.
Even though our gentle Buckeyes are not prolific egg layers they have proved their usefulness to the farm.
This summer Buckeye hens set and hatched out 19 ducklings and a handful of chicks. Filling our freezer with delicious duck and developing a market for duck meat is a goal of the farm. Using broody hens to set the eggs and brood the immature birds before they feather out frees me from attending to the incubator and brooder. Rather than managing the young poultry’s manured bedding, the ducklings move over the field in open-bottomed pens under the guidance of the protective hens
This winter the hens will turn compostables from the barn, kitchen and gardens. Within a makeshift enclosure of odd pieces of fencing, on a steep section of the barnyard, the Buckeyes will turn the waste into compost for the vegetable garden beds.
In an effort to improve the carcass quality of the flock and hopefully add slow-raised, heritage birds to our products list, I bought a breeding trio of Buckeyes from East of Eden farm in Huntersville, NC. These NC birds’ genetics are from the Buckeye Recovery Project of the Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
My plan is to add one more unrelated trio of Buckeyes and to improve the size our PA Buckeye flock.