We have a variety of heritage poultry breeds here at Ravenwood Acres. Our mantra regarding poultry is ‘Heritage Poultry for Canadian Climates’ and we are always evaluating our production flocks to determine which birds we feel are best suited to uphold this ideal. We actually started our farm selling hatching eggs, and chicks, but we’ve been focused on other aspects of the farm in recent years, so the poultry has been temporarily sidelined. There is only so much we can focus on at a given time, but I’m hopeful we will be back in poultry production one day soon. In the meantime, we are still striving to keep healthy & correct flocks in our chosen breeds.
Our breeds at a glance:
-English Orpington (mottled/chocolate)
-Spangled Russian Orloff
-Cochin (mixed varieties just for fun)
-Beltsville Small White Turkeys
BUFF BRAHMA: Brahmas, in general, are gentle giants with well-feathered legs and feet and profuse, fluffy feathering. The brahma breed was originally designed for meat production, though the hens do lay relatively well and are great setters and mothers. The Buff was the last variety added to the Brahma breed and as such, it still requires some work on size and plumage, often being bred back to other Brahma varieties to increase size and correctness of type. That said, they still posses the wonderful quiet calm demeanor and friendly nature that all Brahma possess, and they are cold tolerant and a good candidate for our Canadian winters. This fancy breed of chicken makes a great pet too – a natural choice for children or 4-H projects. In 2018 we added the bantam variety of these beautiful birds as we fell hopelessly in love with them at a show in Olds, AB that fall. We hope to offer these in the future. Not currently available.
EGGS: $50/doz | CHICKS: $12/ea
COCHIN – BANTAM: Cochins are known the world over for being big friendly balls of fluff and feathers and the bantam variety is no exception! While the standards reportedly state they don’t lay very well, we haven’t had that issue with our bantams. The Bantam Cochin is very popular because of their sweet personality and fantastic mothering qualities. They are very gentle, friendly, excellent broodies, require little space, and with their many colour varieties are absolutely beautiful to look at. We do not breed these for show quality, but just for fun at this point. We have black mottled, blue, chocolate and mauve, gold laced, splash, and calico. Not currently available.
EGGS: $30/doz | CHICKS: $10/ea
ENGLISH ORPINGTONS: The Orpington was bred to be an excellent layer with good meat quality. Their large size and soft appearance together with their rich colour and gentle contours make them very attractive, and as such its popularity has grown as a show bird rather than a utility breed. We strive to breed for both traits! Not only is the Orpington a striking exhibition bird, but the breed is prized for it’s docile nature. They are exceptionally hardy during the winter months and continually lay eggs in cold weather. Orpingtons will mature slowly, and begin to lay medium to large brown eggs at around 24-30 weeks. They handle confinement relatively well or can be free-ranged. They go broody very often, and make great mothers. Being rather heavy, they are only able to fly small distances but rarely do, so they work well as backyard birds. The Chocolate variety was only recently imported to Canada, and we are extremely proud to have a small flock of them! Our end goal is to produce a lovely group of mottled chocolate and black birds. Not currently available.
EGGS: $80/doz | CHICKS: pullets $20/ea, cockerels $10. Please note, not all pens are sexable. Those that aren’t will be sold straight run at $12/chick.
CREAM/CRELE LEGBAR & WELSUMMER PEN: The Cream Legbar (or Crested Cream Legbar) is one of the most popular autosexing breeds seen today, in part due to their beautiful blue eggs. Cream Legbar chicks can be sexed by their down colour at hatch, thereby making it one of the most desirable backyard chickens as most bylaws restrict the possession of cock birds in urban areas. Like most CL flocks in Canada, we have a combination of Greenfire and Reese lines in our flock. Many of the original imports of this breed did not necessarily possess the proper ‘cream’ genetic component and thus the British Reese line’s popularity as stellar show stock and ‘proper’ colouration became the standard to have. We feel diversity is important and have continued to use our Greenfire line in breeding even though this doesn’t always produce proper colouration. I have found them to have a much larger egg and this seems to produce a more robust bird, which we feel is a necessity in Canada. We like our extra cockerels to be useful too (most are butchered) so we prefer a bird on the larger end of the spectrum. In addition to their lovely blue eggs and fanciful crests, we love the look of the hen’s soft ruddy chest and mousy plumage. They are friendly birds and the cocks are very showy with their barred feathers and showpiece combs. We have also found them to be very consistent layers and highly recommend these to our clientelle for variety and fun! Our flock will produce crested, and non-crested, cream, crele and even more lovely feather and egg colours when combined with our Welsummer flock. Not currently available.
WELSUMMER: Welsummers are beautiful birds, sought after for their dark brown eggs, as well as their lovely personality and temperament! Another auto-sexing breed, the females have a darker coloured head at hatch and can be reasonably selected from the males. The Welsummer was primarily bred as a table bird and thereby has a decent amount of meat available for utility purposes. Their dark brown eggs are also sought after, because of their beautiful rich pigment – though not as dark as Marans, they are a beautiful deep terracotta colour often speckled with dark spots. They are calm, friendly and docile birds that fit in very well to any flock, even those in urban and rural backyards. They don’t mind being handled and are happy to be kept in an enclosure if free ranging isn’t an option. They are excellent foragers as well. Not available for 2022.
EGGS: $50/doz | CHICKS: pullets $20/ea, cockerels $10/ea
SILKIE/SHOWGIRL: The Silkie is a bantam sized chicken known for their nearly black skin, turquoise ear lobes, hair like feathering and fifth toe. They are not only unique to look at, but also extremely kid friendly, excellent broodies and mothers, and one of the most popular breeds at poultry shows. Hens are often used to raise chicks of other breeds and because of their docile nature, and because they take to confinement well, they make excellent pets and backyard chickens. They are calm, friendly, trusting, and rather lively birds but they are unable to fly and do not see well as a result of their pouffy head plumage, so be sure to have adequate protection from predators for them. Despite their appearance, they are robust little chickens and can withstand the cold quite well, keeping in mind that their feathers do not trap heat as well as a regularly feathered bird so they do need adequate draft-free shelter. The breed is also renowned for their meat carcass as they are good solid little birds for their size. As always we like to promote utility in our breeds, but we are also focused on breeding to APA standards to produce show quality stock. We are working primarily with the Partridge variety and Whites and have several Showgirls in the pens as well. Showgirls are Silkies that possess the ‘naked neck’ gene so you will get the odd naked neck in your hatches! Some people think they are funny looking, but trust me, you will fall in love with them! Not currently available.
EGGS: $5/egg | CHICKS: $10/ea, unsexed
SALMON FAVEROLLES: Faverolles are one of our favorite chicken breeds. They’re wonderfully odd-looking, with muffs, a beard, feathered feet and five toes. Hens are beautiful, with snowy breasts and fluffy white faces, while their backs are a lovely muted salmon colour sometimes with white lacing. Cock birds are huge and magnificent, parading around with a virtual rainbow of colors. The roosters are noted for being particularly calm and dignified, and make great additions to the home flock since they are not as aggressive as some other breeds. The hens lay medium-sized light brown or creamy eggs in prolific numbers, and they are good winter layers, too. They are shy and sweet-natured, but so docile that they sometimes find themselves at the bottom of the pecking order in a mixed flock. They are quiet, friendly, gentle birds that can actually become very affectionate towards their keepers and are an ideal breed for children. They are alert and active, and the hens make very good broodies and mothers, and they like to ‘talk’ to you. They are not particularly athletic, so are easy to keep in a safely fenced area. Despite the ‘backyard favourite’ status of this fantastic breed, it is still listed with a status of ‘threatened’ with the American Livestock Conservancy. Salmon Faverolles can be sexed by plumage at the age of 2-3 weeks. We offer these as straight run (1-4 day olds), or as sexed, but because we need to brood them, taking up space, time and feed, for 2-3 weeks before we can accurately sex them, this is reflected their price. We highly recommend this breed. Not currently available.
EGGS: $5/egg | CHICKS: $12 each, unsexed OR pullets $28/ea, cockerels $12/ea
SPANGLED RUSSIAN ORLOFF: The RUSSIAN ORLOFF chicken is tall and upright, with a very thickly feathered neck called a ‘boule’, yellow legs, minuscule wattles and a cushion/raspberry comb. The chief distinction of the Russian Orloff chicken, besides its looks, is the extreme hardiness of the breed. This is a breed that will tolerate cold and foul weather and survive when other breeds cannot. Russian Orloffs are indifferent layers of light brown eggs. They are classified as non-broody and are noted to be calm in temperament. They were primarily favored for meat production, though they are noted for being hard fleshed. A rare breed in the western part of the world, the Orloff is considered critically endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We are working with and handful of other dedicated Orloff breeders to achieve APA recognition of the breed. Not currently available.
EGGS: $5/egg | CHICKS: $12/ea, unsexed
WHITE CHANTECLER: The CHANTECLER is the only breed of chicken that originated in Canada! The breed is noted for having very small wattles and a small cushion comb, the comb appearing much like a small round button sitting low on the head. An excellent layer of light brown or tinted eggs and a good winter layer, the breed is also noted for being calm, gentle, and personable. This unique and very attractive dual purpose chicken breed, was declared a “heritage” breed in Quebec by parliament, and is relatively unknown by the rest of Canada. Sadly, the breed is currently noted as having critical status by the American Livestock Conservancy and by the Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, and endangered by Rare Breeds Canada. As a result, this is one of our pet projects here at Ravenwood Acres, as we strive, alongside other Chantecler breeders, to increase awareness and numbers of this national treasure while keeping true to the Standard of Perfection. Not currently available.
EGGS: $5/egg | CHICKS: $12 each, unsexed