Bred animal myself
Pennsylvania, United States
Posted Jul 18, 2011
In want of winter hardy fowl, we opted to purchase some Buckeyes. They were solid chicks from the start, and had very outgoing and active personalities. They are very much the same as adults.
The hens have proven to be very friendly, and follow us around the yard for attention. They hens mature slowly, and took at least seven months to start laying. However, once they start, they are excellent layers of large brown eggs, so make sure they get enough calcium in their diets! Our girls laid throughout the year, except when they are broody...which they often are! All of our hens brooded, some twice a year. Most made excellent mothers.
The roosters where not as lovely as the hens, and quite a few where aggressive, so we culled them. The breed matures slowly, and the cockerels are not ready for the table until 7+ months, and you should hold back from being really selective with breeding stock for even longer. The roosters have a very good taste, but the meat is extremely tough. (We butcher and raise many breeds, this breed has the toughest meat...use a crockpot!)
Health Wise: The breed seemed rather hardy, and energetic. The hens can develop egg binding, if they do not get enough calcium. Free-ranging wasn't enough to supply our girls with the calcium they needed. Also, some of the chicks would outgrow their legs, and go down on their hunches. This usually happened to the cockerels, but also to occasional pullets.