ActiveLife Farm
black star hen

Dual - Purpose Chicken Varieties for 2021

We raise our heritage breed chickens on pasture whenever possible - it's important to enjoy life! Their diet of greens and insects is supplemented with a quality, non-medicated ration. In winter, the birds move indoors with natural light and with unlimited outdoor access when weather permits.

The birds are separated by breed when hatching, but for the rest of the year they live and forage togther as one happy family.

We raise and test each variety in advance to ensure quality heritage chickens and great eggs.

Chicks are available spring to fall.

NEW! Pullets and Cockerels will be offered early summer-late fall as they are sexed. Breeds/numbers will be posted to this website and facebook page when they become available.

Black Australorp

Black Australorp

  • Standard Weight:Cock 8.5 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs,
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour: Brown
  • Origin:

    The Australorp was developed in Australia from Black Orpington stock.  

  • Characteristics:

    A dual purpose breed, the Black Australorp has black plumage with a beetle-green sheen, dark eyes, large red comb and a proud upright stance.  They are calm,hardy and active, well suited to free range and small farming operations.  Good layers, the handsome hens will consistently provide large, brown eggs even in the coldest months.


 blue australorp

Blue Australorp

  • Standard Weight:Cock 8.5 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs,
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    The Blue Australorp is a rare occurrance from Black Australorp stock. 

  • Characteristics:

    The Blue Australorp has the same characteristics as the Black Australorp. Their progeny may be blue or black.


rhode-island-red

Rhode Island Red

  • Standard Weight:Cock 8.5 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs,
  • Skin colour:Yellow
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    Developed in the New England states of Massachusetts and Rhode Island, early flocks often had both single and rose combed individuals because of the influence of Malay blood. It was from the Malay that the Rhode Island Red got its deep colour, strong constitution and relatively hard feathers.

  • Characteristics:

    Some consider the Rhode Island Red to be the best egg layers of the dual purpose breeds.  A rich mahogany red feathering, medium red combs and a bright golden eye, the Rhode Island is quick and curious.  They thrive in the Nova Scotia climate, and lay well throughtout winter.

    The Rhode Island is on Rare Breeds Canada list of vulnerable breeds at risk.


barred_rock

Barred Rock

  • Standard Weight:Cock 8.5 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs,
  • Skin colour:Yellow
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    Developed in the 19th century in  America. The first Plymouth Rock was barred and other varieties developed later. The Breed became popular very rapidly, and was bred extensively. Its popularity came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of both eggs and meat.

  • Characteristics:

    Barred Rocks are an excellent dual purpose breed.  They are docile, easily tamed, and show strong mothering instinct.  They are hardy enough for the Nova Scotia climate, and are consistent layers.  Their distinctive narrow grey and white stripes are a classic farmyard sight.


americauna_hen

Ameraucana - blue egg layers

  • Standard Weight:Cock 6.5 lbs, Hen 5.5 lbs,
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour:Light Blue
  • Origin:

    Developed in USA in the 1970s and derived from the Araucana of Chile, the Ameraucauna is best know for it's pastel blue-shelled eggs.

  • Characteristics:

    Prized mainly for it's unique coloured eggs, the Ameraucana is an unusual looking bird with a pea comb, large eyes, and well-feathered body. Both the hens and the roosters have distinctive "ear muff" feathers, and their plummage colours can include black, rich red, silver and blue. They are a medium sized dual purpose fowl, hardy and good layers.


 bufforpington

Buff Orpington

  • Standard Weight:Cock 10 lbs, Hen 8 lbs,
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    Orpingtons were developed in England at the town of Orpington in County Kent during the 1880s. They were brought to America in the 1890s and gained popularity very rapidly, based on their excellence as a meat bird.

  • Characteristics:

    One time years ago at a Hamilton County Fair the poultry judge was asked to describe the correct plumage colour for this variety. Taking out his gold watch he said, "That's the colour for Buff Orpingtons." And pure gold they are, symbolic of great value and high quality.
    Orpingtons are heavily but loosely feathered.
    They are large, stately birds of quiet disposition.
    Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. Their heavy, full plumage makes them excellent winter layers, shelling out brown eggs right through cold weather.
    Baby chicks are a soft light buff colour.
    They are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations; and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers.


chanticler_rooster

Chantecler

  • Standard Weight:Cock- lbs; Hen- lbs
  • Skin colour:Yellow
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    The Chanticler originated in Quebec, Canada and is a fine example of a dual-purpose breed.

  • Characteristics:

    The breed is noted for having nearly no wattles and a small cushion comb – the comb appearing much like a small round button sitting low on the head. The small comb and wattles allow this breed to withstand the cold Canadian winters without worry of frostbite. Not surprisingly, the breed is noted for being very hardy, is an excellent layer of light brown eggs with a reputation as a good winter layer, and has a well-fleshed breast.

    It is an excellent choice for anyone wanting a productive fowl that will excel in a cold climate.

    The Chantecler is listed as 'endangered' by Rare Breeds Canada.


silver laced wyandotte

Silver Laced Wyandotte

  • Standard Weight:Cock 8.5 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs
  • Skin colour:Yellow
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    This parent variety of the Wyandotte family originated in New York State in the 1870s. Originally known as "American Seabright'" or "Seabright Cochin", the breed name changed to Wyandotte in 1883 when it became a Standard breed.

  • Characteristics:

    This attractive bird has silvery white feathers laced in black, clean yellow legs, and a rose comb. While showy in appearance, this is a great dual-purpose breed and extremely cold-hardy. Eggs are light-medium brown in colour and baby chicks are a soft light grey-black.

    Wyandottes are adaptable to free range or confinement and are docile. Hens occassionally exhibit broodiness and make good mothers


speckled sussex

Speckled Sussex

  • Standard Weight:Cock 9 lbs, Hen 7 lbs
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour:Brown
  • Origin:

    A very old English breed originating in the County of Sussex. Established by 1845, and possibly earlier, this popular breed supplied meat and eggs for the London market from the mid-19th to mid-20th century. This breed was admitted to the APA in 1914 and has been considered a threatened heritage breed though it is in now, hopefully, recovering.

  • Characteristics:

    This breed has a medium-sized bright-red single upright comb, clean legs, and beautiful lustrous mahogany plumage, each feather tipped with white and a narrow black bar dividing the white from the balance of the feather.

    The Speckled Sussex is a calm, graceful bird adaptable to free range or confinement. Hens lay a reasonable number of eggs and are good mothers.


silver spangled hamburg cock

Silver Spangled Hamburg (NEW!)

  • Standard Weight:Cock- 5 lbs, Hen- 4 lbs
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour:White
  • Origin:

    Holland, yet this variety evolved in England.

  • Characteristics:

    Elegant and quick, the Silver Spangled Hamburg is a very old breed from Holland. Though relatively small, they are avid foragers, prolific layers of medium white eggs, and known for cold-hardiness. They tend not to go broody. They have bright white plumage with greenish-black spangles, rose combs, white earlobes and dark eyes. Both the roosters and hens are eye-catching, entertaining, and make bright additions to a flock.


Black Copper Maran

Black Copper Maran (NEW!)

  • Standard Weight:Cock- 8 lbs, Hen- 6.5 lbs
  • Skin colour:White
  • Egg Shell colour:Dark Copper-Brown
  • Origin:

    Marans, France

  • Characteristics:

    Introduced in the late 1800s, this medium-sized, dual purpose bird is best known for its large coppery-brown eggs (the darkest brown of any chicken egg), and the fine flavour of its meat.
    The hens and roosters have lustrous deep copper plumage around the head and neck while the body is black with copper markings. The French strain of this variety has lightly feathered shanks and toes. They have bright red single combs, earlobes, and wattles, and reddish bay eyes.


black star hen

Black Star (NEW!) - Female Chicks

  • Standard Weight:Cock- 7 lbs, Hen- 5 lbs
  • Skin colour:Yellow
  • Egg Shell colour:Light Brown
  • Origin:

    1950s, bred for excellent egg production and abiity to determine sex at hatching.

  • Characteristics:

    A hybrid of heritage breeds that can be sexed by its colour at time of hatching (sex-linked). the Black Star hen is an attractive bird with black plumage and gold hackle and breast feathers. The rooster has black with white barring, a red single comb, and red wattles and earlobes. They are calm birds, excellent layers, hardy, good foragers, and posess the same behaviour and growth patterns as heritage breeds so they mix well together.

    Sex-link traits do not carry to the next generation, in other words, Black Star birds cannot be bred to produce Black Star chicks.


red star hen

Red Star (NEW!) - Female Chicks

  • Standard Weight:Cock- 7 lbs, Hen- 5-6 lbs
  • Skin colour:Yellow
  • Egg Shell colour:Light Brown
  • Origin:

    1950s, bred for excellent egg production and abiity to determine sex at hatching.

  • Characteristics:

     A hybrid of heritage breeds that can be sexed by its colour at time of hatching (sex-linked). the Red Star hen has reddish-brown plumage flecked with white. The rooster has white plumage, a red single comb, and red wattles and earlobes. They are calm birds, excellent layers, hardy, good foragers, and posess the same behaviour and growth patterns as heritage breeds so they mix well together.

    Sex-link traits do not carry to the next generation, in other words, Red Star birds cannot be bred to produce Red Star chicks.