At M&M Farms, we don't just raise chickens-- we care about the lineage, genetics, and characteristics of each of our different breeds.
We're excited to share our knowledge about them with you!
German New Hampshires
Starting with a strain of Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire poultry breeders began this line for better egg production and meat conformation. Chicken became immensely popular in the US, especially during red meat shortages caused by WWII, and these birds were a breeders’ favorite. Later, the breed was exported to Germany as a food source during the rebuilding of the country, and has since come back to the United States again. They are most commonly a light red color, with red combs and wattles and yellow shanks and toes.
Project Black Ameraucanas
We’ve dabbled in the dark side— of chicken breeding, that is. These inky birds are also descended from the Ameraucana line, a medium-sized bird know for laying blue eggs. These birds were developed in the United States in the 1970’s from a variety of bird brought from Chile, and maintain the blueness of their eggs while being generally hardier than the original Araucana breed is.
Of all the ornamental breeds of chickens, the Silkie remains one of the most popular, and of course, most entertaining. They are soft, fluffy birds, with very friendly temperaments, black skin, and five toes. Oftentimes females are exceptionally broody, and have no problem hatching the eggs of other birds in addition to their own. The earliest account of a Silkie came from the writings of Marco Polo, who discovered them during his 13th century travels in China. When they became established in the West, around the mid-1800’s, myths began to circulate, including that they were actually the offspring of chickens and rabbits!
A very old breed from Asia, the Brahmas came to the United States in the mid-1800’s with sailors who had gone trading. They are massive, full-feathered birds with very striking black and white plumage, but like the Silkie are quiet, gentle, and very friendly birds. The heavy coat of feathers, including leggings on both feet, keeps them warm in cold climates, and they are good brown egg layers in all seasons. Their ancestor, the “Grey Shanghae” was a personal favorite of Queen Victoria, who was given nine by George Burnham, a poultry aficionado from Boston, Massachusetts.
Britain is famous for these lovely birds, who were bred in 1886 from Minorca, Langshan, and Plymouth Rock stocks. They lay about 190 medium-large light brown eggs a year, and have good quality. While the Lavender color is not officially recognized yet, the stunning silver feathers of this breed present a truly exciting breeding project. They are truly affectionate and friendly, despite being one of the rarest colorations you will find. The Lavender gene is a true gene that will always produce Lavender offspring.
Our Imperial Barred Rocks come from the E.B. Thomson Imperial Ringlet line, which was bred from the late 1800’s until the early 1900’s. They continue to be bred from stock raised by Frank Reese of the Good Shepard Poultry Ranch. These birds have beautifully clean and crisp barring, and are exceptional meat birds, while also laying large eggs. They have somewhat of an unfriendly temperament at times, but are a very fine example of heritage birds bred and raised in America.
Bourbon Red Turkeys
The Bourbon Red turkey is named for Bourbon County in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region where it originated in the late 1800’s. It was developed by J. F. Barbee from crosses between Buff, Bronze, and White Holland turkeys though the initial steps actually took place in Pennsylvania, where Buff turkeys of darker red hues – called Tuscarora or Tuscawara – were bred and then taken west with settlers bound for Ohio and Kentucky. These dark Buff turkeys would be the primary foundation for the new variety.
Olive Egger chickens are a cross of a blue egg layer with a brown egg layer; resulting in green egg layers in various shades. Our F1 Olives are under a Maran roo for a darker Olive egg layer (F2) We also place our F2 Olives under Ameraucana roos for another green egg variation (F3) The variety of crosses we offer result in greens of various shades and are our own project birds.
Silver Appleyard Ducks
This duck was developed by Reginald Appleyard to be not only large and beautiful, but to lay a greater number of white eggs. Originally bred in Bury St. Edmund, England, they were brought to the United States in the 1960’s and became popular in 1984. They are usually 8-9 pound birds, with a bright colored bill (either yellow or orange) and creamy, gray, brown, fawn, and buff markings. The male has a green head, and both he and the female will have a bright blue cross-stripe on their wings. They’re great birds for pets, decoration, eggs, and gourmet eating, with a calm temperament and beautiful appearance.
Easter Eggers are offspring of Ameraucanas that do not breed true and often do not meet the Standards of Perfection. Most will have muffs, beards & slate colored legs. Egg color is mainly blue, green or blue-green and feather color varies.