|Ixworth cockerel by Steven French|
The Ixworth in the picture above ( painted by Steven French)was my first stock cockerel; he became coq au vin some time ago. Ixworths were first produced in Suffolk in the 1920s by Reginald Appleyard. Reg wanted a breed of hen that would lay lots of eggs and still be a fast growing and tasty table bird. He achieved this by blending; Cornish Rock, Wyandotte, White Leghorn and perhaps the Orpington breeds. He won the prize for the best new breed at the 1930 Dairy Show and the Ixworth became a popular breed, but not for long.
In the 1940s even faster growing hybrid broiler strains were introduced from the USA the Ixworth was eclipsed. By 1990 it’s thought that only 40 remained in existence. Since then there has been a move to increase their numbers and to remove them from the “at risk” register.
The Ixworth is an ideal smallholder or Crofter’s hen it lays over 200 eggs a year, grows fast and tastes good.
Bresse Gauloise poultry are rare in Britain but are the iconic, “Poulet de Bresse” the ultimate French gourmet chicken. With their blue legs and floppy red combs they are very stylish as you might expect. I hate to admit it but they are also faster growing and better layers than the Ixworth
Hatching eggs are available from January until the end of June 2012 we will have hatching eggs of both breeds for sale at £2.50 per egg.
Eggs are dispatched in crush proof polystyrene boxes on Monday to Wednesday mornings by Royal mail for “Next Day Delivery”. This costs £7.00 for six eggs and £10.00 for twelve eggs. Before the eggs are sent to you they are stored at between 10 and 13 C. On the day of posting we try to send eggs that are less than three days old. Fertility and hatchability cannot be guaranteed but we do test batches each month. If less than 50% of your eggs are infertile on candling after 7 days of incubation, all of your eggs will be replaced free of charge if all of the infertile eggs are return to us.
Young stock and point of lay pullets are available from time to time between April and September.
Tom Bryson, Craigard, Kilchoan, Acharacle, Argyll and Bute PH36 4LL.
Tel. 01972 510279
I no longer keep Ixworths. As the total numbers of this breed became smaller fertility problems increased due to in breeding. However there are still breeders trying their best to keep the breed going and you might find hatching eggs for sale in the classified ads of "Practical Poultry Keeping".
05/02/21 Please be aware
During 2020 hatchability of my Bresse Gauloise eggs sent by Royal Mail was poor. I put this down to rough handling in the post and the possibility that packages sent Special Delivery went by airmail. when sent by air the change in atmospheric pressure damages the egg's air sac with the result that hatchability is low.
I am still selling hatching eggs from my own line bred Bresse Gauloise hens mated with a Cockerel that was imported from France in 2020 (as an egg!). Fertility at the moment is high and in order to get the benefit of the crossing of two distinct lines anyone buying eggs will get eggs in the weight range 45 - 55 gm because they will have been laid by pullets ( last year's chicks).
I am still willing to post eggs but you should be aware of the risk to hatchability, it would be better if you could collect them. Eggs sent by post will be packed in polystyrene boxes, wrapped in sheep's fleece inside a cardboard box. The fleece and the box mean extra size and weight therefore extra cost. Six eggs will cost £2.50 each post and packing £12 the more eggs the higher the postage charge.
If you want to know the effect of egg weight on hatchability go to this link