Rare & Endangered Breeds
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo specializes in breed conservation. Our work with rare and endangered poultry has been ongoing for near a decade. Through the process of selective breeding and constant observation to established standards of perfection, we strive to further the strength of future generations.
Without the intervention of today's poultry keepers many of the breeds we are now familiar with would no longer be known to us. At Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo we take this very seriously. As stewards of breed conservation we aim to lead by example in the hopes that others might follow.
Whether it is establishing biosecurity protocols or assessing the best nutritional requirements to ensure optimal growth and longevity, Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo works tirelessly to put our stock first and foremost in our day to day operational decisions.
As such, you can trust in Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo to deliver the absolute best example of the breed when choosing livestock from our farm. We do not sell pet poultry stock or substandard genetics for the sake of profit.
If it isn't good enough for us, it isn't good enough for your program either.
For the sake of the breed as a whole we protect their future outcome by strictly limiting the stock we produce for sale. Hatching eggs and chicks are typically limited to established and standardized breeds only. Preference given to providing breeding age birds of exceptional quality instead.
The Appenzeller Barthuhner, or the ‘Bearded Chicken of Appenzell’ as it's name translates to, is a chicken breed that was first developed in the province of Appenzell in Switzerland. It’s an ornamental bird, yet with good egg laying capabilities even in the harsh months of winter.
Barthunhers are sturdy, calm birds that are very good foragers too. They have rose combs, beards that cover their white earlobes, small wattles, and slate-blue legs. Simply, the Barthuhner is well-equipped with all advantages for a rough mountain climate, where it was developed in the first place.
Barthunher hens are good layers of large white eggs (around 200 eggs per year weighing approximately 60 each), and they may go broody too. The most common color-varieties for this bird are; black, blue, partridge, and black-breasted red. A bantam version is also available for this breed, but it’s quite a bit more rare yet.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo works with the partridge and black varieties of Appenzeller Barthuhner.
The Ayam Cemani, (“ayam” means chicken in Indonesian, while “Cemani” denotes the village where the bird originates), is a very unusual and exotic chicken breed from Indonesia. It’s known for being entirely black from toe to head, and even its internal organs, flesh and bones are black too.
Having black flesh coloration is a complex genetic trait resulting from an unusual chromosomal rearrangement, first appeared long ago in southeast Asia. It’s also believed that the Ayam Cemani, or its immediate ancestor, is the founder of all the world’s black-fleshed chicken breeds, such as; the Silkie and the Swedish Black Hen.
The Ayam Cemani has drawn considerable interests from fowl fanciers and scientists around the world, for their beautiful shiny looks and genetics. In Asia, they are culturally credited with mystical powers of their flesh and bloods. Their bloods are actually of a dark-red color, but not black. Cemanis are often used in their land of origins in medicine, and in sacrificial rituals to bring good luck and fortune.
Ayam Cemani chickens are friendly, hardy and active foragers. The hens lay cream-colored eggs (around 60 – 100 eggs per year of weighing 45 g each). Unfortunately, they are poor setters, and rarely hatch their own brood.
Ayam Cemani are the most exotic and expensive breed of chicken in the world. True, high quality stock is typically cost prohibitive for most poultry keepers.
Silkies are a breed of chickens that have been mentioned for several hundred years. Their origins are still disputed, but some people think they originated in India, while others favor China and Japan to be the points of origin. Silkies' persistent broodiness is a breed characteristic, the breed provides reliable broody hens for the eggs of other large fowls or bantams.
Silkies are walnut-combed, five-toed and feathered-legged birds. They are a light-weight chicken breed with a broad, stout looking body, due to the fact it’s covered with fine fluffy feathers. Silkies make wonderful mothers too, despite being rather poor layers of cream or tinted eggs (100 eggs per year max).
Silkies are calm, friendly, trusting and rather lively birds which is unable to fly, and do almost no damage to their housing place. They can be easily tamed to be real pets, which makes them especially suitable for children. Silkies are available in a lot of color-varieties that include; black, blue, gold, white, partridge, grey, cuckoo, red and buff. They appear in two distinct varieties as well; Bearded and Non-bearded.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo specialize in Bearded Silkies/Showgirls, which differ in having an extra muff of feathers under the beak area that covers their blue earlobes. Also, they are one of the few chicken breeds that have black skin, bones and grayish-black meat.
A bantam version is also available that’s more easily acquired than the large fowl variety, but Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo select breeding groups for large fowl sized Silkie/Showgirls in an assortment of colour varieties.
Brahmas are a large breed of chicken that originated in the United States of America. They were developed from very large feather-legged birds imported from the Chinese port of Shanghai.
Brahmas are massive sedate birds with broad, deep bodies, full breasts, and long powerful yellow feathered legs. They have pea combs, relatively small wattles, red earlobes, and very heavy eyebrows. The pea comb and the head shape are the most noticed characteristics that distinguish the Brahma from the Cochin, which it closely resembles.
Brahma hens are good winter layers of large brown eggs (120 – 180 per year), and they tend to go broody too. Brahma’s profuse feathering makes them very good at withstanding the cold winter weather, incubating a large brood of eggs, while giving them a lovely appearance as well.
As with the Cochin chicken breed, Brahmas have remarkable and varying colours, varities that include; black, light, dark, buff, barred and partridge. A bantam version is also available for this breed.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo focuses on the Lemon Pyle variety.
Orpingtons are a heavy breed of chickens, that were named for the town of Orpington, in the south-eastern part of England. Their large size and soft appearance, together with their rich colors and gentle contours, make them a very attractive chicken breed. As a result, Orpingtons' popularity increased as a showy bird rather than a utility breed.
The original Black Orpington was developed by crossing Minorcas, Croad Langshans and Plymouth Rocks. The White Orpington followed three years later, and was a cross between White Leghorns, Black Hamburgs and White Dorkings. While, the Buff Orpington was introduced later as people wanted a buff colour-variety for this chicken breed.
Orpingtons have red earlobes, and small to moderate-sized single combs and wattles, which helped to make them very cold hardy. The original colour-varieties for this chicken breed are; black, white, buff, blue and splash, but there are many additional color-varieties that got recognized across the world today. Orpington hens are very good layers of light-brown eggs (175 – 200 eggs per year) and they often go broody and make great mothers.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo specializes in the Blue Buff Columbian and Chocolate Birchen varieties of Orpington.
Polish is a European breed of chickens known for their crest of feathers. The origin of this bird and its name are still not clear, but no doubt that It’s an unusually beautiful bird.
Polish chickens have v-shaped combs, crests, white earlobes, and slate-blue legs. Also, the female’s crest should be very round, while that of the males is spikier.
In fact, Polish chickens tend to have restricted vision due to their head feathering. As a result, they can get spooked easily, and that’s why they are very responsive to voices. Their crests can also be tied up in a band as a workaround to help the bird to see, which is more favorable than cutting the beautiful crest feathers.
Polish hens lay a good number of white eggs (around 200 eggs per year). Generally, they are classed as non-sitting birds, but they can occasionally go broody. Colour-varieties of the Polish are very varied, but the best known is the white-crested black, where the body is black and the crest is white. The other two similarly patterned varieties are the white-crested blue and the white-crested cuckoo. These three color-varieties do not have beards and have wattles; while all the other color-varieties have beards with almost no wattles.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo specializes in the Tolbunt colour variety of Polish chickens exclusively.
Sanjak Longcrower, or as are locally known the ‘Rogaš’, are a rare chicken breed that originated in Sanjak (a place located at the boundary between Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo). It’s closely related to the Kosova Longcrower and till recent times it was considered to be a coloured variety of that breed.
Sanjak Longcrowers have a characteristic crest on its head that covers its v-shaped comb. It has also red earlobes, yellowish-green or slate legs, and roosters of this breed as classified as long crowers with a crow that lasts for 10 – 20 seconds. The Sanjak Longcrower looks almost identical to the Kosovo Longcrower, and differs mainly in being considerably larger and having multiple-color varieties. In fact, the Sanjak Longcrower got developed with the participation of the Kosovo Longcrower, and big long-legged birds resembling Berats.
The most common color-varieties for Sanjaks are; black, blue, black with red-brownish shoulders, mottled and white. The hens are also good layers of white eggs (around 170 eggs per year weighing approximately 55 g each), but they rarely go broody.
Swedish Blue Hen
The Swedish Blue Hen is a relatively new variety of chicken that started its development in the United States of America. A few dedicated breeders looking for a fibromelanistic bird (meaning black skin and comb) that would lay a colored egg. Swedish Blue Hens lay a beautiful green/blue egg.
The breed originated in 2004 with Isbars and Svart Hona’s being some of the background breeds used in their development. The hen is not broody and lays approximately 150 eggs per year. They stand confinement well but love to be high on the roost. They are not a flighty bird and the rooster’s are gentle. They come in black and blue with silver overtones on the roosters, hens are always a solid color.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo specializes in the black variety which is more rare than the blue version.
Wyandottes are a large breed of chickens, that originated in the USA. Despite being a well-known chicken breed, no one exactly knows the breeds involved in developing the Wyandotte.
Wyandottes are docile, dual-purpose birds that are kept for producing both meat and eggs. They appear also in a wide range of attractive colour patterns, which make them a good choice for fanciers as well. Wyandottes’ most preferable varieties are those with the laced or the partridge pattern. Solid color-varieties are being bred and raised too, such as; black, white, buff, blue and red.
Wyandottes have a rose comb, red earlobes, and bright-yellow legs. The hens will lay around 200 brown or tinted eggs per year and occasionally go broody too. Wyandotte chicks tend to be strong and are quick growers.
Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo specializes in Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.
To learn more about Silver Prairie Stock & Poultry Farm / Socrates Petting Zoo's current price list and availability, contact us today.