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Breeds

We take pride in nurturing a diverse array of chicken breeds, each with its unique characteristics and contributions to our sustainable farming practices.

Explore our selection of breeds

For a new farmer who has just decided to invest in free-range chickens, deciding on which roadrunner chicken breed to keep can be challenging. We have listed some of the most common free-range chicken breeds in Zimbabwe based on client demand and the number of farmers raising these breeds.

Boschveld

They are hardy chickens. They can easily survive and produce based on what nature offers them as long as they have large space and sufficient pasture. They can withstand varied climatic conditions in Southern Africa and keep producing well if you rear them in free-range conditions. Due to the hardiness of the chicken which is inbred, they can withstand a variety of poultry illnesses. They are not going to cost as much as broilers in disease management. Boshveld cocks are generally very strong and aggressive. Boshveld hens are equally strong and very fertile with an egg production of as many as 240 eggs per year with a fraction of the investment in management and feeding.

Rhode Island Red

Prolific egg layer that has sex-linked hybrid production. An average of 250 light brown eggs per year in good utility strains. Cock weight of 3.85kgs and 2.95kgs for hens. Dark red almost mahogany. A Rhode Island white does exist but is not very well known. Males of some strains can be very aggressive during the breeding season. The Rhode Island red has been used extensively over the years to create many of the commercial hybrid layers we see today. Originally the Rhode Island red was created as a dual-purpose utility bird but their use in hybrid layer production far outweighs their popularity as a meat bird. Rhode Island red hens are generally very placid and easily tamed, but some strains of cocks can be quite aggressive. If more than one cockerel is kept, they are better in a free-range environment where they have plenty of space. Rhode Island red hens (genetically “gold” plumage) are used to create sex-linked hybrid layers crossing with genetically “silver” hens like the white Leghorn, white Wyandotte or light Sussex chicks from such a cross can be identified at a day old by the colour of their plumage.

Black Australop

Dual purpose breed lays about 200 to 250 tinted brown eggs of medium size. Holds the record for most eggs produced within a year in a research facility. The average weight for cocks is 3.85kgs – 4.5kgs and 2.95kgs – 3.6kgs for hens. Normal colouration is black, blue and white. It is a hardy bird that is happy free-ranging, is docile and good with children. They are fast growers, reaching point of lay at about 20 to 22 weeks of age. the australop will generally not fly very high, making fencing easier. They have either glossy black feathers with a lustrous green sheen, or slate blue with dark lacing. they have a single comb that is moderately large and upright, with five points. and a very dark beady eye. They have four toes and feather free legs.

Potchefstroom Koekoek

A true gem of South African poultry heritage, the Potchefstroom Koekoek combines the best traits of several renowned breeds. Bred for resilience, adaptability, and superior foraging skills, this chicken thrives in the open spaces of free-range environments. With its distinctive barred plumage and spirited personality, the Potchefstroom Koekoek captures the essence of rustic charm. Whether scratching for insects or enjoying the company of its flockmates, these chickens embody the spirit of sustainable farming in every aspect.