Novogen Chicken: One Year Review for Homesteading with Chickens

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘I WISH I had known of them sooner! NOVOGEN BROWN CHICKEN One Year Review #homesteading #chickens’ by Porterhouse and Teal

Written by: Recapz Bot

Written by: Recapz Bot

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Performance of Judy and Squatty, Novigin Brown chickens, documented over a year revealing high productivity, easy sex differentiation, docile nature, and continued egg laying even in winter, making them suitable for composting yards, although cold hardiness remains unconfirmed.

Key Insights

  • The video is documenting the performance of two specific chicken breeds, Judy and Squatty, over the course of a year.
  • These chickens are of the Novigin Brown breed, which the speaker claims are the best birds they have.
  • Judy and Squatty successfully hatched seven chicks out of a dozen and ended up with five healthy ones.
  • The Novigin Browns are prolific egg layers, providing around 395 large to extra large dark brown eggs with thick shells in 70-72 weeks.
  • They are a red sex-linked bird, making it easy to differentiate between males and females from birth.
  • The speaker praises the docile nature and calm temperament of these birds, as well as their heat tolerance.
  • Compared to other chicken breeds on their property, these Novigin Browns continue to lay eggs while others have stopped for the winter.
  • These chickens are well-suited for a composting chicken yard, where they actively search for food throughout the day.
  • Judy got her name because she was a broody hen, while Squatty is incredibly docile and allows people to pet her.
  • The speaker is impressed with the feed conversion efficiency of these birds and is overall very satisfied with their performance.
  • The only aspect that hasn't been confirmed is their cold hardiness.
  • The speaker plans to continue adding the Novigin Brown genetics to their flock in the future.

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Since we’ve had them now for a full year, I think it’s important to be able to provide you a compare and contrast with their actual performance that we’ve experienced against what they state that these birds will do. So as we get toward the end of the video, I’ll provide that comparison.

Hey, we don’t typically name our birds, but these two are kind of special birds to us and they have to do something special in order to get that name. So this one happens to be Judy. And this one’s Squatty. We’re gonna tell you exactly why they got those names, but we wanted to talk about this breed as a whole. This breed, in my opinion, is they’re the best birds we have.

So how did Judy get her name? She, along with Squatty, wound up deciding last year that they wanted to become mamas. And they wound up hatching out for us out of the dozen that we started with. We split the dozen between both of these birds and we got seven of them to successfully hatch. We wound up losing two of them and ultimately ended up with five. So that’s currently what they were able to give us last year. That’s something that is very important to me as far as being able to produce birds here on our own property. So these two girls get a little bit of extra street cred in my book.

Yep, they’re very sweet. I like to call them ladies. I had never even heard of them last year. And my son-in-law said, hey, I’ve been hearing some pretty good things about the Novigin birds. Let’s give them a try. And so I said, yeah, sure, why not? We wound up getting these birds from Freedom Ranger Hatchery. And we ordered 20 birds. They sent us 22. We lost like nine of them actually because they were delayed in transit. So by the time they got to us, they were in pretty bad shape, unfortunately. So we wound up ultimately with 14 birds. That was split between my son-in-law and daughter and we took seven.

We got these last November 2nd and 18 weeks later, we received our first egg. And by 20 weeks, five months of age, all seven of them were laying and producing. These – Daily. Yeah. Daily. Yeah, these birds are said to produce, what was it? 395 in 72 weeks, I believe it was. Yeah, so they are a very prolific egg layer. They were genetically selected and bred for that purpose. There is five strains within the Novigin breed. We happen to have the Novigin Browns.

The thing about these birds is they’re a red sex-linked bird meaning their sex will be easily detected at birth which is kind of a nice thing if you’re getting hatchery birds because you’re gonna be less likely to get roosters unless you’re looking for roosters. You’re gonna be more likely to get all females. At birth, it’s easy for them to be detected. The males are generally lighter in color and the females will be darker.

These birds, as you can see, they look very much like kind of like a Rhode Island Red because they’re actually a cross between a Rhode Island Red and a Rhode Island White is what produces that genetic. Although they look very much like a Rhode Island Red, their under feathers are white. And it’s that they originated from France in 1997. They started laying their first eggs in February and it’s now the first part of December and they’re still laying strong. We get six to seven eggs every day. And all the other birds that we have currently, they’ve stopped laying back in October. While these birds are still going strong, the other birds have decided to pack it in for the winter. We have a Domeneath, Buff Orpington, Black Australorp. Good birds in their own right, but in my opinion, these birds are far superior.

I’ve been very, very happy with the performance of them, the egg-laying capability. They’re super docile. They’re the most docile birds we have, would you say? They are. The other ones we have are a little bit more skittish. These ones, you pretty much can walk right up on them and pick them up and hold them if you so choose to. These birds are very calm, very docile, great personalities. And another thing that’s been a pleasant surprise with them is that they seemingly are very heat-tolerant. We wound up losing a few birds last year because of the heat that we get here where we live. It’s routinely over 90 degrees all summer long. It’s not uncommon for it to be over 100 degrees for weeks at a time. And last year we had a period where I think it was like three weeks where it was over 110 degrees. And we wound up losing some birds as a result of that. So if you’re looking for something that’s hardy, I can speak to that aspect for these particular birds. I can’t speak to the cold hardiness because it just doesn’t get that cold air. Maybe freezing is like as cold as it gets, right? Right, but we had some days that were like 118 and they did great. Yeah, yeah, well, I wouldn’t say they were like, you know, stoked about it, but they didn’t die. I personally wasn’t stoked about it. Right, right.

Yeah, this is a black Australorp right here. Those are great birds. They’re heavy scratchers. They do pretty good work in here in the compost yard. They’re not nearly as, I wouldn’t say as active as these birds, these novigins. They stay working all the time. They’re in here just searching for food. And, you know, the other gals, they want to go off and just kind of hang out and that’s their choice. You know, it’s a voluntary system here we have. However, we do run this as a composting chicken yard and that’s one of the functions that these birds do provide to us. So we’re looking for birds that actually engage in that manner. And so the food that we kind of laden throughout the yard, they’re able to actually just all day long, just search for it and find those little nuggets and morsels. So they’re very useful for us in that regard.

The two birds that we have given names to got those names because of a couple of things that they had done. The one we called Judy, she got that because she was actually a broody hen. So Rebecca named her Broody Judy. And the other was? Squatty. And she got the name of Squatty because she would come up to you and kind of squat down and spread her wings and allow you to pet her. She’s very docile. Took them a while to get settled into a normal laying pattern, but they laid a lot of double yolks, which in my opinion, isn’t a bad thing. I think that’s a bonus. I just really like them.

So I wanted to kind of bring that to your guys’ attention. Able to convert feed in a way that allows them to produce and stay healthy. This one doesn’t look so healthy right now because they’re just entering the molt, getting ready to shed all their feathers. So she’s looking kind of scraggly, but yeah, we run these birds in the springtime. Once the grass starts to grow around our property, we’ll take and we’ll move their chicken tractor slash coop. And then we’ll run them in electro netting behind the cows that we have and allow them to work the pasture. And they just love that. They seem to do very well on it. So a very adaptable bird that I can’t really speak highly enough about. If I were to talk about anything that maybe I don’t like about them, I can’t come up with anything right now. So. No, you get a little upset when you’re trying to do the piles and they want to get up underneath your feet and you think you’re going to step on them. I know, I know. You’re like, ladies, get away. I know, you really have to watch them because they do get up on you. And I actually had one that I wound up running over with a wheelbarrow and that was not too cool. She’s fine. But you just, they are very inquisitive. They are very friendly. And so you do have to be mindful of stepping on one or running over one

This article is a summary of the YouTube video ‘I WISH I had known of them sooner! NOVOGEN BROWN CHICKEN One Year Review #homesteading #chickens’ by Porterhouse and Teal