As part of the Garden Chicks project I wanted to have a pilot flock of CCL’s. After a couple of years of others and my experience this is my user’s report.
The hens are about as friendly as the commercial reds (this is good), and one CCL “Cressie” is currently the family favourite. The boys look very handsome, stunning in fact, and are generally friendly, only the occasional rooster has been aggressive.
pictures copyright part of the new book the Garden Chicks project
The hens usually lay one a day for 7-8 months the year, at least for two years. We have not tried to artificially increase daylight hours. My lattitude near Adelaide South Australia is 35 degrees and average temperature range is 16-6 degrees centigrade in July which is our winter.
The “hatched” fertility rate after the September restart seems around 50%, and goes up in November and then tapers down well below that in mid to late summer. I think what has happened is that while Araucana blood was first added to high performance breeders by Cambridge Professor Crundell to get an auto sexing commercial egg layer, the blue egg now has a life of its own.
We now breed for beauty conformity and the blue eggshell colour, and though it is the world’s most popular auto sexing bird, the huge demand has meant we have not yet met the demand and selected for egg production. Just to be clear auto sexing means the boys look different to the girls as a day-old.