October 2022

Exciting news update on the Thorny Croft Chickens

The most exciting update we have here is that Taiamai decided to take a leap and cross his Sicilian Buttercups with  our Golden Campines, to see how the usual changes with hybrids panned out.

They have been amazing this season, apart from being stunningly beautiful they are very vigorous  and early layers  which is what hybrids usually offer. They may not be totally a stable cross yet, I’m sure they will keep evolving and changing for a few generations, but we have crossed possibly the two most efficient egg producers in the country when eating non industrial chicken food, and the result was earlier laying  and they lay a bigger egg as did the Sicilian Buttercups as well as being the size of the Buttercups (larger bodies more meat as a table bird) . 

We are hatching hundreds of babies as I write and this  Summer/ Autumn we will have available on the Koanga website Golden Campine  trios( 2 pullets 1 rooster)  and roosters as well as Sicilian Buttercup x Golden Campine trios and roosters. Possibly the only chickens you can buy that have been bred to be top egg layers in forest gardens and situations without industrial food. If you put your name on the waiting lists here you will receive an e-mail when they are available to order.

Our Araucana chickens are also doing very well, and they are firmly on our top favorites list now for all reasons, super good foragers and diggers! Super efficient converters of foraged food to eggs, also good table birds and very friendly, better than our other breeds in urban situations.

We are using Chinese Silkies as our mothers this year, they are so, so easy to manage compared to many other constantly clucky breeds, for  a start they can’t fly.. We are enjoying them.


Our Indian Runner ducks are also laying well so we’re hoping to have our Black Indian Runners available too. In the next newsletter we’ll give you a Chinese Weeder geese update, and an update on the Cayuga duck situation.. 

We would like to acknowledge the passing of Ken Vincent in the past year, who has been a poultry mentor for our family for around 40 years. Most of what we learned and kept came from him over the years.We have here his old, old, old, cayuga ducks which Taiamai thinks are possibly the best cayuga genetics in the country and they are laying right now, so we are praying that the eggs are fertile and we get replacements which will be a new beginning for this breed in NZ.


Taiamai will have a few Wiltshire sheep and rams for sale over Summer so put your names on the waiting lists here if you are keen to be notified when they become available, they have been bred and selected to do well on very poor soils over 20 years now, never been drenched or any other injections etc

Dexter Cattle

Finally we have a few very special weaner calves for sale, they are Dexter x Jersey crosses  (Mum 1st cross Dexter x Jersey with dad purebred Dexter) as well as a Dexter yearling and 2 Dexter x Jersey yearlings (2nd cross Dexters same as the weaner calves). These calves and yearlings are all potential house cows for you. All of their mothers are currently being milked by us and they have all been raised to be quiet and in the yards every day with their mothers. Check them out here. They have also been selected and bred to be hardy, healthy and do well in tough conditions… no drenching in 40 years!

Dexters for sale at present:

Whetu and Greta

If you interested in purchasing any of these animals please e-mail [email protected]

Read more about the Thorny Croft Animals