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Beautiful and friendly breed recommendation?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello!  I am looking to start a flock of chickens. Maximum it would be 10 large, with only 1 rooster.  These would be pets.  I do so enjoy watching chickens peruse around the lawn and have fallen in love after seeing a friends chickens mulling about on a visit.  Because these would be pleasure chickens, I am not too concerned about egg production.  Yes, eggs are nice, but I don't need a great layer.  Mostly I want a well mannered chicken breed with gorgeous plumage.  I know some of the less common breeds are often the prettiest.  What do you recommend?  Could you post pictures as well please?  Thank you!

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaeRain View Post
 

Hello!  I am looking to start a flock of chickens. Maximum it would be 10 large, with only 1 rooster.  These would be pets.  I do so enjoy watching chickens peruse around the lawn and have fallen in love after seeing a friends chickens mulling about on a visit.  Because these would be pleasure chickens, I am not too concerned about egg production.  Yes, eggs are nice, but I don't need a great layer.  Mostly I want a well mannered chicken breed with gorgeous plumage.  I know some of the less common breeds are often the prettiest.  What do you recommend?  Could you post pictures as well please?  Thank you!


I'm partial to the White Chantecler. Very calm and friendly, including the cocks.  Plus, they lay a respectable 200+ eggs per year.

 


Edited by hellbender - 12/12/15 at 10:11pm

We live in West 'By God' Virginia 

 

 

                                                    When Tyranny is Certain and Loss of Freedom is Nigh

                                                                  Revolution is Demanded of All Patriots

 

 

      

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We live in West 'By God' Virginia 

 

 

                                                    When Tyranny is Certain and Loss of Freedom is Nigh

                                                                  Revolution is Demanded of All Patriots

 

 

      

Reply
post #3 of 7

It's kind of hard, because everybody has their own idea of what "gorgeous plumage" means. Some people love the drama of a white chicken, others enjoy the vivid colors of the gamefowl etc. 

 

But personally I'd suggest getting a flock of bantams. There are many, many varieties, lots of colors and types to choose from, and generally speaking if you raise your chicks by hand and spend lots of time with them most will be fairly tame. My own personal favorite is the Mille Fleur. Plus, bantams take up less room and consume less feed! ;)

post #4 of 7

Welcome!  Choosing chickens is such a personal thing......if you ask 100 people you'll get 100 different and glowing recommendations.  Personally I like a mixed flock.  There's just something about seeing all different kinds and colors of chickens puttering around on a green lawn that makes me smile every time!  Anyone who knows me on BYC knows that I am very partial to Easter Eggers.....they are all so different and you can get them smooth or puffy cheeked.  Laying is so-so.....a few a week.  That said, there are exceptions - I have one we call Dumb Daphne, the flock complainer.  She laid her last egg in December of last year and hasn't laid another one yet.  I've been threatening to give her a one way ticket to freezer camp, but she's got so doggone much personality that she's still out there eating and not paying any rent.  <sigh>  She thinks she's a rooster - always protecting the flock so she earns her keep that way, I guess.  Then we have Mathilda, the Cossack, who is a very prolific layer for an Easter Egger.  Lots of eggs from her year round. She didn't read the Easter Egger instruction book.  And everybody knows Agatha - silly faced little Agatha.  Click on the link to meet my Easter Egger original 5 and look at those faces and colors!  I ordered more this past spring and don't regret it one bit!

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-easter-eggers-of-oleo-acres

 

I also have Cuckoo Marans, Buff Brahmas, Light Brahmas, a Buff Orpington, and Red Sex Links - another personal favorite but probably more egg production than you are looking for.  The advice to look into Bantams if you are more interested in the asthetics of chicken keeping.  And what a coincidence - you can get Bantam Easter Eggers!  ;)

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blooie View Post
 

Welcome!  Choosing chickens is such a personal thing......if you ask 100 people you'll get 100 different and glowing recommendations.  Personally I like a mixed flock.  There's just something about seeing all different kinds and colors of chickens puttering around on a green lawn that makes me smile every time!  Anyone who knows me on BYC knows that I am very partial to Easter Eggers.....they are all so different and you can get them smooth or puffy cheeked.  Laying is so-so.....a few a week.  That said, there are exceptions - I have one we call Dumb Daphne, the flock complainer.  She laid her last egg in December of last year and hasn't laid another one yet.  I've been threatening to give her a one way ticket to freezer camp, but she's got so doggone much personality that she's still out there eating and not paying any rent.  <sigh>  She thinks she's a rooster - always protecting the flock so she earns her keep that way, I guess.  Then we have Mathilda, the Cossack, who is a very prolific layer for an Easter Egger.  Lots of eggs from her year round. She didn't read the Easter Egger instruction book.  And everybody knows Agatha - silly faced little Agatha.  Click on the link to meet my Easter Egger original 5 and look at those faces and colors!  I ordered more this past spring and don't regret it one bit!

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-easter-eggers-of-oleo-acres

 

I also have Cuckoo Marans, Buff Brahmas, Light Brahmas, a Buff Orpington, and Red Sex Links - another personal favorite but probably more egg production than you are looking for.  The advice to look into Bantams if you are more interested in the asthetics of chicken keeping.  And what a coincidence - you can get Bantam Easter Eggers!  ;)


Totally agree with much of what you say!  my only problem with a mixed flock and a novice fowl owner, it's very easy to get beautiful birds that don't really get along and can become very aggravating.  I always suggest that the first timer might get one breed, learn more and then add additional breeds when they feel more comfortable.

 

I find myself to be very interested in the Black Marans.  So,@Blooie...do you know anything about them that you might impart to me?


Edited by hellbender - 12/13/15 at 9:01am

We live in West 'By God' Virginia 

 

 

                                                    When Tyranny is Certain and Loss of Freedom is Nigh

                                                                  Revolution is Demanded of All Patriots

 

 

      

Reply

We live in West 'By God' Virginia 

 

 

                                                    When Tyranny is Certain and Loss of Freedom is Nigh

                                                                  Revolution is Demanded of All Patriots

 

 

      

Reply
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellbender View Post
 


Totally agree with much of what you say!  my only problem with a mixed flock and a novice fowl owner, it's very easy to get beautiful birds that don't really get along and can become very aggrivating.  I always suggest that the first timer might get one breed, learn more and then add additional breeds when they feel more comfortable.

And that's a perfect example of what I mean by "ask 100 people"!  :lau  I started my chicken adventure with 5 Buff Orpingtons, 5 Golden Laced Wyandottes, 5 Red Sex Links, 2 Speckled Sussex, 2 Cuckoo Marans, and of course 5 Easter Eggers. The only ones I absolutely hated were the GLW - they had a gang mentality that drove me and the rest of the flock crazy.  One would start picking on one of the other chickens and the other 4 zoomed in like cockroaches on a banana peel, all beating the snot out of their chosen victim at once.  Got rid of them post-haste and peace has reigned supreme in the flock since, despite adding two more breeds this year. I've had no aggression issues whatsoever, even when integrating 4 week old chicks with the adults. By getting a few of several breeds or varieties, I felt better able to make decisions on which I liked a lot, which were so-so, and which had to absolutely go!  

 

What you suggest makes perfect sense, and I'm so glad you mentioned it. I didn't go that way because I didn't want to be "stuck" with a flock full of one kind of birds that I might really end up not liking at all.  And I love the rainbow on the lawn.  But it sure is a matter of personal preference, isn't it?  What worked well for me might well not be the best idea for someone else, so our original poster has a variety of suggestions to ponder.....

post #7 of 7

There can always be an exception with any breed, but breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) include Australorps, Orpingtons, Silkies, Cochins, Brahmas, Sussex, and Faverolles. If egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list. Beauty is a subjective thing and I would suggest looking at pics of these breeds on google for yourself, but I personally think that Salmon Faverolles are probably the most beautiful breed on this list (see the pic below). 

http://www.pets4homes.co.uk/images/classifieds/2014/05/10/629717/large/large-breed-salmon-faverolle-chicks-for-sale-536e147b0238e.JPG

http://www.pets4homes.co.uk/images/classifieds/2014/05/10/629717/large/large-breed-salmon-faverolle-chicks-for-sale-536e147b0238e.JPG


Edited by Michael OShay - 12/13/15 at 8:07pm
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