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It's time to fill my first coop! Suggestions appreciated!

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi all! I am planning on building a chicken coop this spring and need your help! I have been pouring over hatchery websites, catalogs, and Facebook pages trying to decide and narrow down what breeds I want to order. Even though I grew up with chickens, I was never able to choose what breeds we owned so I am having a field day 

 

:yiipchick

 

I have already decided on Black Copper Marans and Ameraucanas as eventually I can have those AND Olive Eggers :) I have always been drawn to the look of Silver Laced Wyandottes so I am considering those, along with BLRW. I have also considered at the possibility of White Orpington, Partridge Rock, Silkie, and/or Silver Polish Crested chicks. Opinions/suggestions are appreciated! What are your favorite breeds? If you have owned any of these breeds in the past please let me know your experiences!

 

Thanks a bunch!!

post #2 of 5

I've owned all of the breeds you mention except White Orpingtons (although I've owned Buff Orps). If you're not already aware of it, the Ameraucanas sold by hatcheries and feed stores are not true Ameraucanas, but Easter Eggers which are hybrids produced by crossing blue egg layers with brown egg layers to produce offspring that lay eggs in colors other than just blue (most commonly some shade of green). The only hatchery that breeds true Ameraucanas is Meyer Hatchery which sells Blue Ameraucanas and they charge 5 times as much for them as they do for their Easter Eggers.

What breeds will work best for you depends on what you are looking for in a breed. If sheer egg production is your main priority, White Leghorns (for white eggs) and sex links (for brown eggs) are the best layers in the chicken world. These are the hens used by laying houses for egg production as they are laying machines, consistently churning out more than 300 large eggs per hen per year.

If you are looking for breeds with an excellent temperament then I would suggest going with some of the breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (great lap pets) such as Australorps, Faverolles, Orpingtons, Sussex, Silkies, Cochins, and Brahmas. Of course there can always be an exception with any breed. If high egg production is a priority as well, Australorps are the best layers on this list and Silkies and Cochins are the poorest layers (although they are the best brooders and mothers). Faverolles, Orpingtons, Sussex, and Brahmas are all good layers.

If you do decide to get Silkies which are bantams, I would not recommend keeping them in the same flock as your standard sized breeds as they are likely to take a beating from the larger breeds. For this reason we ended up having to remove our Silkies from the main flock and keep them in their own separate enclosure.

Whatever breeds you end up getting, good luck with your flock. :o)

post #3 of 5
I'm pretty new to the chicken world,adopting my flock of 6 within the past 6 weeks. I have 2 roos, a buff orp and ee. My ee doesn't like being pet, but eats out of my hand, and has never hurt me or any others. My buff orp roo isn't top roo, so he chills in the back when i'm in cleaning or feeding them. I have 2 silver laced wyandotte hens. This breed seems to be hit or miss. Seems like you either have some grumpy ones, or ones like mine that eat from my hand too. They dont come up to be pet, but will let me get them with minimal fuss and had one want to stay on my arm all night after i did pick her up! Now my buff orp hens, omg they're like little puppies! They try to trip me,want attention,and i swear purposely get all up in my cameras face on purpose when i take pics! I love the orps the most,my friend hatched out my 3 buff orp/light brama mixes. They are like godzilla puppies! Theyre big babies! And my one i'm spoiling,i have trained to perch on me,she loves it! I give her to someone and step out the room for 30 seconds,shes a peeping for me like crazy! Good luck to whatever you get,just make sure you have a big enough coop,i'll be using my second one i made in spring for my next hatch of chicks! Chickens seem to add up quickly without you realizing it!
post #4 of 5
I would reccomend:
Sultan, if you like fancy. Good temperant.
Easter Egger- beautiful eggs, and beautiful feathers.
BSL- great layers and very pretty. They do have a huge curious streak that gets em into trouble though!
OEGB- best banty breed out there, in my opinion. Lots of colors and usually not flighty if raised right?

I would NOT reccomend SLW, they are beautiful but are poor layers and have a bullying personality.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubbles12345 View Post

BSL- great layers and very pretty. They do have a huge curious streak that gets em into trouble though!

X2 on the above. I forgot to add in my post that I love Black Sex Links; my personal favorites as they are very friendly and hardy, egg laying machines.

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