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The Gang's All Here! - Advice on what to expect with my breeds

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

As some of you may or may not have read in my introduction, I am new to the forum and we are getting our first flock of baby chicks in May. In the meantime, we are doing as much research and preparation as possible (I feel like we are expecting our first child all over again :) ) 

 

We knew early on that we wanted a flock of 8-10 and mixed breeds. We are only interested in eggs, and not in multiplying our flock, so for that reason we went with all hens. Below is a list of our flock.

 

3 Easter Eggers

 

1 Black Australorp

1 Golden Laced Wyandotte

1 Barred Rock

1 New Hampshire Red

1 White Leghorn

 

We did a lot of research on each breed individually but do not know, and have not been able to find much info on, how they will work, socialize and live together as a flock. Like I said, they will be raised together as chicks. 

 

We understand every flock, and every chicken has a unique personality. We are just looking for a general sense of if we should be expecting any personality conflicts.

 

Thanks!!

 

-Tim

post #2 of 2

I've had all of those breeds at one time or another over the years and they will co-exist fine as long as they are not overcrowded. White Leghorns are the best layers on your list (6-7 eggs per hen per week) but tend to be high strung and flighty (not good lap pets). Mine screamed bloody murder whenever I handled them. Black Australorps typically have the best temperament of the breeds on your list, being calm and gentle (great lap pets), and are the best layers of the brown egg laying breeds on your list (5-6 eggs per hen per week). Golden Laced Wyandottes, Barred Rocks, and New Hampshire Reds are all generally docile breeds, although occasionally I've had some aggressive individuals from among those three breeds. They are all good layers averaging around 3-4 eggs per hen per week. Easter Eggers are the hardest to pin down regarding temperament on your list as they are hybrids produced by crossing blue egg layers with brown egg layers and not an actual breed. Their temperament will vary from bird to bird depending on which brown egg layers were used in the cross and the genes involved. My EEs have generally been docile and although they tolerate being handled, they do not usually like it. If temperament is an important factor in your breed selection, other breeds that are good layers (3-4 eggs per hen per week) and have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) include Orpingtons, Faverolles, Sussex, and Brahmas. Keep in mind however that there can always be an exception with any breed. If you don't mind hybrids, you might also want to consider Black Sex Links (Black Stars) which are very friendly and hardy (more so than the Red Sex Links in my experience), egg laying machines that will consistently churn out more than 300 large brown eggs per hen per year. BSLs are especially persistent layers in really cold winter weather. I hope this helps and whatever breeds you get, good luck with your flock.


Edited by Michael OShay - 1/25/16 at 10:02am
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