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Recommendations on Good Breeds for Tiny Plot in C. Ark.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to research possible breeds for my future mini flock. A couple of concerns-
1) I'm looking for relatively calm and friendly birds. I'm in close quarters with my neighbors on a plot just over 1/4 acre.
2) I'm located in central Arkansas. We have moderate winters- it regularly goes below freezing but rarely *much* below and fairly brutal summers- temps around 100F are not too uncommon. My yard is very shady.
3) I'm a total chicken newbie. Are there some breeds that would be more tolerant of mistakes?
4) Looking for eggs, not meat, but I have a very small family. Even hens with mediocre productivity would probably be ok.

Some breeds I had seen and was considering were:

Black Austrolorp
New Hampshire
Barnevelder
Dominique
Barred Rock
Easter Egger
Delaware

There were a couple heavy breeds who looked to have great temperaments for Suburban living but I was worried wouldn't be able to tolerate an Arkansas summer or just might need someone with more experience.
Orpington
Wyandotte
Maran
Welsummer

I was leaning toward a mixed flock but am open to arguments for all one breed.

Anyone have any experience with these breeds in similar situations? Anyone want to make a case for their favorite? Or advise me against anyone? Sorry for the rambling post. Currently in the "madly gathering information" stage of this endeavor. hu.gif
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beezer View Post

I'm starting to research possible breeds for my future mini flock. A couple of concerns-
1) I'm looking for relatively calm and friendly birds. I'm in close quarters with my neighbors on a plot just over 1/4 acre.
2) I'm located in central Arkansas. We have moderate winters- it regularly goes below freezing but rarely *much* below and fairly brutal summers- temps around 100F are not too uncommon. My yard is very shady.
3) I'm a total chicken newbie. Are there some breeds that would be more tolerant of mistakes?
4) Looking for eggs, not meat, but I have a very small family. Even hens with mediocre productivity would probably be ok.

Some breeds I had seen and was considering were:

Black Austrolorp
New Hampshire
Barnevelder
Dominique
Barred Rock
Easter Egger
Delaware

There were a couple heavy breeds who looked to have great temperaments for Suburban living but I was worried wouldn't be able to tolerate an Arkansas summer or just might need someone with more experience.
Orpington
Wyandotte
Maran
Welsummer

I was leaning toward a mixed flock but am open to arguments for all one breed.

Anyone have any experience with these breeds in similar situations? Anyone want to make a case for their favorite? Or advise me against anyone? Sorry for the rambling post. Currently in the "madly gathering information" stage of this endeavor. hu.gif

I have an Orpington, two Barred Rocks, and two EEs. I have had three EE roosters which were all aggressive to some extent. I still have one; he isn't too bad. The EE hen is really skittish, but she lays lots of blue eggs. The Orpington hen (Henrietta) is friendly and calm but I used to have one that was skittish.  Henrietta lays an egg almost every day except when she goes broody in the spring. The Barred Rocks are friendly, too. I'm not sure how well they lay because all my hens lay brown eggs except the EE. I only know Henrietta lays one a day because she lays really big eggs.

It gets hot sometimes here, but not as hot as where you are. I'm not worried about my Orpington or any of the others because their pen is in the shade and they have enough water.

I really like the Orpington and Barred Rock breeds. Your area may be too hot for Orpingtons; I don't know. They do have lots of feathers and are better in a cool climate but they have a very nice temperament. Barred Rocks should be fine. Hope this helps :)

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Burd-Lover through and through

 

I am a Christian. Jesus is awesome!

1 John 5:12 - He who has the Son has life.

Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks DuckGirl77! They would definitely have plenty of shade and water. And I'm a teacher, so for much of the summer I'd be around and could let them "free range" and seek out the coolest spots. smile.png
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I forgot to add Soeckled Sussex to the original list I posted. I never realized there were so many choices! roll.png
post #5 of 7
All your choices will do well and be decent layers. I would recommend a mixed flock for the first one. See what you like and go from there.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I really like the idea of starting out with a couple different breeds and seeing how I feel about them. I still worry about the heat in the summer, but I may just be projecting my own dislike of extreme heat onto the chickens.
post #7 of 7
Lots of shade, a shallow pan of water (kitty litter pan) to stand in and some frozen afternoon treats will get them through the hot weather.
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