I've had larger heritage like RIR, BR, Legs, Doms, Calif Grey, NHR, Marans, and they are great layers - I just passed them up since they are too big/heavy around our Silkies. I now have smaller LFs like Ameraucana and Breda that don't get over 5-lbs but are still gentle and decent layers. At the start I just wanted pets of either Silkies, Polish, Cochin, or some bantam breed. As luck had it an acquaintance hatched too many chicks and our first backyard chickens were 2 free Silkies. I later added some heritage LFs and they were great pets and good layers except that they bullied the little Silkies having the LF advantage so now I only keep 5-lb-&-under gentler breeds with the Silkies. I cycled through 13 chickens in 5 years to get down to our compatible gentle group of 4 hens - 2 Silkies, a Blue Wheaten Ameraucana, and a Blue Breda. We're zoned for 5 hens but found an even number of 4 worked best in our small cottage yard. The flock is peaceful and less stressful for us now that we don't have to be concerned about the heavier dual purpose breeds taking advantage of our docile breeds.
post #3531 of 4599
4/2/16 at 1:51pm