3 breeds to make everyone happy?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TC, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. TC

    TC Out Of The Brooder

    83
    0
    39
    Feb 1, 2009
    La Grange, Ca
    Okay, like I said in my intro I am new here and I have a few questions. This one being the big one poking my head. And I need some help from "experienced" chicken people.

    I am about to order chicks from Belt hatchery (0ut of fresno, Ca) for our starting flock. Everyone wants different breeds, and I am personally wondering about roosters. So I am gonna lay some out here and hope ya'll can help me out. [​IMG]

    Breeds I want:
    Black Giants (<3)
    Ausralorps
    White Bramas

    Breeds my girls want:

    White Leghorns
    Barred Rocks
    Danish Brown Leghorns

    I really like the Silver Seabright bantams and my hubby like the old engilsh ones. I have been thinking about a few silkies because I think I want a couple of broody hens to hatch out thier own eggs.

    What about roosters? I like them crowing [​IMG] But would a rooster of each breed I pick be okay, or keep only one [​IMG] We are leaning towards the Australorps, White leghorns/ Brown Leghorns for the flock. We will also be adding a few chicks from an egg hatching project if I can find any fertile eggs. HELP!!
     
  2. aberfitch

    aberfitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    0
    139
    Mar 24, 2008
    Texas Fort Worth
    I have some baby australorps and cant wait to see what they are like when they are full grown!
     
  3. ()relics

    ()relics horse/dog shrink

    503
    2
    141
    Jan 4, 2009
    indiana
    Leghorns, when properly cared for, are white egg laying machines. Keep in mind though that they are relatively good fliers; this can be a concern to some that don't want them on top of the house. The roosters are dependable and loud crowers but tend to get grouchy as they get older.
    I don't recall seeing in your post the reason that you are getting the birds. Remember every type of bird has different specialties...leghorns would be good egg layers (white) in comparison to feed intake as they are smaller birds. Black giants and australorps are larger dual purpose birds, meat and eggs(brown), that eat alot more in comparison to egg production.

    Have in mind what you want your flock to do then pick the birds....IMO...but let it be known that I'm partial to the leghorns
     
  4. crazychicken

    crazychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2008
    NC
    I recommend

    Danish Brown Leghorns
    White Bramas
    Ausralorps
    any color silkie (blue,buff,splash,black,red,white.)
    Silver Seabright bantams

    And as for roosters the normal hen to rooster ratio is seven hens to one roo. (I have one roo and three hens [​IMG] ) And stay away from the games. but the roosters should fight occasionally but pretty much have a pecking order. head roo, second in command, third, so on. but the only exception is games game roosters will fight any other rooster to the death.

    hope this helps.

    and I would also recommend a few Ameraucana to throw in some blue eggs to you brown white and cream ones.
     
  5. Master S.M.C

    Master S.M.C Chillin' With My Peeps

    752
    0
    139
    Jan 23, 2009
    Maryland
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    First off... [​IMG] WELCOME TO BYC!!!


    Master S.M.C :

    When you figure out why you want the breeds of chicken you posted check out this site

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Then, I have to second what Master S.M.C says. John Henderson has some good info about different attributes about various breeds. Figure out what you want and why and then narrow it down a bit.

    EXAMPLE: I prefer brown eggs (no good reason I just do) and I try to avoid white birds too because my chooks run around loose and dark birds are less obvious to predators... I like calm birds but I have some wylde women because they tend to lead the homebodies out to range a little better. I have to deal with cold winters and really like dual purpose birds not the skinnier layers. I have a few exceptions, but that’s what I start with for requirements. Your requirements will surely be different, just giving an example of how I think it out.

    I love having roosters too, but even though some people say hens are happier with roosters and lay better, if there are too many, it causes stress and they won't lay as well. I actually recommend more like one roo to every ten or more hens, only having the second roo if you are approaching 20 or more hens. I have had three roos with about 45 hens… yeah they got a little tired, but they rose to the occasion, and they sure didn’t have the energy to fight! [​IMG] That's actually a little hard on the alpha roo though, cause he's trying to defend his position a LOT with that many hens.

    It’s not a hard science, but the decision can be based on some solid science first, then branch out from there.

    Just my two coppers worth of advice.​
     
  7. TC

    TC Out Of The Brooder

    83
    0
    39
    Feb 1, 2009
    La Grange, Ca
    Thanks to all for the information..

    Reasons for my chickies: Eggs and to look pretty. We go through 5 dozen eggs every 2 weeks, but I want pretty chickens too. I have had Bramas and Giants in the past (about 10 years ago) and they were cool birds.

    so here is my order list so far.

    10 Australorp pullets + 2 cockerels ( I picked for pretty color, mature fast and are okay egg layers)

    6 Danish Brown Leghorns pullets + 2 Cockerels (Picked for egglaying and "classic chicken look")

    6 White Leghorns pullets (Picked for Egg laying and my daugher wants white chickens, lol)

    8 s/r silkies, (white) I want broody hens that will set eggs. Maybe they will make their own replacements [​IMG]

    I asked for two cockerels of each breed incase one doesn't make it. If they all make it I am sure I can find something for the boys to become [​IMG] I don't need to worry much about cold weather in this part of California its pretty warm. And they will be cooped, because coyotes are RAMPANT here. We have a pack down the hill and we hear them every night. My rottie and my cattle dog do a good job of keeping the away, but why take chances?

    I opted out of the other bantams because, well. it never crossed my mind about the Old English being game birds, and on the one site it said that Seabrights can be difficult babies. Besides if they wont take care of babies, and the eggs are too tiny there isn't much of a reason (as of yet) to need them.

    Now, with different breeds will they crossbreed? Or stick to their own kind?
     
  8. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

    448
    1
    136
    Oct 6, 2008
    Washington
    As far as I know, no rooster is picky about what type of chicken he is going to 'fall in love with'. In my opinion, I think you are having 2 times as many roosters as you may need.

    Also, in my flock, I wish I would have put in a couple of barred rocks because they really are so pretty and all my birds are pretty solid colored so if you are choosing for looks as well, I would refigure a little and go for a few barred rocks.
     
  9. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG] All your reasons make perfect sense!!! As long as you're willing to deal with culling extra or overly agressive roos, GO for it!

    As far as crossbreeding goes, chickens are equal opportunity Alpha Roos, and you will have one or two which will try to breed all or most of the hens, the subordinate roos will catch whoever they can reguardless of the breed.

    If you want to hatch specific breeds, you'll need to have seperate pens to sequester pairs or trios in for a while, because a single breeding will fertilize the hen's eggs as she produces them for about 2 weeks, or even longer, so to get truly purebreed eggs, you'll need to isolate for quite some time if that's what you want. (most folks say even as long as a month if you are going to sell eggs or chicks as purebred)

    Honestly, I'd still lower the number of roos being ordered, you'll get some accidents anyway and I'd definately skip the Leghorn roosters, since they are often overly agressive and flighty, this IS opinion, but an educated opinion. I'll go hide from the Leghorn fans now... *runs like heck*
     
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,119
    17
    201
    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I've had a few years experience with several of your choices.

    Australorps & Barred Rocks make fine laying hens and are quite trouble free. I really like Brahmas also but they are slow to mature and not usually first rate layers.

    Back in "the day" when I had roosters, my choice didn't have anything to do with breeding for more chicks. I was still planning on getting replacement birds from the hatchery. Therefore, the rooster could be just "a thing of beauty" [​IMG]. I no longer have roosters but just for the sake of the neighbors.

    Probably my best rooster choice was a Silver Spangled Hamburg. Oh, the Ameraucana was a good choice, too, and I enjoyed my Seabright. And, altho' I'm not very experienced with banties, I prefer not to have them in with the larger chickens - especially with large roosters. I had Cecil the Seabright with a banty Cochin in more recent years and Seabrights with Cochins when I was a kid, also.

    The Hamburg was a very good looking roo and even tho', I'm sure, he could have been a flighty bird, his hens were not inclined that way. So, Gabe had to hang around also [​IMG]. He was a very good choice with my standard hens.

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by