5 hens, what would you choose?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by bagendhens, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. bagendhens

    bagendhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    855
    1
    141
    Mar 29, 2009
    Outside the Boundries
    so...
    parents want some chickens in the spring for our little backyard flock.
    town ordinances put us right on the edge of "being alowed" and we can have up to 10...
    however because we dont want to push our luck were planning on sticking with 5...

    mum wants good sized girls that are good layers, were a family of 5 and go through a deacent amount of eggs, we do plan on still buying eggs as we know 5 girls might not give us enough when we go through baking phases...but if we can get typically 5 days a week yr round or more out of each hen that would be awesome...
    they will have a house and run and be given a little free range time during the day
    so:
    heavy duty birds who can handle a ct winter
    layers, egg color not too much of a concern as long as there good sized eggs.
    personable. (weve crossed leghorns off the list because of their tendency to be all attitude.)
    this will be a backyard flock for eggs, not too concerned about meat production
    relitivly quite, all hens cluck and we wont be getting a roo for that reason but still no hens that will be able to be heard 3 city blocks away.
    "pretty" again this will be a little backyard flock were looking ideally to get a nice mix...

    heres some breeds mum likes

    the rocks, particularly fond of barred/plymouth rocks and columbian rocks
    Australorps
    Easter eggers
    wyandotes (golds and silvers)
    Sussex
    red and black stars

    my thought for a nice looking flock would be 1 barred/plymouth rock, 1 australorp, 1 gold, 1 silver wyandotes, 1 sussex
    but ive never had chickens before.
    as much as i think ees are cool the eggs will be cracked and eaten so...

    were also planning on doing a pair of pilgrim geese, there are NO restrictions on geese in our area (which i find funny and a total lack of thought on plannings part since they have such a problem with chickens...)
    my sister REALY wants a silkie hen too...but im not too worried about the silkie as that could be easily passed of as some exotic parrot type bird lol.

    so if you could only have 5 good laying hens in your flock and wanted a nice mix... for a backyard, mostly penned however occasional free range bug eating time, quiet and not good flyers/jumpers wed rather they not wander to far from home by hopping the fence lol) what would YOU choose.

    were in southeastern CT, coop will be custom designed for the hens with a nice big window for lots of natural light even in the winter and screened so it can be opend during the muggy summer days.
     
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    16,242
    110
    336
    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    From that list, I would go with Wyandottes and Easter Eggers - Our Silver Laced Wyandottes are the most hardy breed I've ever known, and lay every day. Our Easter Egger lays the biggest eggs I've known and is very friendly, but is not as reliable. Now, I don't have experience with them personally - But I'd put Orpingtons on that list. They lay large eggs, and are pretty good layers, and are very friendly. Plus, they come in more than just Buff (which everyone seems to have) You can have blue, black, white, lavender, buff, and so on!
     
  3. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    AR
    The breeds listed should fit your needs. You will probably have to clip a wing because even the heavy breeds can fly over most fences unless it's a really high fence.
     
  4. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    AR
    On the geese. You may want to think about that. I've never had pilgrims but every other kind of geese I've had have been very loud. If you don't want loud chickens then you probably don't want geese.
     
  5. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    I would go with australorps they are super sweet and great layers.
     
  6. CelticMoon1

    CelticMoon1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    362
    13
    131
    Jul 25, 2009
    Quote:Sounds like you've got a good plan [​IMG] All decent layers, all managing fine here (we've got down towards 30-35 Celcius in winter), the only one to ever get frostbite was our Australorp roo. Single comb birds are more often subject to frostbite than rose combs or pea combs. Our Wyandottes are the most quiet breed we've ever had.

    If I could only have 5 hens I'd have 3 GLWs and 2 SLWs (you can tell it's my favourite breed can't you? [​IMG] ). I've had every one of those you mentioned and have ended up with a favourite [​IMG] I've also had Orpingtons but in my experience they were not as good layers as the others and their soft feathers were more prone to breaking, leaving the bird with a featherless back and bottom...
     
  7. Keri78

    Keri78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    849
    3
    141
    Oct 17, 2009
    NJ
    I have four buff orpie girls that lay NICE BIG BROWN eggs year round! They are big pretty girls that follow you around like puppies! They lay on avg. one egg a day! VERY HEAVY and HARDY! I just ordered 5 speckled sussex girls to add to the flock b/c they are supposed to do basically the same thing as my orps and have great personalities too! I just thought some speckleds would mix it up a little bit when I'm watching them out the window(CONSTANTLY!)LOL! Blessings,Keri

    Here's a pic from when they were still babies(THEY ARE HUGE NOW!!!)(got them from ideal-poultry.com...NICE QUALITY birds!)
    [​IMG]
     
  8. joletabey

    joletabey SDWD!!!!

    Apr 9, 2009
    western NC
    Check out Delawares.
    But from your list I would choose Australorps for that pretty black eye, and EE's for the fun look and possible colored eggs.
     
  9. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

    9,249
    73
    308
    May 6, 2009
    Vail, Arizona
    mypetchicken.com has a breed selector tool, you just check boxes that apply to the type of bird you want and then it gives you all birds that match your criteria.
     
  10. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    5,146
    10
    251
    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I would just take one of each from your well thought out list! I did the same when I first started and was glad I did; what I thought I wanted and what I wound up choosing after a couple of years of "sampling" was very different.
    I would suggest if you are getting a silkie hen for your sister to get more than one, as they do not roost, but instead sleep on the ground in a pile to keep warm and one lone silkie in the corner would be cold and pitiful.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by