Adding to my flock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ontheridge, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. ontheridge

    ontheridge Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm pouring over breed info as I brainstorm what breeds might make a nice addition to my flock. Thought some others might want to weigh in on their favorite breeds!

    My chickens free range during the day, feast on our kitchen scraps, and then get fed a bit of dry feed when I bring them into the coop in the late afternoon/early evening. We live in a very wooded area and always have hawks and eagles and other preditors to consider. (So far we've had no problems, possibly because we have a big dog who keeps a lot of other critters away... but you never know.)

    Right now I have 3 cuckoo marans who are such good girls. They hang close to their coop, but I assume they find enough grub during their free time as they appear to be healthy and thriving. I also have 2 welsummers who are BOLD BOLD gals, roaming FAR from their garden/coop area and sprinting to me from a hundred yards away when they see me outside. Lastly, I have one 'mystery' girl who many think is a black sex link. Whatever she is, she's also quite bold, roams a lot, and most definitely rules the roost. She is by far my most productive layer.

    One of the things I'm not sure of is what is 'better' for our rural location -- I thought the marans sticking close to the coop would be safer, but Iv'e read that the more flighty birds fare better against predators?

    The other thing I am considering is who would be a consistant layer during our short, grey winter days here in the PNW.

    The breeds I have easy access to from a farm nearby are:
    marans, welsummers, wyandottes, barnevelders, ameracanas, barred rocks, astralorp, leghorn, RIR, sexlinks, molted java... and I think buttercup and jersey giant.

    Fire away your thoughts and opinions! :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, it's kind of hard for me to tell which breed will stay closest to the coop because my rooster leads my girls everywhere. That might just depend more on personality and courage rather than breed. But I do know that if he wasn't there they wouldn't go as far as they do (which isn't terribly far). Out of the breeds you mentioned my favorites are Marans, Ameraucana, Sex-links (I prefer black just because [​IMG]), and Jersey Giant. Sex-links are by far my best layers, and one of several of my girls that lay thru Winter. I like Jersey Giants because they are HUGE, gentle, and kind of "classic" looking. They're not bad layers either. Oh, and my Ameraucanas aren't that independent, and kind of "follow the crowd". Of course, chickens are like people and every bird is different, but wherever everyone else is, my two Ameraucanas will be as well, so they might not go far if the ones you may get are like mine. I also have two Leghorns. They're not my favorite, but they are great producers of white eggs, and they're known to be quite flighty too, which helps them be aware of their surroundings.
     
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    My Coop
    I think Barred Plymouth Rocks would be a fine addition. There are some fine breeders
    of that breed variety over on the BYC Heritage Large Fowl thread. The purpose of
    the HLF thread is t help those interested in Heritage large Fowl find a breeder from
    whom to get top quality stock.Hope to see you there.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/400344/heritage-large-fowl-thread/18910
    Best,
    Karen in western PA, USA
     

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