Advice on adding some new chicken breeds please

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MontanaDolphin, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. Currently I have 1 Barred Rock cockerel, 2 BR pullets, and 6 Commercial Black pullets (hatchery BR crosses). I would like to add some color to my flock, as well as a broody breed or two to hatch some eggs. After doing some research, I have narrowed down my choices to these:

    Dorking
    Orpington
    Sussex
    Wyandotte

    So, could ya'll give some opinions on those four breeds? Also, which breeds will get along better with my barred rocks? Which of the four are better broodies?

    Thanks for personal experience and opinions given!

    EDIT TO ADD: I live in central Virginia, so in case climate is a factor in the breeds, our summers get hot (80's average, but have a few weeks of 90's and a few days in the 100's) and our winters get cold (as low as single digits overnight, but rarely below 0)
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Of those four breeds, I've only had experience with Wyandottes. Wyandottes are truly wonderful birds; they are pretty, lay well, and are docile. Wyandottes come in many colors, so would definitely make your flock more colorful. I haven't had any of my Wyandottes (either large fowl or bantam) go broody, but they are hatchery birds. Hatchery birds, of any breed, are less likely to go broody than birds that have been bred less for production. You may get lucky with a broody Wyandotte, but I haven't.

    Wyandottes would probably get along fine with your Barred Rocks. I haven't had any trouble with my Wyandottes getting picked on, and they aren't too mean to other birds, either.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    All of those breeds are going to be pretty much the same temperament wise. I've not had Sussex or Dorkings but hadn't heard they are particularly broody. I've had hatchery Wyandottes and none have gone broody. I've had hatchery Orpingtons and a small amount have gone broody.
     
  4. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have barred rocks and a blue laced red wyandotte hen. They get along fine with each other and she goes broody for me every year(she ended up in my no kill coop because she became my nephews "mama" chicken) I've had a couple different wyandottes and they always seem to go broody on me. so out of those breeds thats what i would pick.
     
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's not hot. :)


    Here is some information to help you.

    Which chicken breed is the best for you?
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...chickens-resource-for-selecting-your-chickens



    • Orpington – originally developed as an excellent meat bird, this dual purpose chicken is also a good producer of medium to large brown eggs, good brooder and excellent mother, hardy and early maturing, adaptable to free range, very adaptable to confinement, docile, affectionate, easily handled.
    • Speckled Sussex -- This chicken originated in the county of Sussex and is a very old English breed. The Speckled Sussex chicken was recognized as a distinct breed in 1914. The Sussex is a very gentle and colorful bird. This variety of the Sussex breed makes for a good backyard chicken and dual purpose for meat or egg production. This bird is a very good layer and handles confinement well. Their speckled coloring makes them blend in with the background and camouflages them from predators such as coyotes, and foxes. They molt year and more speckles appear so they become even more colorful the older they get. The Speckled variety of Sussex is the most broody. But they are only somewhat broody.
    • Wyandotte – Coming in a variety of colors and patterns, these are a good bird for a small family flock in rugged conditions. Cold hardy and good mothers, they have a good disposition and their color patterns make them a good choice for fanciers as well as farmers. A dual purpose bird with brown eggs, robust and very cold hardy. Well adaptable to confinement or foraging they are calm, industrious and usually docile birds.
    • Dorking -- The Dorking has a rectangular body with very short, five-toed legs. As with all single comb poultry, the comb points may require protection in extremely cold weather. Dorkings are also well known for their versatility as a breed for both egg and meat production. It is one of the few breeds with red earlobes that produces a white-shelled egg. The skin colour beneath the feathers is white. The standard weight is 9 pounds for a cock, 8 pounds for a cockerel, 7 pounds for a hen, and 6 pounds for a pullet. Furthermore, the breed is very docile. The bird has five recognized varieties: White, Silver-grey, Red, Dark and Cuckoo. (From what I understand it is difficult to find Dorkings that lay well these days.)



    And one I think you might consider:

    • Java -- Hens lay a respectable amount of large, brown eggs and will go broody. Javas are particularly known as good foragers, needing less supplementary feed than many breeds when allowed to free range. Like many large breeds, they are known to be docile in temperament, and hardy in inclement weather. In general, Javas are particularly suitable for keepers of smaller flocks who require a good dual-purpose chicken.
     
  6. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm....well, how bout I get two of each? :) In the spring I'm converting my 12x8 goat shed (the doelings will be moving into a new shelter) into an additional coop. My current coop is only 4x8, just big enough for my 8 girls and 1 roo. With the additional space, IF I go by square feet needed per bird, that means I can get 24 more...but since I'm wanting them to hatch their own eggs, I can't get 24 more cuz then there won't be any room for the babies. So...if I get two of each, including the Java, that leaves room for 14 chicks. If I get two of each, ONE of them HAS to go broody (lol), right?
     
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That seems like a good plan. Most people seem to like to have a mix of chickens in their flock. I am not sure where you can buy Dorkings from a hatchery.

    Between those five breeds, the chances are very good that you will have a broody hen. You might get a Cochin also just to make sure you have a broody hen. See how this thing works? You just keep wanting more breeds of chickens. :)
     
  8. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a woman that lives about 10 minutes from me who sells chicks, chickens, and fertile eggs. She has Dorkings, Orpingtons, and Wyondottes. The only breed she doesn't have of my original 4 choices is the Sussex. She does not have Javas either.
     
  9. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is good that you have a local source for some of the breeds you want.

    Ideal Poultry in Texas sells Mottled Java and Speckled Sussex. http://www.idealpoultry.com/assortment.html

    Maybe you can find a hatchery closer that sells them. And you may want Black Javas. I don't know.
     

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