advice on selecting egg laying breeds

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Briney Dave, May 1, 2009.

  1. Briney Dave

    Briney Dave Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Fremont, Ohio
    Greetings everyone,
    My family and I are very new to keeping chickens and need some advice. I have done a fair amount of reading and will be visiting a couple other small farms next week or so but in the mean time...

    We have settled on wanting egg layers, we want to start (and most likely stay) small; keeping between 12 and 15 pullets.

    We live in North Ohio (ten minutes or so south of Lake Erie)
    so winters are cold and we usually get a fair amount of rain as well

    I have taken to the silver lace Wynodot but my wife is a fan of the funky blue and green eggs,

    Can we keep two breeds in the same house?
    what breeds would you recommend for my climate, care experience, and desire to have very calm birds.

    are the silver lace ok for me?

    thanks in advance for your time and knowledge
     
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    Yes, you can keep more than one breed in the same coop. There are lots of resources out there to help you decide. I have banty EEs (Ameraucana) and they lay very well and are good brooders. If you are really wanting lots of eggs, and nice big ones, you could go with production reds or red stars. You should try to avoid birds with single combs though, if you are in very cold weather.
     
  3. Briney Dave

    Briney Dave Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Fremont, Ohio
    I think my weather would be a bit more mild than yours out on the plains.

    with that small of a number of birds, I am not really worried about how many eggs as long as I get some and on a regular basis.

    I was wondering what easter eggers really are. I have read source info from three places all of which seem to counter what the last said.

    My kids and I like the silver lace (at least from pictures and what we have read about them)

    My wife only cares about the rainbow of pastel colors LOL
     
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Iowa
    Easter eggers are hens that lay green eggs. True Araucanas lay blue eggs, and Ameraucanas are some kind of cross of Aruacana and something else, I forget what. Some people use EE and Ameraucana interchangeably, but other people say they're different. You guys should just get whatever you like. The farm stores often carry a little publication by Hobby Farms about chickens, with breed lists and stuff. Welp Hatchery in Iowa has good pics and descriptions on their website.
     
  5. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Welcome to the BYC. Yes, you absolutely can keep different breeds together. I have 5 different breeds (all the same age though) and pretty much all the same size. I have the larger breeds, no bantams which are smaller breed chickens. I don't know if bantams and the larger breeds do well together but someone on this site will know and can advise if you decide to mix.

    For sure, get some easter eggers, the colors are fabulous although the eggs all taste the same...yummy.

    You might browse the "Pictures and stories of my chickens" for pictures of all the different breeds you can select from. We love to take pictures of our flocks.

    How exciting and if you are like the rest of us, you are pretty close to "chicken addiction" Welcome again. And be sure and post pictures when your new flock arrives...we expect that!!

    Anne and the girls
     
  6. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    opps....I have 7 breeds. Can't count this morning.
     
  7. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    This will be helpful for you: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html It's a breed chart with hardiness, egg-laying info, temperament, etc.

    I've got 10 chickens (including 5 chicks) and that's 8 different breeds. So yes, you can keep them together. I've even got a banty in there, so yes, you can keep small with big chickens.
     
  8. Briney Dave

    Briney Dave Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2009
    Fremont, Ohio
    Thanks for all the advice and warm welcome. I moderate a reef keeping board for our Toledo club and know its fun to welcome new people but sometimes hard to know where to start when they ask questions

    I have tried really hard to learn as much as I can on my own. My kids and I raided the local library for all they had on the subject.

    I found those same naming irregularities as I was reading, it really confuses new folks LOL

    My wife is an art teacher and is much better with the pictures and sizing them to fit on servers so I will turn that part over to her.

    My little girl starts every day looking at chicken pics on the internet. It is so funny how kids pick up on all this internet stuff so fast. Last year she was not any where near ready to read and now she is typing google searchs. Her big brother is 8 and a bit more calm about this new project although he has paced out where the coop should go and how big he thinks the pens should be. its all already worth the trouble and we have not even finished drawing coop plans much less started building

    thanks again
    David
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Welcome to this forum.

    The Araucana, Ameraucana, and Easter Eggers can be confusing, mainly because many people and hatcheries use the terms Ameraucana and Easter Eggers interchangably.

    The Araucana is a tufted, rumpless chicken that lays blue eggs. The Ameraucana is a standard recognized breed that has a tail and is not tufted. It should lay a blue or green egg. The Easter Egger is not a recognized breed but is a chicken that can lay a blue, green or brown egg. It is probably a mix of the Ameraucana and some other breed. If you plan to breed your chickens, I'd recommend against the Araucana since there is a genetic characteristic tied to the tufts that causes low fertility in the eggs. If you are not breeding your own, any of them would do.

    Any of the Wyandottes would be a good choice for you. I'd suggest you look at the Buckeye and see what you think. It was developed in Ohio and is the only breed developed by a woman. If you are after eggs, it should suit you well.

    Some other breeds that come to mind are the Sussex, Orpington, Australorp, Dominique, and Delaware. Any of the Rocks would probably suit you fine. Then there are the cross-breeds, the sex links, that could very well meet you requirements. They are usually very good egg producers and often are calm birds. They are called sex link because you can tell by coloring which are male and female when they hatch. Your problem is not finding which chickens meet your criteria, it's narrowing your choices down. You probably won't go wrong with any of them.

    You will find on here that many of us keep mixed flocks. The only problem is that, if you breed your own chickens, you will get a mixed flock, what we call mutts.
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. It's difficult to say what you should get for breeds. If you asked a lot different people you would probably get many different answers. Some may agree on the breeds. Here is a great reference book, Gail Damerow's 'Storey's Guide to Chickens' is an excellent resource, as well as this web site which is an excellent source of information.

    These sites are especially helpful in selecting breeds.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/breedQuestions.aspx
    Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html

    Also here are some other good sites and info and more good links.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/aboutChickens.aspx
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/lcenter.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/coopdesigns.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart
     

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