Ameraucaunas, Brahmas, and a Black Jersey Giant?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by CHIARA10, Mar 2, 2015.

  1. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2015
    Very new here and researching chicken breeds like crazy before I turn in my order form, deciding what chickens we'd like to have in our backyard flock.
    We have .5 acre yard and will be building a stationary coop with ample run, but letting the birds loose when we're out with them (hours and hours and hours in the spring, summer, and fall as we have two small kids, a garden, and lots of outdoor activities).

    If all goes well, we are planning to retain the same flock as long as we can (i.e. beyond the two years or so that the chickens are expected to be laying the best).

    I'm really hoping to have a few really tame, friendly birds in the mix for my 4 and 2 year old.
    I have read over and over that socializing them as chicks is what does this, and we will be trying hard to do that.

    Anyway, I'm rambling, but I was thinking 3 Ameraucaunas, 2 Light Brahmas, and 1 Black Jersey Giant. I know the BJG is big, but reviews lead me to believe that they have a fabulous temperament, and I kind of don't want to miss out on that...

    If you had the choice, would you stick to just one or two breeds or sizes, or does this sound like a nice, varied flock?! Am I asking for trouble with the mixed size of these birds?

    Lastly, i have heard that baby chicks can be very "dusty" when getting their feathers. Too dusty to keep in the house? (I was planning on keeping them in the living room.)

    Sorry for the obvious newbie questions!
    Thank you!
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Do not concern yourself with the differences in sizes. As long as they are raised together and have plenty of room, those will work things out among themselves as well as any other breed or breed mix you could choose. Each chicken has its own individual personality so luck plays a part, but lots of people have bantams with full-sized fowl and don’t have issues. I do think having sufficient room is pretty important for this and many other reasons.

    Lots of people keep the chicks in the house. I don’t but many people do. The chicks in the brooder and adult chickens in the coop make a lot of dust. They shed some dander but a lot of that dust comes from their scratching. If they are around dry dirt, their scratching makes dust. They scratch the bedding into tiny bits that can float around on a gentle breeze. When their poop dries out they scratch that into dust. Some people are allergic to chickens or the chicken dust. Hopeful your family is not. That would be a bummer.

    Chicks also make a lot of noise with their chirping. That can annoy some people, though others love it. Also, if you don’t keep the brooder dry, it can stink. That does not mean every brooder will stink, but wet ones will. You have to work to change bedding so the poop doesn’t build up too thick and you have to be careful they don’t spill too much water.

    Some people keep the brooder in their bedroom, the living room/den, even in the kitchen or dining room. The mud room, a spare bathroom, or spare bedroom with the door closed are other popular choices. An attached garage may be a good choice.

    It’s a lot easier to socialize your chicks if they are handy. That not only means close by but it is comfortable to be around them. If it is a journey to get to them and you can’t stay there without dressing warmly, you are just not going to do it that much.

    I don’t know if the dust, noise, or smell are going to be that big a problem for you or not. Many people raise them in the house and love it. I like to stay married so mine are brooded in the coop.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
  3. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2015
    Thank you for your response, Ridgerunner!
    All great points and helpful, too!
    After reading your thoughts, I think I have the perfect location for our highly-allergic to different things family - a spare bathroom that is rarely used.
    I don't think their dust will bother us out in the yard much, but while they're inside (too cold outside in garage, and coop isn't built yet), we will stick to the bathroom.

    As this will be our first time having chickens, the size of the BJG does intimidate me some; but hearing all of the "gentle giant" tendencies, it intrigues me at the same time.
    I will be asking about it when I go to the feed mill to turn in my order form and ask about their thoughts as well.

    This site is so wonderful for the newbie chicken-keeper! :O)
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    your Giant isn't going to be larger than your Brahmas, those are going to be your big girls. I think it sounds like a fine mix of breeds, just be aware the bigger breeds aren't as highly productive with the egg laying as the more production-oriented breeds. Sounds like you're more the pets-with-benefits type, but just want you to be aware you won't be getting as many eggs as a neighbor who has say sex-links.
  5. CHIARA10

    CHIARA10 In the Brooder

    Feb 27, 2015
    Yes, I would definitely be a pets-with-benefits type! Well-put! :O)
    I didn't realize the brahmas were that big?! Will be interesting!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: