Are your chickens what they're supposed to be?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by horsewishr, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. horsewishr

    horsewishr Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    Do they live up to the reputations of their breeds? Mine don't.

    My RIR, who is supposed to be a "production" breed has the sweetest, most petlike personality of all my girls. She does lay every day, but her eggs are smaller than everyone else's. I had read that they can be aggressive, but she's low woman on the totem pole.

    My BO, who's supposed to be the most pet-like breed, is the only one who'll bite me if I bother her while she's in the nest box. I've read that BOs can be bullied by other breeds, and yet she's the bully in my group. She does lay the biggest, most beautiful eggs, though.

    My BR, who's supposed to be friendly, is aloof. She's my second-best layer.

    And my Australorp, who's supposed to be a prolific layer, is definitely my least productive. She's extremely inquisitive, and has the SOFTEST feathers I've ever felt.

    I love 'em all. They just haven't turned out quite like I expected.

    Next year I'm hoping to get a Speckled Sussex, an EE, and a Welsummer. Can't wait to see what they're like!
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  2. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    Production reds are breed to be sociable, all production breeds are so that it less stressful come egg gathering time. That does not mean they all are, these are generalizations. Thats like the its a generalization to say that all pure RIR are slightly aggressive (though the few I have interacted with were).

    The rest of the ones you mentioned I am not familiar with, but I think that the statement that breed traits are generalizations and will vary from bird to bird flock to flock.

    By the way , the flock dynamic really plays an important role in how you birds will act.

    Just like the pack dynamic does with dogs.

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  3. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    I had a bantam cochin--Henderson's describes them as peaceful, friendly and easily handled---and he was the nastiest little cock you'd ever meet. Skittish around me, and had a penchant for grabbing the hens' combs and twisting. Ouch!

    The Salmon Faverolles do seem to be what they've been described as, and I've had them from three different sources. They're sweet, shy and tend to be low on the totem pole with the other breeds. They're so quirky and snuggly if you spend the time to break through their shyness though. TOTALLY worth it.

    I have some RIRs that I wasn't sure I'd like. I was afraid they'd be too bossy, but honestly, they're quite nice, and don't seem to pick on the other hens at all. They seem impervious to being picked on, too.

    My Speckled Sussexes seem to do the most "picking on," but it doesn't really seem to be out of aggressiveness. They're just EXTREMELY forward and they will test EACH freckle many times just to absolutely make sure it's nothing that tastes good or might possibly grow to taste good in some nebulous future. I'd think it would be difficult to heal a bird up in a coop full of speckled sussexes. On the other hand, I haven't really spent much time with them, but they follow me around like little puppies and are very good foragers, living up to their name... I think that's where their freckle-testing comes from. They like to be stroked, but tend to peck to hard when eating from my hand. The Faverolles are dainty when it comes to eating from my hand.

    My Wheaten Ameraucanas are the friendliest birds I have, something I was not expecting. They're highest on the totem pole, but don't pick on the other birds. (They're just among the oldest, I think is why.) I thought they would be flightier. They like to ride on my shoulders (that's Lily in my avatar). Her sister Galatea sometimes stretches out with her neck on my shoulder. They also still peep like babies when they beg, very cute. They're so calm they even let my three-year-old nephew pet them... and yet Galatea went screaming after our sunbathing tabby the other day until it skedaddled with ears laid back and tail up like a bottlebrush.

    Galatea doesn't like the cats.


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