Attn. all experienced Breeders: The best breed to keep in the backyard

alabama girl

Songster
11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
343
7
141
Auburn, Al

Hi, I am a hobbyist but after browsing through this forum I know everyone here can gauge the intensity of passion involved in this HOBBY confined to JUST the backyard. I ended up having too many silkies, barred rocks, and wyandottes, I want to now give those away and restrict myself to just one breed so I can be a true breeder. What would you suggest.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,662
12,203
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
The best breed is the one you love the most, IMO. I adore my Barred Plymouth Rock girls, plus my flock rooster, Hawkeye, and his younger son, Zane, are the leaders around here. I may breed Blue Orpingtons, but if I had to clear out most of my other breeds, I'd stick to my Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. Cant beat them for consistent laying and extra large to jumbo eggs.
 
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Brian

Songster
12 Years
Sep 30, 2007
387
13
141
Jacksonville, ORegon
I'm with Cynthia. Also, Delawares are great too, and you'd have the distinction of having a somewhat rare breed. They have all the good attributes of the barred and buffs as well.
 

alabama girl

Songster
11 Years
Apr 5, 2008
343
7
141
Auburn, Al
Please also tell me the rooster's temperament. That is what matters the most. All these hens are great, Cynthia, I love my barred rocks too but as a couple is rooter a good kind to keep in the city? E.g, right now, my silkie rooter is the best, not loud at all, neighbors love him, he's gentle with chickens.
Amber
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,662
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
In the city, you have a special problem. All roosters crow, it's just a matter how loud and how often. My Hawkeye is the most gentle soul you could imagine. So is my Blue Orpington rooster, Suede, for that matter. They accidentally met face to face the other day and each of them allowed me to hold them in my lap for a clean up and inspection. They're just the sweetest, most even tempered boys on the planet (except to each other, LOL) They do crow, however, Suede moreso than Haweye, but then, Hawkeye is more mature, at over two years old.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
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Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Well, not necessarily, but it seems when they first find their voices, they like to use them...alot. And Suede has a very loud, deep crow, almost like a wolf howling at times. Hawkeye doesn't crow half as many times as Suede does. Suede is a year old and Hawkeye is two.
 
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greyfields

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 15, 2007
4,889
27
261
Washington State
If you want to be a true breeder, avoid Barred Rocks. 99.99% of Barred Rocks you see are "cuckoo" not "barred". It's a very difficult 'breed' to get to the Standard.

So, my advice is to stick with only self colored breeds/varieties until you've mastered it.... So anything which is black, white or buff.
 

speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,662
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greyfieds is right, that a really excellent Barred Rock is hard to find. Mine are utility, egglaying Barred Rocks, although a couple of my girls have better barring than most hatchery birds. My main point was that you should find what you love and breed that. I happen to love Barred Rocks. There are breeders that have eggs/birds in the Barred Rock category like Dick Horstmann and if you wanted to breed BRs, I'd start with great stock, never hatchery stock. If you don't like black, white or buff, then it doesn't help to breed those. I personally would do what I liked most, even if it was difficult.
You can also breed for egglaying capability, not just for perfection in conformation. It's hard to have both. I don't want to show nor do I breed for show with my Barred Rocks. I breed for body type (stocky, not lanky like some), temperament and egglaying. That is just as legit as breeding for perfect barring; still, I would love to see better barring in these hatchery birds!
 
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