Before we buy...questions...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by CashNKristin, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. CashNKristin

    CashNKristin New Egg

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    We are in the process of getting plans for our coop and researching the best chickens for our family. Found lots of good info already and they seem pretty easy to take care of and manage. But we do need some advice!

    #1 (And most important to me): We have 3 small kids (4 yrs, 2 yrs, and 7 months) so we would like our chickens to be very kid friendly. Which would you recommend?
    #2: We live in VA so we get snow and pretty cold here. Which chicken lays eggs year round no matter the weather?
    #3: I don't want this but my husband would like a chicken that lays but also you can butcher. Which ones are those?

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

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    Welcom to BYC [​IMG]
     
  3. Cookie's_Clucks

    Cookie's_Clucks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2011
    Little ol' Idaho
    welcome! I recently joined as well and have had so many questions answered from this forum! I love it! I also live in a cold environment (Idaho) and I have Cochin Bantams. I have read somehwere that they tolerate the cold well and they are also good with children. Hopefully I am right, because I have kids too! We will see! [​IMG] Good Luck !
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    CashNKristin

    1. As you research breeds, realize that the breeds will vary somewhat, but look for breeds that are docile, and calm, not flighty. Many posters here like me have sex-links which are a hybrid developed mostly for egg-laying. My 'golden comet' is very friendly and sweet. I also have two Barred Plymouth Rock pullets and they are calm and docile as well. Often people recommend Banites for children, so that is something for you to consider.

    2. Chickens adapt fairly well to cold provided that they have a dry draft-free place to be. Some of the standard breeds from up North like Rhode Island Red, New Hampsire Red, Delaware and Plymouth Rock have fairly large bodies and can take the cold. One sign of cold tolerance is a small comb, because the chicken's comb can be susceptable to frostbite.

    3. Many breeds have been developed as 'Dual Purpose' birds. Both laying and butchering were important to our ancestors. Australorps, Rhode Islands and New Hampsires and Plymouth Rocks are all, I believe considered 'dual purpose' birds.

    Have fun researching all the various breeds, I bet with references from this forum and your own ideas you will find the breed or breeds that will be just right for your flock.
     
  5. DunindiditFarm

    DunindiditFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Welcome! I'm new as well and found this forum extremely useful as I started raising chicks this spring. If you are getting chickens for the primary purpose of laying eggs, then you'll need to use artificial lighting during the shorter days of fall and winter to increase egg production.
     
  6. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana!!
     
  7. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Welcome to BYC!

    I have had lots of chickens from the time I was in High School until now (40 something) and I most recently found my favorite to be the Bantam Brahma. They are super winter hardy and super friendly. They lay a med to large egg and have wonderful puppy dog personalities when raised from chicks. Brahmas are also considered a dual purpose breed although the bantam ones are only 2.5lbs at maturity. The standard size are ready for the table within four months of age so maybe some of both? Another super friendly kids breed is the female d"Anvers. (also a bantam breed but real small) The males are pretty cocky but the females are amazing birds for kids. Their eggs are very tiny and child sized, lol!

    I have also hear good things about Dominiques which are also a dual purpose winter hardy breed that is know to be docile when raised from a chick.

    The drawback with the Bantam breeds is they do not typically sell them sexed as Bantams are harder to sex than Standard size. You would have to buy straight run and wait to see what you have when they mature. Then you would need to either put them on CL or go to a local chicken swap to get them new homes. Or eat them as it seems hubby want to do [​IMG] But the positive is you get the same amount of eggs with 1/3 the amount of grain, and a few roast chicken dinners. The ratio for straight run is around 50/50.

    Lots of breeds out there to choose from so have fun exploring.

    ~Julie
     
  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello, I really think there are several breeds that have very nice temperatments. I would recommend that you buy chicks, and raise them up with plenty of attention, so that they become very family friendly.

    Some of the heavier breeds that are great layers and, in my opinion very friendly are Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, and Wyandottes. They are all a heavier breed, so they could actually be dual purpose. Of those three, my favorite is the Barred Rock. Variety is fun, so maybe you could get a few of each.

    For winter, the best thing you can do if you still want eggs is to light your coop with some heat lamps, as chickens need a certain amount of light each day in order to produce eggs. You want a chicken that doesn't have a huge comb and wattles because frostbite can be an issue in the winter. BOs and Wyandottes have smaller combs, while the Barred Rock would have a larger comb, but if you just rub a bit of vasceline on their combs, that will protect them from frostbite.

    Good luck to you! A nice catalog to send for is the catalog from the Meyer Hatchery. It has nice breed descriptions so that you can make your own decisions. (Some of us are partial to certain breeds [​IMG] LOL Just go to meyerhatchery.com, and fill out the form to get their free catalog. It will have a very nice description, temperament, egg production and color, size, whether they are heat and cold tolerant, broodiness......All the important things.

    Good luck! Do your homework, and you can't go wrong!

    Sharon
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

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