Best Backyard Breeds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Chyatt24, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    What are some of the best backyard breeds out there? I'm ordering a silver laced wyandotte, buff orpington, and light brahma, but I'd love to learn about more breeds. The main criteria for me would be breeds who are good egg layers, very friendly, and cold hardy.
     
  2. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My top three would have to be 1. Ameraucanas- Friendly, nice big blue/green egg production, and hardy 2. Rhode Island Reds Pretty friendly(not the roosters), nice jumbo brown egg production, and hardy and 3. Silkies Extremely friendly (even the roosters are passive in my experience), cold hardy, and they frequently lay small white eggs. That just my opinion and experiences. I've had wyandottes before and they were much like the rhode island reds but much prettier!
     
  3. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    Buff Orpingtons are my favorite so far. They are the most friendly, they're cold hardy, they lay well, and if I want chicks they have no problem going broody. Next I like black australorps. They haven't started laying yet, but they're just so sweet and shiney :) I have white leghorns right now too, but I consider them white tornadoes.
     
  4. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! I've really wanted to purchase a silkie, but I was hesitant because I wasn't sure about their egg production
     
  5. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Silkie eggs are on the small size and they don't produce as well as the other breed I mentioned but I like having them around just because they go broody often and they add a little personality to the flock! You're welcome!
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I think the best backyard breed is the Black Australorp. I've raised them for many decades (along with dozens of other breeds) and they are incredibly hardy. I raised them in CA where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and in northern Kansas where the temperature dropped to 30 F below zero, and in both cases, they did just fine. The are very calm and gentle birds. My children, and now my grandchildren, made lap pets out of them. And they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. Until it was broken by a caged White Leghorn in 1979, a Black Australorp held the world laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days (still the brown egg laying record), and while my Australorps have never reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I've still had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. Everyone has their own personal favorite breed, but I am convinced that Black Australorps are the best all-around, dual-purpose breed on the planet.
     
  7. Chyatt24

    Chyatt24 Out Of The Brooder

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    They sound great, thank you! Another question, do different chicken breeds typically get along? I'd love to someday have a flock that has a very wide variety of different breeds, since there are so many I'm interested in.
     
  8. Jedwards

    Jedwards Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In most cases the hens will do just fine, they do best when raised together from chicks. It will probably get ugly between roosters if you have more than one. and I'm sure there are some breeds of chickens that are not compatible but for the most part you can just try and see if it works! I have Rhode Island reds hens, one eight year old Sumatra, Barred rock hens, silkies, ameraucanas, and lots of mixed breeds, and 9 turkeys in the pen!
     
  9. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

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    I know people who have several breeds co-mingling very peacefully. Orps, australorps, wyandottes, welsummers, etc. I would try to stick with more like sizes and common traits, but it can be done.
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Mixed breeds will do fine together as long as they are relatively docile breeds, are raised together, and are close to the same age and size. I currently have Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Black Sex Links, and Easter Eggers all together and they get along just fine (other than the usual pecking order which occurs within any flock with any breeds). I have had times when I've had more than a dozen breeds together and they got along fine. One word of caution though (as Jedwards pointed out), beware of too many roosters. The recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens as more roosters than the 10 to 1 ratio can be very hard on your hens physically; over-breeding them, injuring them with their beaks and spurs, and battering them. When you really get down to it, the only reason that you need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching. I currently have 25 hens, no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without feeding any non-egg laying mouths, without the aggression, fights, crowing in the middle of the night, injuries, and over-bred and battered hens that frequently goes along with having roosters (especially too many of them).
     

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