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Best Breed of Chicken?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CuttingHorse, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. CuttingHorse

    CuttingHorse Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2016
    Hello everyone! Quick question for y'all. What breed of chicken do you think would be most docile and tame?

    I'll be buying my laying hens soon(so excited!!), and would like to get a couple of chickens that are docile and like being messed with, along with the layers. If the chickens I get are up to snuff, I would like to eventually take them places, such as nursing homes, and let the be a "chicken ambassador" of sorts. A chicken that would catch people's eye, and start the conversation of chickens and hopefully educate people more about keeping backyard chickens.

    It's not necessary that they be good layers, I'll be buying barred rocks and a couple other breeds as layers.

    I was thinking about trying some silkies, as I've heard they are docile. However, I've also heard that they can be high maintenance compared to other chickens because they lack shafted feathers. I've also heard they have a tendency to go broody, which I think would be an issue. Is it possible to break a broody hen? I've had one flock of chickens before, but got lucky and never had one get overly broody.

    I hope that made sense, in my head I know what I'm looking for but I'm not sure how well it translated into writing. I've noticed a lot of stigmatism around chickens, and would like to change that by educating the public about the joys of chickens.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to the BYC community! [​IMG] I'm so glad you joined! [​IMG]

    Barred Rocks, though portrayed as simply "layers," are generally extremely friendly (at least in my experience). [​IMG] Mine are so easy to pick up and hug, as well as play sidekick wherever I go.

    Some other good, docile breeds: Speckled Sussex, Brahma, Mille Fleur d'Uccle (bantam), Easter Egger, and Orpington.

    Silkies are known for being susceptible to picking from certain aggressive large fowl breeds, like Wyandottes and Rhode Island Reds. Also, they aren't known for being cold hardy because of their unique feathering. I've heard broodiness can be cured, but seeing as I've never had to do it yet, I'm not exactly sure how you would go about that. [​IMG]

    Best wishes for you during your chicken search! [​IMG]

    ~Alex
     
  3. CuttingHorse

    CuttingHorse Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for replying!

    Completely agree about the barred rocks, our first flock consisted of barred rocks, Rhode Island reds, and americaunas. By far, the barred rocks were the friendliest! All of our chickens were tame(except the americaunas, they were a little special), but the barred rocks were the ones that were happiest to be held and carried around. It's one of the reasons I'm buying more for my new flock.

    Thank you for the other breed suggestions! In your opinion, do you think it would be better to have a bantam if other people will be holding/petting it, or would a full size chicken be all right? If I did get a bantam, would the bigger guys pick on it? I'm going to try and buy more docile breeds this time(no Rhode Island reds), but still.

    That's what I had read on silkies, which is what was making me balk at getting them. They will be out with the flock, which will probably free range through my horse pastures, so they need to be hardy enough to deal with the weather we have in Texas. I will have a rooster or two to keep the hawks away.

    I can't believe how many chicken breeds there are!
     
  4. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Smile Premium Member

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    I'd recommend Old English Game Bantam, (OEGB) if you would consider a bantam. Some people have flighty OEGB's, but my experience is that if handled frequently and gently, they become very tame and docile. One of my hens, Jace, will follow me around if she hs cold feet until I pick her up and warm her toes up. :lau

    She also falls asleep in my arms, and is really easy to catch, as well as being very smart!


    Another plus? There are many varieties, which are simply stunning. (Jace is a spangled OEGB)

    My lil girl :love
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]


    I have not had much experience with silkies, but another similar breed called Sultans would also be a close runner up. I have only had one, a roo, and he was sweet- until he hit 6 months. However, they are docile in nature and a hen would fit the bill perfectly!
    (I have pics- if you want them!)
    Good luck!
    -Banti
     
    3 people like this.
  5. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Smile Premium Member

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    Oh, and I keep LF and bantam varieties together with no problem. Size of birds in my flock ranges from 15.95 oz to about 7 pounds and they all get along famously!
    -Banti
     
  6. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're so welcome! [​IMG]

    Full sized, bantam, just about anything will work for the purpose of making it a lap pet. I've heard that it is certainly possible to merge LF (Large Fowl) and bantams into a unified flock, which I'm going to be doing here pretty soon. Are you going to raise them all at once? If so, large breeds and bantams who grow up together probably won't be as likely to pick and be picked.

    I know! I'm guilty of owning quite a variety......[​IMG]So many it's almost embarrassing. [​IMG]

    -Alex
     
  7. varidgerunner

    varidgerunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I go to several agri-tourism and petting zoo type events, and I like to take my oriental games. They are not common, or inexpensive, nor are they the best choice for a beginning chicken keeper, as they tend not to fit in in a mixed flock setting. But by george, they are bomb proof. I can pretty much pick any chicken I have, as long as it's not broody or molting, and with NO PREVIOUS HANDLING, take it to an event with hundreds of people, even mature males. I can set them down in a crowd of people, walk away and come back and pick them up. I can hand them to complete strangers, I can perch them on a table or stool and talk to people while they set there and strike a pose, and they will eat out of the hand of noisy, rushing, swarming children. There is very little chance of human aggression, they have been bred for thousands of years for close human contact and strong relationships with their handlers.

    People seem to really enjoy talking chickens after experiencing a chicken that defies all of the preconceptions of what a chicken is, and they are darned handsome to boot. In a primal, prehistoric sort of way.[​IMG]

    This one has been rushed by screaming seven year olds with handfuls of popcorn and he seemed to enjoy it thoroughly, if I didn't switch off they would get downright fat.
     
  8. CuttingHorse

    CuttingHorse Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your replies!

    Banti, your girl is stunning![​IMG] I would love to see more pictures of your chickens. Your girl is essentially what I want, something that is tame and loves to be handled. She sounds like a character, demanding that her toes be warmed up! That's good to know your flock gets along, I hope mine will! What do you have that weighs 15.95 pounds???

    Alex, This doesn't narrow it down any!;) I'll probably end up going with a full size, they seem to be easier to find in my area. I'm having a hard time just finding barred rocks, much less bantams! I will be raising my flock all at once, so hopefully everyone will like each other despite size differences. As it is I'm planning on getting a Jersey Giant along with my barreds and opringtons, plus a couple other breed to try out.

    Haha, I hear you! I feel like I'll be in the same boat once I get up and running again. They're just so fun!

    Varidgerunner, Those chickens are so cool looking! That's awesome they're bombproof, even with no previous handling. I don't think they would work for me to the mixed flock scenario, and I don't think I have enough experience to handle such a bird. They're going on my chicken wishlist though! Is it sad that I have a chicken wish list? Probably.;)

    That's essentially what I want to achieve with my chicken, letting people experience a chicken first hand that defies everything they think a chicken is. There's still so many misconceptions about chickens, and I think if people are able to experience a chicken that isn't what they thought, they will be more open minded to keeping chickens in neighborhoods and urban/city areas.

    Slightly OT, does anyone know if there's any paperwork that you would need to take a chicken places? Or would it be similar to taking a dog places?
     
  9. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Smile Premium Member

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    Thank you! I will have more pics once I get on my PC instead of a phone. :D

    She is such a character, and always has to say hi to everybody. They do need some space to roam, and don't enjoy constantly being cooped up, but will tolerate it if neccecary......



    LOL! 15.95 ounces to 7 pounds..... That would be a monster chicken. :p
    -Banti
     
  10. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know, sorry! I'm really no help when it comes to minimizing the number of birds you get. In fact, my infectious chicken math has a bad effect on those around me. [​IMG]

    Do you have any hatcheries you could order from? Although hatchery stock vs. breeders is a common comparison for those looking for personable traits in a bird, I find that both are equally as sweet, just in different ways. That way you would have more variety if you so wished. [​IMG] But, of course, I'm not saying that you should deviate from your original plan, I was just curious.

    Yeah, I REALLY recommend Mille Fleur d'Uccles if you can manage to get your hands on them. My three are turning out to be real sweetie pies, especially the cockerels (at least I'm suspecting that they're boys), believe it or not! They will practically self-detonate if you put them down when they fly up on you.
    Piranha is a real lap pet!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    ~Alex
     
    1 person likes this.

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