Best breed option?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BrothersFarm, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. BrothersFarm

    BrothersFarm New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2013
    Hello! I'm looking for some expert (eggs-pert?) advice on choosing a breed for our new family flock. Each of our four children is picking out new chickens for this spring- the three that have been picked are Delawares, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and Buff Orpingtons. We need some help on guiding our last child's choice. Primary requirement is that it is a friendly bird (these chickens are pets that happen to lay eggs!) and not aggressive or flighty. Needs to integrate with the flock well, so we don't want a breed that will pick on the others or be pecked to death, either. Also prefer not to have something too small and be more likely to be eaten by a hawk. (Our birds free range during the day.) Finally, the breed needs to be able to handle hot Texas summers. These chickens are pets and also are the kids' egg business.

    Here are the front runners:
    (1) Ameraucana: cool, multi-colored eggs and good disposition, but I'm worried that they are too small to mix with the others
    (2) Brahma: Well-mannered and big but will they be OK in the summer heat?
    (3) Australorp: Have the reputation for making lots of eggs, but are they too small around the bigger birds? What's their personality like?
    (4) Black Jersey Giant: My boy is excited about these because of their size and gentle disposition, but can they mix ok with the other medium sized birds?

    My kids would be grateful for any breed advice or other comments you may have!!! Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All of the breeds you mentioned are very nice birds. However, any feather-footed breed will not release body heat as well as clean-legged breeds because most of the body heat is lost through the feet, so keep that in mind. I have introduced Australorps, JGs, and Ameraucanas with no problems. As for Australops, they are a good layers and mine are docile and will eat out of your hand. However, out of all the breeds you mentioned, I will say that I do love my two Americaunas (Gertrude and Pauline). They are bright, friendly, and the first time I sold some of their eggs, the people's reactions were priceless. One lady even asked me if I dyed them!
     
  3. Euarto Gullible

    Euarto Gullible Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If your primary goal is to sell eggs, I'd go with the Ameraucanas, though you might want to consider Easter Eggers instead, as they have a wider variation in egg color than pure Ameraucanas, and are bred for egg color over other traits. The Brahmas and Jersey Giants make nice pets, but don't lay as well as Australorps or Ameraucanas.
     
  4. Chase Family

    Chase Family Out Of The Brooder

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    We just started our family flock this past Mother's Day. We decided to all just pick and chick and put them together. We ended up with a Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Legbar, EE, and 2 Ameraucanas bought from a local breeder because the wife really wanted them. One of the Ameraucanas ended up being a roo. All of our flock is really docile to the point that they follow us around the yard and right up to the door waiting for an invitation to come in. I hope you end up with a wonderful flock like we did. Best of Luck.
     

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