Best chicken's for a brand new, "Back Yard Breeder"

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by blangkamp, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. blangkamp

    blangkamp New Egg

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    I have done a ton of research on creating a chicken coop for my backyard...Over a year now of books, visiting breeders and going over internet sites and blogs for information for coops, feeders, waterers, dangers to the flock, potential predators, foraging in the yard, run size, etc. I've narrowed my selection of breeds down to two (I think?!) Buff Orpington's and Ameracauna's.

    Any suggestions for a first timer like me? I need them to be cold hardy, good egg layers, good with the kids and to be able to handle them if need be. Any help would be most appreciated!!
     
  2. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    True Ameracaunas can be tough to find and spendy when you find them. Might I suggest Easter Eggers instead? If you order from most hatcheries that's what's you are likely to get instead of Ameracaunas anyway. Easter Eggers are pretty doggone friendly, lay colored eggs (my grandson can't wait to go to school and tell the kids he DOES like green eggs and ham!) and I think they are really pretty birds. Buff Orpingtons and Easter Eggers are what I chose to go with and I'm happy with that decision. I also have Golden Laced Wyandottes and Red Stars. I'm relatively new myself, but I've learned a ton on these forums, and one of the things I did learn emphatically was the Americauna/Easter Egger differences. Of course, if you have a breeder you've been talking to then everything I said about EE/Americaunas is probably something you already knew. [​IMG]
     
  3. blangkamp

    blangkamp New Egg

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    Thank you SO much for your comments!! Your advise is appreciated more than you know! Might I ask you one more question? If I'm only looking to have say 4 to 6 birds to start, would you suggest all one breed or possibly a mixture of the Buff Orpington's and the Easter Eggers? I would love your input and thank you!
     
  4. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    You are quite welcome! I readily admit that I'm not the expert on anything - sometimes I just like to pretend I am! But for that question I did know the answer!

    Lots of people, me included, have mixed flocks. Personally I think a few of this and some of those makes for an interesting chicken experience. Outline what you want first - Egg production? White, brown or colored eggs, or doesn't that make any difference as long as the birds are easy to raise and healthy? Meat production? Dual purpose? Buffs Orpingtons are considered a good dual purpose breed, and they're pretty friendly and laid back for the most part. But like people, you can always get a grouch in any group. You'll be happy with the Easter Eggers - folks that have them love them. There are many forums on here for specific breeds and varieties. Just go up to the search box, type in the kinds you're interested in, then read and look at the many photos. If you decided you want to breed chickens later, then you might want to be a little more selective, but for now pick what you like and enjoy them!

    You are most of the way there since you've been researching so well ahead of time. I didn't - I just sorta jumped and am learning as I go along. I have 18 two week old chickens in a brooder in hubby's office and the closest I've come to a coop so far is drawing a picture on a piece of paper. <sigh>
     
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Try both breeds, or even several breeds to see which you like best. The kids will probably enjoy a multicolor egg basket.
     
  6. myskydolphin

    myskydolphin Out Of The Brooder

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    I was new until a year ago when I started my small flock. Did the same as you with the research - coop size, flock size, area that they can enjoy outside of the coop, feed, water supply, feeders, medicines, potential issues etc etc. I decided on a Buff Orpington, a Silver laced Wyandotte and leghorn. However the leghorns were male and were removed. I replaced with a brown leghorn and she lays the biggest of all eggs. I also added a Rhode Island Red and a Golden Laced Wyandotte. The Buff was certainly the friendliest and laid first as well. She is still a sweetie and very social with me. The Leghorn was a little more skittish, but once she started laying she warmed up to me as well. Still not cuddly like the Buff though. The Wyandottes are big girls. They lay well and are sweet and get along with the other gals. The Rhode Island Red was a bit of a bully. She also unexpectedly passed in her laying box a few months go. I have not replaced her. I just have 4 hens instead of 5 and they are plenty enough for a family of 4. Aside from the eggs they give us they are all sweet girls and have brought much joy and hilarity to our backyard. Yes, they are funny little gals - great entertainment. Good Luck from Pepper, Honey, Goldie and Dijon! :)
     

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