Brand new to chickens - Choosing a breed!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DairyQueenMS923, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. DairyQueenMS923

    DairyQueenMS923 New Egg

    Apr 6, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    My husband and I have decided we would like to have a small flock of chickens (around 6) but we have no experience with breeds. I do live in Maine so I do need something cold hardy. I prefer large eggs (not necessarily jumbo), color does not matter. I would also prefer something docile as I have a 1 year old. I have been given a few suggestions by friends

    Golden Comets
    Sex link

    How do I decide? What do I need to consider?
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2014
    If I were starting from scratch, I'd get six Black Australorps. They are supposed to be calmer than their relatives, the Orpington's (and lay bigger eggs?). My Orps lay medium sized eggs.
  3. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 11, 2014
    I have an Orp/Faverolle cross who is nice, a little skiddish, but lays extra large eggs at least 5 times a week. My Comets are actually a little peckish. Dominiques are my personal fave and very cold hardy. They lay medium eggs, but 5-6 times a week and very nice.
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    You can get a mixed flock too, mix and match what's at your local feed store. I've found the black sex link to be friendlier than the red or gold comet. You'd not think the others are put offish at all but side by side comparison of the grown birds it's you'll notice the black is too friendly as in always under foot or pecking at pants to get your attention.

    Orpington don't lay big eggs. You'll get medium to large but no extra large or jumbo. Same with the Plymouth Rock. Think Wyandotte are same.

    Sex links are a great way to go as your guaranteed females and many extra large, jumbo eggs. And it doesn't matter which you get so if diversity of flock color is something you'd like then get 3 of each.

    Once they are outside and your feeding treats make sure to have a call or whistle as you do it so they are trained. When we only had hens I'd whistle and they'd come running. You'll become the Cockbird in their mind and they'll squat for you once laying age and that makes it so easy to pick them up. Whistle, they run up to you, step toward one and it squats to ground, you pick it up. I miss that, flock dynamics are much different with Cockbirds in the mix.
  5. DairyQueenMS923

    DairyQueenMS923 New Egg

    Apr 6, 2015
    I was just reading about this breed, definitely interested!

    For someone just starting out, is it better to get a couple different breeds or to stick with one then branch out in later years?
  6. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 16, 2015
    South Central MN
    We are new chicken owners, too. We decided to choose a few of a bunch of different breeds and then eventually stick with just a few of our favorite breeds.

    We have 5 Buff Orpingtons. They tend to pick on the other chicks more than others. Also the Barred Rocks do the same.

    Our most calm breeds seem to be the Brahmas, Cochins, and Wyandottes. They are very sweet birds. Don't make a big fuss about being handled, never pick on the other chicks, are very docile.

    I also really like our Easter Eggers. They are also one of the more docile breeds.
  7. DairyQueenMS923

    DairyQueenMS923 New Egg

    Apr 6, 2015
    My friend has Wyandottes and really likes them. I am surprised about the Orpingtons, I have been told by several people not to put them wth aggressive birds as they will get picked on!

    I may be going with a couple Australorpes, a couple Orpingtons, and a couple Brahmas. It is a tough decision but I have a couple weeks to think it over still.
  8. newmarch2014

    newmarch2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2014
    My Buff Orpingtons are so sweet. I just got Brahmas for their cold hardiness since I had to worry about frost bite on my B.O. comb this year (one of them has a ridiculously large comb). I don't care so much about the eggs so the med eggs are fine for me.
  9. Bruins

    Bruins Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Frederick Co, MD
    I got my chicks last week ,cold hearty , docile and friendly were my top priority . I chose Brahma , Easter Eggers , Sussex and a RIR . I also wanted an Australorpe but they were all out when I got there .

    All of the chicks but 1 are already coming to us when we put our hand in the brooder and seem friendly , the one is more skittish but will settle down when you hold her .
  10. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2014
    I want to try Black Australorps next. I like regular Orps, but their eggs are kinda small.

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