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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WannabeChickenOwner, May 14, 2011.
What is the best breeds for a small area and a mild climate?
I perfer dual purpose chickens with small combs. They don't loose as much heat during WI winters, and just burrow in the shade during summer. They're easier to handle in general, as well as maybe just a little less inclined to jump in a tree.
I didn't worry about breed for the first go at it. I got a couple of chicks from the local farm store so I knew whether or not I was going to be successful. It only costs around $3 per bird. Luckily when I decide I don't want them there are free range chickens in my neighborhood or I'll freecycle them. I lost one who didn't make it and another was enjoying time in the yard when the dogs decided to let the chicks out and she joined the free rangers on her own. The dh can only call it dinner if it goes moo so I can't have meat birds. After we had the chicks a few weeks we ordered hatching eggs of the actual breed we wanted. I got low quality genetics for the first hatch and will spring for fancy award winners for the next round.
I was worried the farm store birds wouldn't bond well since they didn't hatch with me but they are super loving and very easy to handle. I carry them in and out til the big coop is done and they just cuddle like a poodle. I got Wyandottes for my permanent flock and they are very affectionate. The silkies are actually more jumpy and less affectionate which isn't true to what I've read.
Black sex links are the best for me they also are good layers.
Do you live in the city?
Do you want chickens for eggs, meat, pets?
Do you care about how they look - basic or funky looking?
Do you care about egg color?
I am in the city and I like chickens that are friendly, tolerate confinement, good layers, relatively quiet and bad fliers. How friendly and quiet they are can't always be predicted by breed, but odds are in your favor with any listed as "docile", "friendly" and "tolerates confinement". They can still be darn noisy though. I also like the look of the funky looking breeds (silkie, polish) and a variety of egg color. Most of the funky breeds don't lay well but they make fine pets and you still get some eggs. For the traits I care about most I think black australorps, buff orpingtons, delawares, brahmas, easter eggers, marans and favorelles would be good choices. Silver laced Wyandottes are a breed I'd like to get some day as they are beautiful in addition to having the traits I care about. There are many more options too. I also have a small space but prefer large chickens as they can't fly as well as small ones and I don't want them to fly over the fence around my yard or around my veggie garden. Bantams cal really FLY.
Here are some great sites to read about chicken breeds. It's good to cross reference across each one as I don't find any of them to give complete information: