Breed recommendations wanted!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Oscarsgravett, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. Oscarsgravett

    Oscarsgravett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Hello
    I unfortunately last week suffered a stoat attack killing three members of my flock :( I have repaired the damages to the run and it is very secure now so secure i cant damage the run to my ability. The three killed were hybrids and my best laying hens the only ones to lay through winter. I have a big family and often give them eggs in summer, spring and sometimes winter so i rely on my hens for eggs.

    I am looking for a new breed to add to my flock and i'm unsure of the breed i should choose:/ ?

    The basic recquirements are:
    1. I would like them to lay at least 180 eggs a year
    2. Lay through winter
    3. Not to flighty

    They can be hybrids or pure breeds

    Any suggestions anyone? :)
     
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello,
    I'm sure you will get many suggestions, but my best advice is to scan through the Henderson chicken chart. It gives you just about all the info about a breed that you could want, including laying. Good luck with your new ladies! [​IMG]
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Two other good chicken breed charts worth scanning are found at http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/docs/pickachicken.pdf and http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx. Also, Murray McMurray has an excellent "chick selector" tool at https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you determine the best breed for you. Just be sure and click on "show more characteristics." If you want personal recommendations based on your criteria, I would suggest Black Australorps. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids) and they are extremely hardy. I've raised them both where winter temperatures dropped to 30 F below zero, and where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and they came through like trooper in both climate extremes, still laying in both the cold and the heat. Black Australorps are calm and gentle. My children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them. And they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. A BA holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that level of productivity, I've still had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. And while Black and Red Sex Links (I've had both sex link hybrids) will usually lay slightly better, Black Australorps have a longer laying life. Whatever breed or hybrid you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
     
  4. CliffB

    CliffB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salmon Faverolles and Light Brahmas both fit your needs.
     
  5. Oscarsgravett

    Oscarsgravett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Thank you i will try that :)
     
  6. Oscarsgravett

    Oscarsgravett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the amazing info i tried all of the links and they came up with a good range of options i have now narrowed it down to five breeds : sussex's , stars , goldlines, rhode island reds and brahma's :)
     
  7. Oscarsgravett

    Oscarsgravett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2014
    East Sussex , England
    Thank you for the amazing info i tried all of the links and they came up with a good range of options i have now narrowed it down to five breeds : sussex's , stars , goldlines, rhode island reds and brahma's :)[/quote
    I would have chose Australorps but where i am in England they are extremely hard to get hold of as they are so rare here :(
     
  8. Oscarsgravett

    Oscarsgravett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2014
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    Thank you i have added Brahma's to my top 5 ! :)
     
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome. Red Stars and Goldlines are actually the same hybrid. Red Star and Goldline are two of many labels under which some hatcheries market their Red Sex Links, which are produced by crossing a red gene rooster with a silver gene rooster. The resulting offspring can be sexed by color at hatching (male chicks are whitish, female chicks are reddish), and they are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. It's one of the interesting quirks of hybridization. There is also a Black Star, one of several labels that some hatcheries use for their Black Sex Links, which are produced by crossing a RIR rooster with a Barred Rock hen. Like Red Sex Links, BSLs can be sexed by color at hatching (male chicks are black with a white spot on top of their heads, female chicks are solid black), and like RSLs, they are egg laying machines, outlaying either parent breed. I've raised both Red and Black Sex Links for many years and actually personally prefer the Blacks as they have been somewhat friendlier and have laid slightly better in really cold winter weather than my Reds, but for heavy egg laying you can't go wrong with either hybrid.
    At one time or another over the past 50 years, I've had all of the breeds on your list and they are good breeds. Sussex and Brahmas are very friendly and gentle breeds. My children made lap pets out of ours. However, if you want a docile breed, I would think twice about getting Rhode Island Reds. They are excellent layers, but are sometimes aggressive (particularly the roosters), and at times, I have had to cull some of them out of my flock for that reason.
     
  10. Oscarsgravett

    Oscarsgravett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    wow thank you you are like a book of poultry knowledge :) thank you for the info it has been greatly apprieciated you have made my decision alot easier. One question though is are goldlines good at laying for a number of years as my nan has five goldlines and they are two years old and she still get 4-5 every day even in the winter i just wanted to make sure it wasnt just hers?
     

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