Breed Recommendations?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by chickenkate, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. chickenkate

    chickenkate Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Mar 2, 2009
    East coast
    I want to start a flock, but I'm not 100% SURE which breeds are best. I live in a moderate climate, with 3 1/4 acres of land. There are foxes, vultures, and hawks here as predators, and I have a dog. Summers get to the 100s and winters can get to the teens. I had Rhode Island Reds in mind...
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  2. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I think you will find everyone has a different opinion on breeds and why you should keep what. The vultures and hawks and foxes and dogs and all other predators will be happy to eat any breed and none of them will be that great at avoiding them. Banties fly more than others and therefore can get away slightly better, but I wouldnt' count on it. You will need a coop that is a fortress to have peace of mind at night... things crawl in, under, over, and through just about anything to get at your chickens and eggs, so thiink concrete and tiny wire mesh to keep them safe.

    As for breeds, I am starting my own first flock and I got Buff Orpingtons, Cuckoo Marans, and Easter Eggers (called Ameraucanas by hatcheries). They are all supposed to be calm, friendly, hardy breeds that lay fairly well. That was what I was looking for. Things like RIRs and Leghorns are super-duper egg machines but are theoretically not as calm and friendly, though there are plenty of exceptions to every rule. People love their silkies and polish. cochins are also docile and friendly and hardy and lay OK. There are a million other breeds that are popular... rocks, sex-links (also called stars), campines, houdans, sultans, phoenix, New Jersey Giants, New Hampshires, etc etc. The list goes on and on and I think you'll find tons of people on this site who love each and every kind. I suggest going online to the McMurray Hatchery website and they have good descriptions of the many breeds they carry. You don't have to buy from them - there are a million places to get chicks, but I think their website has a good summary of a lot of breeds.
     
  3. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

    556
    5
    131
    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    Rhode Island Reds are a good choice. Stick with one breed first then expand if you wish, but get your little flock established to where you feel confortable.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,143
    3,357
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2009
  5. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    A word of advice. If you raise your birds together from babies at the same time there will be less problems. Introducing new birds can be a nightmare if not handled properly.
    There are many breeds that you might enjoy as a new owner. RIR are nice for eggs but can be bullies to new birds! If you plan to have a variety of eye candy I would go down to the local feedstore and pick me out about 6 or 8 chicks. Barred Rocke, Black Sex Links, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, RIR, Comets, etc..... Get them all at one time and raise them together. That way there is less turmoil in having them accept one another as adults. They will still sort out their pecking order of course but it's not like turning a new hen loose in the midst and having her pisked to a bloody pulp!
    I think many here will agree with this.
     
  6. moduckman

    moduckman Chillin' With My Peeps

    556
    5
    131
    Jan 2, 2009
    Cairo, Missouri
    You can add breeds to any flock and there will be a little fighting. Its called establishing a pecking order. When chicks are raised together they too establish this pecking order. As far as RIR being bullies, sometimes the breeds with the most roosters or largest roosters may be bullies, but rarely kill one another.

    Chickenkate, you said you want to start a small flock and want to start with one breed. There is nothing wrong with that, to many breeds can dilute a nice flock into a mutt flock. Sure, you get a lot of colors and new varieties, but sometimes keeping the old heritage breeds pure is nice. I'm not dissing the peiople with a lot of mixed breeds, I'm just saying what I like. You'll see in my profile I have several breeds. I give my mutts away, but in early spring to late summer the breeds are seperated and I will not hatch chicks after April 1st or before September 15th.
     
  7. chickenkate

    chickenkate Out Of The Brooder

    51
    0
    39
    Mar 2, 2009
    East coast
    Thanks for all of your help! I was actually thinking of having 3 or 4 different breeds, but I wasn't sure about climate issues, or hardiness.[​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by