Breed suggestions? Brand new!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Pimentel, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Pimentel

    Pimentel New Egg

    Mar 15, 2016
    Northern CA, East Bay
    Hello all!

    Getting ready to embark on our first backyard chicken experience! We just got a chicken coop and run. Pretty small, from Costco. Claims to hold six chickens I'm thinking 4 is more realistic. The dimensions are 71x45x77. We are planning on painting it this weekend and putting it up. Trying to decide which breed of chickens to get! I've been doing some reading and am leaning towards Rhode Island Red. Any suggestions? Here are the things that are important to us

    Egg production, we want lots of eggs!
    Easy to care for/hearty
    Not jumpy, relaxed birds
    Birds that are comfy in a coop
    My daughter would like friendly birds

    My bf and I live in CA with my daughter, our four cats who are outdoor and skilled hunters, and a large pitbull. Our yard can be busy.

    Over the course of a year, on average, the temperature varies from 38F to 98F. Rarely is it above 98F or below 30F.

    I have a fairly large garden and I don't plan on giving the hens much, if any, access to it because I don't want them destroying it. Really the main thing I want is good egg production. My daughter wants a friendly bird. My bf wants both.

  2. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2015
    Weatherford, TX
    Buff Orpingtons are the friendliest birds I've ever come across. They lay well, I have seven hens and average 32 eggs a week, which is almost five a week from each. Some weeks is a little more and some a little less, but the great thing about BOs is they lay throughout the winter without any supplemental light. Most chickens take the winter off but these won't.
    That's my two cents!
    1 person likes this.
  3. machinfarm

    machinfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2015
    Weatherford, TX
    Oh I also have a suggestion. If this coop set up is permanent, not a tractor that can be moved around, then I suggest doing a deep litter for them. They'll decimate the grass in their run in no time and then be bored out of their minds. What I do for mine, since we don't free range on account of our dogs, is put every thing I can in their run. Leaves, grass clippings, saw dust (untreated wood only), ashes from the fireplace, straw, etc. you may have to add a slight border around your run to keep it from blowing or being kicked out... But this gives them something to root around in and it will decompose, inviting bugs and worms that they will LOVE to find and eat (same as they would out free ranging) and bonus for you and your big garden, you'll have wonderful nitrogen rich compost from this decomposed matter and chicken poop! Just scrape it out and replace it every six months or so, no shoveling poop weekly/daily like some folks have to do. Also do a deep litter inside their coop in the winter, the composting will generate heat and keep them toasty!
    My chickens in their deep litter run, with fresh grass clippings to pick through.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - glad to have you onboard.

    You are probably correct in reducing the number of birds the coop can hold comfortably. I agree with @machinfarm that a run would be ideal for them.

    The Learning Centre is a great resource, even for experienced chicken keepers - loads of info on anything chicken.

    The Coop section may also give you ideas as to what to provide for your chickens.

    Joining your state thread will put you in contact with other BYC members in your area, which can be very helpful.


    The members here are amazing - very friendly and helpful, so if you need an answer to a question or simply want some reassurance that what you are doing is ok, then post away - we all help each other out here at BYC.

    All the best
    1 person likes this.
  5. asteria01

    asteria01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2015
    Welcome to byc! we are also first time chickeners lol. I suggest the wyandotte breed. We have one and shes the cutest, sassy girl ever. They are plump dual purpose birds, but their laced markings are so beautiful its a shame to eat them. They lay really well, mine lays around 5-6 light brown eggs a week. Oh and they are winter layers too. As for personality, they are not flighty at all, and they aren't aggressive either, super personable. They aren't bullies, but they can stand their ground pretty well.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    From what I've read on here Rhode Island Reds tend to be aggressive to other birds. Red or black sex links will give you a lot of eggs, as will Black Australorps.
    1 person likes this.
  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    You've received some great advice already, so I'll just say hello and it's nice to have you here!
    1 person likes this.
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Return the coop and look for something better. It's poorly built, poorly ventilated and not predator proof.
    1 person likes this.
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] I have two of the Costco coops, and they are not suitable for large fowl chickens unless you build an additional run. I have my tiny Serama bantams in there and it's barely big enough for two.
    1 person likes this.
  10. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
    1 person likes this.

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