Chicken behavior questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kycowgirl78, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. kycowgirl78

    kycowgirl78 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2009
    Morgantown, Ky
    I got some chickens last fall and am not real happy with my White Leghorns so I've been expanding my flock. I'm fairly satisfied with my Ameracaunas and just purchased a Buff Orp hen that is the sweetest girl. I have several questions so that as I'm expanding my flock I'll know what I want to look for so that I can get rid of some of my Leghorns.
    1. What chickens are the best egglayers?
    2. What chickens make the best "pet" chickens? Ours are wild as bats except the buff and two little bantams.
    3. Who lays good in the winter?
    4. What chicken breeds should be avoided as they don't set (I already know Leghorns won't), have poor temperments, don't lay well.

    I have read lots of descriptions about which ones lay best and don't, who's docile and peaceful and who's not but I want some feedback from people who live with chickens on a daily basis, not just hatch em or something that comes out of the local coffee shop.
    Any suggestions?
    I'm completely fed up with my stupid Leghorns [​IMG]
  2. Jeff9118

    Jeff9118 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    Greenup KY
    I know Orps are very friendly and come in White, Black, Blue and Splash and there is several other colors in development if you want more other then your buff one. Mine seem to lay well even in the winter and are pretty broody. I also have Speckled Sussex too and they seem to have a similar personality and also lay suprisingly well even in winter. I have only had them a few years and have yet to have one of mine go broody so not sure on that aspect.
  3. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm a newbie and don't have chickens yet but have been reading quite a bit about breed temperament. Leghorns are apparently among the best layers but known to be flighty and avoid human contact (aka "wild as bats" [​IMG])

    The Mediterranean breeds seem to also be known for flightiness.

    From my research it almost seems that the heavier the bird - Brahma, Cochin, Australorp, etc - the friendlier and more mellow. Silkies are apparently among the most docile of breeds.
  4. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Of the ones I have, the Barred Rocks and Red Sex-Links are the friendliest birds of the lot. The Barred Rocks top all and love to be held.

    As far as eggs, my understanding is that the Red Sex-Links are great layers and start laying @ 5 months. They're a mix between a RIR and various other breeds to make Sex-Links.
  5. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    For your purposes I suggest Barred Rocks and/or Australorps.

    My family had White Leghorns when I was growing up - I HATED chickens back then...I'm sure the breed was a big part of my sentiment. They did give us plenty of big white eggs...
  6. BigSkyChickens

    BigSkyChickens Free Bird

    Apr 3, 2009
    Pleasant Hill, CA
    I have no experience w/egg laying, but Cochins are turning out to be mellow at 6 weeks old. DBF picked them becuase he read they were friendly. My Speckled Sussex has a curious and lovely personality, and the Blue Wyandotte jumped on my lap yesterday. I've been holding them 1-2x/day since chickhood. Hope that helps.
  7. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    I have barred rocks, and they are great egg layers and very friendly and hardy too. I have some brown leghorns and I'm not happy with them either....... I didn't do my research, shame on me. But I hear you can't beat them for egg layers. I got some buff orps as chicks this year, only 7 weeks old but very friendly allready. Loving them. I hear great things about them as well. Good luck!
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My Black Australorp hen has layed almost an egg a day since she started, and they are a large to extra large brown egg. The roo was very protective of his flock but not hostile to me. Neither really likes to be handled but the hen will let me pick her up if needed. I couldn't pick up the roo very well, but he never attacked me. He died defending his girls. I also have one Kraienkoppe hen left from last year; there were 3 originally. They were all broody and shared the hatching and raising of a chick. When the one who hatched the egg was taken, leaving a very young chick, the other two took over the mothering. The BA hen ignored thi chick; I did not have to separate them. The Kraienkoppe is the only hen I have that freely eats from my hand and likes to be petted. Very gentle and laid back. Loves to free range. (My other hens are leghorns; I agree with you!)

    I'm raising several breeds for this year (8 wks now) and will likely keep at least one BA roo. Of my young flock, the BA's are the only ones who readily allow petting/picking up; they sit in my lap. This year's group also includes some "friendly" breeds like BO, NHR, EE, SS, SLW, and Partridge Rock. One of the SS roos will accept being held -- after I run him down. The worst are the 6 EE's -- I can't even run them down. They are supposed to be pullets but there is at least one roo. Already thinking of freezer camp for him.

    Hope this helps.
  9. kgeorge

    kgeorge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Beech Creek, PA
    I must have gotten some barred rocks from insane asylum because my barred rocks are the meanest most hateful chickens ever. They do not sit well. I had one hen who did sit on eggs. She hatched out one and then promptly abandoned the poor thing. The roosters are so mean, they attack me all the time (I can't eat them) so I'm stuck until they croak on their own. The only good thing is during their first one to two years, the hens were good brown egg layers...that's pretty much it. The hens attack other birds and each other. I'm slowly phasing them out of my coop. [​IMG]
  10. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2009
    kgeorge--That's a shame......Mine are so nice and they are such good layers, I get an egg a day atleast out of them, love them...they are my first babies and I'm very paticular to the breed. My favorite one, Maybell will actually sit on my lap. Did you get them as chicks or older? I raised mine as chicks last year and handled them alot.

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