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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kinsey228, Dec 14, 2011.
What breeds do you have in your flock and why did you choose them ?
I currently have a trio of Buff Brahmas because they were the only chicks nearby when I was looking for chicks on Craigslist. I also have a BCM that I got as a 9-week-old from a guy when I went to pick up some Guinea keets for a friend.
I've always preferred Bantams, so when I was starting a new flock in 2009, I picked Old English Game Bantams.
Now I love the breed, and anything similar (as in size)... like Serama, Japanese, Dutch...
I've added a couple here and there, but I wasn't really going for the pure breeds (just anything small).
They all free range together, and they've hatched out chicks this year, so I have a nice mixture of small Bantams now.
I also started a Silkie pen this year, and I really love that breed now (who doesn't!).
I'm mainly into chickens for the fun of it, and Silkies are perfect with looks and personality.
Where to start.... My first birds were grown. I got 2 EE, 2 BR and 1 Cherry Egger with a RIR roo. So I wanted blue/green eggs cuz they are pretty. Layers was my primary goal. So now I still have EEers, just more of them, RIR, NH, Prod Red, BR, Blue Rocks, Blue Barred Rocks, Blue/Black/Splash Copper Marans (for dark eggs), Oliver Eggers (for more color). Just acquired some wheaten Ameraucanas cuz they're pretty, Lav/Splits/Black Am to breed and sell. I also have Dark Brahmas I got because of the penciled feathers. I am also going to get some SLW for more brown egg production and because they are pretty.
Hope I didn't miss anything.....
D'Uccle because they were too cute to not have
First breed I picked was Polish. I liked the look of them. They made me smile. I know they are not great for laying, but are wonderful for ornamental purposes.
I also chose Barred Rock because I wanted a good layer. I did not know how friendly they would be. What a wonderful combination of personality and eggs!
I chose Silkies because that is the first breed of chicken I laid eyes on at a strawberry u-pick and got me into the whole idea of raising chickens. They are also great with children and easily handled. That to me is important when you are planning on starting a family soon
I spent a lot of time researching cold hardy breeds that laid throughout the winter and were standard sized.
I chose to get the following breeds based on my research:
Rhode Island Red
Cochin (though they are cold hardy, they are not known for winter laying). I picked this breed because they are so well thought of as friendly. Mine do live up to this expectation.
I wanted a couple of others, but they did not have them in my area.
ETA: Fixed typo
I like the rainbow of egg colors too. I get pink fron my banty, white from my Leghorns, Blue from my Ameraucana and EE's, and different shades of tan and brown from the rest. I also like the different colors and sizes of the many breeds. The Hubby has given me the ok to DOUBLE my flock in the spring, so I am looking for different breeds, colors, shapes, and sizes to add to the flock I can't seem to pick a favorite breed, but Wyandottes are pretty darn close.
Quote:I might have to get a silkie or 2 for my kids. I keep hearing great things about them ! Mine are all friendly. Starting as chicks, I held them as much as possible so they would be tame. The oldest one is now 10 months old and still likes to be held. One of the breeders (a fellow BYC'er) that I get my chickies from breeds for temperament, whick I think is really important. One of the Marans/Wyandotte crosses I got from her would ride on my shoulder while I did work outside !
My first chickens were 100 Leg Horn cockerels. The intent was to raise them and process them as fryers. I was lucky enough to end up with about a dozen pullets in the bunch that I kept for their eggs.
Now, 25 years after the first chickens, I ordered Brahma pullets & 1 rooster and Australorp pullets & 1 rooster. My intent this time was to raise dual-purpose chickens that would do well in south-est, central-est Wisconsin. We can get heat into the 100s and cold down to -35 degrees (F) from one year to the next.
Both Brahmas and Australorp are cold hardy - although the larger comb of the Australorp might be a problem if my coop weren't so well insulated. Both are listed as friendly, calm, good foragers, with non-aggressive roosters. They are known to go broody, and shown to make good mothers.
I have 30 acres - about 5 which we don't farm - so I have plenty of room to let my flock free range. I find that they eat far less feed than I expected such big birds would. I am a bit disappointed with the less than jumbo egg size, but otherwise like the breeds. I am happy to get 8 eggs a day from my ten hens and usually do with 13 hours of daylight. At this time of year I am supplementing with light in the coop in the morning and again at sundown.
The Lt. Brahma, my favorite roo until he took three pieces out of my granddaughter's leg one Saturday, (and didn't make it to Sunday) was delicious so the meat aspect should work well once I decide someone needs to be culled.
My grandson did his own research on chicken breeds and insists that Buckeyes will be a better choice than the large-combed Australorps, so we will be getting some of those next spring.
Love, Linn B (aka Smart Red) * * * Nesting with 5 Australorp and 5 Lt. Brahma hens plus 'The Count of Monte Cristo' - or Monte, for short - one beautiful, well-behaved, hard-working, Australorp rooster, in south-est, central-est Wisconsin.
Quote:I think that breeding for temperament is VERY important. If not crucial. We need to save the mean roosters for food and the non-aggressive roos for the girls. I don't expect my roosters to want to be held, but I DO expect them to respect me, and my space. I want to be able to hold them and handle them with ease. No issues so far! My silkie rooster is especially docile. I think he pecked me once when I went to reach for his favourite girl beside him on the perch. I swiftly pushed him off. That was 3 months ago. He is the most gentle when eating out of my hand. He lets the kids handle him without issues.
Blurry picture of a neighbouhood kid placing all the silkies in a line. He let her have her way with his girls. I'm sure he wasn't gung-ho with the idea though
My EE roo attacked my 3 1/2 year old Daughter. ONCE. He was absolutely delicious ! And his hackle feathers were great for making flies for fly fishing