Chicken Newbie Seeking Advice

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by dchickenldy, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. dchickenldy

    dchickenldy Just Hatched

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    Hello all! I'm new to forums and to chickens and am looking for some advice. I am wanting to start a small flock and looking for advice on what breeds would be best. To give you some background: I live in Nebraska, would like a mixed breed flock, have enough space for 10 hens (do not want a rooster), hens will have a spacious coop, covered run, and be able to roam the large backyard 5-10 hrs per week. I unfortunately have made the mistake of looking online at MM and Meyer Hatcheries and now have way too many breeds that I want to buy (my husband will not be pleased if 20 chirping chicks show up at our home!). I would LOVE some input on what breeds you suggest to either purchase or stay away from. The ones I'm interested in are: Lavender and Buff Orpington, Light and Buff Brahma, Black Jersey Giant, Black Australorp, Buff Chantecler, RIR, White Cochin, Easter Egger, Salmon Faverolle, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Barnevelder, Dominique, Welsummer, and Buckeye...please help me narrow this list down! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    What are your goals? Why do you want chickens? It’s hard to say what’s good or bad if you don’t have any guidelines. You might look through Henderson’s Breed Chart to see what they say about your picks.

    Henderson’s Breed Chart
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    You could go through some breed selectors and see what they say.

    http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/which-breed-is-right-for-me.aspx
    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html

    Since you don’t want a rooster I’m guessing that you don’t want your hens to go broody. For all intents and purposes they are going to be locked up practically all the time so you probably want some that take confinement well. How well they lay might influence your decision. But I’m just guessing. Look through those and if you have more questions just ask.

    And welcome to the forum. Glad you found us.
     
  3. dchickenldy

    dchickenldy Just Hatched

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    I am looking for eggs primarily but have young children so would prefer more docile friendly hens. And yes you are correct I would prefer hens that aren't on the broody side. The hens will be out in the run during the day and then at nights and some weekend days they will be able to roam the backyard. The run is 10×15. So yes locked up most of the time but only in the coop at night. Hope that helps :)
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You can go to the Bred Chart and see what it says, but several of the ones on your list are known to go broody. Orpington and Cochin are known to go broody a lot.

    You can get docile or aggressive hens from any breed, there is a lot of luck involved with that. Plus you need enough of any breed for averages to mean anything and I believe you are planning only one of each. I don’t put a lot of faith in behaviors by breed to start with, especially not just one of a breed. Still if you go through the Breed Chart you will have done the best you can as far as behaviors.
     
  5. dchickenldy

    dchickenldy Just Hatched

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    Good to know! Thank you very much for the input I appreciate it
     
  6. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Eggs aren't a priority for me, in fact I'm not even sure which of my chickens lay which eggs, so my opinion is based solely on their personalities. Of the ones you listed, I have Buff orpingtons, silver laced Wyandottes, black australorps and RIR. One of my Buffs goes broody a lot, and she's a very determined broody. The other one has never gone broody. Both are fluffy sweethearts. I LOVE my black australorps. They were docile from chicks, like hanging out with me, let me pick them up without protest. The Wyandottes are a bit more independent. They are friendly, but don't like to be picked up or held. They'll happily hang out with me, and eat out of my hand, but they're not cuddlers. The RIRs are the most independent but also the most savvy free rangers. They're more alert as to what's going on, always keeping an eye out. They were very tolerant of my toddler nieces, but they prefer to be friendly on their own terms. They'll come over to see what I'm doing when I'm outside, but they don't hang out with me like the others do.
     
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  7. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    x2 on these 4 breeds if you're looking for solid, well-rounded breeds. I have had all 4, too (along with other breeds), and free range mine.
     
  8. PeacockJoJo

    PeacockJoJo Out Of The Brooder

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    Another thing to maybe consider is if there are any local poultry shows/ fairs it can be really fun to perhaps in your flock have one or two show birds. Showing can be a lot of fun for both kids and parents! You can have show quality layers, or breeds that are just for show. I have a pen/run with pigeons, peacocks, silver pheasants, cream legbars, copper marans, bantam barred rocks, and chukar all in one! I love the diversity!
     

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