Choices of breeds for newbies

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ladyknieval, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. Ladyknieval

    Ladyknieval In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2007
    Ackley, Iowa
    I hope to get into chickens in the future. I am reading everything I can get on them, and have new books on the way in the mail.[​IMG] I plan on having only 5-10 chickies to start, even though I have plenty of room for a coop. I would like friendly breeds for eggies and just for the joy of it! Any suggestions? I will build an expansive coop with nest boxes accessible from outside, a large run, and maybe a chicken tractor so they can move around and forage a little. I live in northwestern Iowa, so a cold-hearty breed is a must, but I will insulate the coop. Any help is greatly appreciated.[​IMG]
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I love Marans, but I've heard that Buff Orpingtons are great pets, cold hearty, great layers of brown eggs, and like to go broody and raise a family. If you like the feather-footed types, Cochins are great, too. Then there's Rocks. I'm sure others will join in with their favorites. But it all comes down to your own preferances and do you want all the same breed or a mixed colorful bunch? It's all up to you. The important thing is to HAVE FUN!!!
  3. Ladyknieval

    Ladyknieval In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2007
    Ackley, Iowa
    Can you mix different breeds if they are all the same age, such as getting day old chicks at the same time?I will probably get all pullets if I can.
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Oh yes, no problem. I'm sure you'll find most of us around here get a good mix when we order chicks. It's more fun that way if you're not a breeder.
  5. The Harvest Moon Chicken

    The Harvest Moon Chicken In the Brooder

    Apr 9, 2007
    Southern California
    if you go to there is a link all the way down at the bottom on the left hand side that says breed selection tool.

    It's amusing, and helpful, it lets you choose characteristics like broody, cold hardy, docile, the color of the eggs and how many eggs they lay and things like that, then they give you a list of chickens that fit your requirements.

    i, at any rate, found it helpful. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2007
  6. akcskye

    akcskye Songster

    Apr 11, 2007
    My mix is a Buff Orpington Roo, 2 Black Australorps, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 Brahma, and 1 Rhode Island Red.

    Actually does quite nicely...I have the more 'aggressive' foragers (the Australorps), Billy (the Roo) is a good protector, Marti (my RIR) has decided to be broody which will be nice if I ever decide to have some babies hatched, and then the variances in eggs are great, 2.

    I either have medium or large brown eggs and they are more yolk than white.
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  7. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    Buff Orpingtons are great biginer birds, as well as Australorps and Barred Rocks. All are good foragers and cold hardy birds. The Buffs and Australorps are quiet birds. Bantams are good too. You wouldn't think they would be foragers but we have 5 0ne year old hen Mille Fluers and they get along with the standards and they came through the cold Michigan weather better than the big birds, they free range and lay alot of nice small eggs. I hear Buffs are serious brooders. You may want to take this into consideration if you don't want to raise chicks.
  8. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Any standard breed with a rose or pea comb should do well in your winters. Wyandottes are great egg layers, foragers, and have mild temperaments. We love our four.

    I don't know anything about them, but since you're in Iowa, a good heritage breed might be the Iowa Blue. It was developed in the early 1900's especially for your state's weather.

    Regardless of the breeds you finally decide on, you may be able to find local farmers willing to sell you some day-old chicks or some started birds, which may possibly be less expensive than getting them online. You also then have a local poultry connection, usually with a wealth of information on getting "chicken stuff" locally, (best place for feed, best avian vet, etc.).

    You can order a mix of breeds. Our flock last year from McMurray was ONE of each breed listed. We ordered all pullets and ended up with 2 cockerels ...
    Silver Lakenvelder
    Golden Laced Wyandotte
    Silver Laced Wyandotte
    White Wyandotte
    Columbian Wyandotte
    Barred Plymouth Rock
    Partridge Plymouth Rock
    White Plymouth Rock
    Rhode Island Red
    New Hampshire Red
    Jersey Black Giant
    Buff Orpington
    Silver Spangled Hamburg
    Golden Penciled Hamburg
    White Faced Black Spanish
    Silver Grey Dorking
    Speckled Sussex
    Rose Comb Brown Leghorn

    Golden Campine
    Single Comb Light Brown Leghorn

    We declined the free exotic chick. McMurray sent us 2 White Plymouth Rock pullet chicks instead of the 1 we ordered. We got our day-old chicks in June, so no extra "for warmth" birds were added.

    Good luck and have fun!

    if edited, probably for typos...
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  9. Ladyknieval

    Ladyknieval In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2007
    Ackley, Iowa
    Thanks for all the replys. They were very helpful. Sorry, I don't check this site as often as most because I travel so much![​IMG]

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