considering chicks, how many? breeds that integrate well?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by HeidiN, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. HeidiN

    HeidiN Out Of The Brooder

    29
    8
    24
    Jan 8, 2017
    North Idaho
    We have 2 one-year old brown leghorns. Currently, our coop is about 33 inches by 40 inches, and i think 40 inches tall. (made from pallets, with fiberglass roofing around as natural light filtering "siding"). The birds free range during the day, and we are working on a run design for when we go on vacation.

    We are considering adding 2 or 3 birds to make it a "flock". Are there certain breeds that get along better? We need cold tolerant birds here in north Idaho, where the winters are long, and we can have sustained subfreezing temps, day and night. Is there a minimum "magic number" for a happy flock? We don't want to have to build a larger coop and don't want too many eggs, LOL

    Any suggestions are welcome. I'm totally new to chicken keeping, got the birds from our neighbor 3 months ago.
     
  2. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    554
    212
    136
    Oct 16, 2015
    NEIN
    You'll get suggestions, and none of them will matter to the chicks you settle on. Chances are, you'll have two sub-flocks once integration is over anyway.

    I think the minimum should be three, just because in case you lose a bird, you're never left with a lone bird.

    You already have leghorns, and they're less cold tolerant than a lot of other breeds. Even the "warm weather" birds do better in cold than the cold weather birds do in warm.

    Find breeds that interest you and choose those. The birds you get aren't ensured to be good or bad.
     
  3. HeidiN

    HeidiN Out Of The Brooder

    29
    8
    24
    Jan 8, 2017
    North Idaho
    Yes, the poor girls got frostbite on their combs this year. Thanks for the feedback, it can get hot in the summer too, so I'll keep that in mind. I would like a more docile breed, but don't want it to be so docile it gets bullied by the girls I already have.
     
  4. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    554
    212
    136
    Oct 16, 2015
    NEIN
    Again, you'll find opinions on where birds fit in pecking orders, but it's a crapshoot. I saw a lot about how docile australorps are, and the two I have are menaces. Never again.

    Orps have a good reputation, Rocks, Sussex, easter eggers. EE also give you pea comb, so fewer worries about frostbite.

    Research the breeds here, or on hatchery sites, and see what trips your trigger. Go from there.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I agree, so many birds to choose from and all experiences are different.

    Get a variety and not less than 3 for reasons already stated. Docile is a term that is confusing. It basically means when you handle the bird they won't fight you too much. Doesn't mean they are friendly. And as stated, I have more individuals than I do "typical of the breed".

    BR and EE are 2 that I may always have in my flock.

    If you got frost bite... you need more ventilation in your coop. Moisture build up is what causes it not the cold, is my understanding. And since I live on the coast where it is always humid, but use to live in the dessert where it was dry... I can attest that moist air feels colder when it's cold and hotter when it's hot than dry air.

    Here is a chart that shows many breeds and their characteristics...
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by