Did I pick the right chicks?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by minaayindra, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. I'm brand new to having chickens. My two predominant reasons for getting some were because of a heavy tick infestation here and because I wanted a friendly group that would be comfortable with each other. Many people gave me their opinions so I made my selections based on those. What I didn't think about were bantams possibly being different from the full-size birds and if these three types would do well together... :-( Now I'm afraid I might possibly have made a mistake, one I can correct if I need to since they won't arrive until August 12. I live where they need to be cold-hardy and they will easily return to their coop in the evening (I am getting a large one that can hold way more birds) due to the numbers of predators in this remote area. Egg production isn't an issue- they are really nice to have but we need very few of them. Mostly, I just want to keep them happy, which I can't if I bought breeds that won't do well together. My gals currently on order as one-day-old chicks (3 each) are: Black Frizzle Cochin Bantams, Buff Silkie Bantams, and Easter Egger Bantams. So, if anyone would share their opinion of any plusses or minuses to this group, I'd love to hear them. I can't find anything anywhere to indicate if they are decent foragers...
     
  2. Evelyn Walker

    Evelyn Walker Chirping

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    Cochins and Silkies aren't the best foragers, and Silkies especially are prone to being hawked because of their small size impaired vision (feathers are in the way). Bantam Easter Eggers are usually quite flighty, so they have better chances when free ranging. Personally I wouldn't keep Silkies if I didn't have a secure run for them. The birds you chose will do fine in cold weather, given that they don't get wet and are kept out of drafts. They'll probably all get along fine, given that they have room and are of similar size. What hatchery are you ordering from?
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    My bantam Cochin and bantam Easter eggers will forage and dig for bugs. They may not be as vigorous as larger breeds but they do forage. Bantam hens do go broody often so you will have to break them from that on a regular basis during the warmer months.
     
  4. crazy4ChickensNducks

    crazy4ChickensNducks Songster

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    The breeds you chose are fine together and will be good foragers( they’re chickens after all), but they will not eat as many ticks as you think. If you want something that will rid your property of ticks I would go with Guineas
     
  5. Everyone has been so helpful in these forums but now I'm even more confused... but that's just me! lol People keep coming back to recommending guineas and I understand they eat a LOT of ticks. I find them cute, even their incessant squawking, but I am so worried about them being unwilling to seek shelter from predators around here and I am also afraid whatever chickens I have will be picked on by them. As I've found, I can get different people telling me the exact opposite of each other so I either have to believe guineas will be the stuff of nightmares and all get killed quickly, not to mention killing everything else, or they will work beautifully, not hurt any chickens, and can co-exist with them in a coop. Somehow, I feel there is some truth in both of those but I don't know what it is. So I canceled my chick order, since it wouldn't come until August anyways, will have a huge coop put in by the end of May, and then I will need to finally commit to some poultry. My husband does want some eggs and I just want a happy group of gals who get along- and want to destroy every tick in the universe! Maybe you can't have poultry if you want everyone to be peaceful and healthy? I just don't know. So, if anyone wants to give me any input into ANY types of chickens, guineas, any groupings that will do well together and survive with as much assistance as I can give, please let me know. I TRULY appreciate the help of all those who are experienced and share their knowledge. :bow
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    Guineas are obnoxious. I refuse to keep them as well. Many dual purpose breeds will range well. I also keep some muscovy as they are great foragers of bugs. Mine will walk around all night looking for bugs.

    We have a lot of ticks here in Wisconsin, and a lot of tick diseases. The birds have made an impact here on their numbers. I do have a large flock.

    It may help to decide what reasons are important for getting chickens. It can help you pick the right type.

    I personally like my bantam Easter eggers and they are good at foraging.
     
    TwistedSteel and minaayindra like this.
  7. Doublete

    Doublete Songster

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    Personally I would get standard sized birds... they’ll have a better chance to get away from a day time predator.

    And you can get your birds used to coming when you call using a high value treat (scratch) so you can put them away for the night if they haven’t already roosted.
     
    TwistedSteel, KSH1 and minaayindra like this.
  8. Evelyn Walker

    Evelyn Walker Chirping

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    Hi. Personally, I find guinea fowl to be a pain. They are probably the loudest birds, and it's difficult to stay sane with them around. They like to roost up in the trees, they love to fly, and the LOVE to roam. They hide and hatch out their eggs, and this often gets then eaten. Yes, guineas will eat more ticks than chickens, but chickens can also hurt the ticks' numbers greatly. I suggest getting either chickens or guineas (not both, guineas can be really mean), but it IS possible to keep them together. As for which breed of chicken you can do with, many lighter-bodied breeds (like leghorns, and, fayoumis, for example) will do better foraging and evading predators than heavier ones, since the bigger breeds tend to be more lazy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    minaayindra likes this.
  9. PirateGirl

    PirateGirl Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist

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    Silkies and Frizzles are not known as being cold hardy :( It is harder for them to regulate their body temperature and keep warm with their feather types.
     
    2Chic, TwistedSteel and minaayindra like this.
  10. That's very interesting about the lighter-bodied being better at foraging than the bigger ones- I would have completely mis-guessed that (but that's what I have you pros for!). I really do think I am going to have to stick with one type of poultry so the chickens will win. Now I just need to find the correct type as far as voracious foragers who are affectionate (docile) and cold-hardy. Look at this- in just a few responses, you cleared up some of my basic doubts. Let the research begin!
     
    Bonniebooboo likes this.

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