Do you have more problems with feathered leg or crested chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by chickerdoodle, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    I am getting chicks for our small backyard flock in the spring. We only want 4-5 hens as cherished pets and for fresh, healthier eggs. [​IMG] There are so many breeds to choose from and although we really want friendly hens we don't want ones who go broody often. We live near Portland, OR so the weather is not too drastic--a few days near 100 in summer (not much humidity), a few below freezing each winter (last winter had a few more than usual--like 2 weeks in a row!) and lots of rain in the winter.

    My original choices were Barred and/or Buff Rocks, Welsummer (Barnevelders have since been eliminated due to recent info gotten on this site [​IMG] ), Easter Egger, and possibly Australorp or Speckled Sussex! However, so many folks recommend Brahmas! Polish are also so cute! I want easy keepers and worry a bit about feathered feet and crests with mites and painful feet from feathers ingrowing or poking them. Our coop will have a 4x5 henhouse (2 1/2 feet above ground) and a 5x12 playground sand run. It will be fully covered and fenced with 1/2 hardware cloth. Our plans were created to make it sooo easy to keep clean so we'll not want to procrastinate and do it daily. They will get to range daily in good weather.

    So--what do you think of these types of chickens?? Are they much more work?? Do they get broody all the time and then we'll get no eggs from them? [​IMG] I'm just getting nervous trying to decide as we plan to keep them through old age. Its like adopting new family members!
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2009
  2. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Songster

    What was wrong with Barnevelders? The barnies I had back home (in UK) were really nice birds to own. Sussex & Rocks are also nice birds to own.

    UK has a similar sounding climate to yours. We had brahmas for a while, they were okay. It rains a lot in UK, the brahmas got very muddy foot feathering & looked like they needed wellies. They were friendly enough, but prone to going broody. I much preferred our barnevelders.[​IMG]
  3. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    If they are housed correctly, you shouldn't have any problems with them.

    For example, those with heavy topknots need a covered pen. Those with feathered feet need bedding or to be kept in a wire-bottom pen.
  4. LeBlackbird

    LeBlackbird Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    SE Pennsylvania
    Feathered feet aren't a problem unless your showing, Brahmas are great

    My WCB Polish hen's head has been attacked by hawks 4 times

    The hawks think thier heads are tasty little birds [​IMG] until they realize it's a whole chicken [​IMG]
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Songster

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I have feather-footed birds and crested birds that all free range on our property with the "plain" girls, and we've never had a problem. No ingrown feathers on feet, no mite problems, and none taken by hawks. Yet. They've been free ranging for almost a year, cooped at night.

    I love mine, and think they really add to the beauty of my flock.
  6. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Quote:I was told they were poor layers and get broody a lot--unlike the info I read in several books. They are not common here in the NW so perhaps it's the lines we have access to compared to those in Europe? I wouldn't mind if they only layed ~125 eggs a year but was told its less than that (one of my breed books says about 170/year). I was sooo wanting them as their personality sounds perfect.
  7. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    I have Silkies and Australorps. Of course the Australorps are easier to take care of. Their feet stay much cleaner.

    My australorps are gorgeous birds and very docile. I really like them alot. They are good producers of eggs. One Australorp still holds the record of laying 364 eggs in one year.

    I think a Silkie averages about 120 eggs a year, would have to double check that. But, they also say they lay about 3 eggs a week, and unless mine are broody, I usually get one egg a day from each hen. I only have 3 old enough to lay right now, and 2 of them are broody.

    Have been broody for the last month.
  8. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Quote:Do your gals lay decently too? If they average 125 a year (especially if they continue laying 2-3 eggs a week in winter w/o artificial light) that would be fine. I also have a cover for our tractor (for them to scratch for bugs in different areas) and permanent roofing over their run so hawks shouldn't be an issue for ours--thanks! [​IMG]
  9. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Quote:Poor baby!!I'm not going to show as I am afraid of picking up any disease. My girls will have either their permanent roof over their run or metal or netting overhead to protect from hawks so no worries there--thanks! [​IMG] .
  10. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I, of course, love my Polish. However, they are poor layers(very poor) and seldom, if ever, go broody. As for my houdan(another crested breed), they seem to be very good layers, but also seldom go broody. Someday maybe I will get a chance to work on improving their laying abilities.

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