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

chickerdoodle

Songster
10 Years
Aug 21, 2009
1,610
43
179
Oregon
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.
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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
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), 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?
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I'm just getting nervous trying to decide as we plan to keep them through old age. Its like adopting new family members!
 
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Krys109uk

Songster
11 Years
Aug 6, 2008
2,389
22
181
a valley; by a brook.
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.
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greenfamilyfarms

Big Pippin'
11 Years
Feb 27, 2008
8,650
101
303
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.
 

LeBlackbird

Songster
10 Years
Aug 17, 2009
3,258
112
246
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
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until they realize it's a whole chicken
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jossanne

Crowing
12 Years
Jul 11, 2008
3,109
20
286
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.
 

chickerdoodle

Songster
10 Years
Aug 21, 2009
1,610
43
179
Oregon
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.
 

Elite Silkies

Crowing
10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
5,410
55
251
Oklahoma
My Coop
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.
 

chickerdoodle

Songster
10 Years
Aug 21, 2009
1,610
43
179
Oregon
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!
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chickerdoodle

Songster
10 Years
Aug 21, 2009
1,610
43
179
Oregon
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!
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becky3086

Crested Crazy
11 Years
Oct 14, 2008
3,627
42
211
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.
 

MANNA-PRO

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