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Dreaming about our flock-to-be

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Bhmathews, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Bhmathews

    Bhmathews In the Brooder

    May 15, 2013
    Hi!! My name us Heather and I'm a resident of Hudson, WI. After a lot if research and presenting, we finally got chickens legalized here. Now that I can safely do it, I'm dreaming about breeds. We can have up to 5 hens, and my family is interested in laying, not meat. These chickens will be with us long after they retire, so personality is important. Which breeds do you think would be a good fit for us?

  2. chickyfuzz

    chickyfuzz Chirping

    Oct 6, 2013
    I suggest Sussex or Isa brown I have a cross of those breeds and she lays pretty consistently I also heard australorp are good layers.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    2X the Sussex, good pets, I like the specked color wise especially. Wyandottes are another nice breed, really like the blue laced reds color wise. Similar breeds are Delawares, Australorps, Plymouth Rocks. They are all decent brown egg layers.
    Don't forget an Easter Egger or Ameraucana or two for the green/blue eggs.
    If you are going mostly for egg production, the Red Sex Links are probably the best brown egg layers and the commercial White Leghorns the best white egg layers.
    If you want more pets and don't care about egg laying that much, and don't mind feathered feet, Cochins are a breed to look at. Silkies are another, they are also crested though and sometimes will be picked on in a mixed flock.
    Polish are another crested and are always fun, but they can be iffy in a mixed flock again because of the crest.
    Henderson's Chicken Breed chart compares a lot of popular breeds. http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html#j Feathersite has a lot of pictures if you want to get an idea of what breeds look like quick. http://feathersite.com/
  4. Jakoda

    Jakoda Songster

    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I have a variety,, I like my spec sussex's altho mine tend to be big mouths:) My australorps are nice easy going birds, friendly and easy to handle...My silver laced wyandottes, well one was rather nasty so I found her a new home, the other is very easy going,,my columbian wyandotte was a really nice bird...My favs tho are the Orpingtons:) I have two buffs, two lavendars and a lemon cuckoo,,,they are VERY friendly, easy to handle, quiet easy going birds..good layers but not power layers..My RIR is also friendly and a good layer..

    I'm probably going to add a few next spring, more wyandottes, the BLRW, and columbian,,maybe a colored egg layer:)
  5. malndobe

    malndobe Chirping

    Aug 6, 2013
    S. CA
    I've had quite a few breeds and breed/colors over the years, mostly hatchery birds since my main interest has been eggs. Buff Orpington and Barred Rock have been my favorite in terms of personalities and good layers. Had a Welsummer that was very flighty. My Silkies are also very flighty. Have also had Gold Laced Wyandotte, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Easter Eggers, Cuckoo Marans, Production Red, Black Jersey Giants, Orpington (cross of 2 Orp colors) and Rhode Island Reds. They have been good layers, with the Wyandotte and EE probably at the lower end of production and the rest at the higher end but not as good as the Orps or Barred Rock. The Production Red lays a lot of eggs but not as big as the Orps or BR. Reasonably friendly, come running when they see me, follow me around, but don't like to be touched or picked up for the most part.
  6. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Songster

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    Try Naked Necks or Black Australorp
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Your 5 hens will likely not be a steady supply of eggs unless you select a breed that is a stellar egglayer, such as the Red Stars, for example. Some breeds go broody a lot and they don't lay when they are broody.

    For pets, I LOVE silkies and cochins (bantam or large fowl). They will not be very good egglayers though. I have a Cochin who follows me around and is just adorable.

    Check out Henderson's chicken chart and the breeds section of BYC also.

    My picks would be (for eggs):
    Black Australorp (very sweet girls)
    Red Star
    Barred Rock (haven't had this one but heard good things about them- I have Dominiques instead)
    Rhode Island Red (Production Red)
    Buff Orpington (these can be good layers or not so good layers I have found)
    Leghorns FLY so if you have netting overhead they will lay well and stay put
    Black Sex Link

    Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns can be a bit pecky, as can the Red Stars (Golden Sex Links is what I had). However, if they all grow up together they may be just fine.

    I have two Production Reds in with my silkies right now and all is well because they grew up together.

    After a couple of years when they go into molt in the fall/winter, you may find yourself not getting eggs. A larger flock is needed with varying ages of hens to ensure a constant supply of eggs (new hens each year or two). Congrats on your future hens!

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