Favorite breeds.... for northern weather, egg laying, temperament?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by SeaChick, May 3, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Well we're really getting our hopes up that Olivia's campaign will work and she can have chickens.

    I just found out that two feed stores not far away sell interesting-breed chicks!! So it looks like we won't have to order from the internet and get all those extra roos! Cool.

    Olivia has a list of breeds she likes (as well as about 30 possible hen names picked out, LOL)... what do you all think about these choices, or maybe suggest others?

    1) Must be cold-hardy (Maine) and lay well in winter (we'll have extra light for 14 hrs daylight)
    2) Good personalities (pets for 10-yr-old)
    3) I prefer prolific layers. We can't have many hens but we want a lot of eggs!
    4) Probably better if they don't tend to broodiness, since all we want is eggs to eat and our flock will be small (~4 hens)
    5) Will be in an enclosed coop and run, so should be OK with that kind of confinement.
    6) Beautiful a plus!
    7) As quiet as possible. Are any breeds known for quietness?

    SEX LINK / STAR (Are they basically the same?)
    Maybe Wynadottes? Pretty but do the lay a lot?
    Maybe Americaunas? Pretty, pretty eggs, but many eggs??

    We've looked at the two breed-selection charts we found on the web, but would love your input, folks!!

    Stacey and Olivia
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2007
  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Quote:you have the right idea wanting winter hardy breeds.the black australopes an production reds are heavy layers.an should lay good in your climate.light an dark brahamas will fitt your needs as well.an they lay good to.an not tobe a wett blanket.but the EE hens willstop laying in nov an start again sometime in feb.so id get hens that would lay during winter if you want eggs to eat.
  3. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Wyandottes are beautiful, friendly and cold hardy. They lay large brown eggs pretty well and seem to be unbothered by cold weather. I have two in NY and it gets pretty cold. They have rose combs that are less likely to get frostbite. they come in several beautiful varieties. I have silver laced (check out my avatar) and I will soon be getting blue laced red.
  4. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks folks

    Do your Wynadottes go broody often? The "breed choice" charts we looked at said they would. I also read other folks on this board saying that Buff Orps and Barred Rocks are serious brooders.

    Of course this is all theoretical to me, not having had chickens before, but it wouold seem that broodiness is not good if the hens are just for pets and eggs... maybe its not such a big deal though?

  5. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    My girls have never gone broody but a few in my friend's flock have. It really depends the the strain. Most wyandottes from commercial hatcheries have been bred partly for production so they should have less of a sitting instinct. The silver laced variety is most common and probably the least likely to go broody. The only breeds to not sit are those from the mediterranean region like the leghorns, anconas, and minorcas. I don''t recommend these breeds beacause of their flighty disposition. They also develop large combs that are susceptible to frostbite. I think wyandottes are a really good choice. I'll give you a list of a few more breeds that would be good for you:

    Rhode Islands
    Plymouth Rocks (in my experience they don't go broody)
    Easter Eggers
    New Hampshires
    Black Giants

    Broody Breeds: Cochins, Silkies

    Check out www.feathersite.com they have great pictures of many breeds and links to breeders where you can find more info on specific breeds. I'm not sure about orpingtons, i've never had them.
  6. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    staceyneil, hands down the Light Brahmas will meet all your needs. They are a wonderful breed to work with, and are very friendly..... The broody hens are great moms

  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    I love Brahmas...
    The feathered feet and peacombs are great for the cold...they're a big bird too! Slifer's head came up to my knee. I'm 5 ft 2.
  8. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    My chicks are still babies but I hear Rhode Island Reds are great egg layers, very sweet and winter hardy.
  9. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    my list of requirements was just like yours. I'm not as far north, but its still cold in winter.
    THe breeds I decided on were
    Red-star...very prolific layer, has only skipped one day since she started laying last summer, she's friendly & quiet.
    Black Australorp-she's beautiful, friendly(loves lap time) a good layer & VERY noisy...but she is my top hen so it may just be her personality
    Barred rock-great layer, shy & very pretty
    Easter Eggers-great layers of beautiful blue-green eggs. One is a tad skittish but both are very friendly, both are beautiful & a little vocal
    Buff orpingtons-great layers, so beautiful & docile, they LOVE to be held. Not too noisy
    Silver laced wyandotte-a sorta lazy layer, but she did moult over the winter so I can't hold that against her. She is very beautiful, pretty friendly & just a little noisy.

    all of my girls survived near zero temps with no trouble & although there coop was warmer its not heated & we don't add light we had more eggs than we could eat over winter.

    hope that helps!!
  10. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    From the canadian perspective I would vote for the Brahma, then the Wyandotte, then Orpington or RIR. Ameraucana or EE do take the winter off.

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