First time chicken mommy needs help choosing please.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by carriehelene, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. carriehelene

    carriehelene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Capital Region NY
    Our family consists of 2 multi-generational adults, 1 10 year old boy, 2 dogs and 6 cats. We are looking to add 4-5 chickens to this mix. We've been checking out MyPetChicken, and are wondering about the temperaments of the following chicken breeds. We need chickens that are gentle and friendly. We have a large fenced-in backyard. The chickens we were leaning towards are:
    Cochin-blue
    Orpington-buff
    Wyandotte-golden laced
    Campine-golden
    Jersey Giant-black


    Will these chickens live together and with us happily? If you think another breed would do better in our situation, please feel free to recommend it to us. Carrie
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    First, welcome to byc [​IMG]

    The breed in your list that stands out as "one of these things is not like the others" is the campine. They are beautiful, and my hen is a good layer, but they are kind of nutbars. Any little thing happens (or doesn't happen) and they're like "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!" all hysterical. This may be a survival trait when freeranging but does not make them easy for kids (or adults either for that matter) to get friendly with [​IMG]

    The others sound like perfectly reasonable choices. I feel compelled to add that Speckled Sussex would be another perfectly reasonable choice [​IMG]

    Have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Nebraska
    Quote:I can't speak to the Jersey or the campine, except that they are cool looking birds [​IMG]
    Cochins are very calm, they do not lay exceptionally well. Orpingtons are peppy, friendly and lay great brown eggs. I have male silver laced wyandottes and they are pretty and kind of interesting birds- they have a personality!
    If you buy them/raise them together and limit the roosters, they should all get along just fine.
    Good Luck
    Christina
     
  4. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    WestCentralWisconsin
    Welcome. [​IMG] My personal favorite from those chickens for laying and pet would be the buff orpington. They are so sweet. I love cochins, but I dont think they lay so well, and their feet can get messy in the mud.
     
  5. carriehelene

    carriehelene Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Capital Region NY
    Thank you for all the welcome's, and telling me your experiences with these breeds.
    Pat, the speckled Sussex was on my alternates list, so it sounds like she will really fit in with the other breeds on my list.
    Christina, thank you for laying one of my worries to rest. I had read somewhere that you should only have the same breed in a flock, but then alot of other information I had read stated that wasn't true.

    Now another question, when the chickens are grown, will they be safe from the cats? I know I have to keep them protected when they are young, but they should be ok when they get larger, right?

    thanks everyone for your help. I've wanted chickens for years, and I'm very excited and nervous. I'm sure I'll be on this site alot! Carrie
     
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Hi, Carrie!
    I have both wyandottes and buffs. One of my buffs was a really sweet baby. The other two freaked when I tried to interact. As adults, none are lap chickens. One of my buff hens is the dominant chicken in that coop. She has a fun personality, but is my inquisitive than friendly. One buff turned into a rooster. The third buff (friendly chick) has turned more skittish as an adult. They are nice hens and I love having them, but none are lap chickens.
    The wyandottes are similar. They are very inquisitive chickens, but don't so much want to cuddle. They are really, really pretty though.
    My cuddlers are all silkies. They're a hoot too. Tons of personality, small and compact, fun to look at. They do go broody every time you look at them, so factor that in for sure. But they very quickly became my favorite out of the 8 different breeds I picked.

    So far as full grown chickens and cats, at my house the chickens win when push comes to shove. Granted, my cats were added as mid-size kittens to already grown chickens. But even now as full size cats they know better than to get too close to the chickens. Even my banty roo will attack them and the standard size hens routinely pop them on the head. Be careful with chicks and half grown chickens. Also be careful of feral cats. They sometimes will try for a full grown chicken.

    Good luck and congratulations on getting chickens! They are more fun that you can even imagine!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    new zealand
    Quote:Unless it's a very hungry determined cat, it won't bother some of the larger breeds you mentioned.
     

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