Friendly Starter chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chuckscleo, Feb 25, 2018.

  1. chuckscleo

    chuckscleo In the Brooder

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    Hi, wondering if someone can give me some advice.

    We will be getting chickens and my coop and run is all set up but im debating on what breeds to get. We visited a breeder this morning and i got to hold my first chicken! very nervous but it felt good.

    My coop says it can hold 4-6 chickens although im only looking to get 3/4 so its not too crowded.
    I have one of those metal walk in run (3x2m) and the coop has its front legs in the run and everything is wired around it so the chickens have the full space of the run.

    The birds i saw this morning were-
    jersey giants
    buff orpingtons
    and silkies

    Im looking for birds that will be friendly as we have children and it would be lovely if the birds got tame with us. Ive read the above birds can be docile and friendly.

    Does anyone have any experience of keeping the above breeds?
    Would it be silly to have 1 each of the above. Im a bit worried as the jersey giant say they can get big, will it bully the little silkie? The breeder said its should be fine as long as they are roughly all the same ages. Ill be getting them either POL or younger.

    Is it a good idea to get mixed flocks?

    Also should i go for 4 or 3 chickens? is 3 an odd number for a flock?

    Thank you for any advice, im excited to get started but i want to do it the right way.
     
    AllenK RGV and Farmer Connie like this.
  2. Go for 4 chickens, and definitely Silkies if you want sweet, docile, tame birds. They are also fun to look at! Good luck!
     
  3. Woot woot
    Got your Buff Orpington girl here
    c;

    I would definitely reccomend BOs as a starter. I have two, one so tame she'll run up to you and pip until you pet her.
    The other's kinda jerky but not bad, only a bit arrogant... Will adore you if you have food

    I've heard good things (and bad things) about silkies but don't have any personal experience.

    However, I've found it's more of the owner rather the breed itself. Sure the breed can contribute but if you're willing to love them and handle them often (careful they're fragile !!) from chick stage to adult. They'll most likely turn out fine !!
    Chickens are kinda like feathered children actually...

    Either way hope you have a great day and have fun raising your chickens !!​
     

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    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  4. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Billion $ Babies Premium Member

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    My Coop
    • 4 is a good beginner #
    • silkies are tiny and buffs/GJ's are HUGE. You might have a hard time housing them together.
    • silkies are EYE CANDY/show bird
    • Buffs/GJ's are for egg production.
    Welcome to Backyard Chickens. Glad you join our flock. Good luck with yours.
    -connie.
     
  5. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict Premium Member

    I'd go for the 4 silkies if predators aren't a problem in your area. That 4-6 chicken rating is probably referring to how many serama/seabrights(really small chicken 500g or less at maturity) that coop can hold and you can most likely divide that number by 2 or 3 for large fowl. Best wishes and welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018
  6. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Songster

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    mixing the flock is fine generally. not sure about the jersey giant specifically but so much comes down to the chicks getting aquatinted and bonding, so yeah, if they are started at the same time, they will more than likely clique. as for the number, all I can say is that many of us end up with more over time than we thought, you'll just have to sort that out as you go. starting with three or four or six is a good number, one or so may die, one may be a mis-sexed rooster, it's good to start out with a few extra and rehome your least favorite one or two when they are older and space becomes more of an issue.

    orpingtons are notoriously good with kids and are good egg layers, astrolorps and speckled sussex too. Black sex links are beautiful with their orange/red streaks, kid friendly and great layers. silkies make great pets, are a bit more ornamental and not generally all that productive (100 eggs a year vs 300).

    my biggest piece of advice is to use hardware cloth an your coop and run, it should be named "poultry fencing". the stuff called poultry netting is useless. if you are going to dive into the chicken experience, spend the money up front for a secure coop, it will save you so much heart ache and headache over time and let you focus on the fun. I would make an attached run with covered roof, also completely enveloped with hardware cloth. no more than a 1/2" gap anywhere on the exterior. if you can keep the rats out, you keep everything else out and life is good. cheers!
     
  7. TomZilla43

    TomZilla43 Songster

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    Hi Cluckscleo, :welcome. In regards to your questions, what Farmer Connie said is accurate. I would add that a mixed flock has always seemed more interesting. Buff Orps are good all around chickens in terms of egg production and docile birds. I have 5 hens : Speckled Sussex, Gold Laced Wyandotte, Black Australorp, NH Red and a Cuckoo Marans and they all get along great and are docile birds(I had a Buff Orp but she got sick and passed away not too long ago). Hope you find the perfect chickens for you and your fam post some pics when ya get em, everyone loves cute chick pics;)
     
  8. K813ZRA

    K813ZRA Songster

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    I have a few flocks of birds, some mixed, some not and I have not had any issues with mixing birds. Of those breeds you mention I only have BO's and they are friendly and calm birds. Fairly large and they eat a lot though!
     
  9. robinwhiskers

    robinwhiskers Chirping

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    Buff Orps all the way! So beautiful, friendly, and fun!
     
  10. Couldn't agree more !!​
     
    harveyhorses and chuckscleo like this.

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