good breeds for first timer?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by bmiss, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. bmiss

    bmiss Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 7, 2011
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    im wanting to be a lil more self sufficient....wanting to get enuff chickens to feed a family of 5 for eggs/meat.

    im thinking of getting 14 hens and 2 roo's. think this will be a good number to start with for a family that size?

    im interested in 4 breeds: barred rock (4 hens), partridge rock (4 hens), rir (3 hens) and buff rock (3 hens). im considering getting a barred rock roo and a partridge rock rooster.


    will these 4 be a good starter chicken? im not ever intending to show them... just used to feed my family....
     
  2. bmiss

    bmiss Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 7, 2011
    NE Mississippi
    or as a first timer, do you think i should cut it in half and go 1 roo and 7 hens?


    and if so, would you go with the barred rock rooster or the partridge rock rooster?
     
  3. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

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    Chickens are very easy to raise! I really like Buff Orphingtons Rhode Island Reds, and Barred Rocks! They were a few breeds i started with and my most favorite was between Barred Rock and Buff Orpingtons. They are great Layers and 9-11lb Roos is what mine were. 14 hens is good just remember that in the spring they will lay almost an egg a day until it gets hot in July or until winter. I have had a few hens lay 7 eggs a week for a while. Are you going to order them from a hatchery?

    Nate
     
  4. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As long as you get fairly good-quality birds, the breeds you mentioned should do great for your family. Rocks and RIRs, especially, are good heritage layers and are pretty tame (RIR roosters may need a little extra socialization in their younger days so they get used to people, so I hear). However, if you're planning on supplying meat for your family on a fairly regular basis, I would get a lot more than two roosters. Ten might be better: eight for slaughter and two for protecting the hens. That's just my own opinion, but there are a lot of others here on BYC who are more experienced than I am with utility breeds.

    Buckeyes might be a breed to consider. They are similar to Rhode Island Reds but are pea-combed and roosters are more people-friendly. They lay just as well as RIR's and they also make good meat birds.

    I wish you and your family the best [​IMG]

    ~Gresh~
     
  5. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    Yes. As a first time owner, you DON'T need that many hens. The larger the group the more trouble you'll have with aggression and feather picking. I would never have any less than 8 hens to one rooster. Just be assure of the roos temperament, an ill tempered one is something you DON'T want as a first timer. I speak from personal experience.

    Do not purchase the RIR or production reds. They are highly bird aggressive unless you're buying quality stock (the REAL rhode island reds), and at that price you're not going to want them to be just for egg and meat use. The productions are 10 times more trouble than what they're worth unless your flock consists only of RIR and other aggressive birds. In my experience they are the first to attack and featherpick the others - problems you don't want to deal with.

    Plymouth rocks would probably be the best choice for you. The rate of lay is pretty good, and from what I'm told they make better meat birds than the production reds and are much less bird aggressive. The only thing you'll suffer are a little less eggs.


    I would go with partridge. The barred variety is the most commonly produced variety and that typically equates to aggressiveness in production breeds from what I've experienced. I'd say you're more likely to get a better tempered rooster if you go with the partridge.
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Those choices sound wonderful [​IMG]

    BR are beautiful and friendly (if you have kids). They work well in any setting.

    You probably won't get an actual RIR from a hatchery. They are usually red sex links. Those are good as well though too.

    For egg laying I would suggest just plain ISA browns or Production reds.
     
  7. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, almost forgot. I would suggest that you NOT buy from a hatchery. Hatchery birds are almost always lower-quality birds, when compared to the stuff you can get from breeders. Some people like to use hatchery stock just for utility purposes, and this is a reasonable pursuit, but honestly, a breeder's Rhode Island Red will be far more efficient in meat and egg production than most hatchery Rhode Island Reds.
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:My production red is my most friendly. She is nice to everyone. It's my Delware hen that is a real snot. [​IMG] I've heard a lot of good things about production reds. They are worth what you get them for (eggs)
     
  9. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    KY
    Quote:x2. Not to mention you're more likely to bet better temperaments, both with other birds and the people around them, from breeder stock.
     
  10. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:x2. Not to mention you're more likely to bet better temperaments, both with other birds and the people around them, from breeder stock.

    Very true! [​IMG] Breeders take the time to cull any manfighters or overly aggressive birds, while hatcheries are too busy throwing 20 roosters in with 200 hens to try to attain a new hatching record [​IMG]
     

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