Good chickens to start with?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by abbyful, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. abbyful

    abbyful New Egg

    Nov 28, 2011
    I will be having "city chickens". I'm going to [try to] build a coop similar to this:

    this a decent mix to get? Is there anything bad or non-beginner for any of these breeds that isn't on the standard "about this breed" sheets?
    2 easter eggers
    1 speckled sussex
    1 silver cuckoo marans

    Also, should I order an extra chick in case one dies?

    Thanks so much!
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Beautiful coop, but I wouldn't get more than four large fowl hens. I like the breeds you've picked. I've actually had all of those breeds. I will share that the Marans are not my favorite, but it's really a personal choice. If you buy your Marans from a hatchery, chances are, you won't get a super dark brown egg. And they are not the best layers. I personally would recommend the Plymouth Barred Rock. They look very similar with the barring, but they are GREAT layers of a nice brown egg. The Speckled Sussex is a nice breed. Very pretty, but again, not the best layers.

    Now, if the eggs ae just for your family, then these breeds will be just fine! And I know you'll enjoy them all. The fun of getting chicks, is picking out the breeds you want. So you really can't go wrong!

    I would like to suggest you pick a catalog up. They're free. Meyer Hatchery in Polk Ohio has a nice catalog, and for each breed, they have a nice description, cold and heat hardiness, temperament, egg production, color and size of the eggs, and weight. It also shows which breeds are good for confinement, and which aren't.

    I found it to be a great tool in helping me when I picked out my first chickens.

    Good luck and enjoy!

  3. jenkassai

    jenkassai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Quote:And so begins the chicken math [​IMG]

    I had to chuckle at your question about ordering an extra in case one dies because, well, I think that's what most of us end up doing. I thought I'd just have three or so, but got an extra just in case something happened to one, and now I have worked my way up to 9 hens and a bantam rooster, with plans to get three more chicks in the spring [​IMG] Just three [​IMG] We'll see!

    Good luck, you sure are going to have fun [​IMG]
  4. redheadfarmer

    redheadfarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 20, 2011
    SW Ontario
    Quote:We started with an easter egger, barred rock, production red and blue cochin (bantam). They offered a visual reality and bore confinement and cooler temperatures really well. The cochin has been our most consistent layer to date, although the production red hasn't started laying yet. They are also quiet and sound more like doves than chickens. We added a maran cross later and she is the loudest chicken I have ever encountered and her eggs were not anywhere near as dark as I had hoped. Good luck and have fun!
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:I have to agree, go with the barred plymouth rock! They are super friendly, great layers, and beautiful [​IMG]
  6. DelilahJones

    DelilahJones Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2011
    I personally love my Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons and Easter Eggers. All good egg layers and very sweet personalities. I could do without the Rhode Island Reds. Sure they lay great but they are b*%#@^s! I would look for breeds that will do well in your climate also. It pays to do your research.
  7. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC
    x3 on the Plymouth Barred Rock. I've got 42 - 13 adults (10 hens, 3 roos), 16 5-week olds, and 13 5-day olds. They're great all-around birds. I've had bantams and RIR's in the past, but came back to the BR's. Great layers, nice personality, even good for meat should you consider that a factor.
  8. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2009
    oh you HAVE to have a buff orpington in the mix.... [​IMG]
  9. cbohn80

    cbohn80 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    my ee lays the least and hasnt laid in 2 months. my best lays are rhode islands and rocks. my absolute best is my dekalb amberlink but they are hard to find. those 3 also have the best personalities of all my birds. 4th would be the black australorp, she's also the best looking in my opinion. good luck?
  10. karens18cats

    karens18cats New Egg

    Jun 28, 2010
    Depends on what you want from your girls - maximum egg production, egg variety or pets. I would recommend Buff Orpingtons - mine are laid-back, quiet and friendly, and produce regularly. My RIRs are egg-laying machines, but they are grouchy and flighty. EE (at least, for me) have always been really unreliable - late and iregular layers, have quit laying for months, especially in the winter. And winters here are not brutal and I do use lights and supplement their feed in the winter.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011

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