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Greetings & Questions from a Newbie...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by DavidEllis, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. DavidEllis

    DavidEllis Hatching

    Feb 16, 2013
    Fallbrook, CA
    Hello BYC - what a great site! My wife and I have been lurking and soaking up info for months now and will become first-time chicken owners tomorrow afternoon when we pick up our chicks. We are pretty excited. We have been reading everything we can get our hands on and are fairly confident in not messing up the chicks-in-the-brooder stage. But we do have a few questions:

    * Location: Fallbrook, CA.
    - A little over 1/2-acre with 6-foot chain link fence
    - County laws allow up to 25 chickens
    - Summer average temps mid 80's, several weeks in the 90's, several days a little over 100
    - Winter nights in 30's & 40's, a few dips into the 20's
    - The highest recorded temperature was 108°F in 1985.
    - The lowest recorded temperature was 20°F in 1988.
    - about 13 inches of rainfall per year (mostly in winter)

    * Predators: coyotes, hawks, neighborhood dogs & cats, racoons, possums, gopher snakes, (? rats, mice, & gophers ?).

    * Want easy-going birds - pets which the grandbrats can handle and interact with, and we want at least a dozen large eggs per week (up to a couple dozen).

    * Chickens: 1 Orpington, 1 Plymouth Rock, 1 Australorp, 2 Jersey Giants, 1 Silkie (too goofy looking to pass up!)

    QUESTION: Will these birds meet our criteria?

    QUESTION: Are there other birds with the same mellow personality (& large eggs) that you would recommend which have more colorful plumage or other traits we should consider?

    Egg sizes: The www.mypetchicken.com website lists the following egg sizes:
    Australorp = Large
    Jersy Giant = X-Large
    Orpington = Large
    Plymouth Rock = Large
    Silkie = small

    QUESTION: Is it worth having the monster hen around (Jersey Giant) for the "X-Large" eggs? We buy either Large or X-Large from the grocery store, but enjoy the X-Large more.

    Thank you for this wonderful site and any answers you may offer.


  2. ocap

    ocap Crowing

    Jan 1, 2013
    Smithville, Missouri
    sounds like I had the same goals, I ended up buying jersey giant, orpington, australorp, buckeye, brahma, wyandotte, and silkie

    welcome to BYC
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] also from California! I admit I had to Google Fallbrook's location [​IMG]. I have one JG who was hatched last July, she's the only one who hasn't started laying yet. Once your girls start laying you should have no problem getting a dozen eggs a week.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, David, and [​IMG]! Happy you joined us. Wow! You've asked a lot in a single post. I'll give a few of the questions a shot.

    I think the breeds you have chosen will more than fill the bill. Other breeds that are easy going and good layers might include Speckled Sussex, and the "Star" breeds. I also like Marans breeds for the dark eggs. In terms of "worth" it having a Jersey Giant - I certainly think so. It will eat more obviously, but I like a big variety of chickens.

    Sounds like you have done tons of research and are ready to become responsible chicken keepers! Good luck to you and enjoy your birds!!
  5. thasista

    thasista Songster

    Oct 25, 2011
    My Coop
    Hi from Kentucky![​IMG]
  6. GoChick

    GoChick Songster

    Sep 16, 2010

    how exciting to be getting chicks! I started with 6 three years ago and now have 24, including two roosters, planning to add some more this year.

    To me, it was all about being able to get eggs from chickens treated humanely. But then, why not have some eye candy while doing it?

    You will get more than two dozen eggs a week with the breeds you listed. But why not add some color to them? All these breeds lay light brown eggs. You could add a Marans or Wellsummer for the dark brown eggs, and an Ameraucana for blue ones.

    As for plumage, you could get a Blue Copper Marans - I have some and they are beautiful birds. I love the Silver Laced Wyandottes - and they lay nice large light brown eggs as well. The Ameraucanas come in several colors - I have blues, splash and black. They are funny looking, with muffs and beards, your grandbrats will love them! Mine are very personable, want to sleep in my lap.

    Good luck and welcome!
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Welcome to BYC from California wine country in the Western Sierra Foothills!

    All those breeds are greatt in a flock. They'll do fine in your locale, just remember chickens handle heat far less well than they do cold. They ARE wearing down coats, after all. There are tips and tricks for heat management all over the forum; I reuse 2 liter soda bottles by filling them with water and freezing them, then putting them out in the yard for the flock members. Plus a misting system attached tlo my pergola.

    And when it drops to freezing temperatures, you will NOT need to provide supplemental heat to adult chickens. Trust me. You may be all bundled up, but they'll be fine.

    However, the silkie won't do well in cold, wet weather.... It's one reason so many of 'em are house chickens. Well, besides the goofy cuteness, of course.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013

  8. DavidEllis

    DavidEllis Hatching

    Feb 16, 2013
    Fallbrook, CA
    Holy Smokes! Do you always have to wait so long to get a response? KIDDING, KIDDING, KIDDING - Wow, one hour and six responses with some warm greetings and great information.
    Thank you all so much. I look forward to learning much more and sharing my experiences.
  9. Welcome! Looks like your qeustions have been awnsered so I will just say [​IMG]
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

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