Groan... how do you decide on a breed question...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by chandasue, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. chandasue

    chandasue Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    Ok. I'm sure there have been dozens of q's like this but the lack of a search feature is forcing me to post anyway.

    How do you decide which breed is best when you're starting out? I thought I had it narrowed down to 5 or so but now I'm contemplating bantams in the mix... I only have room for 10 year round. Perhaps not a pleasant topic, but I'm considering duel-purpose birds. We mostly want eggs but if we need to it's nice to know that there'd be enough meat to make it worth while if we have an excess of roosters. If we do butcher the older hens and excess roos we'd also want to be breeding to replace the flock. To top it off, I want pretty chickens running around our yard. I love the coloring of Buff Brahmas, but I read they aren't good layers... Buff Columbia Wyans are hard to find, and I'm not sure they're any better layers than the Brahmas. Will the Brahmas forage? I read that feather footed varieties are poor foragers... If all else fails Buff Orps, Rocks and Silver laced Wyans seem like good standards. And then there's the bantams... are any better layers than others and do any get big enough, to butcher? I know that won't sit well since everyone considers them pets. I probably would feel the same way if I had them. The only reason I ask is I could have more bantams than standards, which might make up for the small eggs... But then I read about some laying eggs the size of jelly beans and that would really defeat the purpose... I should add that we want easy to handle birds since we have a preschooler that will want to help.

    I've just talked myself dizzy... Help a novice?
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2008
  2. Kanchii

    Kanchii Songster

    Simple! Barred rocks. They are pretty round and will produce great meat if they are culls, and lay SO WELL and to top it off, are absolutely gorgeous with those black and white stripes! They are also very hardy and easy to tame. Possibly my favorite breed. [​IMG]
  3. chandasue

    chandasue Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    Quote:You're probably right and it's one that I'm considering. They do seem to fit the bill for everything I'm looking for.
  4. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Hi Chandasue, and welcome to BYC!

    There are so many different breeds to choose from. It seems to me that lots of folks love their Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons, so those are probably 2 good breeds to check out.

    I have a couple of Buff Orps myself, and they are real sweeties. They do tend to be broody, though, which is good if you want to hatch eggs, but a pain if you don't. They aren't LAYING eggs when they are trying to HATCH eggs.

    Check out this website for an informative chart on chicken breeds.

    If you click FS under the breed name, it will take you to Feathersite and you can see pictures of the breed.

    Also, there is a Search function here. It's in the blue bar at the top of the page. I didn't see it at first, either. But glad you posted. Lots of people will chime in with their favorite breeds.

    I really enjoy my Dominiques. They are beautiful and docile, and they lay well. The rooster was very aggressive, though, and was willing to attack my giant of a husband. Which made me think he was crazy enough to take on a mid-sized bear! Just mentioning that since you have a child. Any rooster can be mean, so do be careful with your little one.

    Good luck in your search for the perfect chickens for you and your family!
  5. chandasue

    chandasue Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    Thanks for the chart and pointing out the search feature. (Duh! on my part.)
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Barred Rocks are my favorite breed for so many reasons. I dont eat mine, but both roosters and hens are certainly large enough. They are friendly, inquisitive and great layers, even through winter (at least mine are).
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    As for dual purpose, Red Stars (sex link) and Black Stars (sex link) are prolific layers, look good and are huge (would fill out the dinner plate). The other day my 14 year old picked up our Red Star to see if she had layed an egg and he couldn't believe how heavy she was compared to the other hens. They are gentle and our Black Start (the first to lay) also loves to be held.

    If I had it to do over, I'd probably get some Orps and perhaps some BLR Wyandottes also.
  8. Quail_Antwerp

    Quail_Antwerp [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Mrs

    Aug 16, 2008
    Yea I am so not any help with that. I couldn't decide on a breed either, so I got 10 breeds [​IMG]

    The breeds I chose were known for being dual purpose though.
  9. chandasue

    chandasue Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    After looking at the chart, Sussex and Favorelles seem like they might be good too. (Now I'm making my list longer than shorter!) Anyone have experience with them?
  10. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    You should consider what size eggs your want, and what color eggs you want.

    You can go to and they have alittle "breed finder" thingy.

    Also do you want rare bird? OR common birds? And which birds do you find attractive.

    Do you want your birds to be friendly? Or good mothers?

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