Have a minute? I need some advice and would appreciate the help!

deebs

In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 6, 2010
12
0
22
Hello!

I am currently researching and prepping for my families first small flock of hens. Our town allows six hens (no roosters). I am concerned with being a considerate neighbor, and I am looking into different breeds. Ideally I would like laying hens that could tolerate the winter in New England. They would have to be quiet and calm, as well. We have two small children and having a friendly breed is a must. If you have any advice or suggestions for me that would be a huge help! Thank you!
 

oldchickenlady

Songster
9 Years
May 9, 2010
1,285
8
151
Cabot, AR
On the home page there is a link to chicken breeds. It lists chickens by their breed and rates how well they lay, how they tolerate being in confinement, what range of weather they tolerate, etc. Very good info. I started out wanting Buff Orpingtons after seeing some at a man's house where I was looking at a horse. His were so beautiful! I resisted for 3 years but finally took the plunge this spring. The breeder I bought from said the BO's are so calm they are not very predator savvy, but Rhode Island Reds, also calm, were more predator savvy. So, I bought 6 of each. They were all supposed to be hens, but somehow a rooster snuck in. He is a RIR and I am thinking I'm going to keep him (if he doesn't crow too much) and see what kind of babies the girls will have. I don't intend to get into incubating, just letting nature take it's course. I found some pics on here of some RIR and BO crosses and they were so pretty! Check out the breed page! You will find what will best fit your needs. If you want lots of eggs, the sex links (which are crosses, not purebreds) lay more eggs. If you just need eggs for your family you probably wouldn't need them, as there are several breeds that have great egg production. Check out the page and enjoy learning!
 

Beekissed

Free Ranging
12 Years
Feb 14, 2008
22,974
4,960
602
This world is not my home.
I have found that calm, quiet and friendly traits are not specific to a breed, so its best to get breeds that are hardy and good producers. I don't really have any chickens that are not quiet and calm but that could be due to the fact they are free range and aren't restricted in being a chicken in any way. Not sure.

If I could only get 6 chickens, I would pick one of each kind of breed I read about that had the traits I desire....have a little fun and get different colors and styles!

My hardiest breeds and best layers have been~Black Austrolorpes, Dominiques, White Rocks, New Hampshire Reds.

My least hardy, less thrifty and lowest production breeds have been~Buff Orpingtons, Black Stars/ Red Stars(both of these are what is referred to as sex-link breeds or production breeds~these produce well but do not live long and healthy lives), Easter Egger.

Good luck with your flock and have fun!
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
161
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
I have a small flock, and chose them based on the criteria you mentioned. It could just be my bird, but my wyandotte is my least friendly (although she will squat for me and eat from my hand), and my EE lays the least, 4-5 eggs a week. My BO, barred rock, and EE are my friendliest. None of them like really cold weather, and they definitely avoided snow, but they all did fine last winter.
 

somissemilyy

Songster
9 Years
Jun 5, 2010
275
1
111
Coldwater, MS
I have Wydonetts & Rhode Island Reds. 3 or each so far, getting more this weekend. So far they are very quit chickens. Hope it helps. They are GREAT egg layers!! :)
 

MareeZoCool

Songster
9 Years
Feb 3, 2010
1,539
18
161
Ohio - Mid Ohio Valley
from Ohio! I have a black Astralorp hen. She tolerates the cold winters here very well - even insists getting outside on the coldest days! She lays one egg each day.
For the friendliest chickens, you need to spend lots of time with those young chicks, biddies, pullets, & cockerels. Simply spending a few hours EVERY DAY- sitting near them and offering food in your hands will help the chickens learn to trust you.
GOOD LUCK!
 

klf73

Mad Scientist
11 Years
Jun 1, 2008
6,080
13
251
Maine
My true ameraucana seem to do best....some are super friendly(the ones I hadled as chicks) and the others tolerate us. They handle the winters just fine and lay pretty blue eggs. They aren't very vocal, my cuckoo marans are always squaking, but the ameraucana just make little noises to me
they aren't daily layers but like the other poster said about the EEs, 4-5 ea a week....

eta- if you are getting your birds from a hatchery then you may not know what you will get for temperment.....no matter the breed
 
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