Hello - 1st post - Need some help! - Newbie.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BackyardBirds720, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. BackyardBirds720

    BackyardBirds720 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Hello all,

    I am new here, as you may tell, and a newbie at raising chickens - I've studied up on them for almost four years now and think I am educated enough to start a backyard flock of my own (hopefully).
    I just don't know exactly which breed to choose. I would like something that is not too loud, can't "fly away", friendly/gentle towards humans/pet-like, good egg layers (large eggs), good mothers, go broody, and like to free-range and forage for food - and can be put in a pen.
    Also, I live in Florida, so I need some birds that are heat tolerant (not in direct sun - because my whole yard is shaded 80s in shade - 80s/low 90s in sun during summer), and tolerant to the cold winters (40 to 50 degress).
    I've read a bit on this forum before registering, and saw that Brahmas, Australrops, and Orpingtons are the closest in matching my criteria for a backyard flock.

    I want my chickens to have a family, but I also want to collect eggs for eating (can you do both?).

    I hope I have explained myself well. Out of the three breeds I listed, I like the Orpingtons best, then Australorps, and Brahmas are okay (not to fond of the feathered footing though). If it is not too much to ask, could I maybe get a comparison or two between the three breeds (or just Orps and Austras). Personal experience would be appreciated!

    Thank You,
    BB720

    PS: What does the acronym "BLRW" stand for - I know it's a breed of chicken; but which one?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  2. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle, WA
    I'm relatively new to chickens myself, but I did want to throw out one suggestion -- you don't need to get all one breed unless you really want to. If you get a few different breeds, then you can learn more about how they compare on a day to day basis, and reap the benefits of their different egg laying patterns.

    And it will be easier to tell them apart! [​IMG]

    There is a search function on mypetchicken.com that lets you search on various qualities -- not quite as many as you've listed, but it might help you narrow your choices down a bit.
     
  3. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Sounds like you've done your homework!

    I personally like my dominques and barred rocks as far as breeds that meet your criteria.

    Whatever you end up with you'll love em!

    Welcome!!
     
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Douglasville GA
  5. BackyardBirds720

    BackyardBirds720 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Quote:I have those websites bookmarked! - I've looked over them so many times (almost too many!).

    Quote:That function is great! That is how I narrowed it to Orps and Austs.

    Quote:I just want to start with a flock of maybe two hens, and a rooster. So, I am was just wanting one breed to start with.
    Do chickens breed with different breeds (ie: Orp and Aust)?
    And can the fathers have chicks with their kids - or would they be deformed?


    Quote:Okay, I will look into those two breeds, and let ya know.

    Thanks for all the great quick replies! If anyone else has more advice/information it would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  6. smith2

    smith2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Paris, TN
    I personally have Orpingtons, Australorps, Wyandottes, and Barnevelders. I have not been as fond of the Australorps because they are much more flighty in temperment. BLRW stands for Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. I personally like the Orpingtons and Wyandottes the best. The Wyandottes are my favorite but Orpingtons are great chickens. Both breeds come in several color varieties. Just like a post above, I would suggest getting several breeds that fit your criteria and see which ones you like best. You didn't say, but I'm assuming that you are looking for brown eggs? All of mine are brown egg layers, but some people don't realize that different breeds lay different colors of eggs. [​IMG]
     
  7. Poppycock

    Poppycock Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 10, 2008
    Alpine, UT
    BLRW = Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. They are very pretty and rare, I think. Welcome!
     
  8. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seattle, WA
    I do know that different chickens can mate across breed so you get "mutt" chickens... I don't know how closely they can be related before you start running into genetic problems, but if you plan to grow your flock yourself, you might want to start with more than one rooster so that you don't have to mate siblings or parent-child crosses. Just my humble and uninformed opinion, I'm sure there are others here who know much more.
     
  9. BackyardBirds720

    BackyardBirds720 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Quote:Yeah.

    Quote:I will have to check that out. I just don't want to end up with "mix breeds" - just not yet. I would rather start out simple, ya know.

    Quote:Okay, so with two roosters, won't they fight? And, how many hens per rooster?

    Also, if you have a rooster, does he fertilize all the eggs. I mean, how do you tell fertilized eggs apart from unfertilized (so you can eat them)?

    I really do like the Orpingtons, from the little I have read on here, and what not it seems though might fit my needs the best. If anyone objects, please let me know! [​IMG] The buff coloring of the orps is beautiful! So they are hardy, what kinds of shots do you have to get the birds; they don't have to visit the vet do they? What kind of food?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2008
  10. 2manyhats

    2manyhats Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Central NY
    You can eat both fertilized and unfertilized eggs. Most of the farm fresh eggs you buy are fertilized. Refrigerate the ones you want to eat (they won't develop) and don't refrigerated the ones you want to hatch. Then start hatching.

    I'm new to the egg hatching, but not to chickens. I would rec: the orps as a good starter bird. They have gentle dispositions and are hardy. I am in the middle of hatching blue and black orps now, but have had the buff orps in my first flock. We loved them. The buffs would probably be better in the heat than the black ones.
     

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