hello from va

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by nchelle, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. nchelle

    nchelle New Egg

    Nov 12, 2014
    Hi, I'm new to raising chickens. I have been trying to figure out which ones to choose for me and my family. And how best to start. Help and advice would be really appreciated.
  2. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!

    Here are a couple links that will give you a chick selector guide to help you choose which breeds are best for you:

    This next link will give you tons of information about breeds that you might not find on the above 2 sites:

    BYC has a review section too:

    Hope these help. There's lot to consider when choosing, but it's fun!

    If you have questions, feel free to ask.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    NorthFLChick has left you with some great links to follow. It all depends on why you are keeping chickens. I am partial to the Orpingtons...Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps. Very docile, friendly, great on the laying and are very hardy overall. My Australorps are huge on lap sitting and beg for me to sit with them so they can get on my lap.

    Good luck with what ever breed you choose and if you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

    NorthFlChick has given you some good links to start with. But, here are some basic things to keep in mind when deciding on the breed or breeds that you want to raise.

    • What will you be keeping them for? Some breeds, such as Leghorns and Sex-Links are bred for high egg production. Other dual-purpose breeds lay good numbers of eggs, though not quite as many as the Leghorns and Sex-Links. Some good egg layers are Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Australorps, and Plymouth Rocks. Other breeds are bred for meat. The best meat chicken is the Cornish X hybrid. These birds are specifically bred for meat and reach butchering size in as little as 7 or 8 weeks. Other chickens are kept for ornamental purposes. This includes many of the bantams. They won't lay many eggs or grow very large, but are still excellent pets to have around.
    • What is your climate like? For a cold climate, choose a cold weather hardy breed with small combs and wattles and a large amount of feathering. Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Australorps, Easter Eggers, and Brahmas are all good cold hardy breeds. For hot weather, the Mediteranean class breeds like Leghorns, Minorcas, Catalans, Anconas, etc. are good choices. Many breeds do fine in both heat and
    • Is temperament important? Many of the Mediteranean breeds and some bantams are flighty and can be hard to handle. The larger breeds, such as Wyandottes, Australorps, and Orpingtons are more gentle and can make great pets.
    • Do you want a more common breed, or are you willing to search for a rarer or heritage breed? Some chicken breeds are easy to find, at basically any hatchery or feed store. But, you can help preserve rare heritage breeds or less common varieties, such as Buckeyes and Dominiques.
    • Do you intend on keeping them for pets, or will you consider showing them at poultry shows or breeding them? If you want to show chickens, be sure to get your breeds from a private breeder, not a hatchery. You'll end up with much better quality stock. Some breeds are more perfected than others, so you may do better at shows. Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks, and Cochins are all examples of breeds that are often shown and do well.

    I hope this helps! If you have any specific questions on breeds, feel free to ask!
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Wyandottes7 and the other posters have given you some great advice already.

    Good luck with any future chickens, whatever breed you choose!
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. As to which chickens to get, as Wyandottes7 pointed out, it depends on what you want them for. If sheer egg production is a priority, I would recommend Black Sex Links, which are hardy and friendly, egg laying machines. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids) and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. If you are wanting a very docile breed which can be made into lap pets, Australorps, Orpingtons, Cochins, Brahmas, Silkies, Sussex, and Faverolles all have a well deserved reputation as being exceptionally friendly, calm, and gentle birds. Of this list, Australorps are the best layers, and Silkies and Cochins are the poorest layers (although they are the best brooders and mothers). For meat birds, Cornish cross are the way to go. They are ready for butchering in only 8 weeks. In fact, if you wait much beyond that time, they begin to rapidly develop serious health problems due to their abnormal growth rate. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever kind of chickens you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
  9. NimrodsMom

    NimrodsMom New Egg

    Nov 12, 2014

    I'm new to chickens too. The ones left behind here were mostly Rhode Islands. Since then we've 'adopted' six more RI's who have grown to be great egg layers.

    (One little cutie decided she'd lay her eggs out in the field... when I finally caught her at it, she had 22 out there... [​IMG])

    We also have two Americuna's (I think) a Wellsommer, and one I have no clue of her breed (but she lays nice brown eggs)
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] So glad you joined us. Don't know your location, but if you are planning on chicks, spring is so much easier to start. Selecting what you want to raise is so much fun and a difficult decision. You have already been given great advice and resources. Also, My Pet Chicken site has breed info. I bought a breeds book, but found info on the hatchery sites and BYC more helpful. Pick by breed characteristics to match your climate and what you expect from the chickens. The next hurdle is where to get them. You may find your selection changes as you enjoy the research. Make sure you are also spending time on learning how to raise them and how to house them. Lots of great info in learning center.

    Feel free to ask questions.

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