Hello! New to the world of backyard chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by pengu, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. pengu

    pengu Hatching

    Jan 13, 2015

    I live in Washington and my family and I want to start raising chickens in our backyard maybe during early summer/late spring ish. We're hoping to have 3 australorps for the eggs and I was hoping to get a cochin bantam as a pet and maybe to learn about showing. Will a little cochin bantam be okay with 3 larger chickens? From what I've read so far it looks like if they're raised together from chicks it would be okay and we'll be building the coop big enough for 6-8 chickens but I want to make sure.

    Because our neighbors live so close to us, we can't have any roosters so I'm hoping we can buy our chicks from local breeders and get females. Is that a normal practice? Is there another way to go about getting only females?

    Thanks in advance for reading and any advice :)
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Songster

    Feb 23, 2014
    Welcome! Cochins are really good birds very popular and I've met some breeders of bantam cochins the in Oregon/Washington area. The best way to find them is at the big shows or swaps. You might have better luck getting a pullet instead of chicks that way you can tell what you get. I'm not sure about the Australorps because I have seen both really giant ones and ones that were around the same size as a Leghorn. There's always the option of a largefowl Cochin.

    Good luck and enjoy your stay
  3. pengu

    pengu Hatching

    Jan 13, 2015
    Thanks for the advice!
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Australorps are my favorite standard breed. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds, including Cochin bantams), and they are extremely hardy, calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them), and the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. If they are raised together as chicks, your Cochin bantams might be okay with a gentle standard breed like Australorps, but I would not personally recommend it. If you do attempt it, I would keep a very close egg on them and if you see any signs that your bantams are being battered, I would separate them from the Australorps. If you order your chicks from some of the hatcheries, you can order pullets (all females). Keep in mind though that most hatcheries only guarantee 90% on sexed orders, so you may get a cockerel (or possibly even 2 in the order). Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your flock.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I think the only way to get females is to buy a point of lay pullet or one that is already laying. Some breeds are harder to sex than others. Some sellers will"just happen" to have whatever sex you want. I think you really need to buy from a reputable seller/breeder. Some will let you return "accidental" roosters for a hen. I would shy away from swaps because the seller is there one day and gone the next - before you have a chance to discover you got conned on the breed, sex, or health of the bird.
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

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

    Cochin Bantams do tend to be rather large, so keeping them with your Australorps might work. But, you would have to carefully watch them. It may be a better idea to get two Cochin bantams, instead of just one. That way, they can form their own little group. It will be harder for the larger birds to pick on them if there are two of them.
  7. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  8. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    A Cochin Bantam would probably do okay with large fowl Australorps, especially if it is raised with them from a young age. Extra space will certainly help them coexist together.

    Depending on the age of birds you want to purchase, you may or may not be able to purchase sexed birds from a local breeder. Most breeders are not experienced vent sexers, which means they have to wait until their chicks are at least 6-8 weeks of age before having a good idea of gender (based on appearance). So if you are willing to not get really young, day-old chicks, then yes, I would say you should be able to get sexed birds from a local breeder.

    One concern is finding a nearby breeder who has the breeds you want, and has some available for sale. Some breeds are rarer in certain areas than others, and since breeders aren't hatcheries, they don't usually produce a ton of birds each year. If you're really set on certain breeds, then you may have to travel a moderate distance, or resort to getting birds from a hatchery. Hatchery birds will certainly be fine for a small home flock and will be very productive, entertaining animals. However, if you eventually want to start showing, hatchery birds are not the greatest choice. Hatcheries tend to focus on production and quantity, not quality in the birds they sell. One advantage of buying from a hatchery, though, is that they have experienced vent sexers and can sell very young chicks with a 90% or higher sexing accuracy.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  10. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!

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