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Help choosing first flock breeds

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mommabear24, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. mommabear24

    mommabear24 New Egg

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    My family and I are planning to start our flock this spring. We would like suggestions on breeds. They must be child friendly, very cold hardy (we live in northern WI), and lay lots of eggs. We were thinking 5 Easter eggers(I'd love some colored eggs) and 5 barred rocks. Thoughts?
     
  2. CascadiaRiver

    CascadiaRiver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Both good breeds! You also have to judge on whats going to be available at the feedstores near you around the time you're adopting. I find those are good breeds, so are Welsummers (mine lays brown eggs everyday and is my best 4h handled bird! and from a feedstore!) Another I would suggest would be Easter Eggers like you're wanting! (my ladies lay olive, green, and tan eggs, and kinda irregularly but pretty good birds!)
     
  3. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I recommend Austrolorps and Orpingtons. I also agree with all the breeds above!
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Easter Eggers and Barred Rocks are generally docile breeds but on occasion I've had aggressive ones. Where children are concerned, I would suggest going with breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) and good layers such as Australorps, Orpingtons, Faverolles, Sussex, and Brahmas. Of course there can always be an exception with any breed. If high egg production is a major priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2016
  5. mommabear24

    mommabear24 New Egg

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    How many eggs a week do you get from your Easter eggers?
     
  6. mommabear24

    mommabear24 New Egg

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    We were thinking about some of these breeds but don't they commonly go broody? We aren't looking to ever hatch any chicks.
     
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    My EEs have typically laid about 3-4 eggs per hen per week--about the same as my Barred Rocks, Orpingtons, Sussex, and Brahmas. If you want more brown eggs per hen per week than that you will either need to go with Black or Red Sex Links (6-7 per week) or Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, or Production Reds (5-6 per hen per week on these three breeds).
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Typically most of them go broody occasionally but no more than Barred Rocks and not excessively as broodiness has largely been bred out of hatchery quality birds. Of course there are always those exceptions which seem to go broody regularly. My Australorps and EEs though have rarely gone broody. If you don't want broodiness at all I would suggest going with Sex Links which very rarely go broody. Again it can and sometimes does happen even with Sex Links.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2016
  9. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got my hens from McMurray hatchery and one of my hens hatched four chicks in the first 7 months. None of my other hens have done that since though. I think it was just the blood-strains.
     

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