Help? Deciding upon Chicken Breeds for small backyard!

missCLUCKLES

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
12
0
29
Okay, I'm planning on having a small mixed flock of four chickens in my urban backyard(not much space) and I could use some help on deciding which breed to look for.

A few breeds that stood out were:
- Welsummer
- Orpington
- Australorp
- Ameraucana (or Easter Eggers?)
- Wyandotte (would temperament be a problem?)

I already did a lot of researching and is still confused and undecided. It will be my first time raising chickens and would appreciate if I could receive some feedback about these specific breeds or suggestions for others. Thanks.
 

Veer67

Songster
7 Years
Jul 2, 2013
3,613
179
231
Together with the flock
Well if you want a colorful variety of eggs and chickens then you could get some Easter Eggers ( they are a mutt breed with the blue egg gene), Ameraucanas have full tails, beard and muffs together, pea combs, and the standard recognizes the color varieties:
Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten & White.​
Easter Egger also cost less in hatcheries than Ameraucanas because they are mixes.
 

Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
450
251
Texas
Okay, I'm planning on having a small mixed flock of four chickens in my urban backyard(not much space) and I could use some help on deciding which breed to look for.

A few breeds that stood out were:
- Welsummer
- Orpington
- Australorp
- Ameraucana (or Easter Eggers?)
- Wyandotte (would temperament be a problem?)

I already did a lot of researching and is still confused and undecided. It will be my first time raising chickens and would appreciate if I could receive some feedback about these specific breeds or suggestions for others. Thanks.

Do you plan to order them, or do you have a local supplier of all of these breeds?

Are you planning to buy chicks or grown chickens?

Are you going to keep the chickens in a run or are you going to allow them to free range in your backyard? If so, do you have a tall fence?

You can watch videos about all the breeds you listed here:
http://www.youtube.com/user/rbcoproductions/videos
 
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Bullitt

Crowing
8 Years
Jan 16, 2012
2,380
450
251
Texas
Any of the breeds should be fine.

I would suggest getting four different breeds so you have variety. You have five breeds you want, though. If you can't decide, pull four breed names out of a hat.
 
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ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
Hello! I am an raising chickens in a very urban area also. Welcome to BYC! I am always excited to see more urban folks on this site. Are you looking for birds more for eggs and production value or more of pets with a bonus of eggs? Will they be confined to a run or be out in your yard?

I like keeping a mixed flock to have different looking birds, different personalities and a rainbow of eggs.

For eggs, Leghorns are my favorite by far, excellent layers of HUGE white eggs and my most productive birds. Downside is the are a thin, light bird that fly very well so they might be able to make it over your fence if you free range. Mine stay in the yard pretty well but they have gone on a few adventures. RIR and wyandottes are lovely breeds that lay light brown eggs (I liked the wyandottes I have had -- not the super friendliest but with some time and meal worms they were perfectly tame). Marans and Welsummers dark brown, and Easter eggers, cream legbars, araucanas lay light green or blue. If you are at all interested in birds that make a better meal (may or not be your thing) down the road you can go with a dual purpose bird like a delaware or australorp.

If you are looking more for a pet and have limited space you could look into bantam breeds (which is like miniature chickens). They still lay eggs, they are just smaller. Bantam cochins have a lot of personality and take up very little space and are a good option for small coops and yards -- they lay fairly well if you are ok with the egg size. Silkies are also good pets (super super sweet and silly but not good egg layers). Downside is both breeds tend to go broody more than others.

Here are some size pics to get a comparison:

The large white bird is a larger dual purpose Delaware, the thin white bird is a leghorn, you can see the narrower body, and the little red bird is a bantam frizzled cochin (the "frizzled" part is why her feathers look like that -- you can get regular smooth feathered cochins as well), MUCH smaller.
Below for the eggs comparison: the white are the x-large leghorn eggs, the light brown more normal store sized eggs are the delaware, dark maran, and the little brown eggs are the bantam cochin (they have about the same size yoke as a normal egg, little smaller -- and then less egg white.)

Good luck! Let us know what you decide on.



 
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ejb3810

Crowing
Jan 31, 2010
1,461
1,809
276
Northern Minnesota
I assume that in your urban situation that roosters would not be desirable? In which case you would be best to order sex linked chicks? As an alternative I would suggest that you find some local breeders of the breeds of interest and obtain started pullets in the breeds that you desire. You can very well get good birds for a reasonable amount of money as people cull due to minor flaws.
Ameraucanas come in many different colors and lay a blue egg. Easter eggers come in many different color permutations and lay green eggs most commonly.
Marans come in several different colors and lay a dark brown egg.
There are many different breeds that lay light brown or white eggs and so personal color preference is going to be of importance? Temperament is not always breed specific but in many cases more a matter of strain. Some people produce calm birds and some produce flight birds.
 

missCLUCKLES

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
12
0
29
Yes, thank you. [:
And like you, I am settling for the variety of a mixed flock.
I am interested in having them as pets with the benefits of eggs though.

I am also planning on building the coop as well, so do you have any suggestions on how much space would be needed for four chickens? (with the run included) And also how many nest boxes I may need?
 

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