Help! I am finally going to build my coop and get my chickens. What kind?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Missylucy, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Missylucy

    Missylucy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    I want good layers.
    Need to be cold tolerant
    Not a breed that will wander away

    What is the best breed for that?
  2. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2016
    34.560847, -81.154203
    My Coop
    I can't speak for all types, but over the years I have had Rhode Island Reds, Production Reds, a Silkie, Plymouth Rocks, Black Australorps and the various mixed breed offspring of the above. However the best luck I have had on the lines you give are my current flock of Easter Eggers.

    Not the most productive layers, my Production Reds layed more each per week, but my PRs, as well as all the other breeds, always tended to go "off-line" during the winter months; two of my three EEs are still laying. And of course there is the enjoyment of their colored eggs, and you never know what color a hen will lay until she starts doing so.

    Being a mixed 'breed' their personalities vary, but in general they are friendly Among mine they range from being shy to the point of even avoiding her own 'sisters' (Robin), to bold enough that she flys up and roosts on my shoulders (Smokey The Bird). None of my EE hens are aggressive, except for my rooster, and I'm not 100% sure if he is an EE (he was supposed to be a she, also one of the EE's turned out to be an Australorp).

    As they normally have small combs and wattles they are cold tolerant.

    Not sure about wandering as mine are kept in a pen, but on the rare occasion when one does get out they tend to circle the pen looking for a way to get back in, so that's a good sign, I guess. When a Production Red got out I rarely ever saw it again.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  3. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2016
    South Carolina
    If you want eggs, than I would say getting Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, or Buff Orpingtons. Jersey Giants are pretty cold hardy too. Easter eggers are great as well.( I am merely going off of experience with these breeds, every breed a its own specific purpose.) :cd
  4. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2016
    South Carolina
    If you don't want your hens to wonder, than don't let them free range, but free ranging hens are always healthier and have richer eggs.
  5. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    X2 on BRs; they're very tolerant of cold, and lay well all through winter. So do my Red Stars and Australorps. The EEs tend to slack a bit but keep up every other day or so through winter.

    I've not had experience with orpingtons, but my aunt prefers them, says they lay well for her through winter as well.
  6. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2016
    South Carolina
    I don't know if this will help, but here is my flock list.
    This mix of breeds has always put eggs on the table at my house;

    3 x Barred Rocks

    2 x Rhode Island Reds

    1 x Buff Orpington

    1 x Jersey Giant

    3 x Easter Eggers
  7. birdwrangler057

    birdwrangler057 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2016
    South Carolina

    That is true about the Barred Rocks, they are very cold hardy.
  8. Kasilofchrisn

    Kasilofchrisn Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 25, 2016
    Kenai peninsula Alaska
    I have 3 Rhode Island reds,3 Barred Rocks,and 2 Easter edgers.
    They are the breeds I would recommend.

    Sent from my HTC One_M8 using Tapatalk
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Lot's of good suggestion already. I want to recommend getting a variety! It's great to see them out in the yard and be able to tell them apart. It's makes me feel like a child again when I collect eggs! And being able to tell the eggs apart (which is more difficult with 1 breed) helps to clue you in on health conditions of the individual. I have a flock of 48...

    Of my two separate flocks the Barred rock were always the most bossy and top of the pecking order. Had a RIR, was quite spry, laid eggs well but I didn't get any for my second flock. Several EE, a real mixed bag as stated... some complete avoidance and another couple will hang out on my lap often. But laying consistency hasn't yet been proven. However, they are very gentile and I like that even though similar they are usually different looking than eachother. My buff Orp went broody once already, she hangs out on my lap as well. Due to the broodiness and this being her first season, I don't know consistency of laying. My Lavender Orps are still young but seem curious about being friendly. I have Wyandottes, are fine, still young so I don't know for sure but supposed to be good winter layers. I enjoy my Ameraucana because they are calm, both those and the EE roam all over the place. Leghorns are too skittish for my liking though the eggs are nice and still fun to watch, plus I love their big combs for a girl, unsure of cold hardiness though. I have many more breeds, but I think those are readily available and easy to work with. Heavier breeds will impact your feed bill a bit more. However they also have a harder time flying, which could be a good thing.

    All of my birds no matter what the breed return to the coop at night after free ranging sun up till sun down. They just have to be "homed" to it first. They will run around trying to get back in and stay with the group initially. The biggest adventurers will lead the way farther out and they will still stick together. Chickens are flock animals, there is safety in numbers. So you don't often find them alone until they are going to lay. When you notice someone missing for a while from the group, it is often a sign of laying. [​IMG]

    So I would suggest a combination of any of the following.... Barred Rock, Orpington, and EE.

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