help me build my flock!

amazondoc

Cracked Egghead
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
2,847
32
201
Lebanon, TN
Hello all!

I saw a thread similar to this posted by cluckychick a few days ago, but I think this is a different enough question to be best served by its own thread.

I have just purchased property -- six acres, which includes a beautiful coop and enclosed chicken yard. I don't know the exact measurements, but it is currently housing around 15-20 healthy chickens, including several roosters. This property is in middle TN.

I would like to start a small flock after I move in. I envision 8-15 hens, no roosters. I'd like some eggs, I don't eat meat, I'd like a variety of birds, and I'd like friendly birds. Unfortunately they must remain in their enclosed yard, since I do doberman pinscher rescue and constantly have a large pack of hungry dogs running around.

I have been researching breeds, but although I am very familiar with animals (I'm a retired vet) I've never kept chickens of my own. Right now I'm thinking about: 2 or 3 Ameraucanas, 2 or 3 gold-laced Wyandottes, 2 or 3 black Australops, 2 or 3 buff Orpingtons, maybe 2-3 Welsummers, plus maybe 2 or 3 of some commercial brown egg laying type. I plan to get some from the local chicken swap, and order the rest as day-olds so I have a mix of ages.

Does this sound like a reasonable mix? Any input would be welcomed. I have at least few months before I will actually be purchasing birds, but I want to figure out what I'm doing before I actually do it!
 

herechickchick

Songster
12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
2,585
13
214
Memphis TN
Sounds Good however I personally am not a fan of the Sex link layers. Yes they lay great but there are other breeds that lay well. I LOVE the Speckled Sussex and the Delaware. If you are wanting true Ameraucanas then they will have to come from a breeder as ALL commercial hatcheries sell Easter Eggers (a mutt bird with the capability to lay eggs that are white, brown, blue, green and pink) EE's are great if you cannot find true Ameraucanas.

I just noticed that you are in TN there is a poultry show April 12 in Lebanon TN you should go. I will be there as well as other BYC members! You can get some birds there.
 
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amazondoc

Cracked Egghead
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
2,847
32
201
Lebanon, TN
Thanks Adam! I have not heard of those two breeds yet, I'll look them up!

And oddly enough, my new property is in Lebanon. I just saw the post about the Lebanon show over in the swap/show area of the forum. I won't actually be moving for a few months, but I'm going to try to make it over there for the show!
 

Badhbh

Songster
12 Years
Nov 16, 2007
806
0
159
Southern Indiana
My buffs are my favorite. Hands down. I didn't think i'd like them all that much- they seemed so plain- but they are without a doubt the sweetest, most curious lovey chickens out of my bunch. And eventually they will prolifically lay brown eggs

How many are you planning on feeding with your flock? I ask because going with that mix you're going to be buried in eggs
 

amazondoc

Cracked Egghead
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
2,847
32
201
Lebanon, TN
Thanks for the input!

I'll be the only one actually living there. My parents, my brother, and his sweetie all live in Nashville (45 min drive), so they can have some of the overflow. After that, friends can have more overflow. And after that, the dogs will be happy to eat any that are still left over!


I'm also still playing with the idea of whether to have ONE rooster. They're so gorgeous! But of course, then you have to make sure you get ALLLLLL the eggs picked up, so you don't end up with lots of roosters like the current owners have. It's a mad house there right now! But if I did get one, I think I'd get a partridge variety of some TBA breed. Any suggestions on that would be welcomed as well. Maybe a breed with very LOW fertility?
 

herechickchick

Songster
12 Years
Mar 28, 2007
2,585
13
214
Memphis TN
GET A ROOSTER! They are so much fun to watch and they do a great job of protecting the hens. Once you get your chicks I will have a chick rooster for you if you would like, free of course. I am always hatching eggs from breeders so I have some cool ones. I will have Blue Orpingtons, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes Blue/Black Ameraucanas and Blue Wheaten Ameraucanas over the next couple of months.
 

greyfields

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 15, 2007
4,889
27
261
Washington State
I would strongly recommend you build your shelters/house/coop for about 5x the number of birds you'll ever expect to have. They tend to multiply.
 

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