help me choose breeds for our first flock!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Family of 6, Jan 14, 2014.

  1. Family of 6

    Family of 6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello!

    I have been spending the last few weeks reading about chickens NON STOP! I am so excited to start our first flock when we move to our new home. I would love your input on which breeds I should get. I have narrowed the list down a bit already.We will be using our chickens for eggs and would like some broody who will give us more chickens in the future. Is is ok to have many different breeds in one flock? Also I will be getting one Rooster. Right now I am considering Orpingtons, Australorp, Easter Eggers, RIR, BR, Wyandottes. and maybe a few Maran and Welsummer for fun. Any input would be great, thanks!
     
  2. The Farm

    The Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Australorps and black sex-LINKS are my favorite. But that does not mean that they will be yours.
     
  3. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    All of those are great breeds! My favorites would probably be EE's, Orpingtons,and the Welsummer. It just fine to have more than one breed. My original flock has seven or eight different breeds in it right now. I've added and taken away over the years as well. The only thing with keeping more than one breed is that your chicks may be crosses and not pure bred (which is not a bad thing; I have hatched some beautiful crosses, if I do say so myself =).). The ones that have been most successful mommas out of the mentioned for me have been the Australorp and Orpington. I've also had a few EE's hatch a clutch or two. Good luck on your journey into this interesting and AWESOME hobby! [​IMG]
     
  4. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    my cockerels are having trouble with frostbite, -10F froze off the tips of a single comb, where do you live?
     
  5. Family of 6

    Family of 6 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the input! I think I am getting so excited wanting every breed, hopefully I can narrow it down to 6 or 7 to start. We will be living in Virginia, so it shouldn't be too cold. I am ordering in a bit, but not receiving till April.
     
  6. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    six or seven breeds is what I bought last spring, now eight months later I have it narrowed down to one (Buff Brahma Large Fowl). the other breeds will be sent to the freezer or the egg barn if my chosen pair become parents. What are the ones you have picked?
     
  7. GarthRyan

    GarthRyan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want some white egg layers try out white leghorn.
     
  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I never wanted leghorns because everyone says that they are super flighty.....

    I bought a mix of breeds last year, 5 of them were leghorns. WOW! do they LAY! Of my five leghorns I have been getting 5 or 4 eggs every single day. All fall and winter, and I used no light, no heat, and no water deicer.

    My Golden Comets have NOT laid anywhere near as well, neither have my production reds.

    I have had Brahmas, and the kids love their personalities, but I am always a bit disappointed that such a large bird (so also a large feed input and resultant output [​IMG] ) keeps laying just a medium sized egg.

    The personality of the Salmon Faverolles has always been wonderful, I really like the personalities, and I find their colors beautiful and they almost always look clean and neat. They don't lay impressively though.

    Of the breeds you listed though "Orpingtons, Australorp, Easter Eggers, RIR, BR, Wyandottes. and maybe a few Maran and Welsummer":

    I like the Marans and Welsummers that I have had. The Welsummers tend to lay better, and I think they are more likely to have spotted eggs, and their spots tend to show up better. So of those two, for a dark egg layer, I would pick Welsummers.

    Instead of the Barred Rock, I would get some Dominiques. I like Dominiques better, more historical, I think they are prettier, and I like the small combs (but then where I live everything freezes).

    I haven't ever had Orpingtons or Australorps. My sister in Texas bought a bunch of breeds, and free ranges. Her Australorps have held up well, and she likes them.

    I like EEs, except that since they are EEs, everything is so variable. So, I would prefer to buy Ameraucanas is possible.

    RIR, this was my first year with them, and I have the ones from a hatchery, so they are really Production Reds. They have nice personalities, and I really like their color, but their egg production has not been great. Of course, maybe they are just more light dependent than my leghorns. So maybe they will do wonderfully this spring.

    I do not think that I have ever had Wyandottes, which is silly of me, because they come in great colors and have small combs. So, no comments on them either.
     
  9. GarthRyan

    GarthRyan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My leghorns haven't been flighty at all. Although a four foot leap to the roost is no problem so I expect they could do much more. Mine are just starting to lay and I've already got one "huge" egg compared to their regular size and the size of which my BA's and BR's have laid (10 months old). That huge egg might be small compared to other peoples' huge eggs but it impressed me especially it being from a young bird.

    My favorite breed is Australorp, very docile and nice --don't like to be handled much--but very nice when interacting with treats fed by hand.

    My barred rocks although, will peck at me if I reach towards them. Oh well. Lol

    My leghorns were bred by someone local and my Black Australorps and Barred Rocks came from Ideal.
     
  10. raph

    raph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would definitely recommend the Orpington, and if you want a good purebred egg layer go for a leghorn. The leghorns come a in a nice variety of colours and they are one of the best layers. also Sussex are moderate egg layers. If you get copper black or copper blue Marans they will lay the darkest egg you can get. And it's alright to have many different breeds in a flock, what are you looking for in a cockerel?
     

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