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Help me choose breeds?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by still learning, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. still learning

    still learning In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2008
    Hello again,

    Last fall our family successfully raised 46 meat birds, thanks to your help. Now the whole family is excited about layers (and two kids and 2 bunnies, as well, but I digress...[​IMG]). We know we want heavy breeds that do well in the cold, and all girls. We have 6 children, so we need breeds that are not known to be too spunky or disagreeable. My kids are sweet to animals but they will want to interact with them and I'd rather not have birds who are temperamentally grouchy.

    I was set on some Buff Orpingtons because everyone says they are sweet, but I keep reading about how broody they can be. Is it going to be difficult to collect eggs with a bunch of broody mama-wanna be's?

    I was also going to get some RIR's since they are such great layers, but I recently heard they can be mean, so now I'm not so sure?

    I'm also looking at New Hampshire Reds and Barred Rocks, and my kids also are dying for some EE's. [​IMG]

    I'd be grateful for your thoughts.
  2. cluckychick

    cluckychick Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    I have buff orpingtons and my DH loves them because they are so docile and calm. I've not had a broody one yet [​IMG]
  3. morelcabin

    morelcabin Songster

    Feb 8, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    My barred rock girls are friendly, extremely cold tolerant, because they have small combs, and they lay well even in winter. I would stay with this breed but the roos have huge combs that are prone to frostbite.
    I have ordered chanteclers for this spring...next to no combs, are extremely cold hardy and friendly, but will brood. The barreds aren't as broody, rarely brood at all. You are right about orpingtons, they really get broody, and I found they eat an awful lot of feed.

    RIR hens are not mean, but the roosters can be, from what I hear. I have had both and never had a problem. I have to say though, they are amazing layers and do not get broody. They are also quite cold hardy from what I hear...I've never had them over the winter though
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  4. jforsness

    jforsness Songster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    If you can swing it, some Polish hens are the best ! [​IMG]
  5. Ugly Cowboy

    Ugly Cowboy Songster

    Apr 25, 2008
    Corn, OK
    I love my barred rocks! I aint never had Orpingtons so I caint help ya there, and yes, RIR's can be a little wild at times LOL!
  6. Hotwings

    Hotwings Songster

    Jan 27, 2007
    southwestern Michigan
    I am a fan of the buffs but they do go broody and if they set on feritle eggs they will hatch them, raise the chicks and then before you know it go broody again! I like australorps too but they are broody too. If you want a all around good bird go for the barred rocks, they don't go broody as much. I am not that knowledgable on EEs. They are good layers too and winter hardy but I don't know if they are broody. RIR reds are another good layer that doesn't go as broody as much.
  7. jforsness

    jforsness Songster

    Dec 28, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Ps. Polish are reputed to never go broody [​IMG] Alas, they also are not known as stellar layers, though they can be as good as any other - good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  8. still learning

    still learning In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2008
    Hmmmmmmmm...maybe the best thing to do would be to just get a few of each (I'm hoping to raise 15 in all)? That way if the eggs are hard to get out from under a BO, there are others who aren't as determined to be mamas?
  9. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    I've had lots of RIR and NHR hens and neither are mean as a rule, and both do go broody but only occasionally, which is kinda nice! The roosters of either can be overly protective. My NHR roo was very nice to me, but grumpy around others. *shrugs* There's no sure thing really.

    Have a look here at this site. It really has some pretty good insights about temperment, cold tolerance and laying abilities and lots more! I think it's pretty spot on, especially on the page that the builder (John Henderson) does only the breeds he's had personal experience with. Though I don't see any real faults on he main page either, at least not on the ones I've either met or have read up on. I think most here will agree that it's a really good reference site.


    The link to the full 'main' list link is up in the first paragraph and is called the - ICYouSee Handy Dandy Chicken Breed Chart

    [edit] I'm personally going to try some Buckeyes this spring, they seem like good solid birds. We'll see!!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  10. backintime

    backintime Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    Northern Wisconsin
    Of my 7 hens, my 2 buff orps, 1 barred rock, and 2 light brahmas are all "lap friendly" and have never once pecked my hand. I even dig the eggs out from under them in the nest boxes, and other than making some pretty funny little sounds, they have never ever pecked me. (well, ok, once when I was dumb enough to polish my fingernails RED) My last 2 hens are Black Stars, and while they never peck at me, they never jump up in my lap.

    I think a real important point is that you'll be picking up your eggs regularly. If they are allowed to accumulate, perhaps that is what "triggers" the hens to go broody. I pick my eggs up 2 or 3 times a day, and haven't had a hen go broody yet.

    Hope this helps!

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