1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Help Me Choose Which Breeds!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by TheYoungV, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. TheYoungV

    TheYoungV Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    34
    May 11, 2015
    We are going to be ordering 20 chicks from Cackle Hatchery soon, and we are trying to decide which breeds to go with. I've changed my mind so many times that my husband has now given me a deadline. I have until 12 noon tomorrow to decide....[​IMG]LOL.


    We will not be keeping all of them but only our favorites and plan to sell some later on. We have small children so they would need to be friendly breeds, as well as cold hardy.


    Would these breeds get along well together? Are there any others I should consider? The only ones we are definitely set on are some EE's and Golden Comets. We've also considered Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons and Silver Laced Wyandottes but I'm worried that having too many larger sized chickens might result in the smaller ones being bullied, primarily the Salmon Faverolles. We would like to stay at 20 chicks. Cackle has a minimum order of 3 per breed, otherwise we would order just 1 or 2 of each breed.

    So far we have:

    4 Female Salmon Faverolles (will keep 2)
    1 Male Salmon Faverolles (will keep)
    8 Female Easter Eggers (will keep 4 or 5)
    3 Female Golden Laced Wyandottes (will keep 1)
    4 Female Golden Comets (will keep 1 or 2)


    We free range our chickens and our dogs watch over them during the day. To date we have not had any losses, but there are predators around. Right now we only have 3 hens, so we obviously need to expand our flock. We have two roosters that are much too rough on our hens, so we have separated them and are trying to rehome them. [​IMG] However, we do need a rooster and I have read that Salmon Faverolle Roosters are friendly and good to their hens.

    Would appreciate any guidance and input to help with our decision. Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,127
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    Those breeds are all cold hardy and they will all get along fine as long as they are not overcrowded. Overcrowding can quickly lead to aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, and even cannibalism with any breed. However there will be the normal pecking order and the Salmon Faverolles due to their gentle nature will likely end up at the bottom of the pecking order. Of course there can always be an exception with any breed. Where children are concerned, I would recommend going with breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) such as Faverolles, Australorps, Orpingtons, Sussex, Cochins, and Brahmas. If egg egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list (5-6 eggs per week per hen) and Cochins are the poorest (2-3 eggs per hen per week). The other breeds on this list will all typically lay 3-4 eggs per hen per week. As far as gentle roosters go, Salmon Faverolles should be an excellent choice, however keep in mind that the recommended ration of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens. With any breed, too many roosters will become very hard physically on the hens, over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, and potentially seriously injuring them. With a Faverolles rooster you could probably safely drop that ratio down to 7-8 hens per rooster.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    3,969
    311
    228
    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    The barred Rock is supposed to be a excellent laying hen, cold hardy, friendly, and considered docile. They are beautiful birds.They give large brown eggs. I ordered 5 female barred Rocks this year. They are a big Bird and can also be used for meat. I'm NOT using mine for meat only eggs .You might consider some of these too. :)
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    3,196
    552
    258
    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    I have 2 kids, and I live where its frigidly cold in winter :p

    Barred Rocks are my preference for dual purpose. They are the only chickens, besides one EE, that continued to lay all through winter. They are big beautiful friendly birds, very interesting personalities, maybe a little bossy, but great breed.

    Black Australorps are my favorite for personality, and they are also a great layer and meat bird; I just added Australorps last fall, so I can't tell you how well they lay for winter, sorry :( But, they are beautiful, friendly birds.

    Silkies, useless, lol but the kids cart them everywhere like little puppies ha-ha ;)

    Cochin, for a broody.. VERY friendly but not the best layers. I have a bantam and a standard, and the bantam is by far our favorite hen. "Mamma" hen ha-ha, she's awesome, super friendly and great in the cold. Little mama laid all winter too, albeit tiny eggs. Those ones are for my 6 year old, she loves the tiny eggs for breakfast :D

    You already have my two faves, well, kind of. I have Red Stars instead of comets, but still great layers and sweet disposition. Not as good a layer as the BR through winter, but during summer faithfully lays every day. And EEs, good layers, great cold tolerance and unique with the beards ;)

    I also have a bunch of free ranging breeds, but they are not friendly whatsoever :p Anconas, Hamburgs, Buttercups, all pretty skittish and not really good with the cold.

    Completely forgot about my Wyandottes. They're getting culled, mostly because I keep forgetting about them lol; they have not impressed me one bit, other than being pretty. I think I got a dud batch lol; mine are super skittish, don't lay well at all, and just don't impress me... Well, except for being a good meat bird, which is why I'm culling them. Just not up to my standards lol :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  5. TheYoungV

    TheYoungV Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    34
    May 11, 2015
    Thank you all so much for your valuable input! I've added the Barred Rock and Speckled Sussex to my list. [​IMG] We only use our chickens for eggs, too. I'm still not done debating, though... Decisions, decisions.... So much for that deadline. Still open to ideas.

    My updated list:

    Salmon Faverolle
    Barred Rock
    Golden Comet
    Easter Egger
    Speckled Sussex
    Buff Orpington
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,127
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    That's a very nice mix of breeds. They are all docile breeds. The Salmon Faverolles, Speckled Sussex, and Buff Orpingtons in particular make great lap pets, and the Golden Comet (one of a number of labels under which some hatcheries market their Red Sex Links) are egg laying machines that will churn out more than 300 large brown eggs per hen per year. I think you'll be very happy with that mix.
     
  7. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    675
    93
    118
    Dec 14, 2015
    Austrolorps have good temperaments, and mine lay 5-6 eggs a week!!!!
     
  8. austrolover1

    austrolover1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    675
    93
    118
    Dec 14, 2015
    (from each hen)
     
  9. TheYoungV

    TheYoungV Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    34
    May 11, 2015
    Thank you!! I am looking forward to receiving my chicks and reporting back! :)
     
  10. TheYoungV

    TheYoungV Out Of The Brooder

    45
    0
    34
    May 11, 2015
    I wanted to add Australorps to my list but my husband objected. He wants colors that we don't yet have in our flock, and we already have a hen that greatly resembles an Australorp. Maybe next year! :) Thanks for the input!
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2016

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by