Help me pick my breeds!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by AllisonWndrlnd1, Sep 3, 2014.

  1. AllisonWndrlnd1

    AllisonWndrlnd1 Out Of The Brooder

    27
    2
    36
    Aug 16, 2014
    Richfield Mn
    I'm sadly only aloud 3 chickens in my city so I'm trying to decide between these 4 breeds which will be the best for my situation. I want good layers that also will be great pets! I have a young son so they MUST be family friendly. Also I don't want them going broody all the time since I wont be breeding them. General health and being OK with being in the run most of the day are factors.
    I'm thinking Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Golden Comet, or Easter Egger. Out of these 4 which 3 would you pick or do you have another suggestion.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,232
    5,718
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    I would choose:
    Red Sex Link (Golden Comet)
    Easter Egger
    Buff Orpington
     
  3. AllisonWndrlnd1

    AllisonWndrlnd1 Out Of The Brooder

    27
    2
    36
    Aug 16, 2014
    Richfield Mn
    Thanks for the impute! Do you have a reason why those three or do you not like the rock as much?
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,232
    5,718
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Of the breeds listed the EE and the RSL are the least likely to go broody (generally speaking) - and the BO is the most family/people friendly. The EE also brings the "pretty" egg factor to the table. Because you are limited on the number of birds, having a RSL in the mix is good from a production standpoint.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014
  5. AllisonWndrlnd1

    AllisonWndrlnd1 Out Of The Brooder

    27
    2
    36
    Aug 16, 2014
    Richfield Mn
    Thanks so much!
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,165
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    The best one on your list for a young son is the Buff Orpington. They are hardy, stand confinement very well, and (for your son's sake) they are very friendly and gentle birds. I've raised all of those breeds over the years (still have Orpingtons and EEs) and my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets out of the Orpingtons (the EEs are docile enough, but just don't take handling as well). Another breed that you should consider are Black Australorps. They are extremely hardy, calm and gentle (everything I just said about Orpington temperament is also true of Australorps, which is not surprising since they were originally bred from Orpington stock), and they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I have still had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. Whatever breeds you decide to get, good luck with your flock, and your son. :eek:)
     
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    14,428
    4,774
    456
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    I have 3 BO and 3 BR…they have made wonderful pets. But even among the breed, each has their own unique personality. Here's my flock for example:

    BO's :
    LILLIE - my favorite and loves me for me, not just treats. She helps me clean the coop and run. Is very attentive to what I want. Easy to handle. Has never had a broody day and lays large to xl eggs.

    BIG BUFF - Very food oriented, loves me too but most if treats involved. Interested in what I am doing, but doesn't help with chores. If you sit, she sits in your lap. Easy to handle. Goes broody SOOOOOOO often & when she does, will sit up to 2 months. Egg hunts when broody are easy, she just looks at me as I search below. But when she lays, eggs are extra large only!

    PENNY the PINCHER - an example of Neurosis. She got her name 'cause she pinches a little when she eats from my hand. She is totally treat oriented. Jumps and begs to get her way. Although the bottom of the pecking order, pushes up front for treats. But most of the time is the shy, stand-offish one. Not easy to handle. Is not afraid of me, but always a little skittish. Doesn't tolerate even minor changes in her world - when upset sings the egg song, and others chime in…really funny to witness - 6 hens singing together - Goes broody but most are for only 1-2 days. Twice in past year did sit for nearly a month - egg searches at first were difficult, pecked me. Learned to rub her wattles first, and then no problem with searches for eggs. Good layer heavy large to xl eggs.

    BR's: all 3 have sweet personalities. Never broody. Lay eggs regularly:
    DOTTIE: she's queen of the coop, the top hen. But sweet, never mean to others. Don't know how she does it, but her presence alone gets respect. Picky about treats, loves dried mealy worms and a filled treat ball to kick around. Was first of the flock to lay, and was a floor layer for 7 or so months and then started using nests. Easy to handle. Eggs usually med to large.
    TWEEDIE: Very sweet chicken, easy to handle. Was somewhat of a problem to her pals when all first started laying…she was the self-appointed KEEPER OF THE NESTS! She fussed, and fussed and fussed if someone was in her favorite nest. Now at 19 mo old she is more tolerant of all. Lays med to large eggs.
    ROAD RUNNER: always moving, smallest hen in flock. Has funny curved outside toes that showed up after she was a few weeks old. I think she is only second from the bottom of the pecking order. Easy to handle. Also a very good natured chicken. Lays regularly, once laid after all had gone to roost for the nite & had to rescue her with a flashlight to allow her to get on the roost. Loves watermelon and cantaloupe, really likes to get her feet into the treats. Eggs are small to medium.


    [​IMG] OK, enough rambling thru my flock, back to your question: I think both BO and BR would be great with children, not aggressive, friendly and fun. Don't have personal experience with others but I know a lot of people with the Easter Eggers - they can be a mixed breed which would be unpredictable. I don't know if Amerucana's are friendly or not. I think how you handle them when they are young will make a difference. I think you also need to consider your climate. My flock had no problems last year with lowest day 5 degrees F low and 18 degrees F. They have shown some heat issues when temps are high 90'-100 F, resolved with shade, cool water, and fan. It is easy to find info on cold tolerance but not on heat tolerance.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by