Help me pick my Chickens (with a coop layout!)

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by 1lpoock, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    In December I would like to acquire some various chicken hatching eggs and incubate them. They should hatch right about the beginning of January and be ready to lay in June.I am looking for some good qaulity birds because I plan to keep trios or quads and put them in breeding pens so I can sell pure eggs. Here is a rough layout of the barn, its already constructed, its just bare inside.(only has a concrete foundation)

    I'm thinking that each pen labeled 1-8 will have a run outside that is 4' by???(What does everyone think)

    The pens labeled 1-5 will most likely be ducks seeing that I have two trios(khaki campbell, cayuga) already and I plan on getting maybe three more breeds in January. The pens 1-5 will also be cut in half vertically if you know what i mean. I am doing this because ducks dont need to roost, they lay on the ground while they sleep and that way I have 3 or 4 feet above the duck pens to put something ...i.e. storage or birds, would quail work?

    Okay now down to the main question...
    WHat are the top 5 breeds that are most desired in todays chicken market....if I go through all this money building this, I am going to want some breeds that people are looking theres my question, what breeds of chickens(or other bird) should I get?
  2. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    I like your plans- good thinking with the ducks.
    The most "wanted" breeds right now- from what I've seen here- are Black Copper Marans and any Sussex except speckled.

    Oh- and since you're in Ohio- drive over to PA and get some Lavender Orps from Hinkjc when she's selling. You'll be in business.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  3. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 25, 2008
    Northern KY
    I've said it before, I'll say it again. My favorite large fowl breed is the Buckeye, (and they also come in bantam.) I like Buckeyes so much that I created a Yahoo Group for those who wish to learn more about them, or just talk about them. See it here:

    I also recently started a fully fledged breed club for them, the American Buckeye Poultry Club:

    They are a nice dual purpose bird. They lay a good amount of medium sized brown eggs. They forage very well (even hunt mice!), get along with each other and humans (not flighty, almost too friendly, underfoot a lot!), and the extra males, with their wide breasts, dress out nicely. And since you're from Ohio, all the more reason to look at them for your plan!

    They are the only breed of American chicken created by a woman (yay!), and the only American breed with a pea comb, which means no frostbite in winter (unless you live in Saskatoon or someplace like that.) They tolerate heat and cold well, some will go broody (if you prefer them to raise their own babies) but are not excessively so, and are just an all around perfect farm chicken, IMO.

    I have some pics of Buckeyes on my website:

    And you can see a great website devoted to the breed by a member of the ABPC here:

    Let me know if I can answer any more questions about them.


    And hey, love your barn plan! Looks like it should work fine, IMO.
  4. jeanniejayne

    jeanniejayne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2008
    Since there is a craze now for dark egg layers, I will say Welsummers. I also HAVE Welsummers! And I love them. Eggs are lovely -- varying from solid dark brown to lighter brown with speckles. Hens are partidge-colored and beautiful, and they are a friendly and curious breed that forages well and is known to tolerate cold. A perfect backyard chicken (which it was bred for), in my opinion. Mine came from Will Morrow at Whitmore Farm, in Maryland, who has been breeding for egg production. Of the five breeds Will raises, these are his favorite. [​IMG]

    My husband, who was cool toward the idea of chickens (but who loves me and was therefore supportive), has become a chicken whisperer. The other day I found Cliff sitting in a chair in the back yard with all five hens arrayed around him: one on each arm, one on either side of the chair back, and one on his knee, sharing an ice cream cone. [​IMG]

    When I selected my chicks, Will said he was raising Delawares as a meat breed that also ranges. And recently I saw an ad for "Colored Rangers" in Back Yard Poultry magazine that looked very interesting, also a meat breed that ranges. The web site was great and had many favorable comments from customers. I have a feeling these types of birds will be gaining in popularity.

    Good luck! Your layout looks fabulous -- you must have put in many many hours of planning. [​IMG]

    Let us know what your final choices are!
  5. Chickndaddy

    Chickndaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2007
    East Texas
    There are lots of "hype" breeds that fade in and out of popularity. If you obtain quality birds, no matter what the breed, when you have a reputation for selling quality birds people will come to you to buy them.

    Popular breeds right now seem to be Marans (Black Copper in general, although there are several other colors), Orpingtons (basically any color other than Buff - Lavender, Blue, Black, Splash, and White; however if you could obtain Golden or Silver-laced or any other color they would be wildly popular as well), and anything else desirable but hard to obtain (ie. Sussex - Coronation, Light, etc - Barnevelders - that lay a dark egg, Any other dark egg layer to an extent although I think the Penedesencas popularity as well as the Welsummers, and Barnevelders have taken a hit from the Black Copper Marans. )

    Other popular birds would include birds that are a non-Standard color; ie. Mille Fleur and Lemon Blue (in Cochin) White (in Sumatra) etc .

    Smaller popular breeds include Silkies, Seramas, and a few others. Generally most Bantams sell well if they are higher quality.

    Cochins and Old English Game (bantam only) are also quite popular, in addition to true-type Ameraucana (Just look at Pips and Peeps).

    You could also keep heritage breeds like Javas (Black, White, Mottled, and Auburn), Delawares, Dominiques, etc or any other line of show quality birds and they would do quite well.

    Or you could do a little of everything.

    In a barn like that you might be able to keep doves, pigeons, or finches as well.

    In the duck pens do you mean you will be splitting the pens horizontally like this " _ " or vertically like this " l "? I think you meant to say horizontally. You could keep doves, pigeons, finches, quail, etc above them as well Just be sure you design those second story pens to facilitate cleaning and still leave yourself room to clean the duck pens too.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Consider adding a "loft" to each pen; 1.2-2 ft wide, running the width of the pen. This will give the birds some additional coop room. Of course you need a ramp/ladder for them to reach the loft.
  7. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    what exactly do you mean by a loft...any pictures...and thanks for all the suggestions chickndaddy...yes i mean there will be a pen for ducks and above will be for something else, can quail go in there or do they need a run...also don't doves get really messy and need ventilation, maybe i will need more windows.
  8. Chickndaddy

    Chickndaddy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2007
    East Texas
    Your doves or pigeons could actually be in the chicken pens I imagine. Especially if the chickens you were raising were bantams. That would just increase the number of birds and breeds you could offer. I don't think doves are really more messy than any other bird. No quail do not need to be on the ground although they really appreciate dust baths.
  9. 1lpoock

    1lpoock Spruce Creek Waterfowl

    Apr 20, 2009
    Sandusky, Ohio
    I just measured the barn and turns out I was wrong about the dimensions, thats a good thing...looks like I can add two more pens on each side...and I'm thinking that the two farthest pens on the right side of the building will be for housing wild ducks and their pop door will lead out into an aviary with the other wild ducks since they mate in pairs and wont cross breed.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by