Help please....I'm new to chickens and have questions!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mjlabs, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. mjlabs

    mjlabs Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2011
    West Central Illinois
    I have some questions (maybe alot) about chickens. First off, we live farm with other farm animals so we know the basics of animal care so its not like we are completly in the dark. We are however new to chickens and plan on building a coop in the spring. Not into any fancy breeds, just the basic heavy-standard breeds, mainly for egg production. A few we have in mind are the R. I. Reds, Production Reds, Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, etc. We are thinking of around 15-20 hens.

    1. First question I have is, what is the main differences from the production red to the rhode island red as far as temperment, egg production and all around care? I know they are alittle different in color but i'm not interesed in any of that info.

    2. For 15-20 hens should I only have one rooster or two? What are the advantages or disadvantages having one or two?

    3. I have read that some red roosters can be abit aggressive then heard they are not at all. What breed of rooster do you recommend for a flock that has usually has a good personality. Main reason I ask is because a have two little girls who LOVE chickens and dont want to be scared of them.



    Thats all the questions I can think of right now, Thanks in advance for your answers.
     
  2. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Might I suggest faverolles then? Very sweet tempered girls. Weather hardy. Wyandottes are very nice too. My limited experience says start with chicks. Handle them A LOT. That way, no matter the breed, you will have child friendly birds. As for the roo, 1 will work for 15. 2 will work for 20, but you might need separate housing for each. Don't quote me on that. I have my two boys in separate coops at night. They occasionally scuffle during the day, but the lower roo runs like heck to hide. I have a faverolle roo. He's going on 2 and he has never threatened my kids.
    not only that, I understand that favs are dual purpose birds.

    not sure on the differences if the reds tho... Other than they are both great in production.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The following is just my experience, and I have no experience with RIRs- I have only had the Golden Sexlinks (a cross). Take it as you will- but I mean to give this listing of my experiences as hopefully helpful to you...and I hope you don't mind if I ramble a bit.

    We have had quite a few roos, and I have two kids. It really depends on the genetics of the rooster (breeders really try sometimes to cull for meanness). Breed matters, too, of course.

    But just an example- you can have a nice roo that turns mean on you after a year and a half. So roosters are not kid-safe- they have a mind of their own.

    What I mean is, you cannot trust them. Now there are plenty of very nice roos out there that are great with kids. We have had a few roos that were extremely nice. But I would never have the kids talk to them or cuddle them.

    So don't let down your guard when the children are concerned IMO. I would call hens pets, and I would call roosters pets that might turn on you any day. A few years ago one drew blood on my youngest child and tried to kill me. We put him down because we were scared to go in the pen.

    What I have discovered is that the Nankin bantam roosters and the d'Uccle bantam roosters were the sweetest. Unfortunately they are bantams and mate with difficulty with the large fowl. I never did keep our Buff Orpington roosters long but we had one very gentlemanly one and one that pecked me/sneaked up on me. I have been berated by my family for ever selling the nice BO roo. His name was "Red Beak" and he was super nice.

    Enjoy your chicken-keeping!
     
  4. Jakenhoss

    Jakenhoss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG] from Punkin Center, AZ You are going to love this forum.

    1. First question I have is, what is the main differences from the production red to the rhode island red as far as temperment, egg production and all around care? I know they are alittle different in color but i'm not interesed in any of that info.

    I had a RIR hen that was very productive (she sometimes gave me 2 eggs a day) but she was pretty aggressive towards the other chickens. She was the queen hen of the flock. I could however pick her up when I wanted to with no problems.

    2. For 15-20 hens should I only have one rooster or two? What are the advantages or disadvantages having one or two?

    They say it is normal for one to have 1 roo per 6-8 hens. I have 2 roos per 8 hens with no problems at all. I did have 4 roos to 10 hens and there weren't any problems at first. Even when the silkie and cochin roos attacked my other cochin bantam roo it was not because of the hens. I had to get rid of those two because they almost killed my bantam. He has a bad foot and the other roos saw this and took advantage of the weak. Chickens can be very mean in that aspect. They are however carnivores.


    3. I have read that some red roosters can be a bit aggressive then heard they are not at all. What breed of rooster do you recommend for a flock that has usually has a good personality. Main reason I ask is because a have two little girls who LOVE chickens and dont want to be scared of them.

    I have leg horn bantam, cochin, and buff orpington roosters. They are all pretty docile. I would say the cochin is the most docile. Just keep an eye on your girls and the roo to make sure they bond. I would not let the little girls in with the chickens by themselves for awhile. I have my buff in a pen with two cochin hens. They are only 7 months old and have not adjusted to the rest of the flock as of yet, but then again I am not in any hurry to put them all together yet. My buff orpington is so gentle he waits for me every morning and evening to pick him up and give him some attention. That's the first thing he does in the morning and the last thing he does at night.


    If you have a lot of questions I would go to "MANAGING YOUR FLOCK" and ask your questions. You will be surprised to the replies you get. Everyone that post in this BYC forum is very nice and they try to be as helpful as possible. There are quite a bit of "experts" and you will soon find out who is the most informative. DAWG53 is one of those people.

    I hope I have been of some help to you. I am just answering you from my own experience.

    Good Luck to you.
     
  5. bloom chicks

    bloom chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 6, 2011
    FL
    I am new to this as well but I can give you my experience. I have 14 hens and 2 rooster. My broody just hatched out 10 eggs out of 12 hopefully the other 2 will hatch tomorrow.

    I keep all my chickens together. They free range so I don't really have any problem with the space. I personally would keep 2 roosters because if for some reason I lost one I have a back up. For instance yesterday my alpha was attacked by a hawk ( he is ok ) but while he was fighting the hawk the other rooster took the girls to a safe place. My alpha rooster is a BO and the 2nd one is a Barred Rock. The girl: 2 RIR, 2 Red Rocks (my best layers) BO girls and BR girls and an EE. I have noticed that a few of the hens prefer my Barred rock rooster over my alpha but over all they get along very well. We will see how they do with the new babies...... They are in the coop in a large dog crate with mama now... This is my 1st broody hen

    I have a 4 year old that loves the chickens too!

    I hope that I helped a little. [​IMG]
     
  6. nssngurl

    nssngurl New Egg

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    I am new to this site, but I do own two of the breeds you are interested in. I have a Buff hen, she loves my husband and is nice to everyone else. She is very broody and doesn't like for you to take her eggs, but she only scolds you verbally. Kind of funny. I also have a RI red rooster. He is my buddy. Won't let my husband touch him but wants me to pick him up and carry him around. Another sweet chicken is the Dominque, we call the domminecker here in the south. We have several hens and roosters and they are pretty good natured. The roosters will show out with you occasionally but the hens are sweet. I think alot of it deals to how you raise them. We got our chicks young and kept them in a plastic container with shavings in the bedroom since it was so cold outside and they became like pets. I will always get chicks from now on cause they seem to bond with you alot better since they depend on you to take care of them. They do get a little independent after they grow up, but so do teenagers!! LOL. Good luck!
     
  7. BamaSilkies

    BamaSilkies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Heritage RIRs are great I have a large roo and he is very docile even with the OEG bantam roo I have in with him. I prefer the RIR over the reds for one reason RIR's will last longer than the Production Reds. Reds are egg machines but burn out quick. I dont have any experience with the other breeds you posted. If your looking for longevity the RIR's are the way to go but if you just want the egg machine you probably have to continually replace the Prod Reds every 2 yrs or so. I know that a lot of people prefer the reds for laying ability that sell the eggs. So I suggest you decide what you want the chickens for and then search for a breed that meets your requirements. Eggs, meat, show etc.....
     
  8. mjlabs

    mjlabs Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 30, 2011
    West Central Illinois
    Thank you everyone for replying to my questions, that was alot of great info! I'll take all the chicken info I can get! I cant wait until spring..........

    Everyone have a Happy New Year 2012!
     
  9. chickenarmy

    chickenarmy Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 19, 2011
    [​IMG] Barred Rocks are awesome layers and are pretty friendly[weather hardy too]
    If you plan on breeding get different kinds of chickens, because crosses make a stronger bird.
    About roosters, if you want two [which is good for breeding] get roosters that have grown up together or that are used to each other to avoid them fighting.

    Good Luck with your chickens!
     
  10. polishchickens111

    polishchickens111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Over there
    [​IMG]
    I love Barred Rocks, they are so friendly, and if you want some sweet birds that add color to the egg basket try Easter Eggers. Friendliest birds! BO are also great. 2 roosters sounds fine, I don't have one though so I can't give you advice there.
    I do have a hatchery New Hampshire Red, and she is I guess what you could call friendly, it is more like in-your-face. I have friends with downright MEAN RIR, though, so I would not reccomend them. A notoriously friendly breed of rooster is the Silkie, but Silkies are unusual, so all your chicks might have Silkie traits. ("Hairy" feathers)

    Good luck! Chickens are so much fun!
     

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