Hey Chicken Lovers - I'm new here and new to keeping chickens


5 Years
Sep 19, 2014
Hey guys

I'm new to this whole thing. Learning as I go but enjoying it. I've wanted to keep chickens for a long time.

We purchased a small a coop from eBay so get us started and 4 brown hens shortly after. My father calls them Rhode Island Reds (Is this correct?)

The coop is basic and small but maybe we'll change it if we get a good deal on a classified ad in the future. Actually the day after we purchased this coop from ebay I found the perfect deal on Gumtree for decent sized coop and 10 hens for half the price we'd already spent lol oh well

In the next few weeks I plan to extend then run to at least double the size of it.

I'd like to get some really friendly hens that like being handled and petted, can anyone recommend and breads that fit those requirements and are available in Ireland?

Pictures and video of my set-up so far



drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
The rule of thumb is 4 sg.feet per bird in the coop and 10 sg.feet per bird in the outdoor run. I'm sorry I never assimilated the metric system. Do you have any major predators to be concerned with in Ireland.? I think Cochins would be a good breed for you. I think in the Uk they are called Pekings. I could be wrong. Welcome to the flock, glad you joined us.


In the Brooder
5 Years
May 18, 2014
Northern Minnesota
Welcome to BYC! I'm not sure what's available in Ireland, but my ISA browns are my sweetest! I've also heard that buff orpingtons are quite nice and good with kids!


5 Years
Aug 31, 2014
Hey and welcome I have just got chickens in this last few weeks I got Sussex a lovely friendly bird was petting them and eating out of my hand in matter of days I am in ni

Chicken Hound

In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 8, 2014
McDowell County NC
Welcome I to am still learning as this is my second year keeping chickens. Some things I have learned are the more space you give them the happier they seem to be. Tho some breeds tend to be nicer then others, the more time you spend around them the more friendly they are. I will hold some scratch grain in my hand and have them come eat out of my hand before I toss it out for them, this gets them to understand I am not to be feared. I let mine out for yard time even an hour or so a day they really enjoy the chance to explore, the never go far and readily go back "home". Bored chickens are destructive and not friendly chickens. Hope this helps and good luck.


Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Cute coop! Can't tell the actual size, but if you have much in the way of winter there and the birds are going to have to be inside, it looks like it will be too crowded for four standard size birds as drumstick diva mentioned. There is a good article in the Learning Center on figuring out how much space you need for the birds you want https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need The girls in the picture look like some sort of Red Sex Link, sold under various names depending on the hatchery ie ISA Browns, Shaver, Red Star etc they are a wonderful egg layer.

As for breeds, Here are a couple of links to some nice chicken breed comparison charts you might like http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html and http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf when you have narrowed down your choices, don't forget to check the BYC Reviews section for member reviews on the different breeds.
Depending what you want chickens for, mostly for pets or mostly for eggs, for pets, Silkies and Cochins (Pekins over there I think) are probably the two most popular breeds as pets for children, they are not very good egg layers but are very friendly. Orpingtons (lots of people really like these, great pets though broody), Australorps, Plymouth Rocks, Sussex and Wyandottes are some other popular breeds that are usually pretty easy to get along with, they all lay different shades of brown eggs. If you like colorful eggs, the Easter Egger, often sold as Ameraucana by hatcheries, are a fun breed because they usually lay green/blue eggs, and they tend to be very nice birds, and then there are the Welsummer and Marans for those dark brown eggs... So far as more layer breeds go, for egg numbers alone, the Red Sex Links like what you have for brown eggs and the commercial White Leghorns for white eggs are probably the most popular layers around..... have fun deciding!

Michael OShay

5 Years
May 14, 2014
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Your hens are no actually true Rhode Island Reds. Those with white tail feathers in them are Red Sex Links and those with no white feathers in the tail are Production Reds. Both are hybrids and excellent layers. The RSLs are egg laying machines. As far as calm and gentle breeds for handling, probably the best of these (in no particular order) are Australorps, Orpingtons, Silkies (which are bantams), Cochins, Brahmas, Sussex, and Faverolles. Australorps are the best layers on this list. X2 on drumstick diva's advice regarding coop and run size. With any breeds, overcrowding can quickly lead to aggression, fights, feather plucking, and even cannibalism. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.

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