Hooked on hatching! Your favorite SWEET, QUIET brown layers?


In the Brooder
8 Years
May 23, 2011
I just hatched my first eggs and I'm hooked already! Just an awesome experience! My sister gave me 17 eggs, 14 of which ended up being fertilized. 8 of them hatched and the other 6 are on day 23 and probably not going to make it. (Though I know there were chicks forming in there and are pretty far along if not fully developed.) I borrowed the incubator from a friend and it's a still air, which I'm not crazy about. So I'm going to invest in an incubator with a fan from incubatorwarehouse.com today so that I can give my friend her's back and continue to incubate as I wish. The eggs my sis gave me are full black copper Marans eggs and Black copper/Pekin Marans mixed. Now- these chicks are cute but I'd like to hatch some that aren't mutts too. Lol! I'm actually pretty sure there are some Wheaten Marans in them too but that's another topic. I have 16 chicks total. 8 that I hatched and 3 additional french black copper marans plus 5 buff orpingtons that I bought as chicks yesterday. I'm hoping to have enough hens out of the bunch to get a dozen eggs per day by the fall. (We eat that many or more around here. There are 7 of us!) And I'm thinking about butchering the roosters but I'm not set on that since I am not sure I can do it myself and I don't know what the options are for a local butcher around here. Aaaanyway...

What are your favorite brown egg layers that are also friendly and quiet? My family always had RIR and White Leghorns and they weren't exactly friendly. I remember the RIR's being pretty but bossy. I have 5 young children (17 months through 10 years) and I'd like them to be able to interact with the chickens, gather eggs and help clean up after them. The quieter chickens are preferred too since I have neighbors but they won't complain if the stink and noise are kept to a minimum. So I was going for Buff Orpingtons and Black Copper Marans but I'm considering other Marans (Cuckoo and Pekin) because I like how they look and maybe a few more Buff Orps in the future but I wanted to see what the experts around here prefer for egg layers. And what are your opinions on the various Marans? Are they ALL gentle and quiet like the black coppers?

Thanks in advance!
I have two Buff Orps, one looks like she'll be my boss hen even though she's relatively easy going, it's just that no one ever tries to boss HER. Both are pretty quiet so far. Toffee is quiet when I hold her, but Butterscotch gives me an earful if I pick her up. Both are easy to hold, it's just that Butter tells me off if I do and then gives me the stink eye after I set her back down. They both have been good with my little ones, mine are four and two. Neither has ever pecked at them or scratched them and they'll both go to the kids to get a snack and eat from their hands.

My CA White (which is a leghorn cross I believe) and my Delawares on the other hand have tried to peck the kids and I have to really watch them when they're around them.

My Cochin is best buds with with my two year old, but I don't think they're recommended for a reliable egg layer. They hang out in the yard together. She follows him like a puppy it's kinda funny.

After what I've seen from my neighbors chickens and reading other people's experiences from BYC, I think the next time I get chicks I will pick up some Brahmas, and they'll hopefully be good with the kids.

Definately I'm a lifelong fan of the Buff Orpington though.
I got 3 RIR's three years ago (already!) and 6 Isa Browns last year. They're all good natured, friendly, and the only noise they make is the daily egg song plus the few quiet little chicken noises as they go about their business. And, maybe a quick little happy noise when I bring treats.

Now, if I got more egg layers, I'd get more of the Isa Browns, the eggs are really big.
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Thanks everyone! I'm leaning towards hatching more Buff Orps. One of my friend has 17 of them and they are very docile and friendly. I love the Black Copper Marans chicks I have too though. I'm afraid to have too many different kinds of chickens. Not sure about all of their various temperaments. But I love the Barred Rock look. How are they temperament-wise?

One of our 3 day old Black Copper Marans chicks.


Our Buff Orpington chicks (9 days old)

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northzoo, I was wondering how all your black copper maran crosses turned out. I did a BCM with a variety of breeds of hens. I have one that looks like a very light BCM chick and the other two look bronze/orange and one of those has brown strips down the back. What do your chickens look like now that they are grown?

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