hot weather breed advice

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by costner family, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. costner family

    costner family New Egg

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    Jul 31, 2010
    we live in south florida and want to start keeping chickens. we are expecting to keep half a dozen or less (maybe as few as 2 to start). i've been reading what i can about it, so that we'll get off to a good start. my question is whether anyone here has some good, personal advice about breeds that would work for us. here's some of the specifics of what we're looking at;
    1. we've got young kids, and some predators in the area (hawks mostly) so i'm thinking a larger breed might fare better.
    2. we're just going to have females (we live in a neighborhood), and we don't plan on eating them, so if they were fairly good egg layers, that would be nice.
    3. we're not going to breed them, so broodiness isn't something we're after.
    4. we would like to let them 'free range' in our back yard, which has a 6 foot fence. so, if they weren't flighty that would be nice.
    5. if they were a 'friendlier' breed, this would be better, since they will be pets.
    6. we're far enough south, that we virtually never get below freezing, but we're over 90 degrees for months out of the year, and we get a lot of rain. so, a breed that's hardier with heat and moisture would be best.

    any suggestions? thanks!
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DFW
    You're very smart to be considering this factor in your choice of breeds!

    I'm in North Texas and it's hitting 100 here today. I have Serama/Old English Game bantams, and they're managing ok in our heat, although I am taking steps to keep them as cool as possible (shade, fresh cold water several times a day, hosing down the ground under their tractor frequently, etc.). I also have an open sided coop/run for them to roost in at night. A closed coop hereabouts gets to be like an oven in weather like this.

    Seramas and Old English Game bantams are excellent birds as pets. They lay well, although the eggs are small (about 1/3 the size of a standard chicken egg). This works well for us since we have a small family and don't need that many eggs.

    Look for birds that are not fluffy feathered. We have two d'Uccles that have feathered feet and have fluffier feathers than our other bantams, and they pant much sooner than the other birds. They're inside in our indoor bird room right now, relaxing in air conditioning.
     
  3. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. costner family

    costner family New Egg

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    Jul 31, 2010
    Quote:good advice! i'd never heard of the serama before, but those are a nice looking breed! the open sided coop idea is something i'm going to think about as well.

    lorije1, thanks for that link. i'd run across a few of the breed selectors out there on the internet, but that's the best one so far.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010

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