How do you choose??

Aug 11, 2017
After years of research and planning, I finally got my chickens this spring :ya Wanting a diverse flock of bird colors and eggs, I started with 8 girls/7 breeds (2 EEs because egg color is a crap shoot). I'm already planning in my head what breeds I will add next year, but there are SO MANY to choose from and I want them ALL (almost) :idunno:oops:.

So tell me, wise chicken folk: how do you choose which breeds to get when you have a limit to how many you can keep?? Right now I have all pretty safe, standard breeds (RIR, BSL, OE, 2 EE, BPR, BO, WLH) but there are other LF breeds I would love (Marens, speckled sussex, cream legbar) and then all of the fun bantom and polish breeds!! :barnie

I'd be comfortable up to 20 birds I think but I was hoping to not get them all so quickly, as I know egg production wanes over time and I won't have the heart to eat anyone lol. Thoughts? Advice? Fun stories??
We started with chicks 4 1/2 years ago. This was a new experience for sure. We got 8 chicks, 5 of which were roos. We had 2 bantam cochins, 2 silkies and 4 easter Eggers. We found out very quickly that Easter egger roos were not nice what so ever. Only one Easter egger and the 2 cochins were female. We've learned over the 4 years of hatching and adding from other folks that personalities can vary extremely. Even if they say a breed is docile, you'll have ones that aren't. There's always a surprise whether it be a sickness, death, injury etc. Our chickens are pets and for eggs. So when we lose one its difficult. We've found that leg horns and apenzellars are flighty. Silkies and jersey giants as well as Brahmas are docile and approachable. Do some research on breeds because it can save you a lot of aggravation and heartache.

Folly's place

10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
It's fun to get birds of different breeds, and see who you like. Look at Henderson's chicken chart, and feathersite, at least, for more ideas.
Speckled Sussex! Also French Marans, Jersey Giants, maybe Australorps, and those Belgian d"Uccles are really nice. Salmon Favorelles, except some of your birds may be too tough on them.
So many choices! Over years, you probably will develop favorites, and that's how it's supposed to happen. We've tried many breed types, and disliked some that are popular, while loving some that have fewer fans.
Right now we have white Chanteclers, EEs, French Marans, Buckeyes, one Speckled Sussex, a brown Leghorn, and Belgian d'Uccles and bantam EEs. Love the bantam EEs from cackle!!!


Jul 1, 2017
Upper Midwest, USA
...Even if they say a breed is docile, you'll have ones that aren't. ...
This. And the docile/flighty will influence each other, at least in a small flock and at least in young chicks. I clearly saw this... many times with the leghorns riling up the australorps and many times with the australorps calming the leghorns. That is each riled or calmed compared to where she would be without the influence; not that she actually became flighty (or calm).

It comes back to goals. I want peace in the coop and avoiding problems rather fixing them. Mixing flighty/docile in a very small flock in a smallish space does not support that goal although I'm doing it because it does support other goals.... mostly, fostering my son's interest. He likes the leghorns and asked for them to stay.

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