How on earth will I decide on chicks???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EricaD, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. EricaD

    EricaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2012
    I everyone!

    I'm new here and new to keeping chickens. I've always wanted them and finally, after 3 years settling into our new house (on 5 acres, though mostly wooded, I'm in Washington) we're ready to start planning for chickens!

    Because we're taking a long trip in July, the plan is to get the coop set up between now and then, and have chicks delivered in early August.

    Chicken math has already gotten me, and I haven't even begun yet! I initially just wanted 3-5 chickens, but now I've decided to build big enough to accommodate 8-10 chickens and maybe a couple of ducks :)

    I'm on the fence about a coop plan - will post a separate thread for that. But now I'm deciding what chicks to order from MyPetChicken. It's impossible to choose!

    I definitely want friendly sociable chickens with good dispositions (generally speaking, I do realize that each bird is unique). I have a 7 year old and she's just as involved in the project as I am! My other high priority is a super colorful and diverse range of eggs because they make such a lovely presentation and I anticipate that we'll be giving away lots and lots of eggs, so I want them to look pretty. We'll be keeping chickens primarily for eggs, and secondarily as pets. Not as food.

    So I've narrowed it down, I think, to the following breeds, but it's still too many! Please help me pare down the list (I was thinking one each of several breeds, then maybe one EE rooster?):

    White Eggs:
    White Leghorn
    Mille Fleur D'Uccle

    Brown Eggs:
    Australorp
    Barred Plymouth Rock
    Silver Cuckoo Marans
    Black Copper Marans (if I can get my hands on one)
    Buff Orpington
    Buff Brahma
    Salmon Faverolles (if I can get my hands on one)

    Blue/Green Eggs:
    Easter Egger x 2
    EE roo

    Regardless of Eggs (just for fun):
    Black Silkie
    White Silkie
    Buff Silkie

    So, which of the above should I cut? I'd love some advice! I definitely need to cut out some browns. I would love one each of a light, medium (or speckled) and dark brown layer. And what about the silkies? I'm not sure what color eggs to expect from them - will they be white?

    Also, I do want one roo and hope to hatch some new babies each year. For the experience, to give away/sell locally and to replenish my flock. I have no objection to eating fertilized eggs. What would be the best roo? I was thinking that with an EE roo, I can hatch more EE chicks, which would be cool, but I have no knowledge about breeding and need to learn more about it.

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    You sound like you're in the same boat I'm in! I think I'll stick to this thread! [​IMG] So far I've asked about the same type of question. And I've been recommended the Buff Orpington as well as Black Copper Morans (From someone who owns them in my area). Both are great to raise with kids I hear. I will be starting this hobby come the end of June when I move with our children into a house out in farm country in Syracuse, NY. Right now we are in between moves (I'm living in Albany while my husband is in Syracuse) and it's killing me that I can't get into this sooner ever since I joined this forum. We are starting small and so I would like to start with some orpingtons for the eggs and some silkies just because I think they're super cute!
     
  3. chicklover16

    chicklover16 queen of flirts

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    Em's Dungeon
    ok, out of the list that you had here are the ones with the best overall egg production


    White Eggs:
    White Leghorn,


    Brown Eggs:
    Australorp
    Buff Orpington

    Blue/Green Eggs:
    Easter Egger

    Regardless of Eggs (just for fun):
    Black Silkie
    White Silkie
    Buff Silkie any of these would be good
     
  4. TonysChickens

    TonysChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would separate your brown eggs into two sections, regular brown eggs and dark brown eggs. Marans and Welsummers have dark brown eggs, so you might want one of those, and a regular brown egger, like an australorp which I hear is a great producer.
     
  5. nuts4hotwheels

    nuts4hotwheels Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Get a variety of chickens. I did and I love the mix that I have.
     
  6. lorijohnson823

    lorijohnson823 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2012
    Calhoun, KY
    I just started my little chicken family a couple of weeks ago. I have 9 Silkies all together. But as of right now, they are very young and won't be laying for me til about Fall. I did go to a Silkie farm to pick them up, and it was amazing there. The eggs that I saw she had, were a light pink/ some light brown.
    Raising chickens is a complete new adventure for me, and I'm loving every minute of it. I hope that you do too! [​IMG]
     
  7. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I disagree with chicklover16, as buff orpingtons are definitely not a great producer of eggs if you take into account how often they go broody. Barred Rocks are fabulous layers. My barred rocks lay a really light brown to a medium brown egg.

    If you really want white eggs from a great layer, get the White Leghorn. If you want that chicken to be friendly and easy to handle, avoid them. They can be quite flighty, and have huge combs that can be damaged by frost bite during cold weather.
    White Eggs:
    White Leghorn
    Mille Fleur D'Uccle -
    Really sweet and friendly. The silkies will lay a creamy white egg (not pure white, but more of an 'eggshell white' - ironic isn't it? :p )

    Brown Eggs:
    Australorp -
    Don't have these, but they are great layers. Pretty too :)
    Barred Plymouth Rock - A must for any new chicken owner! They are friendly, cold hardy, beautiful, great layers, good dual purpose birds
    Silver Cuckoo Marans
    Black Copper Marans (if I can get my hands on one)

    Buff Orpington -Friendly if handled early - mine does not like to be held. She is a decent layer, but she also eats a lot more than the others. She is broody right now, and very stubborn about it. She has no eggs under her
    Buff Brahma - I think they are adorable :)
    Salmon Faverolles (if I can get my hands on one)

    Blue/Green Eggs:
    Easter Egger x 2
    EE roo
    Do you really want an EE roo? I would stick more to a larger breed roo that is not a mutt. IE: A barred rock roo or a silkie roo (biased! Those are the two I have lol) - Or even a brahma roo.

    Regardless of Eggs (just for fun):
    Black Silkie
    White Silkie
    Buff Silkie


    What about the partridge silkie? They have lots of pretty colours, and don't get as dirty as the white for example.

    I would stay away from hatchery silkies. They are not very pretty from what I've seen. Better to get them from a breeder.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  8. NorthTexaschick

    NorthTexaschick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just an FYI: My barred rocks from Ideal lay a rosy-colored egg - beautiful! They are wonderful layers and are very friendly. One of my EEs from Ideal lays a MINT GREEN egg :D

    Good point Aoxa, about the EE roo. OTOH, with him over brown-egg-laying hens, the result would be olive-egger chicks.
     
  9. Lynzi777

    Lynzi777 Overrun With Chickens

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    Woodstock, CT
    This is what I was just recently told too when I mentioned getting silkies from a hatchery. The woman told me I would be extremely disappointed and gave the names of two silkie breeders but they were way over the top for what I wanted to pay. I don't need a show silkie, just something nice to get me started. We are starting out very small with about 4-6 chickens for now. I wanted to get 3 silkies and 3 buff orpingtons for the eggs. I will be raising these chickens with my kids and want something that enjoys being held, is docile, and will get along with most other breeds. After reading your post I'm thinking of going with Barred Plymouth Rock.
     
  10. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Overrun With Chickens

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    I did my chick ordering back at the end of January from mypetchicken also. Looked all day reading about all the breeds and there personalities. My number one thing i looked for was a cold hardy chicken since I live in NH winters can get pretty bad. Then I looked at all the cold hardy birds and i found the ones that were dual purpose because we might try doing meat also(probably not on these babies cause ive grown attached, hubby tried to warn me lol) then I looked for what they say is the calmest friendliest laid back and handle confinement well since we may not free range though they will have a run. So after narrowing it down we picked 6 plymouth rocks(3 barred 3 white) 3 Silver laced wyandottes, and 3 Easter eggers. They are only 4 weeks old but so far they are great and im very happy with my choices). All chickens will have thier own personalities but out of mine my barred rocks and silver laced wyandottes are super friendly and love to be held they sprawl across my arms bathing under the heat lamps lol so cute. Oh and definitely build a coop thats a little larger than you originally wanted incase you want to add chickens as you go. I made the mistake of building a coop only large enough to house my 12 and cannot add anymore and i already so desperately have a few new fav chickens i want to add to my flock.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
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