How to decide which breed??

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Beah10, Jan 10, 2019.

  1. Beah10

    Beah10 In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2019
    Im new to chickens but Ive raised ducks before. Ive done a lot of research on each chicken breed there is available and I will be ordering through a hatchery. Ive narrowed my list down some, but I still have too large of a list haha. I can only have up to 10 fowl, but I also want to have a few ducks, so that leaves me with 7 'slots' for my chickens. Id love everyones advice on which 7 breeds I should get and why! Ill list the breeds we are most interested in and why we like them.
    We want birds that are friendly (ie tolerantes being held/cuddled), egg/meat production doesn't matter to us, They will have to be hens only since roos arent allowed, I mainly want them for bug control and fertilizer haha
    So here is our incredibly long list :idunno
    Red Shouldered Yokohama (We love the color and read they are very calm and sweet)
    Jersey Giant (We love their size!)
    Turken (We love that they look like little turkeys, we read they are very sweet)
    Australorp (We just think they are cute looking like a black orpington)
    Cochin (We love how big and fluffy they look, we were told they are very sweet)
    Modern Game (I am obsessed with these guys for their long legs!)
    White Laced Red Cornish (Again I am obsessed with these guys for their chunky bodies lol)

    For all of these ones we read they were calm, sweet, and friendly to flock members
    Russian Orloff
    Appenzeller Spithauben
    Broody Bist likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Waiting on a Fresh Garden Salad

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would go for looks and then see which breeds appeal to you based on the type you prefer most. Within every breed there are different personalities. I personally prefer slower chickens like cochins, games are too busy for my tastes. Turkens are plain ugly to me, yet I keep turkeys. :)

    I would not combine crested birds like polish with non crested, nor bantams and standard, for the best chance of success. I probably wouldn't mix games with cochins because of the different energy levels. So pick a type and size, than go from there. If you like polish, get all polish, or other crested breeds like houdan, but don't mix them with appenzellar, they are busy birds that could probably be combined with games without problems.

    One other factor will be the size of your set up. Some breeds don't do well being closely confined or confined all the time.
    LRH97 likes this.
  3. LRH97

    LRH97 Songster

    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    There is no struggle like deciding which breeds to get. If you asked me what my favorite breed is, I wouldn't have a single answer!

    My favorites out of your list are Orpingtons, Australorps, Silkies, and Jersey Giants. Orpingtons are nice sweet birds, good layers, and come in a good variety of colors and Australorps are much the same since they are basically the Australian take on the original English breed (hence the name). Jersey Giants are good dual purpose birds and both the males and females that I've owned have been even-tempered and easy going. Silkies are just adorable. They make great pets, come in several nice colors, and have the sweetest little personalities. Plus, who doesn't like furry chickens?

    I think another breed worth mentioning is the Brahma. The breed is definitely in my top five. They're big, beautiful and extremely gentle. My profile picture is my favorite Dark girl. One of my oldest birds, she'll turn six this spring.

    Something to also bear in mind: the breed doesn't always define the individual. Some can just be hit and miss as far as personality. I also agree with oldhenlikesdogs, I wouldn't combine standards and bantams for safety's sake. While I do have crested breeds in my main flock along with non-crested breeds, they do require a little extra attention to make sure they don't get picked on. Their crests limit their eyesight, and can make them quite jumpy, so it is definitely a wise decision to pick like-tempered breeds for a smaller flock.

    Best of luck to you!
    oldhenlikesdogs likes this.
  4. Broody Bist

    Broody Bist Songster

    May 7, 2018
    Hey there :D

    Just wanted to offer a little friendly advice on a few of your breed choices.

    First, Cochins. I have had 5 Cochins, but have only 2 at the moment (1 rooster we had to re-home, 2 hens died). They are a GREAT breed choice. The two I have right now are beautiful. My partridge Cochin is a little stand-offish, but my Red bantam Cochin is my all time favorite hen. She follows me everywhere, and stands on my feet looking up at me when I come to collect the eggs, waiting for a handout. The two hens that I lost were also bantam Cochins, and from personal experience I find the bantams to be much friendlier.

    Second, Orpingtons. I LOVE my Buff Orpington girls. They are the oldest chickens I have at the moment, and still perfectly healthy. They are sweet, beautiful, and good layers; 2 of our 3 have went broody before (we had 6, but lost a few over the years :(). Yes, they are in the same pen with our Cochin girls, and they all get along just fine. (They were not raised together, we introduced the Cochins a year or two ago). It didn’t take them too long to get used to each other. :)

    Now for the D’uccles. I think one thing you ought to know is that they are true bantams, they don’t come in standard size. And when I say true bantam, I mean my mille fleur d’uccle is about 1/3 of the size of my red Cochin bantam, Rosie (that’s not saying too much, Rosie is the fattest bantam I’ve ever seen), but still, my d’uccle is a TINY bird. She definitely would not do good in a flock of big girls, they would have to be separated. They would also have to be monitored while free-ranging, too, if you have hawks in your area. D’uccles might not be the best breed choice, but they really are the sweetest little chickens.

    That’s all the chickens I can talk about on your list from personal experience. Another great breed to consider though would be Rhode Island Reds, that’s what kind of chickens my Dad got us started on when we were kids (my brothers and sisters and I). They were sweet and beautiful, and the reason I became a crazy chicken girl :lau

    Hope this helps a little! Good luck:hugs
  5. Beah10

    Beah10 In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2019
    Thank you everyone.

    @oldhenlikesdogs Which of my breeds are considered busybodies? I think we will cross those off our list since we’re looking for a mellow bird.

    @LRH97 How do you keep the cresteds from being picked on? Are you able to trim the feathers near their eyes to improve their sight? Or maybe tie them up in a rubber band? I saw a few pictures of Silkies with their top feathers tied up.

    @Broody Bist we looked into RIR but were frequently told they are not friendly and are dominant within the flock.
    Broody Bist likes this.
  6. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Free Ranging

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    The larger the bird, the more mellow. I have one BJG, and brahmas and they're really the most chill. The smaller you go, the more closer to game fowl, and the more flighty. I have, as you can see in my signature, all sizes.
    Also, as your ordering from a hatchery, if you do indeed get an Aussie and a BJG, you could end up with 2 of each. Hatcheries are notorious for mixing the two. That and your hatchery quality BJG will probably be the same size as your hatchery quality Aussie.
    Aside from that... I love my SS, my Wyandotte and my Rock. They are dual purpose birds and lay a fair amount of eggs. They seem pretty chill too.
  7. Beah10

    Beah10 In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2019
    @Frazzemrat1 what are SS? Where should we look to get a proper sized Giant?
    Frazzemrat1 likes this.
  8. Frazzemrat1

    Frazzemrat1 Free Ranging

    May 8, 2017
    Eastern Connecticut
    Speckled Sussex. Pretty little things. :-D
    If you want a true bird, of any breed, you're going to have to go to a breeder. I love my hatchery bird, and she lays more than her heritage cousins would because she's hatchery... But I'd still like to get my hands on some heritage birds.
  9. moniquem

    moniquem Crowing

    Feb 3, 2013
    I have a SS. She is the sweetest of the bunch but really slow to mature. I got her last spring and am still waiting for eggs.....

    At the same time I got a BA. Started laying at 20 weeks and is a big, beautiful, sweet girl.

    I also got an EE. She started laying beautiful green eggs at 18 weeks and is really a nice girl also.
  10. Acre4Me

    Acre4Me Crowing

    Nov 12, 2017
    Western Ohio
    Where are you located? Some breeds don’t do well where it gets really cold. (Like silkie)

    Since you are going with a hatchery, you could just get a variety pack. For example, we ordered from Meyer last year and got some “rare breed” and some other random choices where they ultimately pick for you, but from a short list of breeds, guaranteeing at least x breeds. We were new to chickens last year and having a variety was helpful. We recently took our unwanted breeds to a livestock auction, and sold them to other families, it was an easy way to get a little feed money, although not lucrative.

    This year we put in another order for a variety (different place), and are getting a handle on what characteristics we value/like/enjoy, and this new selection will help.

    If you want a BIG Jersey Giant, you should buy from a breeder. There is national Jersey Giant Club that has a member directory. You can search the NPIP Website by state, and see who is near to you, if you want to pick up. You need to look at the NPIP breed code list, also on the website, for the code for BJG.

    Good luck!

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