How to pick your chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BarredBuff, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you determine which breed to choose? When they're so many to choose from............
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  2. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you want white eggs or brown eggs? Do you want good egg layers? How about hardy for winter?
    if you go to www.mypetchicken.com they have a breed selector on there that you can use. That's how I came up with starting with Plymouth Barr Rocks.
     
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    The Henderson Chicken Chart lists a number of characteristics about different breeds.

    First, WHY do you want chickens? How much space do you have available? How are you planning to house and pen them? Do you have young children? Those are starter questions, depending on the answers to those, you need to make additional choices. If you want birds for meat, you would make different delections than if you want for eggs. If you want for both, there are also some breeds that do both well. If you want foragers that will eat every bug infesting your yard, while any chicken will do, some are better foragers than others. If you want wild and crazy looking birds a houdan or polish might make you smile, while an australorp might make you go ho-hum. If you want a bird with character, you might want barred rocks. If you want a snuggle muffin, you might want a silkie; if you want something regal looking, think about the various gamebirds or longtails.
     
  4. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    Just to make sure you get the "right" one it's a real easy choice...2 or 3 of EACH one in each color they come in:oops: See then you will have the good winter layer,summer layer,a rainbow of browns white greens blues and pinks.You will have some cuddly chickens and some that think your an alien(unless you have feed in your hand) and the best of all a beautiful flock of chickens to look at.
    [​IMG] really it works well.
     
  5. fowltemptress

    fowltemptress Frugal Fan Club President

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    Quote:I found myself wishing that the breed selector was a multiple paged, in-depth questionnaire that rewarded you with an equally in-depth explanation for why it chose the breeds it did for you. As it is, I feel oddly unsatisfied, and am tempted to burn incense and pray to the gods of random quiz-making to create a quiz of such glorious chickeny magnitude. With a world full of lengthy quizzes devoted to telling you things such as which 50's pop icon you most resemble, I can't see this as asking much. I'd make it myself if I thought I could avoid the temptation of cheating by rigging it so that it always said naked neck or brahma for me. I really shouldn't be trusted with such things.

    Wait, what was the original question? . . . . . scrolling . . . . .

    Oh, right. Well, I did tons of research, spent a full year in narrowing it down based on laying, egg color, broodiness, color, comb, heat tolerance, size, temperament, whether or not the breed came with adorable little bell bottoms and an extra poofy butt . . . then it came to go time and I bought every breed and variety available to me, just because I could. I rationalize it by telling myself how adventurous I am, and how firm decision making skills are for the cowardly. It was all a very well thought out, thorough scientific process, and I dare anyone to suggest otherwise.

    If all this rambling doesn't help people in their quest to decide, then really, I don't know what else possibly could. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  6. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

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    I think it's a matter of getting priorities in order! Do you want layers, pets, ornamental birds, meat birds...? Once you figure out what your purpose is in keeping chickens, that will help you find the best breed(s) for you. Make a list of attributes you're looking for, and then go through the breeds and see what has those attributes. You can always get several different breeds, too--nothing stopping you from trying out several! I love having a mixed flock. Keeps things interesting!

    Personally, I like going through FeatherSite's chicken encyclopedia and writing down the breeds I particularly like, and then doing some further research on that breed to make sure they're the sort of bird I'd like to add to my flock. I'm not looking for purpose in my birds, though--I keep them as pets (so they must be a fairly friendly breed, or at least not a wild and crazy one) and I like small bantams and birds with interesting coloring.

    In the end, though, it also comes down to what's available! If I see a bird for sale that I find attractive and want, I must admit I tend to call even if I wasn't planning on getting that breed. Oh well, I have room! [​IMG]

    You can always ask about specific breeds if one piques your interest, too--the members here are always glad to share experiences with different types of chickens!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2009
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Tempe, Arizona
    [​IMG]

    Don;t get too many birds to start with--just two or three--then as you see their characteristics and learn about different breeds add a bird or two of the persuations that interest you. Sooner or later you will be like the rest of us who have a whole bunch of chickens [​IMG]
     
  8. thechickonthehill

    thechickonthehill Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You know, I first wanted chickens just because I wanted to raise my own eggs and know where they came from and what went into them. And I knew I wanted brown egg layers and birds that could free range some of the time and birds that were friendly and birds that were big and , oh yeah, those feathered feet are so cool . . . on and on it can go. What has surprised me is the "yard art" factor that developed. Just seeing my little flock out wandering around the yard and admiring them is very satisfying - especially when people stop while driving by and comment on how pretty they look. They are indeed, living yard ornaments. Also, there is the "Chicken TV" factor, of course. I can sit with, watch and talk to my chickens for hours! So when you are choosing your birds, definitely consider looks and personality as well as the practical things like egg laying and meat. Me, I want it all, so I'm trying for a flock that is a combination of everything. They do say, after all, "variety is the spice of life"![​IMG]
     
  9. dappertophatter

    dappertophatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Jersey Shore
    Well, see, you go out in the field with a BIG bag, make sure to detach their feet from the mother plant- OH, you mean BREED? One answer- Pick what you fall in love with!
     
  10. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hagerstown, IN
    huh?


    Quote:I found myself wishing that the breed selector was a multiple paged, in-depth questionnaire that rewarded you with an equally in-depth explanation for why it chose the breeds it did for you. As it is, I feel oddly unsatisfied, and am tempted to burn incense and pray to the gods of random quiz-making to create a quiz of such glorious chickeny magnitude. With a world full of lengthy quizzes devoted to telling you things such as which 50's pop icon you most resemble, I can't see this as asking much. I'd make it myself if I thought I could avoid the temptation of cheating by rigging it so that it always said naked neck or brahma for me. I really shouldn't be trusted with such things.

    Wait, what was the original question? . . . . . scrolling . . . . .

    Oh, right. Well, I did tons of research, spent a full year in narrowing it down based on laying, egg color, broodiness, color, comb, heat tolerance, size, temperament, whether or not the breed came with adorable little bell bottoms and an extra poofy butt . . . then it came to go time and I bought every breed and variety available to me, just because I could. I rationalize it by telling myself how adventurous I am, and how firm decision making skills are for the cowardly. It was all a very well thought out, thorough scientific process, and I dare anyone to suggest otherwise.

    If all this rambling doesn't help people in their quest to decide, then really, I don't know what else possibly could. [​IMG]
     

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