I'm new here...also advice on getting new chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by peacefulpuls8, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. peacefulpuls8

    peacefulpuls8 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 9, 2016
    Hey everyone! My name is Lesley and time after time I find myself googling advice about different chicken topics and most often the advice leads me to this site so I decided to bite the bullet, get an account and post here. My husband and I are proud owners of 3 chickens (1 buff Orpington, 1 red sex link who is the top lady, and 1 mystery hen...our guess is a white leghorn as she's all white with a red top knot). We built a chicken coop in our backyard that we are super excited about. My question for all you seasoned chicken owners is: we would like to get about 4 more chickens to add to our flock (not sure if we would like to start as chicks or get pullets) and I'm wondering if you have recommendations on breeds for reliable laying, good temperament, and unique eggs. We would like to get an Americauna but I'm curious any other suggestions you might have and whether you'd recommend starting from chicks vs 6 month olds. Also, suggestions on best introducing the new hens to our existing ones. Thanks!!
  2. Alexandra33

    Alexandra33 Overrun With Chickens

    Welcome to BYC, @peacefulpuls8 ! [​IMG] We are so glad you joined our flock of wonderful folks. [​IMG]

    If you're looking for interesting eggs to add to your basket, I have a few suggestions for you. Welsummers lay terra cotta colored eggs with speckles, a very cool touch, as well as laying a LOT of huge double-yolkers. If you would like dark chocolate brown eggs, the Black Copper Marans would be a great option. Although you will hear a lot of mixed opinions on the matter, mine lays amazingly well. We get some stunning blue eggs from our Cream Legbar and one of the true Ameraucanas (there is a big difference between true Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers), and a mixture of lovely blue, mint green, olive, and blue/green eggs from the Easter Eggers. We also have an Olive Egger who will provide, obviously, olive eggs, but she hasn't yet begun laying. [​IMG] Below I will include some pictures of our eggs so you can get an idea of what you like.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2016
    3 people like this.
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Based on your criteria I would recommend going with one the good laying breeds that has a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) such as Australorps, Faverolles, Orpingtons, Sussex, or Brahmas. Of course there can always be an exception with any breed. If high egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list. If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center. There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
    1 person likes this.
  4. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
    1 person likes this.
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens.
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and [​IMG] - its great that you have joined us. You have some good advice already but if I may add, you may find it useful to get a variety of breeds - that way, you will more readily discover which breed you prefer - very important as chicken maths has already got you firmly in its grasp, and it won't go away - I promise! [​IMG]

    All the best
  7. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 23, 2010
    I've read this thread several times and ponder on how to
    answer you.

    How many chickens you should have depends a lot on the
    size of your coop. How big is your coop? Some recommend
    3 square feet per bird, some say 4 feet. I like a bit more.

    So...how big is the coop?

    1 person likes this.
  8. TBirdsTheWord33

    TBirdsTheWord33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2015
    Welcome to BYC, @peacefulpuls8 ! [​IMG] I'm glad you decided to "bite the bullet" and invite us to be a part of your chicken adventure. I am confident you'll meet some wonderful people on here who will help you with any questions you may have. Michael OShay offered you sound advice, as did my daughter, Alexandra33.

    Most of our 20-some breeds are good, reliable layers, but I will say the Welsummer impresses with lots of huge, beautiful terra cotta eggs and the Cream Legbar cranks out loads of medium-large light blue eggs with a matte finish. For good temperament, I favor the Barred Rock, White Rock, Campine, Sumatra, and Speckled Sussex, though we have many other breeds I would also consider docile. My favorites for unique eggs are the Welsummer (speckled terra-cotta), Black Copper Marans (DARK chocolate brown), Easter Egger (predominantly green in various shades), and the true Ameraucana (light blue with a shiny finish).

    Personally, I like to get chicks rather than started pullets since I enjoy raising babies and want to reduce the disease risk to my established flock (hatching eggs are even LESS of a risk than hatchery day-olds); however, if you need eggs ASAP, started pullets might be the way to go.

    As far as introducing new birds to an established flock, you'll encounter differing opinions on the matter. Many recommend keeping them separate until the babies are approximately the same size as the older ones, whereas some gradually introduce the babies to the flock as it free ranges. If you go with started pullets, you may want to quarantine them for a month before integrating. Then again, it's not a bad idea to quarantine ANY new birds, regardless of age or origin.

    I hope this helps, and if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
    1 person likes this.
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  10. doc637

    doc637 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 20, 2016
    Welcome to BYC! Great to have you with us.

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