Just getting Started

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MichaelCox, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. MichaelCox

    MichaelCox Hatching

    Hello everyone,

    I'm new to chickens and have been reading the forum for a few weeks now. I spent some time on a farm as a child in the South. Grew up (Kind of) joined the Marine Corps got out became a civilian and started chasing the almighty dollar. After owning several business's some successful some not even close I've grown tired of Govt. over reach, giant Corps owning the rights to my food supply and feeling as though no matter how much money I make it never seems to be enough.

    I have a fairly successful business now but the end game is to go farming and become as self sufficient as possible. I don't think you should cut yourself off from society completely because inevitably you will need someone for something at some point.

    My idea is to farm with Dexter cattle, heritage chickens, and a few other things thrown in the mix. I've been reading and watching a lot of Polyface Farms information and like the way Joel approaches farming so that's the way I'm currently intending to do it when I cash in my chips.

    To begin my education I'm going to keep some chickens in the backyard; at the time of this post it is my intent to keep:

    New Hampshires
    Black Australorps

    I am struggling a bit with this because I really do like the Buff Orpingtons but not sure which bird I would replace with it. The Dominiques are a must have for me. I'm a sucker for keeping the old alive. I think if I was to replace any of them it would be the Australorp but I wanted to keep them for their egg production. according to the books I have purchased they are one of the best layers in the dual purpose bird arena.

    I have lots of questions and ideas I'll share in the appropriate areas.

    Any and all comments are appreciated.

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Black Australorps are great layers! I keep them and wow, mine are 3 1/2 years old and still going strong on the laying. Buff Orps are the same way....excellent layers and both of these breeds are great for being dual purpose...great for the eggs and the table. These breeds are also docile and friendly, making them a must for all chicken keepers.

    Good luck with all your projects and we do welcome you to our flock!
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you. If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

    All of your breed choices seem pretty good to me. You'll certainly get a lot of eggs!
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    All of those breeds are great choices. It is certainly a hard decision between Orpingtons and Australorps, though. Both are docile, hardy, and excellent egg layers (slightly more so with the Australorps). One reason why they're so similar is that the Orpington was actually used to create the Australorp.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  5. MichaelCox

    MichaelCox Hatching

    Thank you everyone,

    The struggle between the Orpington and the Australorp I think is just that I like the look of the Orpington better but it appears that I will get a few more eggs from the Australorp. Now one chicken probably not a big deal but say 10 and we might start seeing a difference worth noticing.

    I'm getting my Dominiques from Fred Farthing and Suzette Ellington but not sure on the other breeds. I have no desire to show birds but I do want to have the best stock I can get to start with. I've gotten the Standards for all the breeds and would cull to those standards. I'm not sure if I can get that from a hatchery, not saying I can't I'm saying I don't know. If any of you have good sources please let me know.

    I've looked at Cackle, Meyer, and McMurray.

  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Oh, it matters not that you show birds or just want them for eggs. Starting with good healthy stock will save you so many headaches in the future. Hatchery stock has all kinds of issues that can be avoided if you go with a good breeder of quality birds. Definitely go with some good stock! [​IMG]

    I am an Aussie pusher. LOL They were the first breed of chicken I kept and I was hooked from the word go.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Michael. My name is Michael as well. Glad you decided to join our flock. I've raised both Australorps and Orpingtons for years (still have both of them in my flock) and love both breeds. They are both calm and gentle birds (my children and my granddaughter have made lap pets of both breeds), and I agree with you that the Orpington is slightly the prettier bird (which is partly why I still have some), but if egg production is a priority, the Australorp, being the best layers of the standard brown egg laying breeds, is the better way to go. My Buff Orpingtons typically lay three (occasionally four) eggs per hen per week, whereas my Black Australorps typically give me five (occasionally six) eggs per week. With ten hens that is a difference of 20 eggs per week; not significant when you just need a few eggs for your own personal use, but a considerable difference when you sell your eggs to the neighbors around you like we do. Also the Black Australorps go broody less often than the Buff Orpingtons do, and broody hens stop laying. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breed you end up getting, good luck with your flock.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Glad you joined the flock. There are generally Breed clubs that have lists of breeders(members) that you can peruse. I think if you would put "Black Australorp breed club." in the search box something should come up.
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

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