Just getting started

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Fire26, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Fire26

    Fire26 In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2015
    So I just started a new small farm.
    We have a total of 11acres but mainly is for our horses and our own places to ride.
    But I am working on my plans to get started with some chickens this spring.
    I think I want about 12. If I mix up the breeds, what do I do regarding a rooster?
    Should I even go for a rooster?
    I am on the fence with that thought.
    I am leaning towards the R.I.Reds, Wyandotte's, and Orpington's.
    I live in Western NY so I need cold hearty and family friendly birds, especially when my Grandkids start playing at the farm.
    Any words of wisdom out there?
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
    Unless you want fertile eggs, you don't really need a rooster... hens are often happier without one.
    If you want to hatch eggs, a couple of thoughts, you might get a roo of the best laying breed you have (if you are breeding for eggs) or one that would give you sex links depending on the breeds of hens you wind up with, or Easter Eggers / green/blue laying pullets (popular if you want to sell hatching eggs or chicks).
    Some nice breeds you have picked Wyandottes are a great cold hardy breed, Orps are really nice and very popular, one thing with hatchery RIR, they are very good layers but sometimes seem to be a problem in mixed flocks being more likely to pick on other birds etc, the roosters have a reputation for being pretty aggressive with people.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

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

    You don't need an rooster if all you want are the eggs. So if you are in this only for pets and eating eggs, skip on the rooster. They can cause more issues than they can sometimes be worth. But as Kelsie has said, if you want chicks, then you will need a rooster.

    I am a huge fan of all the Oprington breeds, especially the Buff Orpingtons and the Black Australorps. Super docile and friendly. Great on the laying too and are very hardy breeds over all. Wyandottes are also very docile and friendly. Good layers too. Some of the hatchery RIR's can be aggressive toward the rest of the flock, so just keep this in mind.

    Have you stopped by our learning center yet? Lots of good articles on all the aspects of keeping chickens...https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    Enjoy this new adventure you are on! If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Glad you joined the flock. Hope you enjoy Backyard chickens as much as we do.
  5. Fire26

    Fire26 In the Brooder

    Jan 30, 2015
    Well, I'm not 100% set on R.I.Reds and I certainly don't need a rooster. In fact my neighbor would probably appreciate it if I didn't have one. LOL I just think a mixed brood of chickens would be better. Maybe I will look at a different breed. Thanks for the reply and suggestions.
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    You don't need a rooster, unless you want to hatch out fertile eggs. Your hens will lay well without him and be quite happy.

    I would definitely suggest Wyandottes. I have kept several Wyandottes, and they've all been very good layers (250+ eggs per year), extremely cold hardy (down to -20 degrees), have done fine in the heat (up to 105 degrees). Mine have been docile and personable birds that have made great pets. Wyandottes come in many different colors, so you can create a lovely mixed flock.

    Rhode Island Reds can be aggressive and dominating, plus their single combs make them a little less cold hardy than Wyandottes. I haven't kept Orpingtons, but they are considered to be very docile and good layers as well.
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to our flock. Unless you want to fertilize eggs for hatching, I would advise not getting a rooster. I currently have 25 hens and no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without all the aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, feeding of non-productive mouths, crowing in the middle of the night, drop off in egg production by the hens, and over-breeding and battering of the hens that goes along with having a rooster (especially too many). My hens are stress free and enjoying life without a rooster around. If you do decide to get a rooster, I would avoid the Rhode Island Red as they are frequently quite aggressive. Buff Orpingtons are one of the calmest and most gentle breeds in the chicken world, and even the roosters can become lap pets. You might also want to consider Black Sex Links (Black Stars) which are readily available, hardy, and friendly egg laying machines. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids), and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. Australorps are also an excellent choice. They are extremely hardy in both heat and cold, calm and gentle (my children and granddaughter made lap pets of them), and excellent layers of large, brown eggs. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your flock.
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    The other members have given you all the advice and info you need.

    Good luck!
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined the BYC "flock!"

    You don't need a rooster unless you want fertile eggs and possibly chicks. In fact, in many cases, your hens will be happier without a rooster.

    If you do decide to get a rooster, though, you could get any breed you like--even different than your hens. Any chicks that you hatch from parents of different breeds will be beautiful mixes. Some breeds of roosters will create sex-links, others will lend a green egg laying gene, and others will create high egg production offspring.

    You've chosen some nice breeds to possibly get. Orpingtons are renowned for being gentle, cold hardy, and rather productive layers. Rhode Island Reds are also great for egg production, though their temperaments can sometimes be aggressive or standoffish. Wyandottes are one of my favorite breeds, due to their wonderful temperaments, beautiful color patterns, hardiness, and productivity.
  10. ChickyChickens

    ChickyChickens Chickening Around

    May 24, 2014
    BYC? Epic <3
    My Coop

    Welcome to BYC!!! There are loads of members on here…so if you have ANY questions…just ASK!!!

    Hope you have loads of fun and all your answers answered here on BYC the BEST CHICKEN KEEPING FORUM on EARTH!!


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