just joined and have chick questions

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by newtochicks, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. newtochicks

    newtochicks New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2008
    North Eastern CT
    Hello
    My husband grew up on his grandfathers poultry farm and would love to share that experience with our sons ages 16, 6 and 2 1/2. I don't want to have the "full" experience but would like to have 4-6 hens as pets and for eggs. Now I'm not asking for anyone to pick sides but I wonder if one breed is better than another for this sort of family friend. They raised RI Reds and I'm pretty attracted to the "fancier" type. There was recently an article in Horticulture magazine showing Sicilian Buttercups and Golden Laced Polish. (I also have to admit to being a Martha fan and love the color of the eggs produced by Araucana). So I guess my first question would be is there a difference in the personality of one breed to another and secondly are there any differences in the care of the more exotic looking chicks?
    Any information is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    Hi and welcome!!! I think you're probably going to get a lot of biased opinions as far as breed selection goes- my "pet flock" is at 14 hens and 2 roosters and my favorites are the silver laced wyandottes- I only have 2 but wish it was 20. I have 1 barred rock hen that is very sweet too. the roosters are both white silkies and are like little clowns- they are probably the most fun. My "working girls" are more than half ameracaunas- I have about 80 or so at last count- and the white ones are my favorite as far as the eggs go.
     
  3. HeatherInBama

    HeatherInBama Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2007
    North Alabama
    also just in general-- I may be wrong on this but I think you want to stay away from any breeds with large combs if you're in a colder climate- I think they lose more heat through them. [​IMG]
     
  4. jackiedon

    jackiedon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    Welcome!!!

    Like Heather said you'll get different answers. I have never had any RIR. I do have polish and the hens are very friendly I did have problems with the roos but I had too many. I have many different breeds and I think so much depends if you establish a relationship with them as chicks. I know that sounds strange but I have found that to be true with my chicks.

    I do have to say my silkies are very friendly.

    I do have to say it took almost a year for my polish to start laying regularly.

    To have the full experience you need to buy an incubator and hatch the eggs!!!! There are lots around here that could help you with that!!

    jackie
     
  5. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    First of all, welcome to the forum. I moved this here for better exposure.

    If egg laying is not a first priority you really have a whole world of poultry open to you. RIR and Rocks in purebreds tend to be the biggest producer. But if the difference in 10 or 12 eggs a year means little to you, then it is a matter of picking the breed(s) you like the best and go from there.

    I have to agree that how they are raised makes a big difference with most chickens.

    Large combs and wattles tend to be more prone to frostbite. But, if you have a well constructed coop, it isn't a huge issue, even in cold northern climates.
     
  6. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    I live in Vermont, which is very nippy in the winter, obviously [​IMG]. As kstaven says, however, a well-constructed coop will keep them warm.
     
  7. amanda_dedi

    amanda_dedi Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 7, 2008
    My favorite breed by far is the black australorp. They are very friendly and I love how curious they are. They are excellent egg producers(which taste delicious by the way) and i'm ordering some more chicks as soon as possible.

    I also love the barred rocks. They are a brilliant breed and produce lots of eggs. I have mostly bantam mixed breeds though...I need to get some bigger hens! hehe. As for roosters, i've never owned a purebred of anybreed so I really couldn't tell you. Good luck!

    ~Amanda
     
  8. newtochicks

    newtochicks New Egg

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    Apr 6, 2008
    North Eastern CT
    thanks so much to everyone...I still have so much to learn before we take the "chicky plunge". Because my neighbors are pretty close I really want to only have hens. (which is why we opted to forgo the hatching) One side is a firefighter who works the graveyard shift and I am sure would be none to thrilled to hear how loud and proud my roo was!!
    As it is our yard might be too small for us to have them in our part of town...still waiting to hear.
    Could anyone recommend a good book that's easy enough for kids to understand with some help. I'm really hoping to have the boys involved in everything and would like for us to learn together.
    Thanks again
     
  9. TheOLDNewChick

    TheOLDNewChick I'm an original

    Jun 12, 2007
    Tioga, Louisiana
    Hi, and welcome!


    I have RIR's, and have to say I love them. I think they're the sweetest, friendliest chicken I have in my flock. I also have polish, which are good layers, but mine are kind of skittish. My silkies are very friendly, but the disadvantage is the eggs are more bantam sized than medium or large eggs laid by the Polish and RIR's. I have sexlinks and barred rocks, but they're still in the brooder so I can't really tell you much about them yet. Here's a book that might be helpful http://www.amazon.com/Storeys-Guide-Raising-Chickens-Facilities/dp/158017325 . I have Storey's Guide To Raising Rabbits and love the book, it helped alot when I was 10-11 and getting started in rabbits. Good luck and hope I helped!
     
  10. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    An EXCELLENT book for kids is Gail Damerow's "Your Chickens "

    You can get lots of pretty & interesting chickens that'll do well in your climate and lay well for you. WE live in the TIGHT suburbs near Portland Maine and we have a mixed flock of 6 laying hens. It is SOOOO fun!

    Breeds that might fit your criteria (if egg-laying is important):
    Silver Laced Wyandotte
    Gold Laced Wyandotte
    Barred Plymouth Rock
    Buff Orpington (very sweet and docile)
    Black Australorp
    Rhode Island Red
    Easter Egger (aka Auracana, Ameraucana but really they are EEs if they're from a hatchery, despite how they are marketed)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2008

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