Making a Flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NHChickenOwner, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. NHChickenOwner

    NHChickenOwner New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 3, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    My husband and I are new to chickens. We are planning our coop now, and of course, we're thinking about which chickens we would want in a little flock. We're going large fowl/standard size and we want docile birds. According to our city ordinance, we can have six. We are starting out with four, and because we can only have so few, we would like to do one of each. Here's what we're thinking - 1 australorp, 1 easter egger, 1 cochin, 1 silver laced wyandotte. What are your houghts, and is there anybody on this list who would do better with a partner of the same breed? Thanks : )
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,746
    1,390
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think that you will get a great deal of enjoyment out of that set up!
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I don't quite understand your last question but for breeds, you may want to check these two breed charts for characteristics.

    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf
    My only reservation for the cochin is that they tend to go broody, as sometimes do the Aorps and EEs.
    Since you won't have a rooster and won't be hatching chicks or adding birds I'd shy away from broody prone breeds.
    Broody birds won't lay eggs while they're setting and you'll need a wire bottom cage suspended to break their broodiness.

    My advice is to always start with a list of birds appropriate for your climate and then go through your needs and wants. i.e. temperament, productivity, egg color, feather color, etc..
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I also wanted to add that if you are allowed 6, start with 6. Adding birds to an existing flock is sometimes extremely difficult for the new birds. You will eat more eggs when you have delicious fresh ones in your backyard. Chickens die and even though you think you only want 4 and you lose 1 or 2, you're down.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  5. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    13
    83
    Jul 31, 2014
    Maryland
    My Coop
    that sounds awesome! i personally wouldnt mind broody birds, just take there egg away x3 but x2 on the start with 6 thing
     
  6. NHChickenOwner

    NHChickenOwner New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 3, 2014
    Chicken Canoe - Thanks for the charts… especially that first one. Everyone on the list is cold hardy and considered good natured, docile birds (we've got small kiddos and we live where we get snow). I knew cochins can be pretty broody, and honestly, that bird is one of our kids' choices. The EEs are my husband's for their blue eggs. We've never experienced a chicken before, let alone a broody one. How broody are we talking? Enough that I need to talk them into different birds?
     
  7. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    13
    83
    Jul 31, 2014
    Maryland
    My Coop
    lol note on the EE's they dont all lay blue eggs i get pink blue and blackish-blue green XD
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I had a cochin that didn't go broody, I had a leghorn that was broody all the time. You just never know but starting with breeds that are known non-setters is a good way to go.
    There are so many great breeds, you may be able to find a replacement with some of the same qualities to suit your families wants. EEs rarely lay a blue egg, most often it's green or olive. Crested Cream Legbars usually lay a blue egg as do Araucanas.
    Other feather legged breeds are Brahma, Faverolle and French Marans. Brahmas tend to be broody as well. If you have snow and other nasty weather, I would definitely stay away from feather legged birds. You could be sorry. They'll be constantly matted and caked in ice unless you keep them indoors on bedding. And extremely broody breeds will make someone not raising chicks very unhappy.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  9. NHChickenOwner

    NHChickenOwner New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Sep 3, 2014
    Cool! I appreciate your help. And I never thought about feather legged breeds in the snow! Sheesh. I'm steering my dear husband towards an Ameraucana, and I can talk my kiddo into someone else. I have one last question for you (or anyone else!) if you're still around… about the Australorp. I'm the one who picked her - mostly because absolutely everything I read talked about friendly and docile and almost pet-like these birds can be and on top of that they are big egg-layers. I'm reading through the charts and some other sites I've found and most of the birds that are super friendly happen to be broody. Ones that aren't broody and are friendly seem to be below average to average egg layers. Who am I missing? Any chicken out there have all three qualities: great egg layer, super friendly, and a non-setter?
     
  10. Howlet

    Howlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    317
    13
    83
    Jul 31, 2014
    Maryland
    My Coop
    wait why not get a silkie for the kids?? i mean there cold hardy :p
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by