My Girls Need Company

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by pdxblossom, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. pdxblossom

    pdxblossom In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    Originally we were going to be a three chicken family. Two brahmas, one australorp. The australorp is a roo - illegal in this city.
    So he's going to join the Rooster Relocation Program. I want to get not one, but two more chicks (see I'm already a chicken hoarder). Definitely an australorp because the roo is so sweet and I'll miss him. But I'm undecided about the fourth.

    I do want a good layer. I do want a cold hardy chicken. I do want a friendly chicken. I had originally wanted a "Phyllis Diller" chicken (Polish) because they look amazing, but that won't work with my wish list. I also considere a RIR or NHR, but their temperment doesn't suit my small flock.

    So, based on my limited chicken knowledge I'm leaning towards Ameraucana/Easter Egger or a Buff Orpington.

    Any suggestions or favorites? My girls will be in a fairly large coop/run most of the day and then at least 1 - 3 hours a day free ranging (more on weekends obviously). We have a lot of possums in the neighborhood so we can't let them range unsupervised.

    I'd love to hear what you'd add to a flock like mine!
  2. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    I vote Barred Plymouth Rocks. Easy to sex early, wonderful layers in heat/cold. Good in snow. Very friendly, comical birds. They are just good all around I think. I have one 15 week old Barred Rock pullet who lets my 5 year old nephew hold her, and the Barred Rocks I have had in the past were wonderful layers an egg a day even in snow!

    I do not own a BO, but I do have an Easter Egger girl right now. She is sweet, but sort of ditzy. She is also pretty stand offish to people she doesn't know, and she spooks easily. Any sudden movement or noise and she is ducking for cover. [​IMG] She is the lowest ranking girl I have in my flock, but luckily she is best friends with the Barred Rock who is head hen, so it works out.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  3. Qi Chicken

    Qi Chicken Songster

    Jul 3, 2009
    I'm really no help but in our flock my favorites are the BR, the EE and the BO!

    I like the Barred rocks a lot more than I expected to, they haven't been the personality packed chickens yet but I just love how they look. Of course I knew what they looked like before, but seeing them on the green grass with their black and white bars and thier red(dish) combs. They are really beautiful and classic looking.

    The buff orps are kind of flock leaders which surprised me, and nice, not high maintenence birds.

    The ee are really friendly, and so fun because their coloring varies so much. And those little faces, Ack! I just can't resist a muppet!

    Hoped that help to narrow it down for ya!

    PS None of ours are laying yet but one of the ees is squatting at only 15 weeks. --so I can't speak to their laying ability. One thing though is that the barred rocks do not seem to handle the heat as well as the others. Don't remember where you are but that might be a factor. They pant more than the others, hold their wings out and don't have the sense to get out of the coop and onto the cool grass under a tree like all the rest.

    I guess all things being equal I'd get an ee with HUGE muffs. So cute. Although the black australorps have such pretty eyes, nice dark brown......[​IMG] and their feathers all green in the sun is nice too. With the BA, BO or the BR I would get a show quality bird if you can find one. Mine are not and are not as nice and fluffy as they should be.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2010
  4. cracking up

    cracking up Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    So Cal
    I really truly love my Buff Orpingtons. They're so friendly and lovable. My EEs are too but there is something special about the buffs. Not only that but they lay a bigger egg and seem to lay more of them.
  5. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chirping

    Jun 13, 2010
    Rhode Island
    I have 2 BR, 2 EE and 2 RIR, and while I love them all, the BR are my favorite. So friendly and smart, and like someone else said, SUPER pretty [​IMG] They even crawl up my legs when I'm sitting in the yard during their play time.

    The RIR are great layers (mine are pullets but my family has them and they lay all winter), but don't seem to have much personality. My EE's are beautiful, but not the brightest bird. Every time I put a treat in the brooder they scream and dive bomb to the corner as if my hand somehow resembles a fox head.

    You sound like you already love chickens, so I bet no matter what you get they will end up your darling little babies.
  6. pdxblossom

    pdxblossom In the Brooder

    Jul 11, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    We saw a lot of Barred Rocks this past weekend and they were beautiful. They looked like great dowager aunts. I'm tempted most by the EE's because of egg color and it would be fun to have a ditzy girl in the flock. But the BRs seem to be edging out the others. I guess I'll wait to see what's available at UFS. I'm going to need some girls 5 - 6 weeks old for easy flock inroduction.

    I love hearing what everyone else loves and values in their flock.

  7. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Easter Eggers are great too, but they can lay a white, or brown egg too. I got my EE girl hoping for green or blue eggs, but learned recently they can lay ANY color egg just depending on what their heritage is. On the other hand, with Barred Rocks, you are for sure getting a light brown egg. Tough choice lol.

    If I were a BAD BAD enabler I would say Get 1 EE, and 1 Barred Rock, along with the Australorp. In case of a death or another rooster. [​IMG]

    I love Barred Rocks though, have had nothing but good experiences with them. If I were to get into breeding and showing it would be with Barred Rocks. They are just a hardy, good all around breed. Their heritage is more known then Easter Eggers as well. You could end up with an EE who is bred from a Leghorn, or another real known flighty/aggresive breed, and they carry those traits. With Barred Rocks, even hatchery, they seem to come out similar in personality and looks. Plus.. They are just so incredibly easy to sex early on. You can almost sex them as day olds. Easter Eggers are much harder to sex and you usually don't know until they are 12 and even 15 weeks old. If you are getting 5-6 week olds, you should be able to tell the pullets from the cockerels real easily with Barred Rocks. I would start looking at cockerel and pullet pictures of each breed to get an idea of what to look for [​IMG]

    I would suggest going to the Breeds area, and reading the threads on what breeds you are interested in. Of course that might just make the choice all the harder, LOL.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2010
  8. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    I agree with morgan! BARRED ROCK ALL THE WAY!! They are sweet, easily handled, good and hardy layers, and don't make much noise. They are also ADORABLE! You can NOT go wrong. No way. Barred Rock. Barred Rock. Barred Rock.

    And about the ameraucana/EEs, most are pretty skitterish unless you REALLY love it as a baby, so I'd not take the chance. Though I do have one myself--- Barred Rock.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2010
  9. molly d

    molly d Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    lawrence, ks
    I loooove my buff orp girl. She hasn't started laying yet so I can't speak of her egg quality/quantity, but she's an absolute sweetheart. She's super friendly, doesn't mind being picked up, and has such a sweet face. I don't know what it is about those BOs that I like so much, but if I was going to add to my flock right now I would definitely get more of them. [​IMG]
  10. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I would say either a Buff Orpington, or an Easter Egger. Both are very sweetm decile easy going breeds. I have around 20 - 30 Buff Orpingtons and 6 - 8 Easter Eggers and love all of them!

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