Need help picking...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jenly, May 25, 2012.

  1. jenly

    jenly Hatching

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    May 25, 2012
    My family & I have decided to have our very own backyard chickens, but can't decide what kind to get. I, at first, really wanted silkies but I'm starting to change my mind. Where we live, we can only have two hens in our backyard. We are a family of six & would like to have hens that produce the most eggs possible. We have young kids who I'd like for them to see as pets, so really docile is important. We live in Texas, so it's very hot in the summer & we get to around 30 something in the winter at the very coldest. Any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. Welcome to the forum and congratulations on choosing to raise chickens!

    I am completely biased as I love the two breeds that I have so I'll say that right up front.

    We have Plymouth Barred Rocks and love that they are a 'Heritage Breed'
    as we want to support that and we also have Welsummers.

    Both of these breeds are heat and cold hardy and should do well in your climate provided they have the kind of protective coop support as well as
    heat to keep their water from freezing in winter and lots of ventilation for
    the heat as well as access to protected outdoor run.

    BRs - at least ours - lay very large brown eggs all year long even w/o added light to their coop in winter. Each hen consistently lays 5-6 eggs per week which is a very high number. We do not keep our birds as 'pets' and so they don't like to be touched - we've raised them from day olds. We had two roosters in our flock and the 'non-dominant' rooster attacked my DH one too many times and went to freezer camp. The other 'dominant' rooster is a wonderful bird who tends and cares for 'his hens' and pretty much 'ignores'
    my husband and I which is fine with us. BRs are 'normally' docile but
    moderately active birds and for us the breed has been extremely 'low maintenance' and extremely hardy and vigorous.

    Welsummers are the 'movie stars' of the chicken world, at least in my view
    because they are such gorgeous birds AND they lay those extra large mahogany and terra cotta colored dark eggs with the speckles! Cornelius - the Kellogg's corn flakes Rooster was a Welsummer - need I say more about 'eye candy'? Welsummers don't lay nearly as often as the BRs and they really slack off when the days get shorter but for the dark eggs, inquisitive and gentle personality, their unique dark eggs and the wonderful low volume lyrical cooing/trilling sounds they make when communicating w/one another - precious!

    I'm sure you will receive many suggestions on type of bird as we all have our favorites and all for various reasons. Good luck with whatever breed(s)
    you choose - but be careful as having chickens can and does often become addictive!

    Elaine Carey-Goble
    Mountain View Farms
    Ellijay, GA

    http://www.realtimefarms.com/source/5128092/mountain-view-farms
     
  3. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Songster

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    Mar 15, 2012
    There are so many amazing breeds I am sure people will recommend. Are you very concerned with looks?
    Here is my recommendation- Golden Sex Link. I got one of these chicks for free and had I not I probably would not have gotten one. I didn't think much about them to be honest. From the day I got her though she has been SO sweet. I have a 17 month old daughter and she is very patient of her petting. Every time I come to the run she is the first to come see me, and she hasn't met anyone she doesnt like. She hasn't started laying yet (she's 11 weeks old) but I have read many reviews and articles, and also have heard many people say, they are one of the best brown egg layers you can find. Another cool thing about them is they are sexed by their color so there is no way it would end up being a rooster.

    Good luck and welcome!
     
  4. clucknpeck

    clucknpeck Songster

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    Mar 15, 2012
    Actually I just realized that is my golden sex link there in my picture. :)
     
  5. karlamaria

    karlamaria Songster

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    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    back yard keeper to and I wanted chickens that laid well and were friendly. we got astrolorps and buff orphingtons. they are both great layers and so friendly, but it depends on you for the friendly part. you must hold and love on them and teach them. there real smart to.
    the astrolorps lay every day, I get a day off from them about every 2 weeks for 1 day. my buffs lay 6 out of 7 days. chickens are fun, but if I do not get eggs what good are they when you need to feed a family?I to am only supposed to have 2 chickens, I have nine lol, who knows but me ? ( well you now lol)
     

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