Need helping picking a breed!

Bobby_A

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
16
0
22
Las Vegas, NV
Hello BYC, I'm new to the chicken world, and well, I'm having a lot of trouble picking a breed. I need a chicken that is both a great layer and a decent meat bird. It definitely needs to be winter hardy; I'm moving to Alaska soon, and well, that says it all, lol. Anyway, the broodiness of the breed is a definite plus, as well as it being docile. How the chicken looks doesn't matter to me, though is still a plus, and the color of the egg, I prefer brown, but if it's a good breed I would make an exception. I think that's about it, if I missed anything let me know, and thanks for the help.
 
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Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
246
336
Forks, WA
Brahma. I would certainly say Brahma. We live in WA, and it is constantly cool and very rainy - But they're extremely hardy to that, very good layers, and very beefy lil' chickens! They're considered dual purpose, so they fit your needs - And certainly ours. They're absolute dolls, have wonderful personalities, and are very different from the average chicken.
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And if not that - Salmon Faverolles. Another cold hardy, friendly, dual purpose breed - Very good for both meat and eggs.

Also - Both lay a nice pink shade of egg.

Oh, as for broodiness - I don't know of Faverolles and Brahmas are moderately broody. A really broody and beefy chicken is also the Orpington. If you just want it fast and don't care as to the looks or color, all hatcheries carry Buff Orpingtons. But otherwise, they also come in black, white, blue, lavender, and a couple more project colors.
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Bobby_A

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 27, 2010
16
0
22
Las Vegas, NV
Thank you for the quick reply! I will definitely consider brahmas, but I do have a couple questions if you don't mind me asking them. How long does it take a brahma to mature (when they could be used as meat, and when they start laying eggs), and how many eggs do they lay a week? Again, thanks for the quick reply!
 
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tnchickenut

It's all about the Dels!
9 Years
10 Years
Jan 24, 2010
2,716
32
181
Englewood, TN
I would have to say Delaware. They are one of the greatest dual purpose breeds. Fast growers, white plumage makes a better carcass, lay LARGE brown eggs very well. AND they are a All-American heritage breed that is growing in numbers. They are listed as "critical" in numbers on albc.org but that info is old... they have gained alot of numbers in the last few years (by my judgement alone).
Also, they are very friendly birds, very calm. The chicks are very curious (notice my avatar?). I truely believe they are the best small farm flock breed.
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Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
246
336
Forks, WA
Sure thing
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Our Brahmas reach a decent eating size by about 6-9 months, and starting laying at 6 months. They're a very large breed, so the filling out comes after the lanky, gawky phase. Mine usually lay 6 times a week, and take about a 2 month break during winter. They're also a rare, critical breed that isn't very common to find. Almost every hatchery sells them, as hatcheries seem to sell any breed - But they're rare to find from breeders themselves.

One thing that could help you is BYC's breed list - Because some other cold hardy dual purpose breeds include, say, Langshans - Whom used to be commercially used for meat in Europe and now are dual purpose. Another veery rare breed, only found in hatcheries. And with that being said, I don't have any promise as to how they will turn out from a hatchery.

Our brahmas came from Murray McMurray hatchery though and are pretty nice looking, despite one of them seeming to be a cross between Brahma and Sussex.
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About Wyandottes - We have 10, and they are the hardiest, toughest suckers I have ever known, and lay every single day. . . But with them being hatchery birds, they have very little meat on their bones and lay rather small eggs.
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Mahonri

Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 14, 2008
30,365
304
526
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
What about Hamburgs for some white eggs?

But Faverolles are wonderful, Orpingtons, Delawares, and back when I lived in the cold country, Our light Brahma hen was an excellent broody and hatched out a bunch of chicks.
 

silkydragon

Songster
10 Years
Nov 1, 2009
618
4
129
ohio valley
i have been studying up on the brahmas couse i would like some according to what ive read there small pea comb and heavy plumage including feathered feet make them immune to cold weather
 

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