Need ideas on a breed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Caitlin_VT, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Caitlin_VT

    Caitlin_VT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need some help deciding on one breed! I need a chicken that:
    1. Does well in the cold
    2. Lays a fair amount of (regular size) eggs (hopefully in cold weather as well)
    3. Is easily contained but also can be a good forager if let out
    4. The roosters are more gentle
    And 5. the icing on the cake would be a chicken that can come in more than one color (within one flock). I would prefer not BBS, but I'm guessing this will be one of the only options that fufills the last hopeful requirement.

    Please post any info, and if you have the type of chicken you are recommending, what your experience is with it! Thanks so much [​IMG]
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Orpingtons (come in lots of colors, bbs is your best option for variety if you're looking to breed true colors).
    Chentechler, very cold hardy, great layers, dual purpose, colors are limited though.
    Wyandottes, come in MANY colors (bbs, silver/gold laced, blue laced red, ect).
    Brahmas, cute feathered feet, big birds.
    Ameraucanas, Araucanas or EEs, come in many colors (especially EEs) and will lay you lovely blue and green eggs (EEs, the other 2 will only lay blue if they are correct).

    I'm sure there are more, but that's what I can think of off the top of my head at the moment. Good luck with your breed quest!!!
    Nikki
     
  3. Caitlin_VT

    Caitlin_VT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! I have had a couple Wyandottes and they did not lay very well... And I have heard the same about Orpingtons, although I do like both breeds.
     
  4. maggiemo

    maggiemo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just ordered some Turkens. They fill the requirements you list. I have never had them but they sound like the perfect bird, to me at least.
     
  5. skyblu

    skyblu Out Of The Brooder

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    got to say that my orp pullets are my star layers right now - they are less bothered by the cold and wet than some of the others. I got them just because I love the look of them, not expecting them to be great layers but am pleasantly surprised that they are currently outperforming all bar one of my hybrids!
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    In my experience, my Orps laid very well...when they weren't broody. I wasn't impressed with my Wyandottes productivity either, which is why I don't keep them anymore, but other folks report theirs are stellar layers. Chentechlers are probably one of my all time favorite breeds (mine were partridge, which is a lovely color). They were my very first flock ever. The rooster was a gentle giant (who would very carefully take feed from my daughters hand, she was 2 at the time) and the hens laid like nobodies business. I just lost the last of Chen hens last year, at the ripe old age of (almost) 9. She was still giving me one egg a week up until she passed. They were wrinkly eggs, but I was impressed. Can't say enough great things about them, miss them alot!
    Nikki
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  7. Caitlin_VT

    Caitlin_VT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to know about the Orps! I haven't read much about Chantecler breed, will have to do so. Still open to more suggestions - fyi I have been reading a little bit about Swedish Flower Hens... Any northern people with experience with this breed?
     
  8. wsmith

    wsmith Chillin' With My Peeps

    The above mentioned breeds are all very good choices. May I add another?

    American Dominiques. Developed in what is now the US in colonial times. Great foragers. Good steady egg producers. Medium sized hens, good sized roosters. Medium to large brown eggs. Extremely economic to raise, they don't eat a whole lot compared to other breeds. They lay in the winter. Gentle hens. Roosters can vary in personality, so keep the nice ones and eat the ornery ones. Did I mention that though they slow down in the winter, they lay through the winter with no additional lighting or heat. I can't say enough good things about them.
     
  9. Caitlin_VT

    Caitlin_VT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another to add to the potential list...
     
  10. Caitlin_VT

    Caitlin_VT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any other perspectives? Thanks!
     

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