New and looking for ideas

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by horsechick, Nov 14, 2007.

  1. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Hello all!
    We are new to chickens.
    One of my daughters is fascinated with them, (found many an egg from fridge in her possession with her trying to hatch it...LOL!) I thought, well, if she's interested it may work well for them to learn to take care of, sell eggs, or whole chickens, etc.
    So we were looking at ALL the different breeds, (I could see us getting 50 different kinds! There are so many beautiful ones!) But that would be a mess to start with.
    So we are looking for suggestions here.
    1.) good egg layers, +
    2.) good meat chickens or ones that would sell for meat chickens fairly well as they got older too.
    3.) friendly, I'm sure she will be catching them quite often...(.if I find them in her room I wouldn't be surprised...haha)
    4.) Hardy

    I'm sure we will end up getting some of the "pretty" ones, but we have to look at space and realistic returns.
    And we just need someplace to start.
    Thank you for all your suggestions!!
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    BC, Washington Border
    I am assuming you are in the US. So I would suggest Dorkings, Brahma, or Orpingtons for real dual purpose and all round temperment. That is assuming heritage breed. Those are your best bets from a hatchery. All the above do well in our winters and continue to lay.
     
  3. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
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    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Yes, us, Thank you for the suggestions.
    Would they also sell for meat chickens?
    I am so glad to find this board, was reading about the brooders and just love all the information and ideas everyone seems to have! I could see us getting very chicken crazy...
    Thanks again, We will look up those breeds you mentioned.
     
  4. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Dorkings are the best of the three for dual purpose use. They are a large round bodied bird with very good laying characteristics year round. As with all heritage breeds they take longer than cross bred commercial birds to achieve full weight. But they are very hardy and don't drop dead for no good reason like you will experience with cornish cross types.

    If you want the best characteristics of these birds mentioned I would highly recommend buying from a breeder of good reputation. You will find the birds are heavier in the body and generally more consistant in the chicks they produce.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  5. LoneCowboy

    LoneCowboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2007
    Longmont, CO
    Any chicken you use for laying, won't really sell great for meat birds. The problem is, after they've laid for a while or the usual 2 years they are tough old goats. Ok for stewing though. The older a chicken gets the tougher they get.

    People are spoiled here. They want good double breasted chickens. It's hard to break them of what they are used too getting in the store. You might consider running a chicken tractor with some broilers for that. You can process them in about 8 weeks and people are used to that kind of bird. And your daughter won't have time to make a pet out of them [​IMG].

    For laying, and with your daughter in mind, a nice buff orpington would be good. They are pretty docile barr rocks might be good too. The really great layers are a bit less friendly though.

    If you plan on eating them, don't let her name them. Unless she names them food names, nugget, hotwings etc.

    If you plan on letting her hatch some, I'd go with the orpington, the roosters are pretty nice too. Roo's can get really nasty and mean and attack kids.

    Then your kids can sell hatching eggs if they get a good breeding bunch. Ebay has a bunch that can go for $1+ and egg.

    Of course if you are hatching your own, (and if you hang out here much, you will be [​IMG] ) You can raise the roos for eating, they take longer than 8 weeks for the standard breeds, and with a little education people would go for single breasted chickens.

    I'd get the Murray McMurray hatchery catalog and sit down with your kids and pick some out. It has discriptions and pictures and would be a lot of fun for them.
     
  6. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
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    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Thank you all, we have gotten a catalog, I let her look and every other chicken breed has a circle around it..haha! I even mentioned to her about 4-h, she could show one, her sister shows horses but she isn't into that so it maybe something she's interested in.
    I think we are starting at a bad and good time, time enough to maybe learn and do some research, get areas ready without rushing and yet less birds available maybe and we're getting excited so that helps otherwise we'd have 100......lol! so I think its good.
    I am sure we'll end up trying many.
    We are in a more farm/rural community close to larger places as well but I think it'd be fairly easy to get rid of excess we might have, a friend of mine said hers go very fast.
    Thanks and we welcome any suggestions!
    Take care all
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2007
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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  8. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    I am going to agree that Dorkings would be a lovely way to begin. I have a friend that has Dorkings and they are nice, big birds. Hers are from Murray McMurray Hatchery.

    Here is a pic. She is still pretty young in this photo but she is a big girl now. Dorkings are a rare heritage breed so that is nice as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. horsechick

    horsechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    892
    5
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    Nov 14, 2007
    Eaton, Ohio
    Hi,
    Thank you all for the suggestions, How about Bramha's, there are lights, darks, etc, how would those do?

    And if we got 2-3 differents breeds, do you have to keep them all seperate or only have one Rooster, or really we wouldn't need a Rooster at all unless we wanted to hatch chicks correct?

    I guess a rooster will breed with what ever hen there is right?

    LOL,
    He's not breed specific? [​IMG]

    We thought of maybe a silkie as a pet for her also, do they still lay eggs but smaller less frequent, and we've read they can be good brooders for you.

    Thank you for any more suggerstions info,
    Take care all!
     
  10. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    I have Dark Brahmas. Decent layers. Not as meaty as the Dorkings. My brahmas have been good winter layers of LARGE eggs.

    You don't have to keep breeds seperated and don't need a rooster unless you plan on breeding.

    Silkies can be novel pets. Find a good breeder of silkies. The mindset of the birds really seems to vary from one line to the next. I have seen some breeders with very nice but highly aggressive silkies.
     

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