New from Florida! Could use some breed advice.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by HennaRose, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    Hi! I'm new to this stie and to chicken-keeping. i've done a little research, but I'm planning to learn a lot more in the coming couple months. I've recently begun planning my garden for next year and I want to include chickens in my plans this year. In addition to fresh, good-quality eggs, I think helping raise chickens will be good for my children. Teach them about raising some of their own food and all that.

    My goal is to keep three to four birds, no more. I've got the perfect place for their coop and I had planned on letting them be as free range as possible within the laws governing poultry-keeping in my city, since I live in town. I was already going to fence off and screen in my garden in an effort to keep rabbits and wild birds out, so I've designated a spot for the coop inside that fence. Built in protection from predators that way, and they'll still have access to bugs and plant stuff in the garden from dawn to dusk.

    As for other considerations, I have had some trouble determining which breeds to get. I would like birds than can tolerate heat and humidity, are at least decent layers, aren't too aggressive and aren't too broody. I'll probably need at least two different breeds because I'd like a good mix of white and brown eggs (I use the shells for artwork after we eat the eggs and need both colors). Now, all those qualities may be too much to ask, out of one breed. I don't want to be dealing with hens that pick and fight at each other all the time, so not aggressive is probably more important than not broody. As for heat tolerant, I may be able to install a fan in the coop and there's part of the garden space that's shady due to the overhang of the house and some surrounding trees, but I don't want them to get heat stroke or anything. Flighty isn't much of an issue because they'll be in a screened in fence with a double-gated entry to reduce the risk of escape.

    What breeds should I be looking for? Any special concerns with any of them?
  2. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] glad you joined us! Here is a list of chicken breeds and what color eggs they lay etc: also I would recommend posting in your state's thread to get recommendations from locals: and one more thing have you checked out the Learning Center? It truly is the best place to start:

    My personal favorite breeds are Orpingtons, Marans, and Seramas.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help!

    The breeds best suited for you are the barred rock, sex link, australorp, marans sussex and leghorn. The barred rock is a very friendly breed who lays large brown eggs each day. They are super curious. The sex link is an egg machine. They tend to be more skittish and indpendent. But if tamed while young then they make wonderful pets. The australorp is a GREAT breed!! They are docile, affectionate, pretty, extreme layers and friendly. Sussex chickens are also great! They are super curious and always want to know what is going on around them! They lay eggs regularly and are very friendly. They are more cold than heat hardy though. Finally, the leghorn is another egg machine who is more of a flighty bird. But again, if tamed while young then they make friendly birds. Marans are friendly and docile. They lay large, dark eggs and are heat and cold hardy.

    My favorite breed is the buff orpington. They are affectionate, lap hogs, curious, friendly, great layers and soft birds. However, they are not very good in heat and humidity.

    There are many bantams that do well in heat that I didn't mention. However most of them are more flighty, independent and not good layers.

    Here are some great links to check out also.

    Best of luck and glad you joined!
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    X2 on Mountain Peeps and Liz here. They have given you some great advise! I am a big fan of the Black Australorp or any Orpingon breed. Great layers, very friendly, docile and both heat and cold hardy. Definitely follow these links for more info on picking the breeds.

    Enjoy this new adventure you are on and welcome to our flock!
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Mountain Peeps has given you some good advice and lots of great links!
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] So glad you joined us.

    I'm in central Georgia and bet our heat and humidity are similar. I have 3 BO's and they only showed heat issues during treat time, running, jumping. They are friendly, easy to care for but 2 of 3 go broody way too often and with that personality really is PMS. If you depend on regular egg laying, avoid them, altho I do love mine. Their brown eggs look pink to me. But large/XL.

    Barred Rocks lay throughout the year. Eggs are also lighter brown. The only heat stress we had with 3 this year was one of the BR and temp was only near 90 but high humidity. Never understood that. But with shade, fan, pan with ice water with lettuce - like bobbing for apples, they all 3 BR and BO tolerated the heat but we had a fairly cool summer, few days over 100. None of the 108-110 we often see.

    There's not a lot of resources for heat tolerance, and I agree with previous post to post question on a Florida forum. Also, you could talk with your county Extension Agent, bet they can give you a list of what fair best in your area.
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    The other posters have given you some great advice.

    Good luck with your future chickens!
  9. HennaRose

    HennaRose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 22, 2014
    I've lived in this part of Florida most of my life, and I don't think I've seen a summer yet get higher than 102. Even that's pretty rare, it's usually about 95-97, not accounting for humidity. Ice water, a fan, and shade should do them just fine in the summer. I would love to give them some space in the side yard, where the sun almost never shines so it's always a good ten degrees cooler over there. Unfortunately, that's only five feet away from the yard of the neighbor-who-complains, so I want to put as much space between him and my hens as possible. (I don't live in an HOA or anything, but he got mad at me once for asking his party guests to not block my car in and since then has called code enforcement on me twice and is in general cranky and curmudgeonly; I plan to print out all the codes and laws regarding backyard chickens this week so I have them on hand when the inevitable code enforcement officer knocks on my door as soon as the birds are out in the coop. Maybe offering free eggs when they start laying will make him less grouchy.)
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. My sister lives in Florida. Based on your criteria, I would recommend Black Australorps. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids) and they are extremely hardy. I've raised them where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and where winter temperatures dropped to 30 F below zero, and in both climate extremes, they came through like troopers. Black Australorps are also calm and friendly. My children, and now my granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) made lap pets of them. And they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I've still had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breeds you decide to get, good luck with your flock.

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