New into this, help me decide which breed.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bigoledude, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am hoping that one of three breeds I have narrowed down to, will be my choice for the 20 chicks I will order. Egg production and hungry to forage is my main goal for now. Later, I will probably raise other breeds for a meat chicken. The birds on the short list is Silver Duckwing Old English Game, Silver Spangled Hamburgs and the Silver Leghorns.

    My age and my failing legs make it impossible for me to be searching for nests/eggs. Should I rule-out any of these breeds for being hard to get them to lay in the nest-boxes in the coop? Please tell me how to train my chickens to return to the coop each evening to be penned-up. Because we have an abundance of forage, I will be able to supplement with a minimum of feed. But, they must lay in the coop!

    I'm assuming the Leghorns would probably perform better than the other two in egg production. But, because of the very young age of the grand children, the chickens must not be a danger to the kids. I'm just guessing that because of their fighting heritage, the Old English might be a problem in that regard. Is this true? And, what about the other two?

    I read that the Hamburgs' eggs are kinda small. But, if they produce a lot of eggs.... Do they?

    Now that I am deciding on specific breeds, I'd like to know how they rank in regards to what I'm looking for. Can you guys give me some detailed info on these breeds? If because of my health, my grandchildren and my need for egg production, I must go with a plain-colored chicken like the Red Star, so be it! I just wonder how well the Red Stars are able to forage (helping keep costs down)?
     
  2. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your 3 choises are very flighty breeds. Not all that friendly either. 2 can be arrgessive. You might want to look for calmer breeds like rocks, orps, wyandottes. They come in lots of colors and patterns are much calmer lay real well and forage well. I would stay away from the lighter breeds for the tend to be so flighty and meaner. To give you a good experiance with rocks just read my chickens blog I started when I got my first chicks.

    Here is a great linkl to help you choose better breeds. http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Good
    luck in your search.
     
  3. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The descriptions of these birds claimed how they were great foragers. We live in SE Louisiana along a canal and, the foraging here will be fabulous. I was sorta concerned that other breeds might not take full advantage of the resources available.

    Whatever breed I buy will be be able to stay roly-poly fat IF THEY CHOOSE TO FORAGE! There is insects like crazy and there are literally tons of extremely nutritious weeds that are actually edible by humans! I know, I just bought the book on "Wild Edibles". So again, I figured that a good forager.....

    If Rocks, Orps and Wyandottes can take full advantage, good.
     
  4. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Florida
    Leghorns are flighty when raised with only other leghorns, but they are great foragers.

    My best foragers are Minorcas, and Plymouth Rocks, the Rocks eat a lost but they lay steady for years and are easy to catch and the roosters are good for meat.

    I found the leghorns to be nicer than the Reds, EEs, and Buff orpingtons.

    I love Plymouth rocks, they come in many colors they lay very well and they are great around little kids (I am sure the grandchildren will want to come play) they forage and are big enough that they can't fly the coop.
     
  5. Rebecky54

    Rebecky54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am not familiar with the breeds you selected, but check out Buckeyes. They are known to be great foragers, friendly and good for both eggs and meat.

    Becky in NoDak
     
  6. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You did say louisianna? That is gator country? Then you want something a little flighty...that way they can get out of the way if a gator comes at them. Chicken is a favorite food of gators.

    If you don't have gators, I would recommend Orpingtons...lots of colors, very gentle and always come home at night.
     
  7. poultrycrazy

    poultrycrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say orpingtons to. They come in many colors like lavender, BBS, buff, and chocolate just came into the states but wont be available for a while [​IMG] . They are great layers and love to forage! they are a bit on the heavy side so you would have to be carefull with predators, but they are usually the most reliable to go back in the coop at night here. Look up some pics they are very attraction and you shouldnt have a problem finding some either! If you need a good chicken that will get away from predators easier i would go with the old english games, they are GREAT foragers, and mine are very reliable egg layers even as bantams. BUT the roosters can be aggressiveso i would be carefull with them. If you dont care if you have a mixed breed maybe you could mix the Old english and orpingtons to make a great forager that will lay good amounts of eggs and maybe a better "predator proof" chicken. Other chickens like wyandottes, sussex, and maybe some EE's? Hope this helps.
     
  8. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    My silver leghorns are beautiful, but as for production I do not feel they are as inpressive as white leghorns. I will say that I have never seen such free-ranging wonderlust until I got red and silver legorns! They would hop the fence to head for the woods and be gone! They just need to know where home is from the start and they will know where the eggs go.
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I love orpingtons, but considering your needs, I think Plymouth Rocks of any coloration would be good for you. My BR is very very friendly, inquisitive, a great layer, and a good forager although she doesn't NEED to forage.
     
  10. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My grandchildren will absolutely want to enjoy the chickens! I think a Silver Leghorn rooster with Rock hens is an excellent idea. As long as the rooster never even considers the fatal mistake of getting aggressive with one of my grandchildren!

    I never even thought about the gators as a threat to the chickens! The canal, during the warmer months, ALWAYS has several gators here behind the house. We try to keep them thinned-out but they must be territorial. As soon as we remove one, another seems to replace him. The land on our side of the canal is about 5-feet above the level of the water. I have never seen one climb out on land on our side. As long as the chickens don't forage right up against the water's edge.....

    Because we have nothing to attract possums and coons around the house, we rarely see any. Raccoons love hanging around water and possums are plentiful here but, we just hardly ever see them. I pray that the predator thing is a non-issue for me. What predators are causing y'all the greatest problems?

    I really think the mixed-breed chickens is a great idea. My luck, the Leghorn/Rock mix will give me gator-bait fat chickens that lay an egg-a-month!

    chic-n-farmer says

    My silver leghorns are beautiful, but as for production I do not feel they are as impressive as white leghorns. I will say that I have never seen such free-ranging wonderlust until I got red and silver legorns! They would hop the fence to head for the woods and be gone! They just need to know where home is from the start and they will know where the eggs go.

    chic-n-farmer; Is the difference in egg production dramatic between the White and Silver Leghorn? One of the reasons I am choosing the Leghorn rooster to mix with the Rocks, is the legendary egg production of the Leghorn. Are Rocks actually better layers than the Silver Leghorn?​
     

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