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New member from NE with a ? about the varities of chickens.....

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bullwinkle, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    [​IMG] Hello everyone,
    I just joined this forum a few minutes ago. Our family is very new to raising chickens, in fact we don't have them yet, but are getting everything ready for them come in March.

    Can anyone help us to know what is the best variety of chicken that you would recommend. We are looking for :
    1. one's that are good for free ranging (the main predators here are coyotes and raccoons),
    2. good egg layers (raising them only for eggs),
    3. chickens that will lay for at least a couple of years (it doesn't matter if the egg production decreases).
    4. That will do well in colder weather (we live in southern Nebraska).

    I was considering something like the Rose comb brown leghorn . On really cold winter nights I would likely have a small heater or something to provide a little extra heat.

    I had ordered some chicks for delivery in March, but I'm a little afraid that because they are white the predators might pick them off. Thanks for any advise.

  2. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008

    KK got that out of the way. I am in North central NE...

    Leghorns will do well for eggs (they aren't the friendliest bird) Most hatcheries also have like a commercial layer special that would work for you too. Although they will probably only lay well for 3 years +/- and then you'll be spending a lot to feed them with little to nothing in return.

    In our weather, you should consider a meatier bird b/c it's COLD. I think a Rehode Island red or white would be a great bird, it's a heavier bird and does lay really well. The hens are usually friendly, t he roos not so much (in my experience)

    Personally I have White Rocks and Buff Orpingtons, nice sturdy dual purpose birds.

    As far as the preditors... I worry only about them at might. I have only seen a coon once in the daylight and he was half-dead. Do you have a coop for them to roost in at night?

    Once again [​IMG] You've found the right place
  3. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    WELCOME!!! [​IMG]

    Agree about a meatier bird, RIR or NHR... I had a friendly NHR rooster, so while it may be partly nature partly nurture, they can be nice. Handle em early and often, and treat em nice. (though that's no guarentee either)

    There's other good dual purpose cold tolerant breeds. The dual purpose is what gives them the bulk for dealing with cold even if you don't plan on eating em.


    this chart has info on laying and cold tolerance etc. hope it helps, and hae fun here!! [​IMG] It's a pretty nice place!!
  4. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    If you have a warm coop,I would say go for the brown leghorns.Mine lay pretty well throughout the year(Three years and still laying strong)and are very alert of predators.My australorps lay just as well,and being they are a heavier breed,they could probably take the cold better.I think rhode island reds would also be another good choice,but if you want the brown leghorns,I say go for it and see how it works out(Just keep them warm) [​IMG]

  5. Bullwinkle

    Bullwinkle Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    I do have a pretty nice coop for them already for the night time. The coop has electricity in it, so on really cold days I may turn on a small heater (just to keep it above 10 degrees or so).

    I've been thinking hard about RIR's. I've also been considering Red Sex Link (part Rhode Island Red). I'm not sure if they would do as well foraging during the day time though? (Are The Red Sex Links the same size as a RIR?)

    Pinky: I had considered the "Rose Comb Brown Leghorns" but I had never heard about how good they are at laying. The hatcheries website says they are good for areas with predators (alert, etc.).

    Thanks again everyone...
  6. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
  7. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    [​IMG] from TN
  8. spook

    spook Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    North Central Florida
    Greetings and welcome to BYC- so many good people here.
    I hate to go and rain on everyone's parade, but please ask the hatchery you get birds from if they are free from different diseases.
    Most will not kill the bird, many people aren't even aware that they carry the Mycoplasma and other conditions. I personally have MG, it is one of those virus' that cause Chronic Respiratory Disease or aka the "chicken cold". Chickens with a sneeze, wheeze or cough...that is illness. I have a link, but please do not panic, if you read the forums, you will see that most of this site and so many others are dealing with it. My girls, like I said, have the MG, they can free range in my yard, they lay each day, the eggs will not harm you or your children's health.
    I'll tell you, there is nothing better then sitting out on a sunny day, green grass between your toes, lemonade in your hand with a chicken singing happily coming towards you to say hello.
  9. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive 10 Years

  10. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    all my flock tested neg for mcg, pylorrum, and salmonella by the poultry people. I would not want to add a sick bird. to anyones flock. Jean

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