New to chickens, would love some breed advice

kleekailove

In the Brooder
May 11, 2015
10
0
24
Asheville, NC
Hi guys! I'm going to be getting my first flock of chickens in a few weeks but am having difficulty deciding on a breed and was looking for some advice. The breeds I've been considering so far are Faverolles, Ameraucanas, and Easter Eggers (mostly because of looks). I'm planning on getting three pullets to start with but I'm not sure which ones to get. I'm in Asheville, North Carolina and the summers are moderate but it does snow in the winter, so I'd have to have a breed that can handle cold weather. It's not absolutely necessary that they lay during the winter, it would be nice, but they are probably going to be pets more than anything.

I have a somewhat small fenced yard that I was planning to put a tractor coop in and hopefully allow the chickens to free-range for a few hours each day and the other times, confined to the tractor coop. The fence is very short, only about 3 feet tall, so I'm wondering if the chickens can safely have any time outside of the coop (perhaps if I clipped their wings?). I've heard that Faverolles don't fly well, so maybe with their wings clipped, they wouldn't be too much of an issue.

Another question, would it be best if I got three of the same breed or mix it up? I heard that Faverolles often get picked on by chickens of other breeds, so they may not do well unless all three of the chickens I get are Faverolles, do you know if that is true? Also, I have two small dogs who will be using the same yard when the chickens are in the tractor coop, so I don't know if there is some breed that does particularly well or not well with dogs in close proximity.

Anyway, thanks so much for your time! I've been browsing these forums for a while and found everyone to be so helpful and informative.
 
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dekel18042

Songster
Jul 18, 2013
2,195
300
241
Pennsylvania
So many choices....Different people tend t favor different breeds, which is good as there are so many breeds. I don't have faverolles myself but have friends that do so am familiar with the breed. Most have several within a mixed flock and they do tend to be towards the bottom of the pecking order, but in any flock, someone is going to be at the bottom so as long as you don't have aggressive breeds you should be OK. And Easter eggers are one of the breeds in the mixed flock.
You can decide if you want all your birds and thus your eggs to be similar or do you like different color birds and eggs.
Unless you pay a lot more for them, if you get Ameraucanas, unless you get them from a breeder, you're probably getting Easter eggers.
Faverolles do go broody if that is a concern, but so do EE's, although faverolles probably go broody more.
 
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Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,436
438
Montana
All three of those breeds are cold hardy, docile, and good layers although you're not going to get true Ameraucanas without paying a high price for them. The ones you buy from hatcheries and feed stores are Easter Eggers which the hatcheries have incorrectly labeled as Ameraucanas. The one exception is Meyer Hatchery which breeds blue Ameraucanas, but they charge five times more for them than they do for their Easter Eggers. Faverolles will do find if they are in a mixed flock with other breeds that have a reputation for being calm and gentle such as Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Cochins, and Sussex. If egg production is a priority, Australorps are the best layers on this list and Cochins are the poorest layers (although they are the best brooders and mothers). Whether or not any of these breeds will do well around dogs depends more on the dogs than on the chickens. Dogs and chickens do not generally mix well. We frequently receive posts from new members who are horrified because their seemingly benign dog (even small breeds like chihuahuas) suddenly and unexpectedly began chasing and killing their chickens. And once a dog has killed a chicken, it's virtually impossible to break him from doing it again. My advice is to keep the dogs and chickens separated by a good enclosure.
 
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