New to the Chicken World And Need Help

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Kimsaver, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Kimsaver

    Kimsaver New Egg

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    Hi! My husband and I are fixing to build our first coop and know much of nothing about having chickens. I would love all the input and suggestions on what kind of chickens to get. We have tons of land but we also have 2 outdoor cats. I have no clue what chickens to get. We are getting them basically for pets of course the eggs will be a bonus. Any suggestions on what type of chicken make the best pets and if their are certain breeds that I shouldn't put together?I love the colorful ones as well but want good breeds. Any websites or places that I should know about as far as getting the chickens and where to get feed and things for them as well. I am in North Carolina.


    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you. The other posters have given you some good links. Definitely start at the Learning Center. For more information on breeds, check out the Breed section of this website for personal reviews and information: Chicken Breeds - BackYard Chickens Community

    Remember that there is no "best" breed for everyone. Climate, personal preferences, and egg/meat needs all determine which type to get. It's a great idea to get several different breeds- that way you can find out which one you like best, and if you decide you like them all, you'll have a beautiful varied flock!

    If egg production is a priority, get Leghorns or Sex-Links. If you want a good amount of eggs, but not extreme egg production, most dual-purpose breeds like Wyandottes, Australorps, Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, and Rhode Island Reds will work out well. If you like fancy breeds or odd birds, get Polish, Silkies, or feather footed chickens like Cochins. Depending on the climate, you may want a breed with a large comb for heat tolerance (Minorca, Leghorn, Catalana, Ancona), or a breed that is cold hardy (Wyandotte, Chantecler, Buckeye, Easter Egger). If you just want little pets, consider a bantam breed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
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  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Like Wyandottes7 mentioned, there is no "best" breed of chicken. The best chicken for you depends on your individual preferences and situation. Some things to think about include:

    • Your climate.Chickens are very hardy creatures that can adapt to survive in many conditions. However, if you live in a really hot area, don't get a heavily feathered breed, like the Cochin. Likewise, if you live in a place where temperatures are often in the negative numbers, I wouldn't recommend a breed with a gigantic comb (Leghorns, Minorcas, etc.). Some cold hardy breeds include the Wyandotte, Chantecler, Buckeye, Easter Egger, and Ameraucana. Breeds of chicken that do well in the heat include the Mediterranean-type breeds, such as the Leghorn, Minorca, Catalana, Andalusian, Spanish, and Ancona.

    • Your goals. What do you want the chickens for? If eggs are your priority, try some high production breeds like the Leghorn, Sex-link, Rhode Island Red, and Australorp. If you mostly want tasty meat, buy some Cornish cross broilers or another broiler hybrid. If you want plenty of eggs, but also a sizable carcass, try a dual-purpose breed, including the Wyandotte, Orpington, Plymouth Rock, Easter Egger, and Sussex. Or, if you just want a bunch of chickens that are beautiful and fancy, get some of the more unique breeds--Polish, Silkies, Faverolles, etc.

    • Any hazards in your area. If there are lot of aerial predators (hawks, etc.) in your area, then I wouldn't get some of the less-defensive breeds, like the Silkie or Polish. If there are lots of stray cats/other small animals around, I would probably avoid smaller, bantam chicken breeds. Hardy gamebreeds (Old English Game, etc.) or larger, dual-purpose chickens (Rhode Island Reds, Jersey Giants, etc.) usually have a better chance of surviving when there are more predator threats.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
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  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Depends on what you are looking for in a chicken. Some people want them as pets, some for meat and eggs, some for show, etc....

    So definitely take a look at those links that ChickenCanoe has left for you. They both have some quick info on many attributes of each breed. If you are looking for some fun chickens and eggs, I am a huge fan of Black Australorps. Very docile, friendly and great on the laying. Very hardy as well. Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Wyandottes are great breeds as well.

    If you are strictly wanting birds that are egg machines, you might consider Leghorns (this breed can be skittish), or Black Stars.

    If you want broodies that love to set and raise broods, Silkies are great on the broodiness.

    Stop by our learning center too. Liz left you with that link. Lots of good articles on all the aspects of keeping poultry from getting started, building the coop, choosing the breed, raising the chicks and keeping your adult flock happy, healthy and safe from predators.

    Good luck on this new journey and ask any questions you may have. Welcome to our flock!
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  7. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    I completely agree with Bantam Lover 21 and Wyandottes7. They couldn't have said it better.

    If you are after colorful eggs and friendly chickens then easter eggers are probably your best bet. EEs pretty much lay any color egg are are active, curious and generally friendly. If you are looking for a chicken who is affectionate, docile, calm, friendly and sweet then look no further than cochins, buff orpingtons, black australorps and silkies. However, silkies and cochins are not good egg layers. Buff orpingtons are affectionate, docile, calm, friendly and lay large brown eggs frequently.

    Here is a picture of easter egger chickens.
    [​IMG]
    If you are only looking for good egg production then sex links, production reds, rhode island reds and leghorns are your best bet. All these breeds are excellent layers, active and skittish.

    Here are three great links on choosing the right breed for you.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/which-breed-is-right-for-me.aspx
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...cken-guide-to-picking-backyard-chicken-breeds

    Best of luck to you and your planning!
     
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good advice and links from the other posters! You might also want to post on your state thread to reach people local to you who might have ideas on where to buy feed/supplies/chicks etc and recommendations for breeds in your area https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/91762/north-carolina
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Looks like the first responders have you covered . If you would like house pet chickens Silkies and seramas are a good bet and tolerate confinement. For regular chickens Buff Orpingtons, and Black Australorps are good breeds.
     
  10. LIChickens

    LIChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC!

    You will find a lot of good information here. Keep on asking questions and you will get many good answers.

    You may also want to read the FAQ below.
     

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