Newbie from Md. need advice

wawa

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
30
0
32
Started building my coop today and planning on gettin 10-12 brown egg laying hens.
Would like some advice on what breed would be best for egg production and fit my climate best?????
 

paulpig

Songster
10 Years
Apr 4, 2009
108
0
109
where is your climate..........red sex links lay HUGE brown eggs. Buff Orpingtons also..... Rhode Island reds
 

wombat

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
1,484
9
151
Any of the brown egg layers should do fine in most of the US. We're in Maryland, and ours tolerate the heat, humidity, and cold just fine, and we have a variety of brown eggers.

I'm partial to Golden Comets, as they are sex-links and therefore it will be easier for you to get only hens, if that's what you're after. Rhode Island Reds are also good beginner birds, though not sex-link, so if you order female RiR chicks, plan on about 10% to turn out to be roosters. Red Sex Link are also good starter birds, another type to consider if you want to cut down on the odds of getting roos. IMO, red sex link are more productive and friendlier than black sex link, by the way.

None of the above are fancy looking, but they are reliable layers, and easy to care for. Of the three I mentioned, Golden Comets seem to be the most friendly, in my experience.

Some people may consider Rhode Island Reds, and the hybrids that are half RiR to be rather mundane, but they are quite common because they are hardy, easy to care for, and productive. Our birds are generally good for an egg a day, with a day off maybe once a week or once every other week. Hard to beat that!

You might want to build an insulated coop, though. We live in Maryland, and insulated ours. Helps keep it cool in summer as well as warmer in the winter.
 
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wombat

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
1,484
9
151
We got ours as hatchlings from a co-worker of mine who happened to have ordered more than he had room for.

I believe he had ordered them from Cackle Hatchery.
 
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wawa

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
30
0
32
Can I mix and match different breeds and roosters especially a different breed rooster.
 

wombat

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
1,484
9
151
In general, yes.

Are you intending to start a flock that's self-maintaining? If so, it might be better to start with the Rhode Island Reds ... there's no telling what you'll get when you breed to sex links, as they are hybrids and won't breed true.

I was recommending starting with sex-links because you mentioned wanting hens for eggs, and had not said anything about breeding more.

By the way ... since you mentioned that you are new to this, I'll add that you don't need a rooster to get eggs from your hens ... I don't know how much you know about poultry, but a lot of people are a bit foggy on this detail. You only need a rooster if you intend to breed chicks, or for protecting your flock. If you only want to get eggs for eating, and don't intend to breed chicks, roosters are kind of a pain in the backside (though they often do have cool personalities!).

If you do intend to breed chicks, you'll have to decide if you want to go the incubator route, or let the hen do the hatching. If you intend the latter, then you might want to get at least a couple hens of a breed more likely to go "broody" and hatch their eggs, such as a buff orpington. The breeds I recommended earlier lay like egg laying machines, but they rarely want to sit their eggs ... so you might get more accurate advice if you provide a bit more about what you want to achieve.
 

wawa

In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 27, 2009
30
0
32
I know a little bit and know you don't need the rooster for eggs:lol:,We would like a small flock 12-15 birds with one rooster mainly and hopefully for the morning calling and just say we have one.I guess my question is can I have a different breed rooster then the hens(looking for a colorfull rooster) and can I mix sex links,RiR and golden comets in the same house
 

texasgal

Brood with an Attitude
10 Years
Apr 18, 2009
8,665
129
278
A big Texas size
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wombat

Songster
10 Years
Jun 23, 2009
1,484
9
151
Sure, you can mix the different breeds in the same coop. It's generally not an issue, unless there are extremes in size and temperment. Most backyard hobbyists keep mixed flocks.

We have RIR, RIR-mutts, and sex-links and they all get along together.

The hens generally will not care what breed of rooster you get. You could even get a bantam rooster. Roosters do have rather varied personalities, though. Some are quite fun to have around, and some are incorrigible little beasts. They don't just crow at dawn ... some are inclined to make noise all day and all night ... Perhaps you should get a few, and then keep your favorite and put the losers in the freezer.
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Have fun!
 

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