newbie in Florida

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by meg54, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. meg54

    meg54 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 26, 2013
    Florida
    Hi everyone. I'm in the planning stages of my chicken keeping venture, and I've been trying to decide what breeds I want. I've gone through some of the breeder websites like MyPetChicken, and tentatively chose to go with Easter Egger, Golden Buff, Welsummer, and maybe a white leghorn or two. Would you consider these to be good breeds for the central Florida climate? I'm looking for good layers, and will probably get around 15 chicks.
    Do you have suggestions for other breeds that may be better choices? Thanks a bunch!!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Welcome to BYC!

    Golden Buff isn't a breed, it's a hybrid. The advantage is it's sex linked, meaning there is no chance of getting a male as the two sexes are different colors at hatch. Australorps are excellent layers; one held the world's record for number of eggs in a year for a number of years. Leghorns are also escellenty layers but tend to be flighty, meaning difficult to handle, much less tame. Hatchery Rhode Island Reds tend to be bullying, though this is far from universal. Personally, I would get some Barred Rock -- pretty dependably sexable at hatch and an old standby breed.

    Most breeds will do fine in Florida. I'd avoid those with feathered legs, and Cochins or perhaps Orpingtons as they tend to have a lot of fluff, which means a lot of insulation.

    You might also be interested in this thread, not at all about breeds, but many in the south have found it helpful:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/163417/please-show-me-your-hot-weather-coops/0_20
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  3. meg54

    meg54 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 26, 2013
    Florida
    Thanks Judy for the link to the hot weather coops. That's been a concern of mine, to design a coop that has good ventilation, especially with our summer heat and humidity.
    I'll look into Australorps and Barred Rock. I've heard good things about Barred Rock, but wasn't sure how they would handle the heat. I'm glad to hear most chickens do well here. Thanks for your help! [​IMG]
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Glad to help! You chickens will thank you for a breezy, shaded, open air place to live.
     
  5. SpringHillConservatory

    SpringHillConservatory Out Of The Brooder

    We find that Orpingtons do well in Central and South Florida - even during the middle of summer. There is a breed of dog called a "Havanese" which looks a lot like a Llasa Apso or Shih tzu - lots of coat. The Havanese breed standard recommends the coat be left to the ground and that the long hair in the face shouldn't be pulled up like on those other breeds. The reason is that their coats actually insult them "from" the heat - the face hair acts like "sunglasses". Maybe some of that fluff works the same way.

    If you haven't had chickens before I would stay away from flighty breeds like Leghorns and Campines. Friendly birds just make a better impression on most of us - and allow people to enjoy their birds more. Although I DO recommend other Mediterranean class breeds - like the White Faced Black Spanish and Ancona.

    I do highly recommend that you look at Polish and other members of the Continental class - perhaps it's their body type that helps. And their "top knots" give shade?

    Black Javas seem like they may be - well - too black - but they do come from a jungle environment and do just fine on our farm in the rain and humidity. And these days they come in lighter colored versions.

    Also a breed I grew up around in Miami are the Cubalayas. - The seem like a game bird at first glance but have truely wonderful traits and a great tolerance - naturally of heat and humidity - and can still take a Central Florida cold snap, The breed by the way does not have spurs! The Livestock Conservancy rates them as threatened American Heritage breed - so that would be nice for you to have! Notice some of the things I bolded below -

    Here's some words from Wiki on them:

    Quote:
    Best of luck - Oh and BTW - Bantams do well here as there is that - heat to size ratio thing going on. It's a trait found in nature that animals living closer to the equator need less size to keep warm so the same species can be found in smaller sub species - therefore our Florida Key Deer - from the American White Tailed.

    -- a good idea is to read up on how to keep your birds cool on hot days - there are some good articles out there.

    The difference between our South / Central Florida - and just a little bit north say even Jacksonville, Tallahassee, Pensacola - is the humidity is a big part of the heat.
     
  6. SpringHillConservatory

    SpringHillConservatory Out Of The Brooder

    WHOOPS! - Scratch Java in my first response and switch that for Sumatra!
     
  7. meg54

    meg54 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 26, 2013
    Florida
    Thank you very much everyone for all of your help. I never realized how many different breeds and varieties of chickens are out there until I started looking into getting some. I'm hoping for some good layers, but I really would like to have chickens that are reasonably friendly as well. You've given me a lot of chickens to look into keeping. It's so difficult to decide!
    Thanks for all of the encouragement. I'm getting more and more excited about this as the planning progresses. It's really hard to hold back on ordering the chicks, but I promised myself I would get the coop built first. My husband has been really helpful on that end, and I think he's actually looking forward to building the coop and run. [​IMG]
     

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