newbie in need of help and recommendations

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by wannabeefarmer, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. wannabeefarmer

    wannabeefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2014
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    Im new to all this recently moved onto a farm. My small flock of 5 or so chickens will be picked out in the spring. Im starting from chicks so i can raise them accustomed to my daughter and i. They will be in a stall in a barn most of the time seeing as we live on 500+ acres and dont wish them to get eaten by cyotes being free range. I want docile layers who wont get antsy being non free range. If you can give me ideas on what YOU think is best id welcome it. I dont mind having a flock of different hens. I like the egg differences and stuff like that.
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I always advise to get a mix of different breeds. If you stay with a breed that's considered dual purpose, you're pretty sure of getting decent layer who isn't going to freak out at every little thing. Classic breeds like Plymouth Rocks, Australorps, Orpingtons, Wyandottes....those are great starter breeds. And you've got to have an Easter egger or two, cause the kiddos just love the blue or green eggs [​IMG]
     
  3. Euarto Gullible

    Euarto Gullible Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would consider building a secured outdoor run for them if you're concerned about predators. Chickens can be kept in a barn permanently, but they will have much fewer health problems if they get sunshine and fresh air. Chickens will usually stick pretty close to the barn (within a couple hundred feet) even if they have access to hundreds of acres. If you have dogs that leave your chickens alone, you can probably let your chickens free range without major concern for daytime predation by coyotes. Making sure they're secure at night is the much bigger concern.
     
  4. wannabeefarmer

    wannabeefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2014
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    I looove easter eggers! Im definately get one! Thank you for the recommendation ill research all of them!
     
  5. wannabeefarmer

    wannabeefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2014
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    I totally know what you mean but allow me to explain. The barn isnt a barn as in a big red closed off barn of sorts. It is alwaus open as we dont have doors. I wish i had a picture. It is all open and literally has a special designed "stall" if you call it that for chickens. We have cyotes that have come up to our cars during the day and we have deer constanly and a dog whos not too fond of chickens. Weve had them before almost 30 that we let be free and it only took a momth to be down to all of 1. Its unfortunate :(
    anyhow the barn is an open design. Its the weirdest barn ive ever seen but they get 100+ feet to run in.
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Raising chickens is a wonderful experience for children. My granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) loves our chickens. There are a number of breeds that are both docile and good layers. Those with a well deserved reputation for being friendly, calm, and gentle include Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Sussex, and Faverolles. My children made lap pets out of the first four breeds on this list. My personal recommendation is the Black Australorp. Black Australorps don't mind confinement; they are both extremely cold and heat hardy, and are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I have still had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. Whatever breed you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
     
  7. wannabeefarmer

    wannabeefarmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Southern Ohio
    Black australorps, sussex and orpingtons sound like the chickens i may end up settling with. Theyre all cold and heat hardy and generally the best layers. They all seem to be the ones most satisfied being not free range. I was looking at easter eggers but they seem to be les sproductive then most.
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Actually our Easter Eggers are good layers; about the same rate of lay as our Buff Orpingtons and the Sussex that we've had. And EEs are generally docile, and tolerate being handled, although they have never been the lap pets that the Orpingtons, Sussex, and Australorps have been. Despite their aloofness, I keep some EEs in our flock because they are my granddaughter's favorite chickens. She loves their colored eggs.
     
  9. JoshU

    JoshU Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi an welcome to the poultry world. Being that you are in ohio, and want docile friendly birds, I would suggest you get a pair of buckeyes if you go with a mixed flock. They are perfect with both free range and confinement. The roosters very seldom are aggressive. Very friendly and great with children and people new to chickens. And they are built for our ohio weather. Not to mention the beautiful coloring they possess. Check out my link at the bottom of my post, and come say hi in the buckeye thread here on BYC too.https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/803253/the-buckeye-thread/2960#post_14224122 I think you will find that they are a great addition to any flock, especially one in ohio.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    I totally agree. Their comical faces and the wide assortment of colors was an unexpected bonus when we added 5 of them to our order this past spring. The grandkids helped us pick out the chicks we'd get, and they loved the idea of colored eggs. We deliberately chose some chickens for our flock which were considered "average" or "fair" layers. If we'd have had all high production layers we'd be swimming even deeper in eggs than we are, so having hens that skip a day or two is no big deal to us. I still have more than enough eggs for my family and some left over to sell or give away. My flock was mixed - Buff Orpingtons, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Speckled Sussex, Easter Eggers, Marans, and Red Sex Links. I had always planned to do some culling because I didn't want to winter over more than 10 or 11 out of the 22 we had, so the three roosters went into the freezer. We had a day picked out to finish the culling and processing but when a lady who lives here in town lost her entire flock just before they started laying I had her come over and pick out some replacements....and then we were down to 11. But out of all of those varieties, the only ones that I wouldn't part with were the Easter Eggers. Average layers, easy on the eyes, pretty docile, and they add color to the egg basket and to the flock. Sadly we lost one EE to a stupid piece of wire she ingested.

    We have our first broody too - one of the Easter Eggers named Agatha is sitting on eggs right now - Easter Egger eggs. She belongs to my 8 year old grandddaughter Katie. Had no intention of hatching chicks, especially this late in the year, but Agatha just would not break being broody so we bought her some fertile eggs. She's doing a fantastic job. This chicken lady will never be without at least some EEs in the flock. I just love them. Next in line as favorites would be the Red Sex Links (or Golden Comets, Red Stars....different hatcheries call them by different names) because they are strong layers which do well to fill in the gaps left by the "average" layers. Good luck with your flock! You will enjoy them very much.
     

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