Newbie needs help - I'm second guessing the breeds in my first chick order!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by VA Raptor, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. VA Raptor

    VA Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2014
    S. Central Virginia

    After having read a lot of threads and reviews on BYC, I'm really starting to second guess my rather indecisive hatchery order. I am disabled, so it's important to me that I have breeds that are generally friendly and lay well or at least lay colorful eggs (realizing some individuals are just oddballs). I've listed what I have coming below:

    1-Day chick order: Barred Rock, Black Australorp, Easter Egger, Gold-Laced Wyandotte, Red Sex-Link, Rhode Island Red
    Incubating: Ameraucana, Maran, Cream Legbar

    I'm thinking I should cancel the Easter Egger (redundant), Wyandotte, and possibly RIR. Maybe replace them with Salmon Faverolle?

    What do you with first-hand experience think?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    You have some good choices in there! Let me start at the top from my own experience.

    BR - great layer, maybe not the cuddliest.
    Blk Austra - sweet temperament, good layer, great sitters and mothers
    EE - Great layer of colored eggs, lovely mixed colors, diverse personality (some sweet, some crazy)
    GLW - round sweet birds, good but not great layer, good broodys
    RSL - Awesome layer, friendly but can be quiet pushy especially with food
    RIR (this is hatchery stock not heritage) aggression especially with roos, great layer

    Ameraucana - lovely, ok layers or blue eggs, sweet tempered and who can resist those muffs

    Maran and CL - never personally had, I would consult with the breeder as to temperament.

    I personally adore my Brahmas, are Jersey Giants (although the roos are aggressive if hatchery stock)
    Your best bet is probably to go through a local breeder, so you can see the parents and get a feel for the breed. Any hatchery stock tends to be more aggressive do to breeding practices. Good luck
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  3. Dizzywitch

    Dizzywitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2014

    I have a barred rock (sweet girl in the mornings and at bed time but doesn't like to be messed with during the day but will follow me all over the yard), silver-laced Wyandotte (same as the barred rock), and a RIR (sweetest thing! Loves to be held and will eat from my hand). My others are a black sex link (bossy and demanding), buff Orpington (sweet but really prefers to do her own thing), and an English game hen( oldest of the bunch and has so much attitude it makes me laugh. She'll even tell the rooster off) .

    Anyway, I don't know much about the Salmon Faverolle but the Wyandotte and RIR are keepers in my book.
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    Well, as far as your hatchery order goes, you have mostly brown egg layers. Did you not want white? And as far as cancelling the EEs because yo are incubating blue egg breeds, don't count your chickens before they hatch. You don't know how many you will get, and how many of those will be pullets. You could always try a rainbow layer assortment to see what you get.

    I have Faverolles and they can easily be bullied in a mixed flock. They also lay medium sized eggs, not large.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  5. VA Raptor

    VA Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2014
    S. Central Virginia
    Encouraging, but do you might have private or hatchery stock? I read conflicting reviews on the RIRs and wonder if source is what makes the difference? My new neighbors have an RIR roo that seems very sweet.

    Good points. I don't mind white eggs - just didn't know any breeds at the time besides leghorn (flighty?). I'm interested in the Faverolle for temperament and lighter eggs, but would hate to see anyone get bullied. Is there another breed that coexists well with them or would you recommend a separate flock?
  6. Dizzywitch

    Dizzywitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 12, 2014
    My Wyandotte came from the farm store. I don't think she's the prettiest but she is a sweetheart. I don't know much about the background of my RIR. A farmer gave me two hens along with his rooster. The rooster and one of the hens are specialty breeds so they were probably ordered from somewhere. My neighbor also has a sweet RIR. She's super friendly, goes on walks with them (cute watching her try to keep up!), and is best friends with their goat.
  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    I've had all of those breeds over the past 50 years except the Faverolle and the Cream Legbar. A good friend and neighbor had faverolles so I will comment on them as well. Someone whose had them can share a Legbar evaluation with you.

    BR--cold hardy breed with a generally docile temperament (on rare occasions I had an aggressive one), good layer of large brown eggs.
    BA--extremely hardy breed (both cold and heat) with a calm and gentle temperament (my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them), the best layer of the standard, brown egg laying breeds.
    EE--cold hardy hybrid, not aggressive, but typically rather standoffish (you can't normally make lap pets out of them), good layers of different colored eggs
    GLW--mine were actually SLW, cold hardy breed with a generally docile temperament (occasionally I had an aggressive one), good layer of large, brown eggs
    RSL--cold hardy hybrid (red gene roo x silver gene hen) with a fairly docile temperament, but not necessarily very friendly, they are egg laying machines (the only layers that I've ever had that were as good as the RSLs are Black Sex Links, which are friendlier and slightly outlayed the RSLs in really cold weather)
    RIR--cold hardy hybrid which can be aggressive, excellent layer of large, brown eggs
    Ameraucana--similar to my comments on EEs, most people's Ameraucanas are actually EEs, true Ameraucanas lay only blue eggs and are not usually quite as good a layer as EEs
    Marans--fairly hardy breed with a variable temperament (some of mine were quite docile, others were quite high strung and flighty), good layers of beautiful, chocolate eggs

    Hope this helps. Good luck with your choices. :eek:)
  8. Bill Matthews

    Bill Matthews Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2013
    You indicate that egg production is important...The hatchery stock is great for eggs, especially Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and Red Sex Links...Faverolles are unreliable layers and lay smaller eggs than Reds, Rocks, etc...If you really want Faverooolles try Buff Orpingtons for a mixed flock....Brahmas and Cochins would be ok but very poor layers....Getting production birds from local small flock breeders would be a very bad idea if the breeder is primarily an exhibition breeder...A lot, but certainly not all, of the anecdotal material about hatchery stock being really aggressive in comparison to heritage stock is exaggerated ....You are probably getting mostly pullets....Just don't get RIR males to be on the safe side.....If you do get chicks from a local breeder make sure the breeder has a large enough flock that you will at least get some genetic diversity...Some of the exhibition breeders will have beautiful birds you will be thrilled to show off to friends but lay very few eggs and take forever to start doing that...
    1 person likes this.
  9. VA Raptor

    VA Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2014
    S. Central Virginia
    Given the feedback, I decided to stick with what I have. It might have been a good idea to swap out the RIRs, but hopefully we'll be good as long as I don't end up with a rooster. When we do get a roo, it might be best to get HIM locally rather than from a hatchery.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd stay with what you have. It's an easy thing to sell birds that just don't work for you down the line. Just cause you buy them as day olds, or hatch them, doesn't mean you're bound to keep them forever.

    Speaking of that, what are your plans for the 50% cockerels you hatch?

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