Newbie Q about my first chicks

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by imaleomom, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. imaleomom

    imaleomom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    Hello everyone!
    I'm so thankful that I found this site. We have been contemplating raising a few pet chickens for quite sometime now. This site might have pushed us over the edge!

    We are very excited to be welcoming our first babies sometime in the near future. We have a pretty nice space worked out. The girls will be able to come out in the yard with us while we are around, but be plenty safe in their area when we are not.

    Now I just have to figure out which kind of girls would be best for us! We have kids, and we'd like to have some eggs. No roosters though, we have neighbors. So maybe something that isn't completely flighty/skittish.

    I was thinking of the Australorp, Orpington, or EE. Someone else suggested RIR. Would you please weigh in on the subject?

    Also, I was thinking that about 5 would be a good number ~ though we actually have the space for more. I have only found one site that would actually allow me to even come close to placing such a small order. Any suggestions here?

    Anyway, I will be anxiously awaiting your insight!
  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Buff orps are big, beautiful, fluffy chickens and are pretty laid back. I like my dominques too!

    And, yes this web site will push you RIGHT over the edge and then some [​IMG]

    As far as small order - I recommend Meyer hatchery. I placed my first order with them and had great service and just what I wanted.

    I ordered 7 chicks and they sent an extra of the same gender and breed. (I ordered all pullets)...AND they all ended up girls.

    You will pay more for the shipping than for the chicks, but if a small order is what you want, I recommend them highly.

    Also, if you are interested in reducing your shipping costs, you might want to post when you are ready and see if anyone near you wants to split an order with you so you can get the 25 min and save shipping...

    WELCOME and enjoy the chicken insantity!
  3. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    My Pet Chicken and Ideal Poultry are two other places to look.

    I have Australorps and EEs and I love them both. The Australorps are calm and quiet and the EEs are docile. Orpingtons and RIRs are both good breeds also, there are dozens of Orpington lovers on BYC.

    Good luck!
  4. imaleomom

    imaleomom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2008
    I think our first choice(s) are the Australorps and EE's. But, like I said, we are still open to others.

    How do these guys rate on the ease of care scale? I'm kind of nervous about raising such tiny gals. I'm also assuming that having a mixed flock is alright?

    If I were to split an order with someone, how would we know whose chicks are whose? ~Especially with a mixed batch!

    Any other words of wisdom before I walk the chicken plank?
  5. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    Australorps and Orps are both super calm, in general, and so are most of my EE's but you just never know. RIRs lay great, but can be sketchy and sometimes aggressive. Have you looked into Light Brahmas? Feathery feet, furry butts, and all that. They're the ones kids love to hold most, and they love to be held as well.

    You really can't go wrong with any of these as long as they are CHICKENS!
  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    If you split an order with someone, you would just sit together over the box, and each person would pull out their chicks. If you both ordered the same kind you could take turns (one take one, she takes one, etc.)

    As to breeds, I have some light brahmas and 4 EEs. The EEs are nice, but the light Brahmas are definately more laid back personality wise. My kids like the Light Brahmas better. The kids have found the Brahmas easier to tame down.

    Haven't ever had the Australorp or Orpington. Had RIR as a kid. Awful rooster, hens fine, but didn't seem 'pet quality'. If you want RIR (and they would lay more), I would buy from someone on this list, or at least a small backyard breeder who would have better personalities than a big hatchery.

    I have heard lots of good stuff about Australorp and Orpington being quiet and sweet. I think the Australops would lay better, but not sure.
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake


    what about getting two hens of each? RIR, Australorp, Orpington, and EE?

    But then what color Orpington? [​IMG]
  8. Rosebud75

    Rosebud75 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 31, 2008
  9. suburban farm girl

    suburban farm girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    I read on another thread that sex links - red sex links were specifically mentioned - were very friendly chickens and good layers, too.

    Any comment from someone who has had red sex link hens?
  10. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    I got out of chickens and that lasted less than two years!
    This spring a chance encounter between me and baby chicks at the farm supply store led to the re-awakening of my chicken obsession! I went home with twelve Cherry Eggers, Barred Rocks and Buff Orpingtons. Then came the Araucaunas, Light Brahmas, Black Giants, Australorps, RIR, BSL, Salmon Favorelles, Wyandottes, and White Rocks!
    Oh, and that doesn't count the bantams! Or ducks, geese and guineas!
    I agree with the post that said get some of each!!! You won't be sorry.
    Most chickens will be very, very friendly if you spend enough time with them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by