Newbie question - what kind of chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by demonica29, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. demonica29

    demonica29 New Egg

    Apr 25, 2009
    Queen Creek, AZ
    hi! monica here. i am totally new to the idea of raising chickens and have a TON of questions. i'm gonna try to take them one at a time in a logical order. so my first question is: what kind of chickens? i want hens only, no roosters, i live in the greater phoenix area, so they have to be able to stand the heat well, i have a toddler, so friendly birds are really important, obviously i want good layers cuz w/o roosters i'm trying to lay breakfast, not breed dinner. and lastly, all other things being equal, i have a preference for non-white eggs, but that is way at the bottom of the list. so, what do y'all think?
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    bantam leghorns...
  3. One Acre Wonder Farm

    One Acre Wonder Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2009
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Just about any breed is fine as long as they have lots of shade & plenty of water.

    A misting system for the hottest part of 110+ days is helpful--the ~$10 portable ones that you connect to a hose bib (usually have 5 or 6 misting nozzles) work great. If you can put it on a timer so that it turns on for a few minutes several times a day is even better.

    Consider using an automatic waterer--you need to check it every day, clean it out and occasionally adjust the fill height, but it is a huge relief to know that the birds always have fresh water available.
  5. Chickie'sMoma

    Chickie'sMoma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2009
    Rochester, NH
    i chose faverolles because they seemed to be good all around birds. i got my std favs that just hatched this week from a lady in florida and everyone up in my direction says they are calm and will let you pick them up. (most of my chicks already show that characteristic)

    they lay a medium sized pinkish/brown egg. they can also be color sexed very early. cockerels will have a lot of black on their wings while the pullets will have the salmon color with a little bit of black turning to a light brown. you can usually see the colors at 2 weeks to be sure of the sex.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Check out this breed selector tool:

    In my experience, leghorns are flighty, panicky birds that are very difficult to approach. But these are hatchery leghorns. Might be different if they were from a good breeder.

    Henderson's is an excellent breed chart.

  7. AZKat

    AZKat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    I don't know how much it helps, since I don't have my birds yet, but I'm also in your neck of the woods, and so had similar criteria. Our list ended up being barred rock, australorp, and andalusian.
  8. ZepChick

    ZepChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    coos bay OR
    omg, Cochins are like big stuffed animals with nice calm temperaments and mine lay a beautiful brown egg daily [​IMG] Easter eggers also lay well and lay blue/green egg daily (mine do) although not quite as calm as a Cochin. Since they are fluffy, not sure how a cochin would do in phoenix
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  9. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Cochins do fine here as long as they have shade and water.

    I would say don't import a bird from cold weather and immediately throw it out into 100+ temps. Most breeds that have been mentioned are available locally from breeders. When you decide on breeds, PM me and I'll give you some names.
  10. Renee

    Renee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2008
    Mediterranean breeds do well in hot weather, but they tend to be flighty and less friendly than some others.

    I have a Silver Campine that is supposed to be well-suited to hot temps, and she is a sweetie. A real lap chicken. She is talkative, though, so if you have neighbors that are really close you might consider that issue too.

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