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Newbie, what kind of hens

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by BlueSky, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. BlueSky

    BlueSky In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2008
    Northern California
    Hi, All,

    We are just finishing up our hen house and are now looking for hens to fill it. A little about us and what we’re after. We live in the mountains of Northern California so the weather can be in to 100’s but we also get a little snow too. We have tons of land so they have plenty of land to roam during the day. We want hens because we eat a lot of eggs—we buy only organic (and usually fortified with Omega’s) and it’s getting very expensive. We absolutely love animals and we see our new hens as family pets (the bonus is they provide us with eggs) and if they’ll let us we’ll love on them daily [​IMG]. There are four of us, me, my hubby, and our two children (11 & 8).

    Now for my question, I have no idea what type of hens to get. Do you have any suggestions? We want good layers, friendly and social, not too sensitive to the heat or cold (we will have heater in the hen house), and I’d love it if they were cute too [​IMG]. Also, I was thinking 4 or 5 hens would be enough.

    Many thanks in advance! I’m so excited!
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  2. rebbetzin

    rebbetzin Songster

    Apr 4, 2008
    Tucson AZ
    I found this site to be very helpful when planning on what breed of chickens I wanted to buy.


    I decided to get Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks. I am happy with them, they are all friendly and I am able to pick them up and hold them.

    It will be spring before we get any eggs. I got four chicks, and there are only two of us. But, I wanted to be able to give some eggs to my friends.
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Welcome to BYC!

    First, I would suggest you spend lots of time looking through http://feathersite.com/ to see which breeds catch your eye.

    I personally would suggest Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, Speckled Sussex or a Sex-link breed. I know there are others that are good layers and friendly too, I'm just having a 'blond' moment here and can't think.

    If you go with a dual purpose breed you will have the option to have your own meat also.
  4. skand

    skand Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    We have a very wide variety of chickens. The ones that love on us the best are our 'golden girls'. One is a buff orp, one is an aracauna, and the other is a feathered foot-uh idunno. View my page if you dun believe me.lol
  5. herechickchick

    herechickchick Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    I think Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Brahma and Speckled Sussex would be great for you.
  6. mom2jedi

    mom2jedi Songster

    Aug 12, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    While we don't have any yet, I was able to research to my little heart's content here plus I used the My Pet Chicken website. There's a breed selector tool which is really helpful plus the site itself has tons of information.

    This is the link to the site:

    And this is the link to the chicken selector:

    From your post it sounds like you're looking for the same type of things I was. I ended up choosing one of each of these; black australorpe, black star, easter egger, barred rock, rhode island red, and two bantams, a buff brahma and a silkie.

    I can't wait for mine!
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:The link to Henderson's Chicken Chart that the others have given you is a great site for help in selecting breeds. I tried the breed selector on my pet chicken just for fun and I wouldn't have any of the breeds it "recommended" for me!
    I have LF brahma. Very heat tolerant and cold hardy as well.
    You won't need a heater in your chicken coop once your chicks are feathered out. You'd be surprised how cold hardy chickens can be. Provide them with a draft-free, dry coop and they'll be good to go.
  8. BlueSky

    BlueSky In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2008
    Northern California
    Wow! Thank you all so much—I greatly appreciate your suggestions and input. I’m off to check out the links you gave me. Skand, love the pictures! I would love it if my hens perched on me. Mom3jedi, you chose a little of everything—I wasn’t sure if I had to worry about breeds getting along—it doesn’t appear so. May I ask where you purchased your flock?[​IMG]

    Once again thanks!
  9. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    I LOVE my Golden Comets : aka Red Sex Links, docile and excellent layers (supposedly, mine are still free-loaders). My fluffy cheeked Easter Eggers are also fun.

    If I were you I would get 6 birds, minimum. 6 or even 8 really aren't any more work than 4. The eggs won't go to waste, there are always people that will want your extras when you have an over abundance. I have 6 (I planned on 3 or 4, but you know how that goes), what will fit in my tiny backyard, but when we move we will have a bigger yard and I fully intend to get more chickens.

    Plus, chickens are so fun, more is always better!
  10. palomino777902

    palomino777902 In the Brooder

    Oct 7, 2008
    Elizabethtown, PA
    My vote is Golden Comets.

    They are beautiful, friendly, great layers of nice big brown eggs.

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