Newbie with a ? about which chickens :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Merrymouse, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Hi All, Brand new to forum and my first of probably a million questions is about which chickens to choose, go figure ;)
    I'll be a first time chicken keeper and I'm thinking of 4 to 8 chickens. So there are several breeds I've researched and the problem is there are about 5 I really want. So I'm wanting cold hardy (live in new england), docile, quiet. I've picked Buff Orpington, Black Australorp, Barred Plymouth Rock, Columbian Wyandotte, Easter Egger and possibly Speckled Sussex. Initially I was just going to get 2 Buff Orp, 2 Barred Rock and 2 Black Aust and be done with it but then I couldn't resist the other breeds. Also being a first timer I wanted variety so I could decide which ones I really loved when I wanted to get more. My question is, is it bad to get one of each breed or is it better for the chickens to have a pair? Also does anyone foresee any problems with my plan thus far? Thanks, Now Im probably going to spend my whole day reading posts, lol.
     
  2. Hopefeathers

    Hopefeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi and welcome to BYC!!!
    I have only had Australorp and Buff Orpington, but I find that the BO breed does especially well in cold weather. They are quiet but go broody very easily! (They want to raise chicks.) You might want to get 2 of each breed then if (heaven forbid) something were to happen to one of them you'd still have one left.
    I've never had any problems with only getting one of a breed. Check out the reviews section of BYC to see what other people recommend for your situation.
    Best wishes!
     
  3. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Hopefeathers, Thank you for your response. Going to check out the reviews section now :)
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I’ll give you my opinion but it’s just an opinion. You will get all kinds of different opinions on this topic, just like most topics on this forum.

    Breeds are a manmade thing. Chickens don’t recognize breeds, they recognize chickens. I find that it generally doesn’t matter to the chickens, though it helps if they are raised together. But that is also true if the chickens are all of the same breed, it’s better if they are raised together.

    Each breed has general tendencies but each chicken is an individual. A specific chicken may or may not follow those tendencies. For tendencies to mean much you have to have enough for averages to mean something. Having one or two of a breed is not enough. Still, those tendencies can help improve your odds of getting chickens that might behave the way you wish. You just do the best you can. For example, a Sussex is supposed to lay a medium sized egg and most will. But some will lay a small egg, some will lay a large egg. Which one will you get if you only have one or two?

    Cold hardy is an interesting term. Most chickens are pretty cold-hardy, even Naked Necks (Turken) with that bald neck and they are single combed. The biggest risk from cold is not that the chicken will freeze to death but that it will get frostbite. Chickens with larger thinner combs like single combs are more susceptible to frostbite than birds with smaller thicker combs like pea or rose combs. Wattles are also at risk, especially in roosters. Plenty of people in climates colder than yours keep chickens with big floppy thin single combs in unheated coops without frostbite problems, but some do have problems. Ventilation is a key and is a topic you need to investigate before you design your coop.

    I personally don’t see any problems with you having one or two of any of those breeds. Raise them together and they should do fine. I personally like a multi-colored flock and you’ve certainly chosen that. I think your biggest problem might be finding a source for just one or two of those breeds available at the same time without it costing you and arm and a leg.

    Good luck!
     
  5. feedman77

    feedman77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bunch of chickens. "chicken math" started with 6 for eggs. now have close to 70 chickens. and 24 turkeys.

    barred rocks, isa browns, slw, easter eggers, cream crusted legbars, black Australorp, orphingtons.blue and buff, and welsummers and a few crosses.

    so getting 1 or more of each breed you will be ok. once pecking order is established they will be one big family.

    the orphingtons an easter eggers do go broody rather quickly. so if you don't have a roo and dont want babies that might be a detriment if you just want them for egg production.

    but I see from your post chicken math has hit you already and your just getting started.

    have fun making your decision.
     
  6. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Thank you for your response, very well said. Very good input and I agree it may be hard to find. Im a "try to gather as much knowledge as possible before you jump in" type. So Im not totally ready yet. I do always prefer to buy locally but have no idea where to start in that regard. I googled chicken breeders but not much came up except for the big hatcheries. I may have to go that route but havent given up to finding local birds. I haven't solidified my coop plan yet but the one Im thinking of building does have very good ventilation. Also, I think Im building bigger than I need because more room is better at least in the run section. My major concern with my coop design is keeping predators at bay. We have lots of coyotes, hawks, fisher cats etc. Plus I have two dogs, they are both super sweet but one is a bird dog and loves to hunt so he will probably be my biggest management problem. I do have electric fence and not afraid to use it. So I figure my bird dog will be obsessed but a few good zaps should do the trick because he is a big wimp when it comes right down to it.
     
  7. Hopefeathers

    Hopefeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Glad too help!
    Ridgerunner, you have some very good points there!
     
  8. Hopefeathers

    Hopefeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    You could try to find a group on BYC in your area in the Where am I? Where are you? Section. Someone might know of a breeder who does small batches that don't cost an arm or leg.
     
  9. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Wow from 6 to 70?? Lol, I better build a bigger coop:) About the broodiness, I did read that and I figure if my Orp and EE go broody I still have the Australorp and others for eggs. Egg production is not my main reason for the chickens so I think Ill be ok. Plus I have a neighbor up the street that has a huge flock that I have been buying my eggs from for several years if I need more than I am producing. Thanks for your response.
     
  10. Merrymouse

    Merrymouse Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    I better learn how to use the "quote" tool or this is going to get confusing very quickly.
     

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