Newbie with breed questions

DianeS

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
276
7
123
Oregon
I am spending this year learning, building a coop, and doing other things to prepare for getting a small flock of chickens next year.

From what I've read, I think I want Rhode Island Reds. But let me tell you what I'm hoping for, and you can tell me if I'm choosing the best breed.

First of all, I want egg production - the more the better.
They need to be winter hardy - tolerating cold and snow well. I live at altitude in Colorado. I can heat the coop, but they'll be outside a lot. (And I want winter eggs.)
I need ones that are fairly quiet, since I don't know how my neighbors will react and we're fairly close together. (I won't have roosters, just hens.)
I prefer bigger birds that could be meat birds as well - less flying.
I need to be able to handle them, so no attack-birds. But I don't need them to sit on my lap.

Thoughts? Advice? Are there more things I should consider? Is there a breed that fits my requirements better than the one I'm considering? I'm completely new to this! Thanks in advance!
big_smile.png
 

barred-rocks-rock

Can't stick with a Title
10 Years
Jul 5, 2009
2,082
11
181
I would try something other than Rhode island Reds. They can be very loud, and are mean. I would try black australorps. They are a very gentle quiet breed, are very kind, and are one of the best (if not the best) egg layer of all chickens. If you want to mix it up you could add Easter Eggers or Barred Rocks.


welcome-byc.gif
 

PunkinPeep

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
3,642
68
229
SouthEast Texas
The thing about the breeds is that there are extremes in every breed. In my personal experience, you are just as likely to get a mean australorp as a mean rir. That said, my rir are a little bit noisier than my bo and br, but not too too much.

How close is close for your neighbors?
 

4-H chicken mom

Crowing
13 Years
Aug 3, 2007
17,491
170
431
Oberlin, OH
I would be careful about birds with large combs. They tend to get frostbite in the winter. I like the golden and silver laced wyandottes. They lay large brown eggs and are winter hardy. Good luck.
thumbsup.gif
 

bison

In the Brooder
10 Years
Oct 2, 2009
60
2
31
West Point, GA
I was thinking Buff Orpingtons and Barred Rocks. BO are very cold weather tolerant due to thick layers of feathers, and BR are also, but might be slightly better layers. Both are very docile.
 

88Haywood88

Songster
9 Years
Feb 13, 2010
114
3
109
Albuquerque
I would go with buff or white orpingtons. they are known for being winter layers, they are fairly fluffy so they can tolerate cold well, and i've never heard of an orpington being agressive. They are a heavy class breed of English origin. I love orpingtons, and for you, they sound like a great choice. Of course that's just my opinion, you have to make the decision of what's right for you. Good Luck.
 

Hens4Fun

Songster
10 Years
Nov 18, 2009
161
2
109
Sacramento, California
I can't suggest what to get for a cold area ... but I can add that the three RIR's in my first flock were the loudest birds when it came to laying.
roll.png
They let the whole neighborhood know they had laid!
 

Emma-ly

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 5, 2010
14
0
22
You could try to get half RIR and half of another breed like the Opringtons (Australorps are a good choice too). Then see which is noisier. Everything I've read in my research says that the RIR can be pretty noisy. Good Luck. I didn't have the patience to wait a year! I'm fast tracking my research and will do the learn as I go method.
lol.png
 

BetterHensandGardens

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
245
4
111
Clinton, OH
Back when having a backyard chicken flock was considered pretty normal, the Plymouth Barred Rocks were the most popular breed because they were such a good combination of egg layer, meat bird, docile, fairly quiet, and cold hardy. I recently added a Barred Rock hen and rooster (to three Golden Buff hens), and have been really happy with them. Both the hen and rooster are friendly and will let me hold them, even though I didn't get them until they were full grown. I live in North East Ohio, we've had a hard winter, and they've done just fine - their coop is basically a stall in our barn and I haven't heated it at all.
smile.png
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom