Newbies in Dallas looking for breed advise for egg laying & family pets

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dallas Newbies, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. Dallas Newbies

    Dallas Newbies New Egg

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    Mar 12, 2013
    My husband and I want to get some egg laying chickens for the backyard. We have a 6lbs dog and a 3yr old son and are hoping for some advise for which breeds to get.

    Everyone says to get the chickens at feed stores, which is fine that seems easy to do.

    We'd like 3 chickens that will lay lots of eggs, be friendly let us hold them from time to time and in general nice additions to the family. Obviously the prettier the better!

    Any ideas or tips??

    Thanks!
     
  2. tadpole98

    tadpole98 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You will need to be careful of your dog, some will eat chickens. get him used to them at a young age and scold him if he looks at them wrong (you will know that look when you see it, you do not want a chicken eating dog)

    I would start with sexed chicks, so you dont end up with roosters that you dont know what to do with. I think red sex links are very nice and lay great eggs. but i have found black sex links to be a bit less pet-like.
    Plymoth and barred rocks are great egg layers and are friendly, but not all feed stores have them and i cant remember if they are sexed or not.
    If you could get your hands on cuckoo marans i would do so, a bit more pricy but worth it. They lay dark brown eggs (although, they arent as brown as the black copper maran), are friendly, and lay well!

    Find out what your feed store has. Buy only the sexed chicks.
    Gold comets, cinnamon queens (love these) and red sex links are great for starters.

    remember, the minimum for chicks is probably more than three. [​IMG]
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  4. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Just about any breed can be friendly if you handle them enough. Most people recommend Silkies and Cochins for children, but they aren't the best layers.
    My Easter Eggers were friendly, great layers and my kids thought the blue and green eggs were the neatest (not too mention you can usually find them at the farm store). Wyandottes are good layers and come in lots of colors. I'd recommend feathersite.com- I think every breed is listed there with info and pictures.
    Nikki
     
  5. countrygirl74

    countrygirl74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The friendliest in our flock is the Barred Plymouth Rocks. They are hardy, good egg layers, and friendly! My mother-in-law has a laced wyandotte and she is super friendly as well, and really pretty. I had always heard about the silkies and EE's being super friendly but it's so weird that in my case both are skittish. However, every time I've raised BR's, they have been friendly - hop up into your lap to be pet and go to sleep right there.
     
  6. Outrun Acres

    Outrun Acres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are wanting a family pet as well as a decent egg-layer that comes in a variety of exciting colors, I would recommend the the following:

    Orpingtons - One of the most popular dual purpose birds out there! Very docile and friendly. Beautiful large bodied bird with fluffy feathers. These too come in a variety of colors, buff probably being the most common. My 3 year olds favorite chickens are our buff orpingtons. They lay a brown egg and have very good productivity.

    Wyandottes - Wyandottes come in a variety of colors and a very beautiful full bodied birds. This is a slower maturing breed but once they get started they produce very well much longer than any of the sex-link varieties. They lay a light brown egg. I have heard that some hatchery lines are not as friendly as those you would get from a breeder.

    Easter Eggers - This "variety" (not technically considered a breed) is a favorite in our household. They are an Ameraucana based variety and or crossbreed. The birds are extremely friendly and come in every color combination you could possibly think of! They have good egg production, though it may vary from bird to bird. Easter Eggers are called so because they lay a "rainbow" of different egg colors. Blue, green, pink, olive, brown, white, and every color in between! Hatchery and feed store easter eggers may also be falsely sold under the name Ameraucana. (There is a lot of confusion regarding this topic.

    Marans - These birds also come in a variety of colors and in my experience and very docile and friendly. They are a fairly productive egg layer (generally not as good as some of the other breeds) and breed a beautiful dark chocolate colored egg.

    My family started out with a couple of production reds, red and black sex-links and Rhode Island Reds. To me, they were just too boring. They do lay a lot of eggs, but have only been bred for high volume egg production. Mine were definitely lacking in personality and color, and honestly aren't very friendly compared to my heritage breeds and EE's (Easter Eggers). So far we have owned the following breeds/varieties: Black sex-links, Red sex-links, Production Reds, Rhode Island Reds, Welsummers, Columbian Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, Salmon Faverolles, Buff Laced Polish, Silkies, Easter Eggers, Dominiques, Cuckoo Marans, and Speckled Sussex. (If I had to add one more breed to the list it would probably be the Speckled Sussex, great egg production, friendly bird, and beautiful to look at).
     

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