Northeastern Ontario


In the Brooder
Jan 2, 2016
Northeastern Ontario
Just a quick intro!

My name is Melissa, and I am a 34 year old married mother to two girls. I primarily work as an emergency nurse.

My spouse and I bought 25 acres and a home this past fall. Approx 5 acres is cleared around the house, and the rest is woods, ponds, etc.

We are looking to start with chickens this spring, and we're very excited.

I'm currently stuck between the following breeds: swedish hen, bielefelder and silver barnevelder.

I'd actually like some of each, lol. The bielefelder is appealing due to the auto-sexing, and I'm nervous to get stuck with whole group of roosters. We'd primarly like to raise for eggs at this point in time.

Anyone have any direct suggestions on which would be best to start with? And how many is a good size for a group? I have a breeder already, so I can pretty much order whatever I decide.

My spouse is building my coop now through spring, and I've been busy going through all the pictures/designs/etc. found on the site. So many details to decide!

Nice to meet you all! I look forward to learning as much as I can.


Flock Master
8 Years
Jan 10, 2013
so glad you have joined us.

Sorry I am not familiar with those breeds, but likely someone else will give you some suggestions.
You might want to search the "where am I, where are you" forums to locate folks in your area for info on which will fare best in your climate.

I had good luck drawing 6 girls out of 6 chicks, BO and BR - they came from a hatchery that sexes the newborns. True trained experts are 99% accurate.

To decide how many you need, figure how many eggs you want and then look up the breed characteristics and avg eggs per year.
Do build your coop/run larger than you think to avoid adding on in the future.

If you haven't already done so, you should visit the learning center - there are so many articles to help you care for and tend your flock.

Good luck with your new adventure.


Dec 31, 2015
Our feed store says it is 1 rooster out of 100 chicks. We did get a rooster, but plenty of chicks too, so I wouldn't worry about too many roosters. I would get some of each type, because it is more fun that way. :). But I just buy what is available at the feed store. I am planning to get some Rhode Island Reds on 1/20 when they come in. Good luck!

Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jan 30, 2015
Hi and welcome to byc - great to have you join us. Sunflour is 100% correct and especially in terms of building for more hens than you originally plan for. Chicken maths is a chronic condition that we all suffer from. I can't imagine what rouble I'd be in if I had a e size of yours! :)

It would not be the worst idea to get a few of each of your breed wish list as you can't beat experiencing things for yourself.

Good luck with your adventure with chickens and feel free to fire away with any questions - we're a friendly bunch.

All the best
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drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Aug 26, 2009
Out to pasture
It is good to have a variety of breeds, that way you can determine which are keepers and which breeds you'd rather rehome. You may want to post on "Canadians, check-in-here," thread to find out what is available in your area and what breeds do best in your climate. Hope you will update once you get your birds. We love to hear what is going on and love photos even more. Welcome to Backyard chickens.

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