Not happy with my current breeds, so just ordered new chicks, ?'s...

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by D Bar J Acres, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. D Bar J Acres

    D Bar J Acres In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2007
    As this year is my first chicken experience, this last spring I decided to go with some "more common" easily handled breeds - Buff Orps, Silver and Gold Wyandottes and "Araucanas" (EE's). Ordered from Cackle. I had 26 chicks, one had a defect so we culled it, then just kept the one roo and 10 hens. I handled these chicks (except the roo) almost every day. They are not nice chickens, except the one gold laced Wyandotte. We were getting too many eggs (yes, that was a problem for us!) and a mink killed my aunts chickens, so we sold her 4 hens and now just have 3 buffs (the "tamest" ones) - which are still VERY flighty, 1 EE - very flighty and I played with her alot, 1 silver wyandotte that is a spaz, and the gold laced, who is a decent temperment. All of these will go to the poultry auction once the new chicks are getting close to laying age. They have a 8x5 coop and 1 acre fenced pasture to roam.

    Is it possible to just have bad strains? Everyone says their buffs are so nice and I'll never own another one.

    I went with Privett as my choices for hatcheries are limited now, and ordered buff and light brahmas, ameraucanas (they make theirs sound pure, but I'm not showing anyway), and decided to try some old english game bantams just cause they are so darn cute! Of course there is 25 chicks total and I'm hoping that by getting them now (winter is coming to Wisconsin and I'll have lots of time to spend with them, versus out in the cold with the donkeys and goats!) and with lots of work I can have tame people loving chickens. Think I have any better shot at it this time?

    I'm not concerned with lots of eggs, I'm happy getting 2 eggs a day. I like them for entertainment and want them friendly. We'll most likely keep 8-10 hens and 1-2 roos.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Yes, there are bad strains. I hatched eggs from an aggressive strain of Delawares, apparently, which naturally soured me on the breed. Most Buff Orps and Barred Rocks and Wyandottes are wonderful, sweet birds. I have all of them, and not a spazz among them. I also have Ameraucanas(not EEs) and one is cuddly and one is more flightly, but not bad as she used to be. If I can catch her, she calms down. My Brahmas were not as friendly at first as I'd heard, but now they are much calmer-still do not want to be caught, but will calm down once I have them.
    Honestly, for all round great chickens, I have been sold for years on Barred Rocks. Temperament is genetic and my rooster, hens and all the chicks hatched from them, male and female, are sweet, calm, and wonderful layers with lots of personality.
  3. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    i love barred rocks. to me they are the prettiest, too.

    you could totally have just gotten a bad batch.

    my hens are friendlier with no rooster around.
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Yes there are bad strains or bad genes in some of the hatcheries dealing with. I would stick with some of the BYC breeders here for better examples of the breed. All those breeds you mentioned, should have sweet personalities but the Amercuanas and EEs sometimes are flighty but not as bad as Leghorns.

    Jodi might have some hatching eggs for sale and occassionally chicks certain times of the year. If you can give her a buzz, she can work with you on what you are wanting.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Another thing besides bad strains... is that I find it hard to socialize 25 chicks at the same time! Groups of 4 of 5 are much easier to handle and have them trust you. They get wilder in bunches. Like one freaks out and then so does everyone else! I found that if you raise a pair of chicks with cornish x's. They will end up big, fat (not really), gentle creatures. I think the complete laziness and calm nature of the Cx's cause them to forget how wild they can be. Of course this doesn't apply to the strain of lehorns I have... The one girl that's laying is paying about 1/3 of the feed bill for a dozen hens and she's flightier than a bat out of hell.
  6. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nature versus nurture is a tough one.

    When we got our first 5 chickens the breeder we got them from
    warned us that they go through stages. She was right.

    One week later we got an assortment from Meyers.

    The first few weeks our chicks were great. Some were friendlier
    than others. As they hit 10 weeks most got very skittish. This is
    what we were warned about. Even the friendly ones acted
    very flighty.

    We trimmed our flock by giving several hens away. We then culled the roos and
    the spastic hens. Two weeks ago I culled 2 hens that went nuts for
    no reason. I was amazed at the difference it made on our flock.

    Now at 6 months our 10 hens are wonderful. Some don't like getting
    picked up but all of them will mob you if you have food. My Speckled
    Sussex will actually fly up onto my arm or shoulder.

    We have 10 Buff and Leghorn chicks on the brooder and a couple
    dozen good strains either in or going in the bators. I'm really spending
    time hand taming the chicks to see how it all goes.

    We are also hatching a batch of Delawares as meat birds. The person we
    got the eggs from warned us that they are aggressive. It's
    gonna be interesting to see how they turn out. We are keeping
    them away from the pet/laying chicks.
  7. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    Quote:LOL Whoopsie! I do NOT miss those birds at ALL. Buggars. They pushed up watermelons in my garden this year [​IMG]
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    We sure proved that temperament is inherited, didn't we, Kate? Too bad, though. They were beautiful birds!
  9. silkies4ever

    silkies4ever In the Brooder

    Sep 30, 2007
    Well that's a shame isn't it. It's too bad that you got what I guess turned out to be a bad strain there.

    Then again trying to raise that many chicks and socialize them to be friendly is a hard task! With my two EE's, I got them as 2 day old chicks and handled them every day. There was a point when they were around 2 our 3 months old that they kind of went through a fear stage or something because they became really hard to catch and very flighty. But now at a little over 4 months, they've calmed back down again and I can let them out of the pens to free roam without worrying about not being able to catch them.

    I can let all my chickens (2 EE's 6 silkies and a polish) out exept my bantam old english game hen who is impossible to catch.
  10. D Bar J Acres

    D Bar J Acres In the Brooder

    Apr 22, 2007
    Well, I'm kinda stuck ordering 25 chicks as the feed stores that I deal with w/in a 40 mile radius only order from April-May and use Sunnyside hatchery, which has just production breeds. I tried finding a private breeder, but there aren't really any here in WI for what I want.

    P.S. who is Jodi?

    Oh, and DH won't let me own an incubator as he can already see where that will be heading! haha

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