Ok, I need some help here folks

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by ChickenTender63, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. ChickenTender63

    ChickenTender63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright, so I am new to all of this. We have recently bought an old, small farm (11 acres, enough to really get me in trouble) and I have been researching on what type of chickens to start with.

    I swear, the more I read from all of the great posts on here, the more confused I get. I know, you ask anyone that's not addicted to chickens like everyone here, and they will say a chicken is a chicken. Well, I have found out real quick that even though it lays an egg, it has feathers, and it tastes like chicken does not mean all chickens are created equal.

    Who would have thunk it years ago when I was a small child helping grandpa with the chickens, that there would be so many differences today.

    So, what I am looking for right now is advice on what KIND of chicken to start with. I am looking for something that is going to be a good, solid, large egg producer, as well as a good meat bird.

    I will keep probably around 25 hens that are going to become part of the family, but the rest I would like to be able to have a good tasting dinner with.

    I went to Meyers hatchery website last night, and saw that they have many dual purpose birds available. So, then, how do I decide? Do I just close my eyes an see which one I point to? Or can all of you out here that have your addictions under control please help lead me in the right direction.

    I appreciate any help you all can provide.

    P.S. I don't even have any yet, but I am already addicted. And the bigger problem is that I am addicted with plenty of room to have all I want. Someone please help! [​IMG]
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I found that I gravitated to the chickens of my childhood, which were Rhode Island Reds. I bought 12- hour old chicks that were dual-purpose birds, golden comets, (RIR red x RIR white) and they have been exceptionally easy and friendly. Technically they were 'mixed bin' but the lady who makes the run picked out ones that she knew were golden comets.

    Some people like the variety of a typical 'mixed bin', which should all be pullets (mine are).

    Others buy 'straight run' which contain roosters.

    It's so personal!

    It may boil down to what is available when you're ready to buy![​IMG]
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Have you looked at Henderson's chicken breed chart yet?

    It's located here:

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Also, it's fair time in alot of places around the country. Check out the poultry exhibits. What chicken is right for you is very much a personal choice. You could also think about getting several breeds to satisfy your chicken itch.
     
  4. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you ever lucky. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    What about a mix . 5 each of Buff Orpingtons, Austerlorps, Barred Rocks, Speckled Sussex, whatever looks good to you. Maybe get a few Easter Eggers and Marans for the colored eggs. You'll get to test out the meatiness with the extra roos, the temperments, laying, and suitability to your geographic area with the hens.
     
  5. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

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    ChickenTender63 said: Or can all of you out here that have your addictions under control please help lead me in the right direction.
    You mean there are some on here that have it under control?? quick, tell me ALL your secrets!!
    Anyway, we have some RIR, SLW, and white leghorns. They are all about 7-8 months old, and the only ones that are steadily laying are the RIRs. I have read on here that their meat is not as good as others. I like to get my chicken from the store, so i don't know about that!
     
  6. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and the red & black sex links are all excellent egg layers (that's all I have experience with so far). Out of ours, the barred rocks are much larger birds and I think they are dual purpose. Not sure about the others but their eggs are wonderful. Buff orpingtons are another great dual-purpose bird. Good luck and welcome!!
     
  7. Michigan Chickman

    Michigan Chickman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new to chickens this year as well. I bought 50, day old RIR pullet chicks from the local Farm Bureau this April. I ended up with 48 pullets and 3 roos. I LOVE my RIRs. Granted I don't have any experience with other breeds, but I don't think you can go wrong with RIRs [​IMG]
     
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Welcome to BYC!!

    You are in a wonderful position... and you are doing your homework first... good job!

    I highly suggest that whatever breeds you start with you only start with a few chickens your first year. Maybe start with 8 to 10 chickens and having several different breeds in that bunch. That way you can get your feet wet, so to speak, but not overwhelm you with the work involved (which is very little) and it will give you a chance to see which breeds you really do want more of in the future.

    Dual purpose breeds are wonderful since you can get eggs and a dinner from the same bird. In the future, if you have a rooster and get a broody hen, you can let her sit on eggs and raise you chickens for a future meal.

    I have Australorps which are a dual purpose and have done a wonderful job of laying eggs regularly (even through winter). My RIR and Red Sex link also lay eggs regularly. All of these have been very nice hens that my children love to hold. I have heard that RIR's can be mean but I think it's like any animal. Some animals in a breed are friendly and nice and some aren't so nice. Chickens really do have different personalities.

    Good luck. Take some time to look through http://feathersite.com/.
     
  9. feathersgalore

    feathersgalore Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out getting a "rainbow layer" mix. From there I determined which chickens I liked (egg laying, personality, etc) and when it was time to replace hens went with those breeds.
     
  10. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Figure out exactly what traits you're looking for... for me it was good layer, dual purpose, and cold hardy. That ruled out a lot of birds, but narrowed the search. I went through the MMH catalog and highlighted those traits in the descriptions so that I could go back through and list the ones that best fit my parameters. We wound up with wyandottes, australorps, brahmas... I swear my brahmas are egg laying MACHINES! Some of the other breeds we raise are only because they are hard to ship as chicks (the bantams) and we want to be able to supply healthy chicks locally. But the three breeds mentioned above do really well all around.
     

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