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Opinion on Best Breed as Pet and for Egglaying

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by MadieWestbrook, Mar 27, 2017.

  1. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 15, 2017
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    Hello!

    I am, sadly, having to re-home/sell a couple of hens and a rooster that didn't combine well with my current flock. I'm looking into purchasing some more chickens, but I want a breed variety! Currently, I have a Silkie (rooster), three Americanas, a Buff Orpington, two Barred Rocks, a Rhode Island Red, and a Naked Neck.

    I would love to see some opinions on the best domestic breed and the best for egglaying! Personally, I get very attached to my chickens, which is why I got a Silkie as my first chicken even though it couldn't be sexed! He's the most lovable little rooster ever!

    Anyway, would love some thoughts/advice on this! :)
     
  2. Coffmancrew

    Coffmancrew New Egg

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    Mar 27, 2017
    Yes please! This is the exact info I'm looking for as well :)
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    High production and pet friendly don't necessarily go hand in hand.
    Any bird can be tamed to be friendly. They are like men. The way to their heart is through their stomach (or in the case of a chicken - through their crop).
    There are hybrids that lay very well but if speaking of actual breeds, leghorns are the most productive.

    I recommend people peruse 2 great breed selection charts and match one's climate, production desires and personality with that of the breeds therein.
    I'm reluctant to recommend any one breed because there are so many great ones that are often overlooked.

    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much! :) I will definitely take a look at that. Any opinion on Lavender Orpingtons? From what I've seen, they can be hard to sex? I've already had two accidental roosters, so I definitely don't want that happening!
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Orpington is the breed, lavender is the variety. Breed is the shape, variety is the color. This is the case for every breed. Along with the shape, within each breed the characteristics should be the same, regardless of variety.
    What I mean by that is the characteristics of an orpington are they lay large to extra large brown eggs at a rate pushing 200 a year and they are calm, friendly birds with a tendency to go broody. On top of that, they come in about 6 varieties. Buff are the most common, the rest (black, blue, white, lavender, jubilee) are uncommon to rare.

    Do you live in a city where roosters are disallowed?
     
  6. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

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    Really? I didn't know that about the variety/breed. That's so cool. I don't believe roosters are disallowed, but we already have a silkie rooster, and we mainly want egglaying hens!

    I'm in my last year of school, so I don't have the time to incubate eggs at the moment.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    There are some slight exceptions to that rule. For instance, Jersey Giants come in black, white and blue. Their other characteristics should all be the same. On the other hand, Minorcas come in black, white and buff. Blacks are bigger than the other two but they should still all be the same shape.
    Another exception that comes to mind is with Penedesencas. They come in black, crele, wheaten and partridge. The latter 3 are egg varieties. The black is a dual purpose variety so a little heavier bodied. Other than that difference, all share the same characteristics, carnation comb, white earlobe, extremely dark eggs, etc..

    I might add that roosters have a number of jobs. Besides making eggs fertile, their main job is flock protector. They also find food for hens and stand guard while they eat. They tend to keep the peace in a flock by breaking up quarrels between hens. I once had two hens squabbling over a favorite roost spot at dusk. When I went into the coop later, the rooster was between the hens with a wing over each of them.

    The orpingtons may go broody and incubate the hens for you.

    I just noticed that you are in Texas. The breeds you have aren't particularly heat hardy except perhaps the naked neck and ameraucana. If I lived in Texas, I'd have breeds made to handle the heat.
     
  8. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

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    We haven't had issues with heat. We freeze water for them to peck at and have a nice coop with enough air circulation! My father was very detail oriented with that. :) But I would be interested to know breeds that are capable of dealing with heat.

    I would like to know the difference between Americanas and Araucanas? I've seen stores just shove a slash between them and call them the same breed, like it's interchangeable, but I saw that second list of breeds makes a clear break between them!

    Would you mind helping me a bit with understanding that?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Basically an Araucana is a tailless bird from Chile. Ameraucanas were developed here from that blue egg gene. Most of the birds you'll find at a feed store are neither one. They are Easter Eggers (EEs).
    The first paragraph in the following link will explain it.
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGA/Arau/BRKAraucanas.html

    All Mediterranean class chickens are very heat hardy. That would be leghorns, minorcas, anconas, Spanish, catalanas, penedesencas, empordanesas, buttercups and Andalusians.
    Other heat hardy breeds are Cubalayas and Fayoumis.
    RIRs, Delawares and New Hampshires, Brahmas are cold hardy but seem to handle heat well too.
    Jaerhons (from Norway) handle both heat and cold very well.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_breeds_recognized_by_the_American_Poultry_Association

    I wanted to mention that when it comes to the rooster's main job of flock protection. Silkies aren't particularly effective. They can't see danger coming and aren't ambulatory enough to do anything about it.

    Give me a good penedesenca, Minorca or Catalana rooster and I don't have to worry about my hens during the day.
     
  10. MadieWestbrook

    MadieWestbrook Out Of The Brooder

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    Haha. Alright. Thanks a lot for all of that information! I'm not sure, but maybe I'll look into a rooster! :)
     

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