1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Opinions on what breeds to get for a great protective friendly Roo

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by RGreenfamily, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. RGreenfamily

    RGreenfamily Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    24
    May 19, 2015
    We currently have 20 -12 week old Barred Rocks-- The plan is to love the hens and butcher most of the roos. I want about 30 hens and I assume 3-4 roos, so I want to order some 1 day old chicks.

    The goal here is multifaceted-- I want great egg layers, friendly birds that will tolerate my 7 young children, and birds that will produce so that we can continue this cycle without buying new chicks all the time AND I would love something beautiful for the children to show and because looking at the chickens is FUN. Meat is ALWAYS welcome-- so that is a plus as well, which is the point in breeding.

    The birds have 400 sq foot barn and we are fencing out a side of the yard for them to free range on. We live in Eastern Tenn and we raised our barred rocks in the garage till they feathered out.. (Last time we had chickens we lived in FLorida, so this cold weather stuff is nuts and we didn't keep any roos because of the housing regulations).

    What breeds do you love for roos or hens that seem to fit this bill? Should I just get a few the are more expensive and exactly what i want or each or grab a mixed bag special and butcher the ones I don't want?

    Thank you for al the opinions
     
  2. JetCat

    JetCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    806
    51
    106
    Oct 26, 2015
    Southeast Alabama
    I think Marans fit your request about as good as anything.
     
  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I'd say your top choice is an Orpington. Friendly, large, will produce good laying daughters and somewhat meaty sons. The Buff variety will also produce sex links when bred to your Barred Rock hens. I'd recommend going to a breeder for much better quality of meat and more certainty the cock will be good tempered (hatchery quality birds vary more from generalizations).

    You might also consider Brahma, Sussex, Wyandotte, or New Hampshire cocks. If you want sex linked offspring, avoid cocks who are white or barred and try to get ones who have a base color of gold, red, brown, r black.
     
  4. MadamPoofyBrow

    MadamPoofyBrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,158
    133
    148
    Jun 15, 2015
    Out of what I have experience with, standard Cochin best fits your description. The roosters are very friendly, tolerant, and great with people. They are very protective of their hens toward actual predators, but are not aggressive toward people.
    The hens lay very well, and the roosters have quite a bit of meat on them. I've never eaten any of mine, but I'm sure they'd be great if you wanted to.
    They come in many different colours and are beautiful, friendly birds.
    Good luck with whatever you decide, and [​IMG]
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    As you can see, everyone has their own opinion on which breed would be best for you; so here's mine. Based on your criteria I would recommend Black Australorps. They are extremely hardy in both heat and cold, they have the same calm and gentle temperaments of the Orpingtons (not surprising since they were originally bred using Orpington stock), and they are the best layers of the brown egg laying breeds. Only Sex Links will outlay them where brown eggs are concerned. Whatever breed you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
     
  6. Rinnley

    Rinnley Out Of The Brooder

    22
    2
    26
    Feb 4, 2016
    Vancouver Island
    I can't tell you much about chicken breeds. Not only am I a newbie; but we were given fertile eggs and didn't select the breed. However i can tell you our 4 chicks came from mottled java hens and we got 2 roosters, one from a Dominique father and one from a Malay father. (the other eggs hatched hens from the malay roo, very skittish) Rex, the Dominique/java was the obvious keeper, he has a very sweet disposition and is very sweet to the hens, He'll move on if he gets a "no" while trying to mount and showed no interest in the pullets until they were laying regularly. But he is very vigilant (no tests of his bravery yet, fingers crossed). I know enough to say a Malay is the opposite of what you're looking for, the malay/java cross was more of a handful, earlier to crow and mount, but the people who have him now are very fond of him. I think the java may have had a calming influence on them. I'm no expert, but i hadn't seen these breed suggested in the thread, so I'm throwing down Dominique and Java based on my extremely limited but very positive experience. Best of luck!
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I would look at getting three different breeds of roosters to meet your needs. One higher production type, one meaty type, and one pet/broody type. If you select appropriate breeds, and all your hens are barred Rocks, you would have sex link chicks where the father was easy to identify.





    The goal here is multifaceted-- I want great egg layers,Your hatchery Rocks are going to be great layers themselves. You can keep a Rock male to breed pure bred birds. They won't be sex linked, but they're usually easy enough to sex by 5-6 weeks. The offspring will be great layers, and decently meaty but not huge. And being pure breds, your kiddos could show them.


    friendly birds that will tolerate my 7 young children, and birds that will produce so that we can continue this cycle without buying new chicks all the time AND I would love something beautiful for the children to show and because looking at the chickens is FUN. For this, you may need to run a separate breed. My hatchery Rocks have always been reasonable friendly, but they're not reliably broody. With a bunch of littles, you might consider a pen of silkies or bantam Cochins, a smaller breed that is highly tolerant of being kept as pets vs livestock. They also tend to go broody at the drop of a hat, so you'll be able to hatch your own chicks. They're also great little show birds for the kiddos. Depending on your family, it may be easier to differentiate specific birds as pets (not to be butchered) vs the birds that are livestock and fair game for the table.

    If you don't want to run bantams, Orpingtons would be a good large fowl choice. A buff Orp roo over barred Rock hens gives pretty sex link offspring where the pullets are gold on the front kind of mixing to black on the back half. Orpingtons have a reputation for being docile, and broody....but broody is more hit or miss than with the bantams. The roosters are usually pretty docile.




    Meat is ALWAYS welcome-- so that is a plus as well, which is the point in breeding. If you use an Orpington male, you'll get birds a little larger than a Rock, but also a bit slower to mature. A good quality Marans (not a cuckoo from a hatchery, they're too intermixed with production breeding and often small), Wyandotte or a nice heavy Australorp male would also be a good choice to produce meatier birds for the table.
     
  8. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I vote for Dominiques.

    We have had a number of breeds over the years, and my kids like the Dominiques the best.

    Dominiques are great layers, are the most historical American breed, the girls are light bodied so have excellent feed to egg conversion, but the males bulk up quite nicely to make a good meal.

    Their camoflauge coloring is not flashy, but does make them less likely to die while free ranging.

    The roosters are excellent, take good care of their hens, but have never tried to attack my kids, even the little kids.
     
  9. RGreenfamily

    RGreenfamily Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    24
    May 19, 2015
    Thank you all for the opinions and insights!
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    You're welcome.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by