Opinions to help chose a breed...Wyandotte, Sussex or Orpington???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by serendipityfarm, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. serendipityfarm

    serendipityfarm Songster

    Mar 28, 2010
    OK, so first, my goals:
    First & foremost, my chickens are pretty pets. I have a small mixed flock of hatchery birds & a trio bantam MF Cochins. I want to breed some MFC babies, and would like to add a few (or so [​IMG] ) new laying hens. My 2 LF cochins don't lay reliably and the bantams lay well (when they're not broody!) enough but like I said those eggs have another purpose.
    So, I would like pretty, friendly birds that lay fairly well. I'm planning to go for quality this time because you never know when the urge to show may strike, and if the need to rehome arises, I would like to think good quality may make that easier.

    Some of my current choices:

    (I'd love to know if you have seen differences in the personalities of different varieties)

    I'm steering clear of the Sex links because although I had a couple RSL hens I adored, if I were to want Large fowl babies at some point, I think I'd rather stick with purebreds.
    Oh, and I need birds that are fairly easy to contain. I have neighbors nearby and although we're putting up more fence, anything likely to fly over say a 4-6 ft fence is probably out.

    I know, I sound like a Diva, don't I?
    Actualy I got my original birds from MyPetChicken on a whim, and mostly I picked them for their different colors (so they were easy to tell apart). This time I know a little bit more and want to choose wisely. I'm just so darn indecisive, and a think "a few of each" may end up with me living with them out in the coop! [​IMG]

    Thanks for any input you all might have!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010

  2. Firearia

    Firearia Songster

    Orpingtons are very heavy birds, they cannot clear even a two foot fence. That is, if you get breeder stock. Mine aren't even that heavy and they still don't even fly up onto a roost. The only time they fly (which isn't even a foot) is when I let them out to free range. They all 'fly' out into the yard. However, my wyandotte isn't that flighty either, however she can fly. My orpingtons are super friendly, whereas my wyandotte is rather skittish. Though it could be because I didn't buy her as a chick. Either is a good breed. I don't have any sussex so I don't know about them.

    EDIT: I forgot to say that my orps lay very, very well. One egg a day from each lady, this is in winter too! However, my wyandotte hasn't layed an egg yet however she's been squatting for a long time so I'm guessing it's the lack of light.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  3. queenbeezz

    queenbeezz Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    I can tell you about two out of the three on your list. Orps and Wyandottes. Love the first, not so much the last. My Orps are sweet, quiet birds. Like the last poster I only ever see them fly when the coop door is opened in the morning. It's more of a mad dash than a fly. I really like them. They lay about every day, pretty good sized eggs.
    On the other hand the Wyandottes are loud and obnoxious. I don't see them fly, they are a pretty heavy bird. I have one hen that draws blood if she is on the nest and you try to pet her. Their only redeming quality is the BIG eggs they lay, often you cannot close a large carton lid on them. They constantly are cackling and loudly.
  4. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    Quote:My Buff Orps are of Exhibition Quality. They are about 8 months old. My cockerels fly up on the 4' fence and perch for a moment...right before they "fly the coop"! Maybe when they get full grown. My Buckeye roos never escape.

    Serendipityfarm, Seen you are in CT. I would suggest either the Buckeye or a Chantecler. They are both very cold hardy. I would also suggest buying from a breeder in New England. Or at least a northern state. The Buckeye comes in only one color, but Chanteclers come in several colors.

  5. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Orps are pretty cold hardy and friendly too.

    I've known a few Wyandotte hens and while they weren't aggressive, they weren't friendly. The silver lacing is very pretty though.

    ETA: you can always clip wings
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  6. serendipityfarm

    serendipityfarm Songster

    Mar 28, 2010
    Wow. I see so many people on here that love Wyandottes. I'm surprised. And true, there is something very striking about the Silver laced pattern. I suppose I could always get them in the Cochin... just wanted something more likely to lay and less likely to go broody on me.

    Maybe some Wyandotte people will weigh in with a little time.

    No opinions on Sussex?
  7. DPC poultry

    DPC poultry Songster

    Dec 18, 2010
    Mt. washington Ky

  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I have or have had all three breeds.

    My Speckled sussex were very friendly sweet birds, but their eggs were medium size most of the time and so when I was downsizing they went because of that.

    My orpingtons are also sweet birds. They are pretty good layers of nice large eggs.

    My wyandottes are probably my most friendly breed....both the BLRWs and the SLWs. They are not hatchery birds and it seems most of the people I see complaining about their personalities have hatchery birds. They don't lay the biggest egg, but most of the time I'd say they're large size.

    ETA....my orpingtons could clear a 2 foot fence without even blinking.....and they're very large birds.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  9. Robo

    Robo Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    I would start out with Buff Orpingtons, I love mine.[​IMG]

  10. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    I have to say that as far as reliable laying, my Buff Orpington is a machine. She's also sweet and very *un*flighty. She probably could fly if she had to, but mostly she doesn't want to. I heartily recommend Orpingtons as a layer with a sweet disposition.

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