Opinions wanted! New to this. :)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MelanieS, May 24, 2011.

  1. Hi!

    My partner and I are new to this! We are nearly done building our coop (a mix of this and this ) and have so many thanks for the awesome coop resources!

    Now I am looking for some advice for adding our first chickens. We have decided to only go with two hens at the moment. They will be our pets and their egg laying is simply an awesome bonus. They will have a large run attached to their coop and, when we are home, they will have free range access to our large country yard. I have the option to get two different types of laying hens and I can't decide between the two! Help! I can choose either two Plymouth Rock hens or two Rhode Island Reds. I have tried the chicken selector on this site and have looked up the temperament of both but I still can't decide. We want friendly birds, since they will be pets and we don't want them to go broody often, as we have no plans to breed.

    Also, one final question: since we like both birds, is it wise to get one of each breed? Or, since we will only have two birds, do they prefer having friends of their own species?

    Thanks so much!

    Melanie (and Stephen)
  2. KellyHM

    KellyHM Crowing

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    They could care less if their friend is the same breed or not, so go for one of each!
  3. blefky

    blefky life in the yard

    Mar 18, 2010
    stamford, ct
    I agree, chickens aren't particular about breed. I would, however, give some thought to getting at least 3 birds. Chickens are flock animals, and if something were to happen to one of your birds, as sometimes is the case - especially if you're planning on free range time - one chicken is a very unhappy chicken. And adding an extra now would be much easier than trying to acclimate a new flock mate later on. Just a thought. Good luck with your birds and [​IMG]
  4. Chickens don't care about breeds. But.... three hens makes a little society. Always liked three better than two. No, it isn't chicken math, it is the nature of how their culture is structured. lol
  5. wychickenwrangler

    wychickenwrangler In the Brooder

    May 10, 2011
    Northeast Wyoming
    I would be willing to bet that once you get those two home, you won't be able to STOP at just two !!!!!!!!!!! We started out just getting " a couple", now we have 20 +. Good luck, whatever you decide!!!!!!!!!
  6. Thanks for all of your advice! I had read about getting 3 instead of two but the reason why we went with just 2 is that we also read (and were told by some other chicken owners) that the hens like to pair off. Is there any truth to this? Sorry to sound like a sap but I don't want one of the hens to feel left out. Ha!
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would get three, just as the others said.

    Here is an example: when I moved some of my chickens into the greenhouse to eat the weeds, I moved two in. They looked uneasy. I brought a third in and suddenly everything's ok.

    I have seen this over and over, because I do this often. I have 30 chickens, but they like to have a third buddy around.

    Another example: when I recently bought 2 chicks to put under a broody and she rejected them, they huddled uncomfortably in the empty brooder. When I added 10 more to keep them company they perked up and started moving around.

    I have been happier when I get more breeds, because it is easier to tell them apart to name them.

    You could get 3 different breeds. The Rhode Island Reds are more aggressive usually to timid hens, so you might want to stick with other heavy breeds like Orpingtons that can hold their own if you get a third breed (there are many heavy breeds to choose from).

    Your barred rocks and RIRs should get along fine from what I've read, if raised together.

    Bringing in one new chicken is difficult. Bringing two new ones in is easier. They are very cliquish (sp?).

    Oh I just reread your post and you don't want broody hens- Orpingtons are pretty broody. [​IMG] Never mind!
  8. Haha okay - your advice is all awesome. [​IMG] How about 1 Plymouth, 1 Rhode Island and 1 Brahma? The lady has a bunch of different breeds available but I like what I know of those personalities the best. Are there any concerns with the Brahma and the RIR?

    Thanks so much!!
  9. pixiedouglas

    pixiedouglas Songster

    Quote:that sounds like an excellent mix! you specifically mentioned earlier you want them for pets so definately get the brahma they are supposed to make excellent pets
  10. essig

    essig In the Brooder

    May 23, 2011
    I would get four for the same reason as three, but you have one more. I've seen my hens pair off, walk around alone, and be in groups of three, five, eight, and every other combination of 21. You'll enjoy them so much, and four is not any more work than two, but twice the enjoyment.

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