Ordering my first flock! Narrowed down to 4 possible breeds - Anyone want to weigh in?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Treerooted, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. Treerooted

    Treerooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Getting ready to order my first birds [​IMG]


    The plan is for 26 (straight run) in late March and if all goes well another 26 (sr) around late June.

    One breed per order.

    I've narrowed my breeds down to:

    Plymouth Rock (Barred)
    Australorp (Black)
    Wyandotte (Golden Laced)
    Chantecler (White)


    Anyone have an opinion or suggestion for the first breed I should get? There are some timing considerations that could make a difference, such as raising chicks in spring vs summer and the associated roo culling later on, overwintering etc. But I think these breeds are fairly similar so perhaps it would make no difference at all.


    I'm open to anything, including an unabashed plug for your favorite breed [​IMG]



    *The theme of those four breeds are dual purpose, winter hardiness, and good temperament (toddler on the farm)

    *Also that number of chicks is not arbitrary; it's the smallest amount for the cheapest price. Keeping only two breeds per year also allows me to easily identify the age of the birds without needed to tag/toe punch
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Which are you most interested in? meat chickens, egg layers or dual purpose where you can keep the hens for eggs and eat the cockerels? The answer to that could make a difference. Of the breeds you've chosen the australorps would probably be your best layers and your chanteclers your best meat birds
    We tried chanteclers but they did poorly in the summer and were poor layers.
    I might try something like an EE (Some lines lay really well and they are cold hearty) for eggs then chanteclers for meat only or australorps which would also give you eggs or even go to something like a Cornish cross for meat.
    I've never had wyandottes for the reason all my friends who have said never again.
    Just another thought, order more breeds for yourself and see what YOU like best.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I have barred rock and Wyandotte.... I would try the Australorp first. They haven't been available for me yet... but seem to be a great option. I do love my standard Orpington, but think that those were my actual preferred variety from research and might be even better. [​IMG] (even before I saw the first suggestion for Australorp cuz I type slow)

    My biggest suggestion is have a stag pen if you aren't culling by like 12 weeks or so. Come 14 my cockerels are all over my pullets who can't do anything about it but scream. The boys always reach the point just a bit sooner than the girls do. And age they hit does vary by breed. My FBCM hit way before my Salmon Faverolle boys. I cull late for heritage breed birds.

    With our little experience, my daughter and I can only process 2 birds per day. We skin, so far instead of plucking.

    Will you be keeping any for breeding? I am not familiar with Chantecler. But I love this little link to compare most breeds.....

    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    Also, my mid June born girls have barely started laying this past month, some still not. [​IMG] I do not provide extra light.

    And two other things... Check out fermenting your feed if you get a chance, it's great how much it changes the poo s,ell and consistency! [​IMG] There is a link in my signature line. And if you haven't already decided to use Mama Heating Pad, I highly recommend you do a quick search on here and consider it very strongly. As well as I am a big fan of brooding outdoors in your coop and saving the mess in your house all while having better adjusted chicks and chickens.

    Sorry for the barrage of info. [​IMG] I hope you enjoy BYC as much as I do! [​IMG]
     
  4. Treerooted

    Treerooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Dekel, I'll update my post.


    Looking for dual purpose, roos will be culled. I narrowed to those breeds based on that, plus winter hardiness and less important a good temperament.
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    I love Barred Rocks, but beware. They are very active, curious birds that have a bit of a reputation for being trouble makers. They need more elbow room than some breeds. Wyandottes also tend to need more room than average.
    Australorps are very mild-mannered birds. Not quite as good of layers as Rocks, but steady producers almost all year long. Mine only take a month or two off while molting, and then lay every other day in winter. They are more prone to brooding though.
    I suggest getting an assortment. The breeds you think you want the most may turn out to be your least favorite, and you may fall in love with a breed you never even considered.
     
  6. Treerooted

    Treerooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not at all EggSighted, thank you!

    We've got lots of room for the roos so that won't be an issue. I was planning on sending them to the chicken tractor (still to be made) to do some work before they meet their end. But I also have a spare coop that I won't be using once I fix up the one by the barn.

    I'm not thinking about breeding this first year, I'd like to get two other breeds next year following the same pattern if everything goes well. I'll probably get a few Silkies or something equally fun for mama hens later on.
     
  7. Treerooted

    Treerooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah good to know; I should be fine for space; I've got a fairly large coop to clean up and fix.

    My heart wants an assortment, but for practical reasons I decided to go with two breeds instead. Maybe when I go to order I'll cave and get a few of each [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  8. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Define 'lots of room' and 'fine for space'. Chickens usually have very different opinions than people when it comes to space.
    And there is no reason why you can't get an assortment of dual-purpose breeds. Most are cold hardy and are decent layers.
     
  9. Treerooted

    Treerooted Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've honestly just forgotten the measurements of the coop. Bigger then 10' x 10' I believe. Plus I have another coop I'm currently using to overwinter four hens for a friend, that I don't want to use as my main coop, and it's about 10' x 10' as well (maybe a bit smaller).

    And for sure, I do want different breeds, I'm just going with two per year for cost and tracking purposes. But of course there's nothing stopping me from getting more breeds if I choose!
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    A 10x10 coop will be maxed out with 20 Barred Rocks or Wyandottes, if all female. With cockerels in the mix, no more than 15 birds. St. run means at least half cockerels, and that means your young ladies are going to need room to escape from them.
     

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