Picking a few breeds for our flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AriLovesChickens, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. AriLovesChickens

    AriLovesChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2011
    N Seattle, WA
    My Coop
    I'm interested in buying 3-4 hens of different breeds, and I think I've narrowed it down to the following:

    Buff Orpington
    Barred Plymouth Rock
    Wyandotte (laced silver and gold both available)
    Speckled Sussex
    Dominque (I think I tend towards getting a BPR, since they look similar, but I don't know the differences)
    Partridge Rock

    Things we're looking for: docile/good with kids, decent med/lg egg producer (we probably go through 3-4 eggs/day here on average), can withstand moderate cold (we get some days below freezing, but nothing too harsh), bears confinement well (though I intend to let them out in our backyard a lot). I think all these breeds fit those characteristics. Aside from personal preference, would there be any reasons for any of these breeds to not be as good a fit as others?

    ETA: Light Brahmas might be another one.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  2. jenkassai

    jenkassai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2011
    Quote:The 10 chicks I have now are my first ever, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt [​IMG] I can't speak to the egg production, as my girls are not old enough to lay yet. Of the breeds you have listed I have a Wyandotte (Columbian), Dominique (3) and a Partridge Rock. Two of my Dominiques are super friendly and really enjoy being held. If I don't pick them up when I stick my hand in the brooder they hop onto my hand or arm. If I am holding someone else they try flying up to land on my hand! The third Dominique girl is not aggressive, just a little more aloof, not really into the cuddling. My Wyandotte definitely does not like to be picked up, flaps and squawks her head off like I'm killing her, I really have to catch her. She also bullied some of the other chicks more than anyone else. My Partridge Rock is a little character, very entertaining to watch, more so than anyone else! When I first got her she would dash out from under the heater, run laps through the big girls with her wings out, and run back under the heater! It was hilarious! She runs over when I put my hand in the brooder but doesn't seem to like to be picked up / held, although we are working on that. I noticed you don't have Rhode Island Reds on your list. I think that is another breed that may meet your requirements. My RIR chick seems like she is going to enjoy cuddling as well, she does run over to my hand, doesn't really run away or fuss too much when I pick her up, sometimes will fall asleep while I pet her, and likes to stay on my hand for a bit when I put her back in the brooder.

    One other place to check as well are the breed forums, see what people with lots of experience with the breeds are saying about them [​IMG] Good luck, can't wait to hear what you get!
  3. SunnyChic

    SunnyChic Keep The Sunny Side Up

    Mar 7, 2009
    When I had standards, my Speckled Sussex never failed to come visit and chat away (chicken talk, of course!) when I went outside. They never minded being petted, either.



    My RIR girls were also super friendly and liked to keep me company.

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2011
  4. Urban Chaos

    Urban Chaos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2011
    I've 3 kids ranging in age from 3-11. Of the hens we have, the Dominique and Light Brahma are by far the friendliest. They follow the boys around and will eat out of their hands. We've had 4 light Brahma's total, all being very friendly. These two also pass the "bears confinement well" and good layer tests with flying colors.
  5. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our speckled Sussex have been far and away the very friendliest of our birds. Other good friendly birds have included some of the Easter Eggers and our bantam Cochins. The Cochins have been particularly calm and tolerant of handling; I'm very fond of them. We used to have a buff Orpington who was pretty calm and mellow. The two barred Plymouth Rocks we've had have both been OK but rather prissy, and our silver-laced Wyandottes both had dreadful tempers. But of course, if you're picking chicks out of a lot, it's easier to choose birds that seem friendly. Our Wyandottes came from the hatchery, so it was pot luck.
  6. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    I would would vote for the Buff Orpington and the Dominique. I am especially fond of the Dominique as it is the chicken my grandmother
    had back in the late 1800's. They are a very old breed, very friendly to humans but also able to take care of themselves and survive
    in conditions others have trouble tolerating. True Dominiques are difficult to find.
    The BO is what I have and have been very happy with the breed although they are more skiddish than I was led to believe. But of
    course that could be ME and not THEM.
  7. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    I love, love, love my speckled sussex! I'm very happy with every breed I chose. I have them listed in my signature.
  8. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    Barred Rocks would be a good choice. Mine really doesn't let you hold her if she's running around, when when she's on a perch she doesn't really care if you pick her up.

    Also... besides the large egg factor, bantams are good. They are, overall, fairly friendly. My mom has a theory that despite the fact that they lay smaller eggs, they may lay *more* than a Standard chicken because they lay efficiently... but it hasn't been proven correct, yet. [​IMG]

    Ameracaunas and Easter Eggers are good, too. They can be fairly friendly. Getting broody is extremely rare. In our six years of owning four Easter Eggers, there has only been one instance of broodiness, and that hen is six years old and hasn't been laying regularly in over three years. It's just weird.
  9. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
    My friendliest birds are the BR and the naked necks. I thought i would hate the NNs but they turned out to be the sweetest birds I ever had. And they lay a really nice brown egg too.
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I loved my Buff Orpingtons, but they didn't love me too much. They made awesome (but very mean) mothers. In my opinion they layer better in the colder months. I sold them last spring to a neighbor and she tells me they are still laying like crazy, they're 3 years old now. I've also heard wonderful things about the Speckled Sussex, but I've never owned any. My Easter Ethers lay great, and they are super friendly. Plus I get those beautiful blue and green eggs. Good luck!

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