Picking chickens for a flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by princesschick69, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. princesschick69

    princesschick69 New Egg

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    Was wondering people's advise for what chickens to pick.. we are looking for the dual purpose birds.... Looking at getting rhode island reds... Any thoughts on what else to get..3-4 total

    Thanks

    Kathy
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome! Birds with small rather than single combs are less likely to frost bite in winter. Have you looked at Henderson's breed chart? feathersite? The Cackle and MurrayMcMurray catalogs? So many choices, so little space. Different egg colors are nice too. Easter Eggers for green, Marans or Welsummers for darker brown, Sussux, Chanteclers, Wyandottes, Plymouth Rocks for tan. Pick an assortment that look interesting, and see who you like. Mary
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  3. burdboy

    burdboy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would recommend wyanedotts, orpingtons, and bramhas.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Dual purpose is a bit of a misnomer...any bird can lay eggs and be eaten...'dual purpose' birds often do neither very well.

    Depends on your goals, expectations, and housing/population capacities.

    Do you plan on getting 3-4 new chicks every year for optimal egg production and eating the older ones?

    If you're just starting out, get a mix of birds, see how it goes, keep researching, and after a year you'll know much more about what you want.
     
  5. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    x 100!!

    Edited to add: Welcome to the flock!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Hey Kathy, welcome! I agree, check out those sources that Mary suggested. Do you have kids? Gotta have Easter Eggers which are often listed in catalogs as Ameraucanas. (that's a technicality, and source for contention among Am purists.) But, they are wonderful birds, and their eggs are kind of like a box of chocolates. ("you never know what (color) you're gonna get" till they start laying.) One breed that I strongly suggest that you look at is Dominique. IMO, you'll never find a friendlier bird with softer feathers. Good comb for cold weather. Excellent forager, and good broody. The only down side to them is that their eggs are not as large as some other breeds. I'd recommend a mixed flock to start, but get at least 2 of each bird you're going to trial. Also, I highly recommend that your coop be about twice as big as you think you will need. Plan on at least 4 s.f. in the coop and 10 s.f. in the run/bird. Build yourself a run, even if you plan to free range every day. There will be times when you MUST pen them due to predator loss, or training them to coop/nest. My personal preference: I stay away from poufy hair do's and feathered feet. The poufs make them more prone to predator attack due to poor vision, and feathered feet track stuff into the nest boxes.
     

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