Picking chickens for a flock

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,985
37,585
1,096
southern Michigan
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
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,258
126,386
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
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.
 

Blooie

Team Spina Bifida
6 Years
Feb 25, 2014
17,197
32,581
827
Northwestern Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
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.
x 100!!

Edited to add: Welcome to the flock!
 
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lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,005
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
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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