Planning for spring- Which breeds?

Chic_girl

Songster
8 Years
Jul 23, 2011
403
29
113
Near Columbus OH
Hello! I have a couple opinion questions for all you BYC'ers.
Sometime in late Feb./ early March, I plan on buying several LF chicks to add to my bantam flock. I am only thinking of getting four birds, for two reasons: 4-H showing and decent egg-layers.


If I get only hens, how well do you think they will get along with with my bantam Brahmas and Polish?
I want hens that are friendly, calm and good layers. I was thinking Barred Rocks. Any other breed suggestions or opinions?
The 4-H poultry show is in Mid-July. What time would be the best time to get the chicks, so they will be fully feathered by fair?
I may free-range my large fowl, but not my bantams, due to bantams being bite-size for predators. Good idea or bad?
Are there any Barred Rock Breeders in Ohio, that are either close enough to Columbus for pick-up?

I want decent show-birds, but the only places I know of for chicks are Eagles Nest Hatchery and Ideal Poultry. I have had bad experiences with disqualifications from birds at both hatcheries, and the coloring of their birds is rarely ideal.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

WooingWyandotte

Crowing
10 Years
Apr 25, 2011
8,968
63
326
Nor cal
You can purchase birds anytime of the year, though earlier is better than later. You could check out a local feed store, or unless your planning on showing at the fair, you'd need to buy from a breeder. There are a lot of friendly breeds, but in my experience, Brahmas are the most personable. As long as you spend a lot of time with your pullets, they become very friendly; though with all breeds that is not true.

If you want your birds fully-feathered by mid-July for the fair, I would suggest purchasing them as soon as possible, even then they may not be fully-feathered. It depends on the breed you buy.

I free-range my bantams on half an acre of cleared woodland, as long as I leave the dog outside I'm comfortable with leaving them to eat. They seem to know their boundaries. We live in a very rural area, where predators abound, so I have to be careful when I let any of the birds free-range. What you are comfortable with for free-ranging your birds? Go with that and learn as you go.

I don't live near Ohio, so I couldn't say if there were any BR breeders, but I can say that if you want to show, never get it from a hatchery. Buy from a breeder.

That's my advice!
 

chickendales

Songster
8 Years
Feb 24, 2011
3,586
32
191
Michigan
as long you buy bird from a hatchery there not going be show quality need buy birds from a breeder
you have find breeder that hatches all year round
 
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Chic_girl

Songster
8 Years
Jul 23, 2011
403
29
113
Near Columbus OH
Thank you for your replies! Hatching eggs would be nice, because I could get birds from across the country
smile.png
.

Except for several factors... I've never hatched anything! My Brahmas don't stay broody long enough for the eggs, and I don't have access to an incubator. Also, I don't know how to sex day-olds, and eggs are always straight-run!

I have always wanted to try though, so thank you for the suggestion, Chickendales!
 
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chickendales

Songster
8 Years
Feb 24, 2011
3,586
32
191
Michigan
you buy cheap incubator from tsc they work ok for a beginer


Thank you for your replies! Hatching eggs would be nice, because I could get birds from across the country
smile.png
.

Except for several factors... I've never hatched anything! My Brahmas don't stay broody long enough for the eggs, and I don't have access to an incubator. Also, I don't know how to hatch day-olds, and eggs are always straight-run!

I have always wanted to try though, so thank you for the suggestion, Chickendales!
 

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