please help us decide

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by kansasmom, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. kansasmom

    kansasmom Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 24, 2010
    This are the breeds that we are trying to decide between:

    Black Australorp
    Buff Orpington
    Red Star/Golden Comet
    Easter Egger
    Salmon Faverolle

    We are looking for good egg production all year long both winter and summer - we live in Kansas. However the chickens also must be good around children too as we have 2 kids - ages 8 and 10. The chickens will free range during the day and be in the coop at night.

    Is it best to stick with 1 breed? I am wondering if the chickens will bet along better if they are all the same breed? If we get more than 1 breed, we will probably only get 2 or 3 different breeds, probably about 5 of each as I am thinking that we will be getting 10-15 chicks in the spring. Which one(s) would you pick for our situation?

    thanks for your help!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  2. cletus the rooster

    cletus the rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    you can have a mixed flock with no problems.i am partial to the BOs and GCs.both very friendly and good around children
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would go with the first two. My EE's are NOT friendly.

    Some breeds get along better than others, in general. Size seems to have a lot to do with it. I know little about SF's, but aren't they rather small? BA and BO are some of the larger breeds. Of course, the individual bird's personality will have a lot to do with how they get along, too.
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If I could only have 3 breeds and 15 chickens and wanted egg production I would get

    5 Buff Orpingtons
    5 Easter Eggers
    5 Black Sex links. (I had one that didn't miss a day laying in almost 3 months)

    That said, if you could get two other breeds and liked variety, I'd get a couple of leghorns and perhaps a couple of Marans to replace some BOs and EEs with.
    Makes for a more colorful egg basket.
  5. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think Salmon Fav's are beautiful but I hear they are more fragile (as chicks, anyway) and tend to get picked on by other breeds.

    Other than that, I think all of those breeds you listed would get along fine. I have a mixed flock of many breeds and since they were raised together they get along beautifully. I enjoy having the different colors/patterns.
  6. bacres

    bacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    East Pennsylvania
    I'd get Favorolles...
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    They are all individuals so they can have different personalities. Some of it depends on how you manage them too. If they free range, they may not be quite as cuddly and such unless you go out of your way to handle them a lot, especially when young. There is a difference in Friendly and Aggressive Toward People. I did not see Friendly in your criteria but Aggressive Toward People is very important.

    Many of us have mixed flocks with no real problems. You will find that they tend to form their own cliques when they are out free ranging or as they position themselves on the roost. Often this is by color. Many people think this is due to color but I think it is more due to individual personality. I think different breeds tend to have different personalities so it looks like they are choosing by color. I could easily be wrong. Many times my entire flock sticks together but sometimes they do split up. My white Delaware and Black Australorp can often be seen grazing together while my lazy Buff Orps and red Speckled Sussex are laying in the dust in the shed. My mix still get along well with no real aggression toward each other. Some people will report something different.

    With your criteria, I'd definitely include the Black Australorp. They have a reputation for laying well in the winter as compared to other breeds and mine have lived up tp their reputation. Mine would meet your other criteria too. I'd also include the Red Stars/Golden Comets. I don't have those, but they should work well for you.

    You don't mention if you want a breed that goes broody. If it is OK for them to go broody, the Buff Orpington would be a good choice for you. If you don't want a broody hen, I'd skip the Buff Orp. Any hen can go broody, but Buff Orps have a reputation for going broody a lot.

    I'm not familiar with the Salmon Favorelles so I won't comment on them. The Easter Eggers are an intriguing posibility. They are a type, not a breed. The only qualification to be an EE is that they have the blue egg gene so they might lay a blue, green, or brown egg. They do not have a great reputation for being friendly or great layers, but that will depend on what breeds they have been crossed with. They do not have a reputation for being aggressive toward people, so I would not discount them. You would probably be happy with them. Since they are crosses of crosses, they can come in some really pretty patterns and colors. One thing that I find favorable about EE's is that they are usually real easy to tell apart because of the different patterns and colors. Some breeds can look an awful lot alike.

    There are a lot of other breeds that would meet your criteria. They are living animals so they do not all meet the general tendencies, but that can be true for any breed. Many of us have personal prefferences so you will get a lot of different recommendations. I would put on your list as possiblities the Black Stars or whatever the hatchery calls the black sex links. These are like the Red Stars/Golden Comets. They are a cross of two breeds, not a specific breed. Different breeds can be crossed to make any of these, but they are usually very good layers and not usually aggressive toward people. For a flock of laying hens, I think they are an excellent choice. I'd also put the Delaware and any of the Rocks on your list as possibilities. I think they would suit you well. Many people have Rhode Island Reds and the Wyandotte and really like them. The RIR and the Wyandotte have a bit of a reputation of being aggressive toward other chickens so they are not real high on my list. I'm not real familiar with the Chanteclers or Buckeyes, but you might want to consider them. Leghorns lay extremely well and may be a good choice for you, but they are not real friendly. They are smaller than the others and you may have trouble containing them to your yard since you will free range them. If they have plenty of room, they may be OK for you, but I'd be a bit careful with them.

    I fully expect people will come on here and give you totally different suggestions. Somebody may be typing right now that disagrees with me. We all have different experiences. As long as you look at the standard breeds that seem to meet your criteria, I think it will be hard to go wrong with any of the selections.

    Good luck! You are in an exciting position.
  8. turtlebird

    turtlebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2009
    my australorps are beautiful ladies, sweet and quiet
    Orps are grand ladies, reserved and formal, but break out in silliness often
    my red stars were goofballs, but always were the bossiest things
    my EEs are quiet and gentle, colorful and LOVE the egg colors
    I don't know anything about the Salmon favs
    Oh good luck choosing, it is always SO hard!
  9. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    I would mix it up if I were you. In my flock I have (from your list) an EE, a Black Australorp, and a Golden Comet. They're all great girls, all very sweet, and all great layers. Best wishes! [​IMG]
  10. kansasmom

    kansasmom Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 24, 2010
    Thanks for all the advice so far!

    My daughter who is 8 likes to go and collect the eggs so I am wanting a breed that will allow her to gather the eggs without making a fuss. Also she likes to feed them treats too. The older chickens that came with the house we bought a couple of months ago (5 Brs and 1 Light Braham) will eat out of her hand and don't mind being petted as long as they are distracted with food. So if they were friendly that would be good too.

    I know that BO are known for being broody but are suppesed to be reat with kids. How much of a problem is broodiness and what do you do about it?

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