Question about the best breeds to buy?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ava123, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. ava123

    ava123 New Egg

    Oct 18, 2009
    Hi! I live in Michigan, very new to the chicken thing.. just wondering, we want to raise a few chickens for eggs and a few for meat... We have a shed that we are going to convert into a coop in the back yard so the structure is taken care of.. but what else should I know? What breeds are the best egg layers (preferably brown eggs) and which are the best meat givers? Ive been hearing alot about heirloom chickens having the best nutritional value.. are they easy to find? Is there a good book that would cover raising chickens from begining to end? Thanks so much for any replies!! [​IMG]
  2. cinnamongirl

    cinnamongirl Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 29, 2009
    The learning center on this site is awesome. I've recently gotten our first six chicks after doing lots of research on this site and others. Under the breeds section you get a pic and a nice overall description of the bird, the kind of eggs they lay, behavior, etc. My Pet Chicken's website has a breed selector . Just answer a few questions and they'll recommend a few breeds that will serve your needs. Dual purpose breeds are good for both eggs and meat. As for books, Raising Chickens for Dummies is great. I've read it cover to cover! But most of all, I'd suggest reading everything you can on the forums here. You'll come across all sorts of things that books etc. just can't cover. This site is the best! I'm a beginner too, but everyone here makes me feel like I have an expert in the family [​IMG] Good luck and [​IMG]
  3. Farmington

    Farmington Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    You need Buckeyes! There are a few breeders on BYC, as well as some hatcheries that have them. Brown eggs, good eaters, very cold tolerant. Plus the irony of Buckeyes in Michigan [​IMG]
  4. ava123

    ava123 New Egg

    Oct 18, 2009
    So when I look on this my pet chicken site, it says something about purpose being dual and ornamental.. does dual mean meat and eggs and ornamental just eggs?
  5. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    dual purpose are what most of the heritage breeds are. it does mean meat and eggs. basically, there is a HUGE variety in dual breeds, some are better layers than others, some get bigger, so you may want to purchase a couple breeds. this page will give you a good overview about how many eggs to expect and how big they get.

    ornamentals are pretty much what they sound like: they are for looking at! of course, they will still lay eggs, and i'm sure you could still use them for meat birds, but they are breeds that people mostly keep because they are beautiful, not because they are productive. they are the majority of your show birds. most of the bantams (small size, as opposed to standard large birds) are considered ornamentals, and the more fabulously feathered standard breeds like the Phoenix. just remember that bantams lay bantam sized eggs, so if you are looking for egg production but really want ornatmentals, go for the standard sized one and get some high egg layers to keep your egg basket full.

    birds that are used primarily for eggs are called layers. birds used primarily for meat are called meaties.
  6. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    forgot to add: the book Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens was really helpful for me. it won't answer all your questions (that's what this forum is for!) but it will get you started on the right path.

    many heritage, or heirloom, breeds are easy to find through hatcheries and even your local feed store. there is a movement to save several endangered poultry breeds, which you can read about on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy page. these breeds aren't endangered because they aren't good breeds for small flocks, but because they weren't valuable to industrialized farming companies that are only about making a profit and not concerned with the temperament and beauty of a bird. several that are on the list are readily available from many hatcheries, and more still from BYC members, such as: Andalusians, Delawares, Faverolles, Houdans, Brahmas, Dominiques, etc. (these are actually all breeds i either have now or am buying in the spring [​IMG])

    good luck and [​IMG]
  7. denasfarm

    denasfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama!!
    My Best Large Brown egg Layers are my Barred Rocks. They out lay everything here including the Rhode Islands. Several years back we had Production Whites and boy did those babies lay but they do not have enough meat to be dual purpose bird like a Rock and they tended to blow out. The Rhode Islands come in second and the Ameraucanas come in third. All lay Large eggs, the Barred Rocks just lay longer, through the cold, and through molting.
  8. missrose

    missrose Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2009
    Mesa, AZ
    if you want good egg layers, pretty birds, and excellent temperment, get delawares
    (they are not meat birds though.)

    BUT: they are HARD to find so that is a setback
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  9. mjdtexan

    mjdtexan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2008
    I get what is refered to as "sex link" chickens from Ideal Poultry

    They lay lots of eggs

    You may want to pick a breeder closer to you so your chicks dont have to travel so far to get to you.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  10. Ms~Silkie~Girl

    Ms~Silkie~Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2009
    New York STATE
    BO's (Buff Orpingtons) and Black Stars, both lay brown eggs and black stars are egg laying machines! good luck!

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