Researching chickens for backyard flock-any suggestions?

Hencraze24

Songster
May 9, 2019
304
414
142
Sussex, WI
hi everyone, I have been trying to select 3 or 4 new chickens for my current flock. I have been trying to research I am looking for (preferably) bantam breeds but large fowl will do. I would like breeds I don't currently have, and would be preferably cold hardy and family friendly. My current flock consists of:

bantams
1 Japanese Bantam (mottled)
1 Silkie (buff)

large fowl
1 Delaware
1 Rhode Island Red
1 New Hamshire Red
1 Australorp
2 Plymouth Rocks (both barred)
1 Specked Sussex
1 Buff Orpington

Any suggestions?
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,397
19,118
867
St. Louis, MO
Choosing breeds for your climate is critical for ease of management.
I also commend you for trying new breeds. There are so many wonderful breeds that need our support. I won't give any specific recommendations even though I've had over 30 breeds. What turns me on may not be what you like. What I can offer is two of my favorite breed selection charts.
The drawback is that some of these great but obscure breeds may be difficult to obtain in singles.
http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html (includes diminutive bantams)
For true bantams
 

SoftSilkie

Crowing
Sep 4, 2019
1,032
5,516
412
Idaho
I would suggest Old English Game bantams. I have been loving mine.

I would recommend Silkies, Speckled Sussexes, and Barred Plymouth Rocks but it sounds like you already have those.

Have fun choosing and have a great day!
 

MGG

Songster
Feb 7, 2020
922
1,594
140
Cochins and chanteclers do well in cold climates. Most pea combed birds do too because their comb doesn't get frostbitten as easily. My Blue laced red wyandotte are doing super well and it gets down to negatives at night here. I'm sure there are a lot of other breeds I'm forgetting though
 

Hencraze24

Songster
May 9, 2019
304
414
142
Sussex, WI
I would suggest Old English Game bantams. I have been loving mine.

I would recommend Silkies, Speckled Sussexes, and Barred Plymouth Rocks but it sounds like you already have those.

Have fun choosing and have a great day!
Are Old English Games flighty? That was one of my problems with that breed. One problem with breeds like that is that they are masters at escaping. our Japanese bantam squeezes under our gate all the time :rolleyes:
 
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NatJ

Songster
Mar 20, 2017
403
903
146
USA
A few I've had:
Dark Cornish (standard size) from McMurray Hatchery. This hatchery does NOT have show-type Cornish; they're basically just a dual-purpose chicken with a pea comb and pretty color.

White Shouldered Red Yokohama, also from McMurray Hatchery. Small for a non-bantam. The most friendly/trainable chickens I've had: my then-teenager trained them that a tomato plus snapping fingers means "fly up to my arm for a treat." They got quite good at that! (We had several other breeds at the same time, that did NOT learn that trick.)

Chantecler, Partridge and Buff, from Ideal Poultry. Beautiful chickens, laid all winter (northern Virginia) with no artificial lights. But the Partridge one then spent all summer going broody, over and over.

All of those are fairly cold-hardy (small combs, little to no wattles, fairly well feathered). The Cornish and Chanteclers acted like normal chickens, the Yokohamas were a bit more friendly/trainable than most other chickens I've had.

Beware, those Yokohamas fly--if they wanted to cross the yard, they were as likely to fly as to walk! They would happily sit on anything 3 feet high, but did not go over a 6-foot fence (that fence was around a large area, so not much reason to go out.)

My Mom loves White Plymouth Rocks. Pretty much the same as your Barred ones, but all white. She's had them from several different sources, and I never heard of much difference between them.

I named sources, because rare breeds may be hard to find, and because they may have different traits if you get them from different places.

I had light Brahmas once, some decades ago--I liked everything about them except the feathered feet.
 

SoftSilkie

Crowing
Sep 4, 2019
1,032
5,516
412
Idaho
Are Old English Games flighty? That was one of my problems with that breed. One problem with breeds like that is that they are masters at escaping. our Japanese bantam squeezes under our gate all the time :rolleyes:
True, they do escape a lot. But they are friendly and easy to tame. I barely worked with my pullet and she is one of my tamest! I mean, she won't run and jump into my lap, but none of my chickens do...:p

I love my EEs, and being peacombed, they are cold hardy. They are mellow with other breeds and docile and good producers of good sized greenish or bluish eggs, though they can also lay light brown to pinkish. Have fun choosing!
Ooh, I forgot about Easter Eggers! Now that I remember, I would probably recommend these more than Old English. Thanks for reminding me, @BigBlueHen53!
 
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