RIR, Americana, Wyandottes?? HELP!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hbraynard, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. hbraynard

    hbraynard Hatching

    Feb 7, 2015
    Coquille, Oregon
    I am going to begin showing chickens in the 4H poultry category,

    I am in a beyond confusing situation.
    The feed store has 3 different breeds of chicks (all sexed female)-
    *Buff Wyandottes
    *Americana's (not sure how to spell that- have seen different varities)
    *Rhode Island Reds.

    My plan was to go and bring home 3 of the Wyandottes, all female.

    The more I read on them, the more concerned I become.

    I have read NUMEROUS experiences where Wyandottes are agressive, unfriendly, and mean.
    I have also read that they are very nice.

    I have read that some RIR turn out to have bad attitudes, but are not meant to be shown in 4H because they are purley production chickens.

    I have not been able to find hardly anything on Americana's besides tons of variety of spelling the breeds name.

    I would like a friendly chicken that would be well suited for me to show in 4H. I would be beyond happy to have any of these, but the things I have read are concerning.

    If you could all give me your personal experiences with these breeds, and opinions on what I should take home, and what would best suit what I would like, that would be amazing.

    I already have a place for them with a heating lamp, shavings covered with papertowles, feeders with non GMO food, and a tad of diatomaceous earth set up, as well as water.
    I have a hen house for them to move into when they are old enough.
    I just CANNOT decide which birds to pick.
    All Americana?
    All Buff Wyandottes?
    Two of each?

    (Hoping I have chosen the right form- as I will be showing and hopefully eventually breeding the chickens)
  2. Eggmachine11

    Eggmachine11 Chirping

    Feb 8, 2015
    A RIR isn't a Production Red.A production red was purely/basicaly bred with all rir,accept for maybe leghorn,or whatever else the newhamp is bred with.A Rhode island red is a solid redd/brown colored bird,not show quality if the PR isn't.

    The americana's are better then both,each are aggressive,do well with this bird.
  3. PoultryQueen101

    PoultryQueen101 Songster

    Jul 14, 2014
    Middle-East Ohio
    You cannot find anything on Americana because all chicks from a feed store/hatchery are actually easter eggers. Which is basically a mutt. True Ameraucana come in 8 colors, have blue slate legs, a pea comb, muffs, and a beard. If you want true breed ones, find a breeder.

    The silver laced wyandottes I bought at TSC were no where near exhibition quality. Mine did grow up a little bit more spazzy, but all in all, she is a wonderful bird. She is not aggressive towards the others and is a good layer.

    RIR from a hatchery will most likely be of bad quality. From all the tales ive heard, they are aggressive and have a dull personality if from a hatchery. The roosters are especially mean once they reach maturity. Our breeder cockerel, however, that we hatched, is about the sweetest on earth. He comes from good stock.

    Personally, I would not purchase any of these chicks. Some good advice is to buy the best birds you can afford. Also, never buy silkies from a feed store... always crappy.

    If you think about ordering chicks online, I suggest thinking about Ideal Hatchery. They have great stock and their birds are vaccinated. We just ordered 25 banties and got 2 extra, though 2 died, thats not bad at all. Its winter and they likely got cold.

    When looking for Ameraucana, be cautious. Make sure it is spelled this way and not any other way.
    If you want friendly, I would highly suggest them if you can find good quality ones. They also lay blue eggs. Silkies were my first 4H birds. They are excellent mothers and frequent brooders. They take a bit more maintanence, but they are worth it. And multiple roosters get along fine.

    AI hope you have a great 4H experience... but be cautious. Chicken math will get you. Soon enough you will be like me. Probably 60 chickens, 8 ducks, and 2 goats. When it all started with 2 silkies.

    I have found that the fancy birds are the way to go with me. If you want easy, small birds that are friendly and easy to handle. Try looking up different bantam breeds.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    PoultryQueen101 has given you some really good advice. The only major hatchery that sells true Ameraucanas is Meyer Hatchery which breeds Blue Ameraucanas, and are 5 times more expensive than Meyer's Easter Eggers. There is a good article at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/ameraucana-easter-egger-or-araucana.html explaining the difference between true Araucanas, true Ameraucanas, and Easter Eggers. Personally, I would recommend Australorps for 4h which are extremely hardy, calm, and gentle. My children and granddaughter made lap pets of them, and even if they don't turn out to be show quality, you will have some excellent layers. Whatever breed you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
  5. white guinea333

    white guinea333 In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2014
    I have raised silver laced wyandottes for a couple years now and shown them at multiple shows and they do great as exhibiting birds, but they are not the best at showmanship. If you are planning on doing showmanship. I would use a Rhode Island Red or ameraucana if you are planning on doing showmanship because they are calm and pose very well. That's my personal experience with showing these breeds. But I agree with Michael OShay, Australorps are above all the best birds to use for showing in my experience.
  6. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Songster

    Nov 26, 2011
    We are always telling the 4-H kids to find a breeder. The hatcheries are great for back yard birds but they are not breeders for exhibition. My next piece of advice is to avoid birds with lacing, penciling, and barring. Those patterns come with another level of difficulty and hatchery birds are usually terrible in that regard. Red and buff birds from hatcheries can be poorly colored or the shade of color isn't to the liking of the judge. Finally, Hatchery birds are often too small and of poor type to compete against exhibition birds.

    Australorps are a great choice. They avoid the issues if secondary feather patterns and off coloring since they are solid black. They grow fast and lay well. They don't have the maintenance issues such as feathered feet, crest, or overly long tails. If you can find a breeder of them you will be the envy at the fair.

    Really, any birds from a reputable breeder will be better than hatchery stock for exhibition.
  7. PoultryQueen101

    PoultryQueen101 Songster

    Jul 14, 2014
    Middle-East Ohio
    Al true. Make sure that you pick a bird within your level. Polish are not good begnner birds. For example. The may be pretty and all, but they are hig maintenance. You have to keep their pens clean and tie up their crest so they dont get wet. You also have to pluck ther crest feathers and know they easily get mites and lice.

    I think austrolorps or buff orpingtons would be great beginner birds.

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