Single Breed or Variety of Breeds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by lfreem2, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. lfreem2

    lfreem2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all. I have been lurking for a looong time and soaking up all I can from all the experts here. Have been reading heaps of books, talking to folks, etc.

    This early spring we are hoping to begin with a flock of chickens that would include 6 hens and one roo. We have three small children, so a very friendly/docile breed that is very easy to handle is a must. Prefer clean-legged and a good layer, too.

    Initially, we were thinking of getting a mixed bag of birds: a bantam buff orp roo, hens would be pair of speckled sussex, pair of australorps and a pair of bantam Buff orps. Then, we started thinking about things, and we are considering perhaps specializing in a single breed so that we could develop good quality chicks and do what we can to enhance a particular breed instead of just getting a bunch of cross breeds that this roo would inevitably create.

    What's been difficult for us is that we'd like a bunch of color on the pasture. So, don't want all buff orps, for example. And I can see already that it's not easy to find orps of other colors (any suggestions on a great bantam orp breeder with variety of colors would be most helpful). We thought of Rocks as a possibility, but haven't had much success in identifying a good variation of them either. We're just completely torn about what to do. Should we go with the mixed bag and be happy with the cross-breeds that will come from this or specialize?

    We have also been surprised in not being able to find any breeders within a reasonable distance from home either. Hmmm.....

    Your thoughts are greatly welcomed.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  2. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

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  3. lfreem2

    lfreem2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there. Thanks for your reply. I've already used these tools, and that's how I arrived at the breeds I selected. I guess my question is really more one of sticking to one breed versus a variety of them.
     
  4. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    When first starting out...I started with a large variety.

    Now, I'm down to one specific breed. I took my knowledge of what I learned with the various breeds and narrowed down exactly what I wanted from my own birds. I'd go ahead and order the breeds you think you want and see what you like from each breed and see if there is a breed out there that has all or most of the same qualities as the ones you valued in your first birds.

    I have a feeling you'll like the Speckled Sussex most of all though! [​IMG]
     
  5. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

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    I would get a mix. Or get several varieties of the same breed (Like a brown leghorn, a white leghorn, and mahogany leghorn), or an EE, who come in a million colors. EE lay pink, green blue, or even lavender eggs, and are usually pretty docile. As for looking for breeders, BYC is the best place to find them. Look in the sale area to find people who sell the breeds/varieties you want. I got SQ silkie eggs from a BYCer, and turned out better then if i had gotten normal hatchery eggs.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. grammypam

    grammypam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could start with one particular breed you want that lays (for instance) a light brown egg. Then to have more color in your flock...choose hens that lay dk. brown,white and blue eggs. That way you will know all the light brown eggs are your true breed eggs. Just a thought. I could be wrong. Anyone else?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you decided to join us! [​IMG]

    There are a lot of choices out there and they are all good for somebody. You really need to decide on a goal before you decide which is best for you. To me, getting some hatchery chicks and breeding them is not really doing much to continue a breed. To do that, I really think you need to establish a breeding program and seriously select to breed only the ones that best conform to the Standard of Perfection. That is a lot more involved than one rooster and 6 hens.

    I also like color and differences. If you are looking mainly for pets with some egg production, I think your initial plan is pretty good. The first generation of chicks will not produce a lot of different color with those suggestions. That rooster with the australorps will produce basically black chickens, with the SS a light red chicken with black tail and probably some black at the neck. The Buff Orps of course will produce Buff Orps. It is when you cross the offspring of crosses that you start to get the differeng colors and patterns.


    There is nothing wrong with crossbreeds as far as pets or eggs are concerned. I'm mostly have crossbreeds myself. If you do decide to stay with only one, I suggest you look at the Easter Eggers. They can be any color or pattern but they can lay blue, green, pink, or brown eggs. Easter Eggers are not a breed but are a type, basically a chicken with the blue egg gene. They usually don't lay as well as some of the egg laying breeds, but it sounds like they may suit your purposes.

    Hope this helps. And again, [​IMG]

    To find a breeder near you, you might ask on this thread.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=91762
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Well if you have small childen, Sussex will fill the bill just fine. They are a gentle breed. Friendly and inquisitive. Will come up to say Hi to the kids. A great dual purpose breed, Excellent eating and a good layers of quality eggs. But most of all gentle, friendly, a fine fowl for children to learn to love. Get the large fowl, not the bantams. The large fowl are hardy in adverse weather. By from a breeder, not a hatchery. If you are near Washington State, Tony Albritton has superb standard size Speckled Sussex.(see Internet for contact info. Tony knows most everyone in Sussex and probably in your area) Sussex come in many colors. I just love the bejeweled finery of the tri-color speckled plumage.
    Happy New Year,
    Karen in western PA
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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  10. lfreem2

    lfreem2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for your brilliant answers! You are confirming my thinking indeed!

    Yes, I do not want to start with hatchery birds, and definitely want great quality breeder birds so that I can add positively to the breed. Based on your responses, I think I'll be leaning toward a variety of Sussex which should give me lots of great patterns and colors, plus be a great bird with the kids and give us eggs. I will do as you suggest and go with the standard size rather than the bantams as well. I really feel the need to not just have great pets and egglayers, but really give back to the hobby by being a specialist that can work to improve upon a breed. I love the idea of doing a project with my birds as well for the sheer challenge and learning factor as well.

    I thank you all for your helpful suggestions to help me make a decision. I didn't think it would be so tough since there are so many interesting and intriguing chickens out there. This hobby of ours is certainly amazing!

    Leads to great sussex breeders (and I'll be sure to check out BYC'ers of course!) are welcomed!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010

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