Small flock considerations

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by writerdeman, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. writerdeman

    writerdeman Hatching

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northern Michigan
    So nice to "meet" you. I'm looking forward to using this group and hopefully adding something to it.

    My husband and i just retired, and although we've had chickens and done 4-H with our kids in that area, a lot of time has passed.
    We are getting ready to order again with my grown son, and I'm debating which breed(s) to get. We only want about 6-8 chickens, all told. Our ten acres is sided on two sides with with woods, so bobcats and other things are nearby.

    I need:
    *A very cold-hardy breed,
    *I'm thinking rose combs so the combs don't show frostbite, (it gets down to -35 below 0 here)
    *a breed that can take care of itself where predators are concerned (at least to some degree); so no completely docile, laid back types, I guess, but I'd like to be able to handle and make friends with them--also I have two small grandkids.
    *hopefully beautiful and not-your-average-plumage,
    *I have an interest in keeping old breeds going, though don't have time to get too involved in a breeding program,
    *have had past success with breeds that roost high to avoid predators
    *I'd like fairly large eggs (at least medium!)
    We have:
    A great chicken house and are fairly experienced.

    So far, I've come down to Dominiques,
    Silver Leghorns and Black Langshans. It seems like they would fill the bill. Would these be a good choice?

    What about Hamburgs or RC Brown Leghorns? Ancona's or Andalusians, Wyandottes? We are ordering from Murray McMurray.
    I love the way all of the above LOOK.

    What do you think??? I'd love to hear from those of you who've got plenty of experience.
    I've raised: Orpingtons, Brahmas, Silver Leghorns, Australorps, 1 R.I.Red, Cornish X, Sp Sussex (1)--got dead right away--predator

    Hope this doesn't boggle you down with TMI, (too much information). Thanks in advance to those who might dare to advise me on this!
  2. gpamela3499

    gpamela3499 Songster

    Feb 26, 2009
    Near San Fran Ca
    From california
    You have come to the right place with your questions
    Breeds with small combs do best in cold weather.
  3. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    [​IMG] from TN
    We have wyandottes and they are great. But it doesnt get that cold sown here. Im sure some else can give you more advise for your climate than I can.
  4. [​IMG] from Missouri
  5. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  6. writerdeman

    writerdeman Hatching

    Apr 29, 2009
    Northern Michigan
    Wow, thanks everyone, for the warm welcome!

    I checked out the Saffles site and saw your Wyandottes. Pretty interesting colors, aren't they? And these are considered native and originated in Wisconsin, from what I've read. You have some great-looking birds.

    I'm leaning hard toward the Dominques, right now. Can someone tell me, and this is where I'm really ignorant, how do I keep a good strain of Dominiques going? I've read conflicting things about this. One source says they are better layers when another breed is introduced...but how can that be? Don't you need to keep the line pure in order to keep reproducing true to form? (I'll call this question ONE)

    Another thing I'd like to know is, will one rooster be too much for the 6 or 7 hens I plan to get? (Question TWO)

    Thanks once again!!
  7. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    Hi! You might find this info in the forums titled managing my flock, or chicken behaviors -- what I do is use the search tool in the same way I use google - it is simply *amazing* how much information is available here! I've seen folks ask that question before - and seen some folks answer 1 roo for 10 hens -- I only have hens so I am just recalling what I have read. I am sure other folks here are much more in the know on roo/hen ratios! Good luck!!! [​IMG]
  8. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Crowing

    Apr 9, 2007
    [​IMG] from Missouri
  9. mwdh1

    mwdh1 Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
  10. duck&chickencrazy

    duck&chickencrazy Songster

    Dec 2, 2008
    Hello from indiana and [​IMG]

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