Small flock of different breeds. Which ones do I choose?!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by FelixFelicis, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. FelixFelicis

    FelixFelicis In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2014
    North Yorkshire, uk

    I'm a newbie to the chicken keeping world. We've just started building our coop and run, it should be big enough to hold 6/7 chickens comfortably but as we have no experience whatsoever in poultry keeping we've decided to limit our starter flock to 4 birds, all girls. My garden is not suitable to allow free-ranging so they will be spending all their time in the coop and adjoining run. I've been doing a bit of research and there are a number of breeds that I'm interested in and I know I'll never be able to choose just one! So my question is, which breeds are likely to get on well in such a small flock? Is it an option to mix standard/large fowl with bantams in such a small flock?

    The main breeds which have taken my fancy are Brahmas and Orpingtons, but I'm open to suggestions. In an ideal world I'd have birds which are docile, kid-friendly, decent-ish egg layers, beautiful, and no more high-maintenance than your average chicken as me and my partner both work, although I only work part time so I am home 3/4 days of the week.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Songster

    Feb 23, 2015
    Petting Buffy Like a Dog
    Production Reds.

    Very curious and friendly.Great egg layers and never brood.And their redish brown coloring is gorgeous!

    I would also consider Buff Orpington(Golden variety).I own both PR and BO,but I would much rather more BO hens.My hen,Buffy,enjoys books,which it is very common for people to read books to their chickens.And their glorious feathers!

    It is possible to have bantams in a small flock,will they get along in a pen,doubtful,tharthey will kill another,just pecking every so often.
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I will make the assumption that you are interested in egg layers.

    I have had and do have Buff ORpingtons from a hatchery. THese girls are very docile and sometimes get picked on by others.

    THe color of the easter egger aka ameracauna egg is lovely, though I find these birds to be on the more aggressive side. Opposite of the opringtons. While they are tough on other birds, they are gentle with us.

    Honestly, if you go with any traditional egg layers you will be fine:

    Black astralorp
    black sexlinks
    silver laced wyandottes

    THese are all decent layers that I got from Ideal hatchery. THe BO were from Meyers.

    Suggestion: if you plan to have 4, start with a couple more. Hatcheries often make mistakes on gender and sometimes a chick doesnt make it to adult hood.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Based on your criteria, I would recommend either Black Sex Links, which are hardy and friendly, egg laying machines; or Australorps, which are extremely hardy, calm and gentle, and excellent layers of large, brown eggs. I've raised both of these for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids), and the Black Sex Links have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. The Australorps lay almost as good, and have a wonderful temperament. My children, and now my granddaughter (pictured in my avatar) made lap pets of ours. Whatever breed or hybrid you decide to get, good luck with your flock.

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