Starting a new flock......looking for input/suggestions.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by armyturner, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. armyturner

    armyturner Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 25, 2008
    We are going to be getting some chicks in the near future in order to introduce our chidlren to livestock as well as for the fresh eggs. I have raised all kinds of animals, but never poultry and have spent a lot of time on here recently reading posts and searching websites for information but now I have a couple of questions. We are wanting to have a colorful lot that consists of dual purpose brown egg layers, so we are leaning towards Buff Orpingtons, Silver Laced Wyandottes or Light Brahmas, Speckled Sussexes, and Black Australorps. We are not dead set on these, so any suggestions are appreciated. My questions are:

    1. Do these breeds generally have good dispositions, or are there others that may be better suited for my children to be around.

    2. Are there other breeds that better suited for dual purpose use.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I've had the Buff Orpingtons, Light Brahmas, and Black Australorps. My brother enjoyed his Speckled Sussexes. And, you can't find a much prettier chicken than the Silver Laced Wyandottes.

    As far as that dual purpose, none of these will be all that wonderful when compared to a Cornish X or one of the newer "colored" meat hybrids. I suppose that the Light Brahmas would go the farthest in that direction but don't expect very rapid or economical weight gain. And, I don't really know about the Sussexes and Wyandottes in this regard.

    I think you've got some good choices for dispositions and one more that fits in with this group and from my experience is the Barred Rock.


    and edited to say, Welcome to BYC!
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  3. blueoval1

    blueoval1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2008
    Raleigh N.C.
    Giant Cochins are one of my favorites they are great mothers and make excellent pets they also come in many colors.
  4. scgamecock

    scgamecock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    I have never had a Black Australorp that didn't have a very calm disposition.Alway like ot be held and very quiet.My SLW's are beautiful but they are not real lovey dovey and neither are my Buff Orpington's.Keep in mind that mine are all hatchery stock and temperment can and will change with the line it came from.I have a Blue Orpington cockeral from Speckeldhen and he is the complete opposite of my Buff's.I also have a couple of Black Orp pullets that I hatched from a person in Michigan and they are just like George my Blue Orp.Barred Rocks are really good and my two big Roo's are more gentle and loving than the hen's.Sexlinks are great layer's and I have some that are really calm and some that are kinda flighty.It really depends on what you want whether it's pet's eggs or both.My Brahma's are really calm but they stayed broody all summer and layed better in the winter.
  5. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    I have had all of these breeds at one time or another and all have been nice birds to have. If you want good temperments by all means, get your stock from a heritage breeder, not a hatchery. These folks usually will cull birds with aggressive tendancies so it is not a trait that is carried on in the flock. The Barred Rocks and Buff Orps are my favorites of the breeds you listed with the Black Australorps comming in a close second place. Another breed that you might want to consider that is beautiful, lays nice eggs and has the most silk like feathers of any bird you ever picked up is the Mottled Java. They are very sweet and just a nice bird. Good luck with your choices whatever they be.
  6. thedeacon

    thedeacon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    You might also want to include a Rhode Island Red. One thing to remember with roosters, they do sometimes become quite aggressive. Mine doesn't bother me to often unless I upset the hens. However, he does chase and attack my 18 yr old son and 7-8 grandsons. But if you are looking for the most color you will want a rooster ot 2. As far as duel purpose, I find the old hens are just fine for stew.
  7. scgamecock

    scgamecock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2008
    Conway SC
    Rhode Island Reds are great layer's and would be an excellent choice too.If you want any white egg's you can't beat a couple of leghorns and they will lay and lay and lay. lol
  8. Gazinga

    Gazinga Chook Norris

    ok, i see all the posts and respect everyones my opinion, nothing beats teh Buff Orps! i have litel kids of all ages play with them and the BO's love teh kids and are very social with the kids as well as adults. Never once had a problem. They are a dual purpose bird and get quite large and meaty. They lay eggs quite well and even produce steady through the winter months. I love my Orps.

    Just my 2 cents.....[​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I am sure there is variation among lines but my speckled sussexes are good citizens and fine around my kids -- even the two cockerels are quite civilized, at least thus far. I think of them as sort of the chicken version of Quarter Horses [​IMG]

    Mine have matured to a pretty decent size, if you want to eat some of them when your kids aren't lookin' [​IMG], though of course nothing but a CornishX is going to give you anything like a supermarket-type carcass.

  10. BayCityBabe

    BayCityBabe Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2008
    My Australorps are great lap chickens - super friendly. My Cochins are sweet, too, and amazing layers! I would advise you to read as much as possible - any mention of "flighty" should be a dealbreaker for you. In my flock, I have found that my Hamburgs and my Phoenix just will not be handled.

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