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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kenzier093, Jan 25, 2014.
What chicken breeds did you all start our with for your very first batch of chicks?
Our first three chicks were Golden Comets.
We added a Japanese bantam and an Old English Game bantam a few weeks later. Three months after that, we added two Buff Orpingtons, a Golden Laced Wyandotte, and a Black Australorp. (and one year later, we added a day old Cochin bantam. -gave the broody Japanese bantam hen a chick to raise. She has been a wonderful addition, and gets along well in the flock). At ten birds, our flock is complete.
I didn't start with chicks, but with an established flock of partridge Chentechlers (7 hens, 1 roo). Wonderful birds. Then we added 3 turkeys, then it just went downhill from there. At one point I had more than 70 chickens of various breeds
Now I'm focusing on quality over quantity, I have a very small flock of Silkies
FIRST I did a lot of thinking to determine what I needed. Quiet? Non-flighty? Good layers? Not prone to broodiness? Bares confinement well? DW wanted brown eggs, and thought white chickens were ugly. They also had to tolerate TX heat. I started with 2 gold laced wyandottes and 2 Plymouth barred rocks. They did great.
Second round was 8 "free" bantams that were really annoying.
Third and current round is 4 Cornish crosses, 2 barred rocks, 1 silver laced Wyandotte, and 1 Americauna
Kenzier093: Every one you ask will give you a different answer. The questions you need to ask, need to be answered by you, and only you. What is your climate like? Will you keep your birds confined? Free range? Or a combination? Do you want a lot of eggs? Will you eat the birds when they have stopped laying? Are your chickens going to be pets for their entire lives? Do you eventually want to hatch eggs... allow a hen to go broody? What color eggs do you like? Do you want a colorful egg basket, or do you want eggs all the same color? Now, that you've answered these questions, you can start looking at chicken breeds. Start by looking at "Henderson's Chicken Breeds Chart". After that, when you have marked a few breeds that meet some of your criteria, do some research on these breeds. An other place to look for breed information is the web sites of the various hatcheries. They'll give you breed information, but be sure to look at various sites and compare that information. After you've selected your breed criteria, pick the brains of the wonderful folks on this site, sift through the information, and make your final choices. Don't despair if you get your heart set on a breed, only to find out that it's not realistically available to you in your time frame. That's why it's a good idea to have several breeds on your list. 2 pieces of advice for you: Chickens need more room than the recommended allotment of 4 s.f./10 s.f. in the coop/run. Realize that there's no perfect answer re: what breed of chicken you get b/c no matter what you decide, by the end of the summer, you'll decide that no matter how much you love your little flock, and the breeds that you've chosen, there are a few more breeds that you'd like to add to your flock. Chickens are like potato chips. You can't have just a few, and there are so many different kinds to try! ENJOY!!
For the record: I have a flock of 5: RIR, BSL, 3 EE. Plan to add this spring: 3 Dominiques, 2 Rose Comb Brown Leghorns, 2 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. (and about a dozen meat birds.) My goal is for a flock of rose and pea combed birds due to severe winter cold, perhaps will breed a barn yard mix from this core flock the following summer.
Sorry, I just re-read your post, and noted that you already have a flock! Are you adding to it????????
I was actually just wondering what everyone started out with Sorry I didn't mention it before!
Yea I am adding to it this spring. I plan on adding 5 EE's, 5 brown leghorns, and 5 salmon Favorelles.
Buff Orpingtons were our birds of choice, having lots of fun watching them, and expecting first eggs, any day. Be carful, chicken math takes hold, very quickly! We are adding a few more, Buffs and Whites as well as a couple of roosters, to the Orpington coop, an adjoining coop to be added will be for the Speckled Sussex, our second breed.
If I we're going to start again , first look at how much space do I have? Pen space. Neighbors, Crowing! How many can I care for? Would start with one breed. With 2 pr. or a trio. That way not inbreeding to much , that sort of thing gets messy unless you know what your doing[ line breeding] if just for fun get a few chicks raise them. Go to Library get some books read , go on line read, talk to folks alot of wise people out there , listen to them! start with best you can find. Healthy! Easier to keep em healthy than doctor em. Remember costs just as much to feed a bad one as a good one. If its for you and kids you may have to be a little more reserved in your culling, I'm big fan of kids and 4H. I've raised many chicks in card board box, not the best will work, put em in aquarium heat lamp you'll cook em. 100 watt bulb ok but not to close to box start a fire, drafts are bad can cover after while. Mason jar waters and feeders ok to start with. chicks are new born hard boil some eggs smash up shells and all feed to them, if their vents get pastey warm water unclogg em, mix in alittle applesauce. Keep em clean. Hope this helps,