Starting small flock and looking for breed advice!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by vlkirchner, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. vlkirchner

    vlkirchner New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Feb 18, 2016
    Massachusetts
    Hello everyone!

    I am in Massachusetts and an about to start a small flock for eggs/pets. The breeds that will be available to me are Black Sex Links, RI Red ( both available the end of March) NH Red,Barred Rock and Buff Orpington (those 3 available mid April). I was thinking of starting with one BSL and one RIR and when they're available adding a Barred rock (I love the look of them) and a Buff Orpington . I'm a little worried about mixing the personalities of these four breeds... The Buff Orpington will likely get picked on. I would like a mixed flock of good egg layers that are Friendly as I have small children. I am also just looking to start with 4 chickens. Any advice would be appreciated !
     
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

    11,352
    2,409
    396
    Mar 3, 2015
    Virginia
    Hello and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    I have/had all of those breeds and they mixed well, my Buff Orpington was actually the top of the pecking order. Barred Rocks are probably my favorite breed (along with Buff Orpingtons and Easter Eggers) becasue of there friendly and curious personalities. I hope you enjoy your chicken adventure. Oh, if you have any other questions feel free to ask!
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,515
    14,269
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC. Regardless of breed, its highly likely that your second pair that is added to the flock will be automatically lowest in the pecking order. Ideally its best to get them all at the same time and from the same place. Have you checked your state thread? members local to you may be able to point you in the right direction for other breeders or sources of birds.

    If you cannot do this, then you will need to plan for a place for quarantine for the second pair, and then a separate area where all the chickens can see each other, but not peck. If you have the space and time to do this, then fine. I'd suggest searching for "integrating new chickens in a flock" to give you further insight into the recommended, or most commonly used approaches.

    All the best

    CT
     
  4. vlkirchner

    vlkirchner New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Feb 18, 2016
    Massachusetts
    Thank you both for your responses!

    CTKen I figured that would be an issue but wasn't sure since they will still be so young.
     
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,794
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    82,316
    9,972
    796
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]
     
  7. vlkirchner

    vlkirchner New Egg

    5
    0
    7
    Feb 18, 2016
    Massachusetts

    Would 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Buff Orpington and 1 Easter Egger do ok together? I would get them all the same time but was concerned about the EE being smaller and the only one of its breed. I was going to start with four chickens but my kids have convinced us to start with 5 since we have 5 kids [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    12,748
    5,685
    436
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    It's been my personal experience that Easter Eggers will fit well into any flock! I have a soft spot for them to begin with!

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-easter-eggers-of-oleo-acres

    I have never had any issues with them, and unless you get bantam EEs size won't even be a consideration. They hold their own well, and mine are in a mixed flock with some pretty doggone big chickens - Buff Brahmas, Light Brahmas, Red Sex Links, Cuckoo Marans, and a Buff Orpington. With you living in a cold climate, like I do, you'd appreciate those small pea combs when winter comes howling in.....frostbitten combs are rare in small combed breeds. My grandkids love the blue and greenish blue eggs too! I have one EE out there, Miss Bumblebee, named that because she looked like a bumblebee compared to the size of the other chicks in the flock. I honestly at one point thought she was a bantam. But nope, she's full sized now, still smaller than the others, lays very nice medium sized eggs, and has never been picked on.

    It would be better if you could start your flock at one time rather than a few here and a few more there. Even as chicks, they can sometimes be pretty mean to newly arrived birds. But I know that's not always possible. Good luck! And Welcome to BYC!
     
  9. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    [​IMG]
    There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around the run. Sex links are a very good egg producer.
     
  10. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,183
    258
    211
    Jul 18, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    X2 and welcome. Easter Eggers are my favorite and extremely cold hardy and kids seem to like the blue or green eggs which are prevalent from them. I have lots of breeds in my flock (and still more I want to add). Sizewise everything from Jersey giant mixes down to several bantams and they all get along fine.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by