Stocking the flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BusyBearMama, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Songster

    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    Hi I am trying to choose the perfect combination of birds for a new flock in NYS ( cold winters (-10 easy) hot summers but usually not into the 100s) we have guineas and will have more come spring (cross fingers) we have acreage and back up to state land and to the side the back of a large private farm. All our neighbors have chickens all over and hopefully our little flock will grow this next spring. I'm compiling a list of birds that I think will work well for us, aiming for different looking birds as we have children and want it to be very interesting and to teach about different breeds. We will have laying Amerucanas by march and will hopefully get the rest of the chicks to raise so that we have more by the next spring. This is my pullet list so far :
    Plymouth /barred rock
    Black australorp
    Orpington (light colored)
    Sussex !!

    My questions are
    1. What do you all say about one of each of the brownish egg layers I listed above?
    2. if I get one each and a couple more guineas that brings us to 18 birds. How much space indoor? and how much outdoor is appropriate for 18 or slightly less? as it will depend on my ability to actually get exactly what I want lol
    3. How similar do the black and white birds look? Its so hard to tell looking at separate pictures anyone have any pics of some of these breeds and even better any of them together so I can see how they match up?
    4. Am I correct that they are all cold hearty, relatively good company and no high maintenance ones?
    5. Am I missing a good breed that meets what I'm thinking? There are golden seabrights I think I love & I see around them here sometimes but I'm not sure about them
    Because someone told me they are not calm enough to keep contained but I see other places they are... Should they be in the list? So basically- suggestions?
    6. Recommendations for hatcherys?
    Thanks so much!!!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    That is a very nice selection of birds and they will all do well in NY. They should be decent winter layers. You do have a duplication in looks as the BR and Dominique are both b/w barred chickens. The obvious difference is the comb. I'd probably go for a different looking bird but that's just me because there are too many cool looking chickens to choose from. If you wanted to stay with the rock, just get a different color. You have 8 to choose from. Columbian is a beautiful feather pattern,

    I started with about the same amount of chickens and they did fine in a 10x12 coop (converted horse stall). They do spend time inside when it's snowing and blowing and there is plenty of room for them inside. The run is 10x20 and fine for some outside time but not their favorite. My guineas need more room than the chickens. They are not content to just hang out inside and get into trouble hassling the chickens. They do like higher roosts so I have some at 6' for them and lower ones for the chickens. Give them a window that they can sit in front of and soak up the sun. I also have a piece of glass over the pop door to prevent snow from blowing in and give them a little sunny spot outside to enjoy.

    Sebrights are beautiful birds but I probably wouldn't mix bantams and large foul together unless you got 4+. EEs are always fun and add to the diversity of the flock as they can be all over the place looks wise. Brahmas have been talkative and incharge in my flock. Not the best layers but the hens do a good job keeping the peace. Cochins are attractive but again not the best layers and they do go broody pretty easily. They have made good mothers raising guinea keets and hatchery chicks for me.
  3. BusyBearMama

    BusyBearMama Songster

    Apr 25, 2014
    New York State
    Thanks for taking the time to write such a helpful response :) I agree entirely and will go well out of my way to get a non barred rock ;) we really want a varied group! I think seabrights might be better later on, you confirmed my concerns enough, I would like this to be relatively smoothly. Thanks so much

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