Trying to decide what to get?


9 Years
Feb 26, 2010
We are building a coop to hold 6 birds max. We live in South Florida so cold weather is not really an issue. I want some good egg layers, but quiet, calm, docile birds. We are also going to show them at our local fair in the 4H group. What do you recommend?

Thanks so much!
Talk to whoever is running the 4H fair. I suspect your county extension agent will be involved. Find out what the categories are going to be and what the judging criteria will be. I don't know if they are going to judge by a breed standard or if they are going to have a totally different criteria. I would expect them to have several different categories, but I don't know. Record keeping may be important so it is good to know that when you start Whoever is running the fair probably has good information where you can get chicks locally too.

As far as quiet docile breeds, good luck. You might look in the Henderson Breed Chart for a description of the breeds. That will help. But quiet especially depends on the individual bird. They can vary tremendously within the same breed. Feathersite is a good place to look for pictures of the different breeds.

As far as which breeds to get, about any of the dual purpose breeds will do. They are about all good egg layers and most tend to have a good personality, especially if you handle them a lot when they are growing up. If there is a category for them in the fair, red or black sex links are a good choice, but these are crosses, not breeds. You will not find them in the Henderson Chart.

Henderson’s Breed Chart

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Brahmas; they are gentle & docile, but still have a personality. They tend to be very people oriented, unlike the RIR and orpingtons (my experiences). Rocks have a personalit and are people oriented, but not quite as docile. Another good choice would be salmon faverolles or marans.
I like my Java a lot and Javas are heat tolerant. She is not loud and lets me pick her up all the time. Speckled Sussex are quiet and pretty. I would try to get a variety. My red sex link lays every day and I love her personality. She would not be a breed though.
I would suggest choosing more than one breed. We have 3 categories for large fowl in our 4-H program: Continental and Mediterranean, Asiatics, and American & English.
You can meet your criteria in breeds found in all three categories and increase your entries in the fair.

ETA: I should have mentioned that Asiatics also includes hybrids (the egg-laying machines) and mixed breeds.
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What an interesting thing
Why Asiatics versus any of your other categories or AOSB or Miscellaneous or AOB?

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