(Very)Small mixed breed flock?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by littlelune810, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have convinced my husband to let me get a very small flock of backyard chickens this coming spring. We have 1/4 acre lot, im only wanting to get maximum of 4 chickens and only hens. What I need in our flock: good to excellent egg producers(my husband only agreed to them because they "serve a purpose"), calm birds (we have a 5 year old and a 2 year old), weather tolerant as we live in a moderate climate but lots of rain (PNW) and I personally would like pretty birds [​IMG]. Another thing is I would like a variety of egg colors, so that I can tell which hen laid which eggs. Barred rocks have been recommended to me and I like what I've read so far about the breed characteristics. Welsummers have also been recommended and I think they're beautiful. Out of vanity I would love to have an Amerecauna for the blue eggs but worry they may be a little wild. I am also considering australorps and red stars and maybe marans. Can anyone give me some insight into which of these breeds might be best and which would really do well together, considering I would only have one or possibly two of each? I'm not sure if I will get 4 different breeds or two of one breed and two of another. Any insight and help would be appreciated and sorry for rambling here [​IMG]
     
  2. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Red sexlink are great layers of brown eggs..
    You could get a leghorn for white eggs.
    For the blue or green eggs eater eggers are great layers
     
  3. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is red sex link the same as a Red Star?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  4. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is red sex link the same as a Red Star?[/quote yes there a hybrid lay great for 2 years.. then may want to replace them.. seems your husband wants great layers so they are good
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    With a mild climate, you have many more choices.
    I'd peruse the following 2 links for characteristics you like.
    I'd start with the best layers and go from there. There are 8+ varieties(colors) of Plymouth Rocks so you aren't stuck with just the barred variety.
    Most of the white layers are Mediterranean breeds. Some of which tend to be flighty but not all. Besides Leghorns, Jaerhons, Minorcas, Anconas and a few others are great layers of white eggs.
    Don't be afraid of EEs/Ameraucanas. They are great birds with pretty eggs.
    Your biggest issue will be finding a source of some of the more obscure breeds you may want. Buying locally, you'll be very limited on breeds. Buying chicks mail order, you'll be limited as well since few hatcheries will ship 4 chicks.


    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf
     
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  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  7. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    If egg production is a high priority I would recommend the following breeds and hybrids to get your different colored eggs:

    Black or Red Sex Links for brown eggs as they are hardy, egg laying machines, consistently churning out more than 300 large brown eggs per hen per year. I personally prefer the Black Sex Links (Black Stars) over the Red Sex Links (Red Stars) as my Blacks have been friendlier, slightly better layers in really cold winter temperatures, and had a longer laying life than my Reds; however I don't think you can go wrong either way.

    White Leghorns or Austra Whites for white eggs. The White Leghorns, like Sex Links, are egg laying machines, and they will outlay the Austra Whites, but the Leghorns tend to be high strung and flighty. The Austra Whites will not give you quite as many eggs over a year, but are calmer and more gentle birds than the White Leghorns.

    Easter Eggers for colored eggs (blue, olive, green, beige, and occasionally pale pink). Easter Eggers are hybrids produced by crossing blue egg layers with brown egg layers to produce offspring that lay eggs in different colors. Because they are hybrids, their temperaments can vary quite a bit depending on which breeds were used in producing them. Our EEs have generally been docile and would tolerate handling, although they almost never really liked being handled.

    Whatever breeds or hybrids you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
     
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  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, Red Star is one of a number of labels under which some hatcheries market their Red Sex Links which are produced by crossing a red gene rooster (RIR, NH, or Production Red) with a silver gene hen (RIW, SLW, Delaware, Light Sussex, or sometimes silver factor WR). Black Star is the corresponding label under which the same hatcheries market their Black Sex Links which are produced by crossing a red gene rooster (usually an RIR) with a barred hen (usually a Barred Rock).
     
  9. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might try Craigslist. . Try to get young hens or pullets..
     
  10. littlelune810

    littlelune810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I definitely want to get chicks because I want my oldest to help me raise them and I want to make sure they are handled everday and in a nice way to get them acclimated to us. I should have said I'm not very interested in white eggs. I know all eggs nutritionally are the same, but I want a mix of brown, tan and blue/green. I'm really leaning towards 1 plymouth rock, 1 welsummer or maran and 1 or 2 americauna. These are all about the same size and temperament (in general) correct? As far as ordering a small amount of chicks I have a friend with 5 acres who will go in on an order with me if I cant get the breeds I want in small numbers from the feed store [​IMG].
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015

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