Want a mixed flock of laying hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Georgia Nana, May 25, 2012.

  1. Georgia Nana

    Georgia Nana Chirping

    156
    4
    93
    Jul 13, 2011
    Kathleen, Georgia
    We are moving to the country and want to order hatchery chicks. We are planning to sell/give away the eggs, and are planning to buy about 24-30 chicks...haven't decided about a roo yet. Which breed would be best to co-exist in a mixed flock?
    Requirements are: Healthy, Docile (or at least quiet), seldom broody, Large (At least some large) eggs, Frequent eggs, cold-hardy, heat tolerant. EE's are definitely a must have, but for the rest??
    Suggestions would be Welcome!!
     
  2. Red Barn Farms

    Red Barn Farms ~Friendly Fowl~

    3,157
    141
    228
    Apr 12, 2012
    Kentucky Heartland
    We've found Buff Orpingtons to be very gentle chickens. As for having a great amount of eggs our red sex-links' Red Stars' are great. They are gentle but don't seem to enjoying being picked up. Here is a link with a lot of info of various breeds you might find interesting and helpful!

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
     
  3. chicknadventure

    chicknadventure Songster

    404
    3
    108
    Apr 3, 2012
    southeast
    I dont know broodiness but my black copper marans and my dominique are my 2 sweetest chickens by far. But the real ameraucanas are gorgeous! And i am getting some of those soon to add to my mixed flock.
     
  4. Stephanie739

    Stephanie739 Songster

    1,483
    19
    143
    Oct 7, 2011
    Leghorns lay a lot of big eggs and won't go broody. I also love my red sex links, golden comets. They are very sweet, and docile. They also lay many big brown eggs.
     
  5. Sweetlilbaby

    Sweetlilbaby Songster

    1,454
    33
    153
    Apr 19, 2012
    Tacoma Washington
    at my moms is my mixed flock of RIRs, Marans, And Leghorns. That way there is a mix of white and brown eggs. Hand raised from chicks they are sweet with people, My 1 year old nephew has picked up the chickens and walked around with them. He goes in with the rooster to pet him (like he's a dog). It's a leghorn rooster.
    Good luck!
     
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    16,240
    195
    336
    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    I would highly recommend also looking around for local breeders who offer French Marans. Could be Black Copper or Blue Copper or Wheaten or Blue Wheaten are the best choices, but either way, they're dependable layers of huge good to super dark reddish brown eggs, they're very docile, friendly, cold and heat hardy, and depending on strain are seldom to moderately broody. I prefer a little broodiness in there, but, I like self-sufficiency and not relying on buying new chicks every year, plus they're cheaper than an incubator and brooder.
     
  7. Georgia Nana

    Georgia Nana Chirping

    156
    4
    93
    Jul 13, 2011
    Kathleen, Georgia
    Thanks so much for the input...now the research begins with my list of choices! Thanks again!
     
  8. chicknadventure

    chicknadventure Songster

    404
    3
    108
    Apr 3, 2012
    southeast
    I secomd the local breeder. Look at the lo al state threads here and find out if you have any byc peeps nearby.
     
  9. Georgia Nana

    Georgia Nana Chirping

    156
    4
    93
    Jul 13, 2011
    Kathleen, Georgia
    What about hatchery chicks? Buy the whole flock at the same time so that everybody is the same age and then I can close the flock until it is time to rotate with "young blood"?
     
  10. dretd

    dretd Crowing

    2,141
    239
    251
    Apr 14, 2009
    Ft Collins, CO
    Hope its not too late to add to your list. None of my hens are aggressive although some are more friendly than others.

    My favorite breeds so far have been:
    Brahmas--I have a Light and a Dark. They are very large (8-9 lbs) and friendly and my oldest is 3 and still not broody. If I could only have 1 breed, I think I might go with this one.
    Barred Rock--flock mistress, best egg layer of the heritage breeds I have (size plus frequency) will always keep one in my flock.
    EE (aka hatchery Americana)-- great personality lays a Jumbo egg every other day but only tinted, no blue color gene
    Welsummer- Excellent egg layer of large to extra large dark colored eggs. Not as friendly as the others but folks love the spotty dark eggs. Very good forager.

    Salmon Faverolles-- I would consider this the sweetest of all my chickens. She follows you around and cuddles. Eggs are medium although she is just at a year so they may get to large. The problem I have with her is that her muffs are so large she cant see well and is prone to panic when any of the other chickens come along. That leads them to pick on her just because they can. I feel really sorry for her. If you want a flock of extremely sweet chickens I would go with Faverolles but I won't replace her because she doesn't integrate into the flock well.

    Wont be replacing:
    Speckled Sussex: they are very nice chickens but they go broody and can be mean girls to the other chickens (especially my poor Faverolles). They lay a medium egg. They are the largest of the Heritage breeds by far (meatiest) 7 lbs so if you want large as in eating, this breed might be for you.

    Other friends have sex links and Buff Orpingtons and have been very happy with them although the BOs tend to go broody a lot.

    If you are going to keep a rooster around, You may want to consider the size. The Leghorns are nice because they are light weight and won't rip up your hens nearly as much. I have a Brahma/sexlink cross and he is about 8-9 lbs and the poor girls can get pretty squished when he mounts. I wans't going to keep him but he is very good at searching the skies for hawks and calls the girls over when he finds food, its charming to watch.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: