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Want to add new chickens to my flock. What breeds are good?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cboriskin, Aug 9, 2014.

  1. cboriskin

    cboriskin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out with 4 chicks, almost 3 years ago. 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Plymouth Rocks. Last year, I lost one of the Orpingtons from unknown reasons and the other day, I lost one of the Plymouth Rock from a skunk attack. I would like to replace the two chickens, but am interested in getting a different breed. I will be getting chicks. I was wondering if the Ameraucana would fit in with the 3 year old Orpington and Plymouth Rock. Our run is 30' X 5' and the coop is 4'X4' plenty room for 4 chickens.
     
  2. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

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    If you're in it for eggs, go for a Red Star. Mine is a laying machine! She lays EVERY day and gives us the biggest brown eggs! She's not much to look at but she keeps us fed and gets along with everyone. I bought an incubator just to hatch some of her eggs. I want more like her!

    What's your criteria for new additions in order of priority? You have Orpingtons so I'm guessing friendliness is one of your criteria...
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That would be a good choice with the benefit of a green egg.

    That said, there are so many wonderful breeds. I would go over these charts for personality, qualities, etc.. Start with a short list of birds appropriate for your climate.

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

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

    You know yourself, your needs and wants better than anybody else. What one person thinks is a great breed doesn't work for others.
    I love black penedesencas but a lot of other people don't because they'll never make a lap pet.
     
  4. cboriskin

    cboriskin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions. My first priority is friendly hens that will get along with my 3 year old. Second would probably be good egg producers.
     
  5. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

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    Our friendliest hen is a Black Australorp. Cold hardy and a good layer too. Of course a lot depends on individual personalities and rank in the pecking order since one of our most skittish and standoffish to people is also a BA. She's also a dominant hen in the flock. Ameracaunas should work well too. We just added some EE's (sold as Ameracauna) to our flock but they're still young and full of themselves so I don't have experience with them as mature hens. Really looking forward to their eggs though! And after trying to find my Red Star's info from the links ChickenCanoe posted (awesome BTW!), I guess I won't be trying to hatch her eggs after all since she's not a true breed but a sexlink and her offspring won't be as good as layers. Bummer! She's still an awesome girl though. Good luck in your search!
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on Black Australorps. They are very hardy and very calm and gentle birds. I have raised them for years and my children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of them. And they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. Until it was broken by a caged White Leghorn in 1979, a Black Australorp held the laying record with 364 eggs in 365 days, and while none of mine have ever reached that kind of production (and likely never will), I've still had a few of them give me over 300 eggs in a year. Whatever breed you end up getting, good luck with your flock.
     
  7. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

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    300 in a year! Wow!! I didn't know they were that good! I have a mixed flock so not 100% sure who's laying which eggs but I suspect the pinker eggs are from them. Maybe I'll opt to hatch some BA then. How's your rooster's temperament? Ours was friendly up until recently when he started puffing up at little kids and now has attacked all but me and the honey and even at that, he's tried getting big with me.
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Actually, I don't currently have any roosters (just 25 hens). But as far as roosters went, the Australorp roosters that I've had were as calm and gentle as any rooster that I've had, including Silkies, Cochins, Orpingtons, and Brahmas, which are all breeds that have a reputation for being gentle. It's always possible to get an aggressive rooster with any breed. The meanest rooster I ever had was a Golden Polish rooster (named Ivan), a breed which is not normally aggressive at all. You always run a risk of aggression when you keep roosters, which is why I don't keep them anymore (not to mention the overbreeding and battering that roosters do to hens). If you are going to keep a rooster for breeding purposes, the recommended ratio of roosters to hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens and I would strongly suggest sticking to that ratio.
     
  9. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

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    That is exactly the ratio on my older flock! :) Ended up with an EE cockerel in my younger flock of 13. Kinda nervous how two roosters will play out as the younger one matures. My BA rooster started the human aggression after my 3 & 4 year old granddaughters harassed them with sticks and pinecones. :barnie I don't think he'd be aggressive otherwise.
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    That kind of harassment would make any rooster aggressive.
     

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