What are the best chickens to get for a beginner?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by HorseBreeder, Sep 9, 2014.

  1. HorseBreeder

    HorseBreeder Hatching

    Sep 9, 2014
    So new to chickens, but am going to have them this coming spring but want the easiest ones to raise for egg production. Any suggestions?
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    There is no real "best chicken," since each person has difference preferences. However, if egg production is your main goal, I would recommend getting some White Leghorns (layers of white eggs) or Sex-links (layers of brown eggs). You could also try a dual purpose breed, such as Wyandottes, Australorps, Easter Eggers, Plymouth Rocks, and Rhode Island Reds.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! We're all here to help the best we can. [​IMG]
  3. rfreedlund

    rfreedlund Chirping

    Apr 7, 2014
    Byron, Illinois
    I agree that for egg production, you can't go wrong with the White Leghorns. They are the best! They are also usually the first to start laying. But if you are a first time chicken owner you need to be more prepared with them.

    You need to have more escape proof coop and higher fences and be prepared to spend additional time taming them if you want them as pets, because they can move and they can fly farther and higher than pretty much any other chicken. They are less likely to be picked up and they always seem to be the first to do anything like leave the coop the very first time they have access and they will jump out if you leave the coop door open too long.

    I can't imagine my flock without White Leghorns. I love them! However, if you a re a first time chicken owner, be prepared! I vote for the Australorps for a great first breed and my Barred Rocks are the friendliest I have.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    X2 on Bantamlover21's advice.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. For sheer egg production, I would recommend Black Sex Links (Black Stars). They are hardy, friendly, egg laying machines. White Leghorns are also egg laying machines, but they are high strung and flighty. Mine screamed bloody murder whenever I handled them so I wouldn't recommend them for beginner's breed or a breed good with children. If you prefer a standard breed (sex links are hybrids and don't breed true), I would recommend Black Australorps. I've raised them for years and they are extremely hardy. I raised them in both northern Kansas where temperatures dropped to 30 F below zero one winter, and in CA where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and in both climate extremes, they came through like troopers. They are also very calm and gentle. My children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets out of ours. And Black Australorps are the best layers of the standard brown egg laying breeds. A Black Australorp holds the brown egg 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 had a few of them lay over 300 eggs in a year. You can further research the various breeds with the quick reference charts at http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/docs/pickachicken.pdf, http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx, and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html. Also, Murray McMurray has an excellent "chick selector" tool at https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you determine which breed is best for you. Just be sure and click on "show more characteristics." Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breed you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
    1 person likes this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I am a huge fan of Black Australorps. They are a very friendly docile breed and a great layer too. Very hardy over all as well. My girls follow me around like drooling puppies looking for goodies and a nice soft lap to lay in. They are 3 1/2 years old and are still laying just as strong as their first year. Very nice breed to keep.

    Good luck with what ever breed you choose and welcome to our flock!
    1 person likes this.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
    1 person likes this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    you've gotten a lot of suggestions - ultimately the decision is up to you. If you have young children the friendlier, more docile breeds are probably a must.
    1 person likes this.
  9. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Songster

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    okies, everyone is saying stuff like black australorps and sexlinks, and barred rocks, and ultimately, the decision is yours. If you are looking for egg laying machines, then go for things like leghorns and sexlinks.

    However, In my experience, egg producers are all flightier than dual purpose or meat breeds.

    Dual purpose birds have it all, for me. they are cuddly and reliable producers. Depending on which dual purpose breeds you select (and what breeders/hatcheries you get them from), they can be fantastic foragers, needing little maintenance as far as feed provided. My introduction to chickens was the buff orpington. I adore this breed. they are huge, beautiful, and lay great. I had a 9 year old that was still giving us 2 to 3 eggs a week. They don't mind confinement at all, mine always seem to forage well, and they are reliable in both egg production, and temperament.

    In your position, I would go through all the breed reviews, and pick a few breeds that appeal to you, then go to a hatchery, and order a selection of a bunch of different breeds. We can tell you all about their personalities and abilities, but we all have our own bias, and there is always an outlier or two. The best way I have found is to just go out, and get breeds that appeal to you.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014
  10. HorseBreeder

    HorseBreeder Hatching

    Sep 9, 2014
    OH MY, thank you!!! All this info is sooo helpful!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: