What breed is best for me?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Nina622, Nov 24, 2015.

  1. Nina622

    Nina622 Just Hatched

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    I have just recently gotten my permit to have backyard chickens in Jacksonville, Fl and i'm doing my research to find out which hens would be best for my family. I have read up on quite a few forums on here and taken my notes but I've yet to find anyone from here in Jax that could weigh in. So my query is this; I've got 2 kids and friendly dog, so i need a friendly breed that doesn't mind being besties with my naturist daughter, social enough not freak when my dog wants to hang out, a good egg layer as we use a lot of eggs, and we like our extra large brown eggs. I've considered a few breeds, could anyone let me know if any of the following is not a good idea and why? Or maybe if there is another breed I've not listed that could be a better fit? I'm not really looking for beauty, as most of our pets are rescues and we know true beauty comes from within.

    Amber Whites
    Austrolorp
    New Hampshire
    Plymouth Rock
    Speckled Sussex


    THANK YOU MUCH!!!
     
  2. bluema

    bluema Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like Austrolorp on you list for the qualities you seek. My Plymouth Barred Rock is the friendliest to me of my flock. Buff Orpington is another good choice, and Easter Eggers are great with their extra large green/blue eggs. I love em all.
     
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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Got kids? Gotta have EE! I love their quirky nature, but they tend to be just a bit more flighty, IMO. Want a super friendly breed: Dominique is the bird for you. But they lay a smaller egg, usually cream colored. Want to hatch your own down the road? Dominique!!! Doms and EE make a great combination, as their personalities are equally non-agressive. I just LOVE a mixed flock. Would hate to have all my girls look alike! In your warm climate, birds with big combs do well. Those combs dissipate heat well. Have you checked out Henderson's chicken breeds chart? Good place to start your search. Gonna start chicks? Check out: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/yes-you-certainly-can-brood-chicks-outdoors. What ever you do, build your coop bigger than you think you need to. I recommend that you build it or have it built... or you can buy a shed and re-furbish it for a coop for about the same amount of money you'd spend on one of those pre-fab little mini coops that are poorly designed, and don't allow enough head room to have good ventilation, which is key, no matter what your environment. Recommendations are a minimum of 4 s.f. in the coop and 10 s.f. in the run per bird. Run recommended, even if you plan to free range, b/c there will be times when you need to shut them in: neighborhood dog not staying home, hawk alert, need to train the girls to lay IN the nest. Have you gone to your state thread to find other chicken lovers near you? You'll find it in the Social section, under Where am I, where are you!

    ETA: s.f. = square feet of floor space, not ventilation!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
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  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with lazy gardener on all points.

    I really enjoy my EE and dominique. I've had mixed results with barred plymouth rock. While all were people-friendly and very good layers, about half had some antisocial traits with flock mates (beyond normal pecking order).

    Black australorp are also very nice. They sometimes go broody, and the very best part of raising chickens (IMO) is having a mother hen hatch and raise chicks. Priceless!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
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  5. bluema

    bluema Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Luckily I haven't had issues with my PR. The one I have is so loving and she always comes to me to be hugged and cuddled. She almost seems antisocial with her flock because she'll choose to hang around me. She gets broody here and there but not for as long as some of the other girls. If I ever lose one, I'll get another one as people always love how she looks besides her behavior.
     
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  6. bluema

    bluema Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2015
  7. Honora

    Honora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had Silkies, Wyandottes, EEs, Pita Pintas, bantam Orpingtons & now Orpingtons.

    Of the breeds I have had I like the Orpingtons best as far as getting along with kids. The bantam Orps are really sweet but the eggs are small if you are looking for layers. My EEs were aggressive to to the other chickens. The Silkies got picked on by the others. The Pita Pintas are the best layers of the breeds I have had, and very calm birds so I would recommend them as well.
     
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  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Of the breeds you listed Amber Whites will lay the largest egg. For egg production and extra large eggs sex links are the way to go, the Amber White is a sex link chicken. If your unaware what sex link means it's a cross breed of different color base parents resulting in distinct color difference in the chicks by sex. When ordering sex links there are no mistakes in getting a male in your all pullet purchase. If ordering from a hatchery you do have to state that you don't want extra chicks in your order or in the name of "adding chicks for heat and safety" the hatchery will toss in extra males to help get rid of them.

    For eggs and guarantee of all pullets sex links are excellent choices for first flocks. I've had both red and black sex links but not every possible cross so limited experience with them. The experience had prompts me to recommend the black sex links. Far less skittish and friendlier bird though how you raise them will have a lot to do with temperment. All my first flocks would squat for me once they started to lay and would make for easy picking up and handling. My blacks would be at your feet like the hatchery Barred Rocks but the red like the Rhode Island Red (production red) were a bit more standoffish in that they'd come running but stay at arms reach. Hatchery RIR and New Hampshire are so similar and both basically production reds. Hatchery birds are not like their standard bred name sake. Black sex links will be larger than the more slender red sex links.
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Down side to hatchery sex links is that they're bred for high production, and burn out faster than the heritage birds do, often succumbing to reproductive issues, requiring culling at an earlier age than heritage birds. Of course your mileage may vary with any breed. If you're willing to cull, instead of looking for a long term "pet" chicken, sex links would be a good way to go.
     
  10. bluema

    bluema Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is very accurate. I unfortunately am not willing to cull my pets, so I'm stuck with em although they hardly lay. My husband and I always say, if zombies come, the bully will be the fist to go.
     

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