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What breed(s) would work?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Pineapple, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am relatively new to chickens. I am looking for a breed that shares all the following qualities (if possible):

    -heat AND cold tolerant
    -good layers
    -tame/friendly/calm/nonaggressive
    -don't need a ton of space
    -come in several colors/patterns
    -good foragers
    -not flighty
    -relatively small (not necessarily bantams, but if a bantam fits that works too)

    So far I'm thinking of Wyandottes. But I am open to other suggestions.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If you want a variety that comes in several colors look for blue chickens. Besides the blue plumage you get black and splash color from this one variety. Color diversity with one breed, one variety. The blue variety has a black pigment inhibitor. So with a bird getting half the genes from father and half from mother the inhibitor is double, single or absent resulting in splash, blue or black (same order of inhibitor). A splash mated to black gives all blue offspring, blue over blue results in all three colors and so on.

    Unfortunately the quality of blue coloring is far from up to standard in almost all breeds excepting the Andalusian. The dark lacing is all but absent but still a good looking bird and if wanting to breed a variety that needs work. There are so many breed in blue variety or blue wheaten now you can practically choose the breed then find the blue variety eggs for sale.

    You'll get a lot of opinions on best docile egg layer breed. I'll toss my favorite into the mix with Plymouth Rock. Yes they come in blue.
     
  3. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I appreciate it.

    I feel stupid, though, because I'm not even sure what that means! lol
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Australorps would work well for you. They are about the same size as Wyandottes, are typically better layers than Wyandottes (of course there are always exceptions), and are more heat tolerant than Wyandottes. I've raised them where winter temperatures dropped to -30 F and where summer temperatures reached 123 F, and in both climate extremes, they came through like troopers. In addition, they are very calm and gentle birds and come in a variety of colors including black, white, blue (these three are recognized by the APA), buff, splash, wheaten laced, and golden (not recognized by the APA but recognized by some other poultry associations).
     
  5. RMorrow

    RMorrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    another breed suggestion I would have are sussex. Great pesonalities, super tame, not too big, and ours a great layers.
     
  6. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for this info!

    When I google the Australorps (doesn't their name sound like a disease? ol) I only see black ones. Aren't the other colors very common?

    I do really like the look of the Sussex, too! :)
     
  7. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Hey Michael, when were the other colors accepted into the APA? Only black is listed in the 2001 SOP that I have. Makes me wonder if I need to invest in the next one that comes out. Mine doesn't even have the Marans in it. Not that I would breed either those or Austrolorps, but I like to look at pretty chicken pictures.

    Oh, does the wheaten laced look similar to buff laced?
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    Random photo I pulled from google images. These are all blue variety birds of some breed. Same breed of bird and all are Blue variety. The splash (white with blue leakage) has two black inhibitors, blue have one inhibitor and the black has none so expresses black. The blue variety is in almost any breed you can think of. If a splash mates with a black then all offspring will be blue (one inhibitor gene from splash and none from black makes offspring with one gene only to inhibit black so all are blue).

    Wyandotte not only have blue variety but also blue laced red variety. Red lacing with the splash, blue and black still a factor.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Where are you located? that helps us advise as far as climate. Although, all the dual purpose and most of the bantams will do fine in any part of the continental US.

    I always advise new flock owners not to limit themselves to one breed. There are so many to choose from, get a variety. Some breeds look great on paper, but in person they just don't do it for you. I've had birds I never thought I'd like, that once I actually got one I fell in love.

    Your statement about "tons of space" and "smaller birds" make me a bit concerned, though. Large fowl pretty much all need the same space, no matter if it's a smaller Leghorn or a larger Orpington. It's not so much about the physical space a bird takes up, it's about how much space there is between them and the other birds. This is the best write-up on space for birds......

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

    Once you decide how many birds you can accommodate, I'd say go with a variety of the more common dual purpose breeds. Rocks, Australorps, Wyandottes, Reds, Orpingtons, Sex links, etc. And you have to have an Easter egger or two, IMO no flock is complete without them....
     
  10. Pineapple

    Pineapple Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Pennsylvania. Garden zone 5a.
     

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