What breed should I start out with?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pattyjean73, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. pattyjean73

    pattyjean73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    NW Arkansas
    OK so if you read my introduction you know that I am about to move to the country and my husband has given me permission to get my first flock. So what breed should I get? I want a dual purpose chicken that'll provide lots of fresh BROWN eggs and good meat for the table. But I also want a good looking bird too since I'll be looking at them every day. Oh, and I'm looking to start out with probably 10 birds. 9 hens and 1 cock?

    I've found 4 breeds that I'm leaning towards....
    Rhode Island Red
    Orpington - buff
    Brahma - I like all 3 colors
    Plymouth Rock

    Any suggestions? Why that breed? What would be your advice for someone starting their first flock?
  2. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    salmon faverolles (autosexing).
    wyandotte (a lot of choice in colour)
    sussex, etc etc...
  3. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    If it were me, I would try to cram as wide a variety into the flock as possible.
  4. pattyjean73

    pattyjean73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    NW Arkansas
    I thought about putting several breeds together. (For various reasons) But with only a few birds (approximately 10 or so) I would only be able to keep one maybe 2 roosters. Right?

    Wouldn't they cross breed? Wouldn't cross breeding be undesired? Or is it best to replace "stock" every few years instead of keeping offspring for replacing aged stock?

    Also, if I chose to go with some buff orphingtons.... it is my understanding that they get pecked on due to their docile nature. If I do get several breeds should I not include this breed?
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Some of the best chickens in the world are cross breeds... Look at easter eggers.

    Variety is the spice of life.

    I'd get a couple each of the varieties you mentioned and I'd put them with a white Ameraucana roo. You'd get some great laying easter eggers.
  6. sandspoultry

    sandspoultry Everybody loves a Turkey

    Feb 10, 2008
    Eastern NC
    Quote:Yes if you put 2 or more breeds of chickens together they will cross breed. We always have atleast 2 roosters, you never know when something will happen and if you only have 1 rooster then you are scrambling to look for another one.
    We raise both Buff Orps and Rhode Island Reds. I like the Buff Orps better. They are friendlier and there is not a mean bone in their body.
    They will lay a nice size egg all year long, even in the winter and in the heat of the summer. They will sit on their eggs and hatch out chicks and raise them up. I guess I just have a soft spot for the Golden Beauties.
  7. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Quote:Sounds like you are interested in keeping a pure line of one breed than having a mixed flock. It is easier to sell pure if that is what you have in mind both eggs and chicks down the road. If you just want to sell eggs for eating it does not matter.

    If you are really interested in breeding one breed then choose a breed you love the most. Go to the club on that breed and read up on it. All the breeds you chose are good, some have more color variations you can pick from like the Brahma and the Rocks. If you do go for the RIR make sure they are true RIR and not production reds. True RIRs are closer to black in color. The latest issue of backyard Poultry has a good artical on them.

    What I would do is make a list of what you really want from chickens. This can include what you all ready stated plus things like color, comb type, overall size ect. Remember that hatchery chickens will not grow out to the size of the breed that is stated for the breed the first year. Reason hatchery birds are not breed to standard but more for production. So to get the size you want for meat you will have to breed up to it. That will be good then for you will have your culls for meat then and you will need to breed many to make selections. Doing a breeding program you will see inprovement when in the next breeding season.

    Getting together with breeders of the breed you are interested in will be of a great benifit. But most in the clubs are only breeding for show and not for home use so your goals will be a bit different than theres just remember what yours are and try not to get distracted by thier goals and ideas. Remeber what you want is not what others want, even here it will not always be the same. But one can learn from anyone as long as one holds onto thier own vision. Good luck in which ever way you choose to go.
  8. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    It took me a long while to decided what I wanted in my coop! [​IMG] Wanted several breeds, but really prefered pure bred to mutts.. I thought, IF I had different breeds-- some would be better layers than others during the winter, some might be better at being broody, some might handle summer better, I wanted color --'eye candy', my husband grew up with old fashions RIRs and he asked that I get a few of those----So, as you can see, there was a lot of things to consider! LOL

    What I chose was RIR, Barred Rocks, Buff Op and true Blue Ameraucanas... Now, I have eye candy, I filled dh's request for RIR and by choosing a Blue Ameraucana roo, I can easily, pull out the blue eggs and have pure Blue Ameraucanas and IF I choose to have mutts for the freezer or for Easter Eggers, I can hatch all of the eggs...

    SO, make your list and choose several!!!! Good luck..Dixie
  9. pattyjean73

    pattyjean73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2009
    NW Arkansas
    Oh fresh eggs and meat for the table is my main concern. With 6 kids... we eat ALOT of chicken. ha ha I can't imagine we'd have too many left over for sell'in... but suppose if there are any left over it would be nice to be able to sell a few to help out with feed costs. *Shrugs* but that's not a big deal. I certainly not looking to raise chickens for a profit of any kind. Just feed the kids. So maybe a mixed bunch wouldn't be a bad idea after all. I'll give it some thought. Thanks for the ideas. LOL... and I can see where I should builder a bigger coop than what I plan... I'm already thinking about increasing the size of my flock and I haven't even bought the first hen yet. However, I will stick to my guns and stay with 10 hens to start out with. Learn more about them as I go along and then I can decide whether to increase the size or not... so I'm going to plan my coop and run based on a flock of 20. Sounds fair!
  10. melissastraka

    melissastraka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Hoquiam, WA

    I am also a mother of 6 so i know how important it is to keep feeding costs down. I started with 6 and it wasnt enough to do breakfast for all the kids. I increased to 16 (lost 2) and now i have 14 laying hens and it is the perfect amount if you are just looking for eggs. Remember you do not need a roo unless you want to breed and hatch your own. If you are only looking for egg production then i would get another hen instead to put your total layers to 10.

    My laying flock right now consists of
    5 buff orpingtons: I picked this breed because they are beautiful and they are amazing around my kids. They are still very little and want to pick them up and hold them. I have never had a problem with aggression with the hens so far. They are very docile but my "Bertha" runs the whole laying flock and she doesnt take any c**p from the others.
    6 RIR: I love these because of they lay almost everyday
    2 Barred Rocks: My BR are very nice also but dont want to be handled too much but they are fun and produce great size eggs.

    With that said they give my between 9-13 eggs everyday, even through the winter with no supplimental light. Let me know if you would like to see any pictures of my laying flock. I would be more then happy to send them to you!

    Have fun with your babies!!!!

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