What breed to get?!?- HELP!

mrskenmore

Songster
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
369
255
166
So unfortunately I struck out at the local farm this weekend and my barred rock and black australorpe selection turned into only being production reds :(

There is another farm that says they will be getting Barred Rocks, Ameraucanas, Black Stars and Rhode Island Reds... So now I need to research those! Looking to get three hens- thanks for any help!

Requirements (not in any particular order)

-Good Layer
-Very Very Friendly
-Some what Pretty
-Not Broody!
 

Nocila

Chirping
7 Years
Jun 23, 2012
225
8
83
Before I get into this, I'd like to let you know that the Ameraucanas sold by hatcheries/feed stores are actually Easter Eggers (Easter Eggers are a cross between the real Ameraucanas or real Araucanas, and various other breeds), so if you plan on showing your birds, the Easter Eggers are not the way to go.

Easter Eggers, while not technically a breed, tend to be rather pretty birds, and lay some rather wonderful green eggs, so if you're looking for some fun, I'd go with them.

If you don't like brown birds, then Barred Rocks would probably be your next best bet. They are lovely black and white birds, and are known to be rather good layers.

I believe, of the four breeds, Black Stars would be the most likely to go broody, but are probably the best layers in the bunch.

Rhode Island Reds (RIRs) are, in my opinion, rather plain birds, but don't tend to go broody, and are known to be rather good layers.

Also, just so you know, most hatchery birds won't go broody very often, as broodiness is often bred out of birds.


To put it all simply:
The best layers: Black stars, followed by Barred Rocks and RIRs, followed by the Easter Eggers
the best looking: Barred Rocks and Easter Eggers, followed by Black Stars, followed by RIRs (in my opinion)
The friendliest birds: Easter Eggers followed by Black Stars (I believe...), followed by Barred Rocks and RIRs
the least broody: Easter Eggers, Barred Rocks, and RIRs, followed by Black Stars
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,368
438
Montana
I have had all four of these varieties and have managed a chicken hatchery that breeds them and I prefer the Black Stars. They will lay more eggs than the other three and they are friendly and docile chickens. The RIRs are the next best layers, but they are not as pretty and can be somewhat temperamental, especially the roosters. Keep in mind however that if you want to breed your chickens, the Black Stars (which are RIR X Barred Rock hybrids) will not breed true. This doesn't mean that the offspring will not be good birds, but they will not have the same characteristics as their parents. Hope this helps.
 
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