What breed to get?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by ThePaintedGrin, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. ThePaintedGrin

    ThePaintedGrin New Egg

    Jul 10, 2011
    Hi all!

    Recently me and my family decided to start a small chicken farm. Both my parents used to own chickens when they were young and my grandad used to breed with them. So most of the basics my parents know already, but that didnt stop me and I have been going crazy trying to learn everything there is to learn... (did not know it was that much!) Chickens are surpisingly complicated [​IMG]. I live in south africa and I am EXTREMELY excited about this!

    I love cows... so it was inevitable that I would fall in love with chickens ^_^

    But to get to my problem, we are going to order three breeds, but we are a little stumped as to what breeds to get. The coups are built, it's sheltered, the chicks will only be here in three weeks, which gives us enough to learn everything (if there is more) and to get prepared and all that jazz. They will be one month old. I wasn't a big fan on getting day old chicks they are being posted (the only place we can buy them from a reputable breeder is Jo-burg >_<) so the chances for survival would have been slim and we wanted to be as prepared as possible for thie arival in any case. And I would not have been able to handle dead little chicks [​IMG][​IMG]

    But our only dilemma is this;

    What breeds should we get?

    Here are the chickens available.

    Red/White Rhode Island.

    Sussex (not availible yet)

    Black Australorp

    Buff Orpington

    Wyandotte Golden Laced

    Koekoek (an indigounous breed to SA)

    I have read up about them. We aim to breed and sell chicks eventually, but the information I'm getting is a little iffy. Some people say orpington is not very fertile, others say they are, or that Rhode Islands are very aggressive and not really meant for beginners, but another site told me they're great. I've heard that Wyandotte's are very friendly and socail and then I read no, they're very anti social and a bit peckish.

    I'm stumped >_<

    I would just like to know which three breeds would be a good start for us? Like I said my parents both have good experience with chickens and I'm learning all I can from them. The only one we're set on is the Koekoek, but it's becuase my grandad bred with them and we know their character pretty well [​IMG]

    Sorry for throwing this at you guys, but I really want to get this right and it's always better to ask for advice from people who know in my experience.

    Thanks for reading!
  2. WilsonFarm528

    WilsonFarm528 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Congrats on starting your chicken farm!
    I have Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps and a Rhode Island Red and they are all WONDERFUL!

    The Buff Orpingtons are quite chubby and they have been great layers for me! They also always seem to go broody (want to lay on their eggs and hatch them) more than the other breeds, and they are excellent mothers if you want to ever try that! One of mine hatched 12 eggs this spring and she raised them all healthy and strong [​IMG] [​IMG]

    My Black Australorps are probably the most friendly, every time i go into the pen they are the first to hop up into my lap and cuddle [​IMG] They are also my best layers, I have 3 and I get around 3 eggs from them each day. This was the first breed I ever had and I have had nothing but positive behavior from all of them.

    My Rhode Island Red is a very sweet, docile, friendly bird. She is also the prettiest! (but dont tell the others!) I adfopted her and she is a fairly old bird so she doesn't lay much anymore, so I can't tell you too much about the norm for these guys...

    So.. In conclusion, I would highly reccommend these three breeds as they have all proven to be exellent pets, companions, layers, and mothers!

    I really hope that helps!

  3. BarbG

    BarbG Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 29, 2011
    I'm partial to Black Australorps since they are calm, quiet, and lay well but when I saw you have access to an indigenous breed of chicken, my suggestion immediately changed from BA to the Koekoek - especially if there aren't too many of them around. Keeping diversity in our food supply is crucial and an indigenous breed is already used to a particular environment. Good luck and post some pix of the Koekoek if you get some.[​IMG]
  4. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    I love my Australorps, Buff Orps, Sussex and Wyandottes. They are all friendly, calm, and good layers, and they all get along well. I believe RIR/RIW are more "flighty" as in they like to fly to high places to roost. I have low fences, so I stuck with heavy breeds that wouldn't be prone to flying over them. That may be a consideration?

    Different breed lines can have better or worse personalities. If your source is the actual breeder, I'd ask them the temperament of their particular flocks.

    Another consideration is color, although its probably the least important, I love having a variety of colors to look at when I see them ranging all together. Makes it fun for me. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  5. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    Definitely get a buff Orpington. [​IMG]
  6. ThePaintedGrin

    ThePaintedGrin New Egg

    Jul 10, 2011

    Thanks for all the help guys! [​IMG] You were a HUGE help!

    We can only get three breeds so I spoke to my parents and (after a long debate) we decided on taking;

    The Koekoek (Thank you barbg [​IMG] )

    Buff Orpington (cuz dammit they're cute and good layers [​IMG] Thanks to WilsonFarm and Zaxby's2 ^_^)

    And Wyandotte (These chickens aren't readily availible in SA, especially in my area so one interesting chicken should be something a lot of people will buy. Thank you SunnyCalifornia [​IMG] )

    And for BarbG here are some pics of the Koekoek. They were bred in Pothefstroom in SA during the 1960's and they are extremely well layers. They are very docile and can live on wind... not that they'll have to... my chickies will be nice and plump lol/ FUN FACT: The koekoek's chicks show you what gender they are! The males have a small white dot on the forehead and the females are all black.


  7. hedz82

    hedz82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2012
    Hi there,
    I also live in SA and also just started getting hooked on chickens! I adopted three beautiful tame Rhodies (one red, one white, and one in between) from another family and they now mingle with us in the house just like our dogs and sleep on the kitchen counter.
    I always wanted a proper pet bird because animals are my life and I am allergy to all furry kinds. We still have them, but I can't cuddle them without getting itchy. So I decided to get a day-old chick and hand-rear it, so its really imprinted. I raised an egyptian goose before and he thought he was a person.. I d rather have a chicken to cuddle than a parrot, I thought, at least it can't fly anyway and I dont have to clip its wings and take something away it would naturally do.
    I tried to get hold of orps and wyandottes, because they are meant to be so friendly and are sooo gorgeous, but here down in Cape Town it is impossible. You only get Rhodies and Koekoeks doen here. So I just went to pick up my Koekoek today, she s adorable.
    But she has a spot on teh head. Now I am worried. They were supposed to be all hens..
    Does the spot/all blck rule only apply if you cross the black/red cock with the koekoek hen or is the spot a sure sign of male-ness in all koekoeks???
    please somebody who knows this, PLEASE let mek now before I fall too deeply in love?!?

    CHICKEN CRAZY1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Get some of each chicken,and when it is time to get more,you will know what ones you like.Everyone is different,not everybody likes the same things.I also have recently gotten hooked on chickens also.You got chicken crazy fever and the only way to cure it is to get chickens.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
  9. hedz82

    hedz82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2012
    Yeah, what's it with this instant and complete chicken obsession?? I ve been googling chickens and looking at chickens and chicken food and chicken breeds and chicken whatever for the last month and I can't stop! I dreamt about chickens last night!! Is this normal? does this happen to everyone?
    PaintedGrin where in SA are you ? I m in Cape Town.. any other South African chicken fanatics on this site?
    So bummed we don't get blue laced red Wyandottes or Orloffs..
    By the way, my girls are Rhodies and they are the sweetest ever! And the red one lays the biggest eggs I've ever seen!
  10. Africanchild

    Africanchild Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2012
    Louisville, KY
    Hello fellow Africans...I'm not from SA but I was born and raised in Senegal. I just got chickens too but I now live in the US. I have a golden laced wyandotte roo who is super gentle and eats out of my hand. I also had a RIR but a fox got her. She was super sweet too. Good luck with your chickens! I never realized how many predators chickens have...foxes, hawks, dogs, raccoons...crazy.

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