What breeds should I get?

MamaGrizzly

In the Brooder
Aug 10, 2020
31
39
36
Plan on 4 square feet of floor area per chicken in the coop, and 10 square feet per chicken in the run. More space fine, less is not. Most styles of feeder and waterer take up space too, so allow a few square feet for them.

It is usually best if you can walk into the coop easily--so make the door big enough, the roof high enough, and so forth.

Plan on 1 linear foot of roost per chicken. Chickens like to roost on the highest available thing. So make sure the roosts are higher than the nests, higher than the feeder, and so forth. Don't make the roosts too skinny. A closet rod or a 2x4 can make good roosts. (People dispute whether the 2x4 should have the 2" side up or the 4" side up. Each side says their chickens are doing fine.)

Nests are often about 1 foot each way (length, width, height). Plan for about one nest per four hens. Nests can be above the floor (so they do not take up floor space), but make sure there is a board or perch in front for the hens to fly to, so they can step gently into the nests without breaking eggs.

Think about bringing bedding in, and cleaning it out. Can you use a long-handled rake or pitchfork without bumping the wall? Can you bring a wheelbarrow in? Or at least put it near the door?

Think about bedding piled on the floor and scratched around by chickens: you probably want the door to swing outward, to be sure you can open it to go in! And you might want a board across the bottom of the doorway to keep the bedding from falling out. But you want that board to be easy to remove at cleaning time (maybe one screw in each end.)

It is convenient if you can make a smaller coop within the bigger one (section off one end, or a space under the nests, or something like that. The smaller coop can be used for brooding chicks, for isolating a bully or a victim, for letting a broody hen hatch her eggs in peace, for introducing new birds to the flock, and many other things.

Natural light is good, therefore windows are good.

Ventilation is very important, but fasten hardware cloth over openings to keep out predators. You could even consider making one or two walls entirely covered in hardware cloth instead of solid material, for summer ventilation; and then have panels or tarps that can be put up to block wind for winter.

Some predators can go through small openings (weasels), some can reach through small openings to grab chickens and rip them to pieces (raccoons), some are strong enough to rip off hardware cloth that was stapled in place (raccoons, dogs), some dig, some climb, some fly. And then there are bears, that can just rip apart anything you've built. Learning what predators are common in your area can help you design an appropriately strong coop.

If you do not know what predators are in your area, I would build for dogs and raccoons and hope for the best. Dogs dig and some are fairly strong, raccoons climb and can reach through small holes and crawl through medium holes. If you exclude those two creatures, you will probably keep out almost all other predators too, except possibly bears.

I've probably missed a few points, but those are what I see as the basics.

My personal favorite coop was 12 feet by 12 feet inside. The ceiling was 8 feet at the low side and 12 feet at the high side. It had double doors (4-foot total opening) on each end. The top of the nestboxes was right under a glass window, so the chickens could stand there and look out. It was in Alaska, so the chickens had to stay inside all winter, which made all that space really useful.
Thank you so much for the info!! We definitely need to build way bigger than my hubs originally expected. Thankfully he is all about making me and the chickens happy lol.
 

BleuSaphir

Songster
Oct 24, 2012
315
410
211
Santa Clarita, CA
I personally think Barred Rock and Easter Evers are a must.

I had a Easter Egger. Super friendly bird. I was definitely seen as a mama hen with her. She felt safe around me and would follow me when I am around.
If I could relaunch having chickens, Easter Eggers are up my first choice.
 

Hidrainja4

Songster
Oct 22, 2019
370
863
128
In the beginning I was told Buff Orpingtons make the best first chicken. I got Buff Orpingtons and I am glad I did. Several breeds later, we still have Buff Orpingtons they quiet and keep order in the flock . For a First timer I strongly suggest Buff Orpingtons. There are other colors but they are more expensive. If you want a hardy, friendly chicken including roosters Orpingtons will not disappoint you. OK egg production not like your production breeds.
 

MamaGrizzly

In the Brooder
Aug 10, 2020
31
39
36
In the beginning I was told Buff Orpingtons make the best first chicken. I got Buff Orpingtons and I am glad I did. Several breeds later, we still have Buff Orpingtons they quiet and keep order in the flock . For a First timer I strongly suggest Buff Orpingtons. There are other colors but they are more expensive. If you want a hardy, friendly chicken including roosters Orpingtons will not disappoint you. OK egg production not like your production breeds.
Thank you
 

patsy334

Chirping
Jul 4, 2017
19
10
59
I love the Polish Hens. They love to be held. I have one, especially, that follows me around until I pick her up. I love my Silkies, also. I got these breeds specifically for their friendliness. They are not the greatest egg layers; however, the personalities make me smile every day!
 

Youngstead

Hatching
May 25, 2020
4
1
8
Another awesome breed to consider is the Buckeyes. Great in weather for you.

I have a few and they tolerate Arizona heat and are bred for Ohio Cold.

I agree with Barred Rock. Amazingly hardy and adaptable with good production.

a rarer breed I have and love, is bielefelder! Can’t get enough of them and my rooster is a gentle giant. These birds are HUGE!
 

Peggyjom

Chirping
Jul 19, 2016
27
24
66
Washington
Hi all! I am settling in on my choices of breeds that I will be ordering for April. I live on a hilly property with very well draining soil. There are plenty of shade trees, and I live on the north side of the slope. I live in Eastern Pennsylvania, so we have all four seasons. The summers get up to 102F tops, and the winters get down to -5F at the lowest. Spring and fall we do get a lot of rain, but I suppose a lot of places might consider it to be moderate.

i’ve been obsessively researching chicken breeds, chicken coops, runs, and everything regarding chickens for the past couple of months. I’ve always wanted chickens, and I am thrilled now that we have a large enough property my dream is coming true! I am not afraid of hard work, and I plan to give them the very best I am able to, so any important bits of advice are welcome... but my specific question is about breeds.

I have small children, so I am looking for family friendly breeds. I’d love chickens that like people. I also love the idea of a multi-colored barnyard and egg basket.

I have two dogs, and the neighboring property has three feral cats 🤦🏻‍♀️ that live on the property (the cats came with their property, and I’m not above capturing And homing them). On the other side our other neighbor has two dogs that are not restrained. That may change once our dogs move in, as ours are young and will want to play.

while I would prefer to free range my flock (my dogs will need a ton of training and I plan to work toward this), I am well aware that that may not be a possibility considering the neighbors pets or mine. So I plan to have a large run. I also plan to use the deep litter method.

here is the list of breeds I am thinking of ordering. At the moment I am planning on ordering one of each. My coop and run will be large enough to fit 16, but I will be starting with 8 chickens because... chicken math.

Out of these breeds are there any you would recommend against? Any that will not likely get along with the others? Which are your favorites?

if you have and love any of these birds please include a pic for everyone’s enjoyment.

Thank you for your input!!!

Dark Brahma
Blue/Black/Spash Cochin
Salmon Faverolle
Black Copper Marans
Welsummer
Barred Rock
Cream Legbar
Buff Orpington
Easter Egger
Ameraucana
Our Brahmas are the friendliest both are double hikers 90% of the time. I like the black astrlope also
 

Jasperina

Chirping
May 29, 2012
34
0
80
I had one Cochin and would love another one.
EEs are good all around chickens and do not go broody. I have had one that was “friendly” and would jump up to take treats.
i Have marans right now and love their egg color and texture.
I have 3 Mille fleurs now and they are the sweetest, most charming little birds. they would be perfect chickens for children.
 

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