What breeds should I get?

margaretbyrd

Chirping
Aug 21, 2015
26
26
86
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
My favorites are Barred Rocks and Americanas or Easter Eggers. I also like the hybrids like Red Comet or ISA Brown, Jet Star. The Barred Rocks lay when it's cold. They lay when it is hot unlike many other breeds. I live in Mississippi and it gets hot here and it can get cold for spells too. We are considered semi-tropical. The hybrids lay a large number of eggs over a year's time and they are usually jumbo eggs. The Americanas or Easter Eggers give some fun colored eggs the grand children like and a little wildness. I let them breed as they will and sometimes hatch some of their eggs from an incubator.
 

Foxinthehenhouse

Chirping
Aug 7, 2019
143
178
89
Cruso, NC
I love my FCM,Eastereggers, Barred Rocks etc. But I recently got two three month old Orphingtons and they are so wonderful! They are very quiet and docile, they come to me and want picked up. None of my other breeds have done that on their own. They would be excellent for small children. Also my Marans are bullies! Just sayin.......
Good luck!
 

illinoishiker

In the Brooder
Oct 25, 2019
35
23
33
If you get a roo get a Buff Orpington. Only breed you can count on being a nice roo. You don't want a mean roo around children. You can't beat Easter Eggers for fun chickens. Australorps are gentle and sweet. Go broody and are great moms if you want to hatch eggs. I have Welsomers and they are beautiful but not impressive in any way. I do like the dark eggs in my basket. Don't bother with Americaunas. More expensive and not as colorful or as good a layers as Easter Eggers. For the fun of it for the kids get a couple Silkies. Gentle and sweet pet birds. Speckled Sussex are very friendly but might not be safe with small children. They get right in your face and will demand food. Might peck eyes. The dogs will be a problem. You can give the dogs part of the day out and the chickens the other part. Works best to let the dogs have the mornings while chickens laying and the chickens will go to roost in the evenings without hassle. I switched my dogs when they were little puppies and chased the birds. That puts an end to chicken chasing. Works with puppies but yours sound like grown dogs. Also, if you have neighbors you should fence your property so the birds don't go visiting. They are very destructive to shrubs, flowers, veggie gardens, and grass.
 

MamaGrizzly

In the Brooder
Aug 10, 2020
31
39
36
I love my FCM,Eastereggers, Barred Rocks etc. But I recently got two three month old Orphingtons and they are so wonderful! They are very quiet and docile, they come to me and want picked up. None of my other breeds have done that on their own. They would be excellent for small children. Also my Marans are bullies! Just sayin.......
Good luck!
Thank you! I’ve heard that about Marans from a few people so they may come off the list 😍
 

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
157
232
98
Yacolt Wa.
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
Ameraucana
I would definitely love some advice. My husband and I are planning to build the coop. I’m working on ideas and plans now. How big should I make the coop and run? Let’s say I might want more than 16 down the road lol. I’ve read a lot, but there are so many choices. What is something you’d not want to be without? What extras would you go for? How do you keep costs down? I feel like the way I’m going I’ll have a $2500 coop for 10 chicken 🤦🏻‍♀️
Build bigger to allow for chicken math. I just added onto mine, because of that. Now up to 24, 7 chicks who will be joining the big girls soon.
 
Aug 11, 2020
60
216
91
I agree with the people who have said EE or Ameraucana. My children absolutely adore them, as they have such adorable muffs and beards. They are also quite friendly. Maybe choose EE, as then you could have a variety of different egg colors, which I'm sure everyone loves.
PS: just look at my profile picture to see how adorable EEs are! (I'm definitely not biased at all....)
 

rlhagan56

Songster
Mar 10, 2012
331
134
182
Out West
feed stores will have selections in the spring and with winter approaching you might want to wait. Ameraucana's are nice birds but expensive. EE's are friendly, colorful feathers and eggs, you never know what you'll get. Cochins and Buff Orpingtons are very friendly and lay light brown eggs. These are the best for children. Very pretty birds. Speckled Sussex! My favorite breed after EE's! They are gorgeous, friendly, very curious, lots of personality, lay light brown eggs very well. I have a flock of Speckled Sussex, my 4th flock of them and they are mixed with Mottled Java. The Java's are hard to find but beautiful birds. Not real friendly but they aren't flighty or mean. I have had Black Copper Maran's roosters and all were mean mean mean! My Mottled Java rooster is a very sweet guy and huge, and my Buff Orpington roosters were also big gentle giants. Let us know what you choose and how it goes!

Never trust dogs with chickens period. Not the dogs fault but they will kill them sooner or later so you have to protect your chickens. Mine all have big fenced in runs with horse fence. Or use hardware cloth.
I also have to add that feral cats will not harm your grown chickens, but watch the chicks. They can't be rehomed or tamed in any way.
 
Last edited:

Mimi Clucks

In the Brooder
Apr 21, 2020
13
46
36
Colorado
I totally agree with the chicken math! We planned for 10 and we have 23!😍 I started researching breeds 2 years ago. We decided Black Australorp would work best for our family. They are very hardy and they hold the record for the amount of eggs laid in a year! 364 eggs in 365 days! They are also dual purpose birds. However, when the pandemic hit, we took whatever chicks we could find (hence the mix)!
To make a long story short, when I go out to my chicken run, the ones that come running first are my Buff Orpington, EE and Black Australorp. All three breeds are gentle and want to be held. I would trust them with my small grandson. Hold them as much as you can when they're little and anytime you go out to the run, bring them treats😆.
I also have one Silver Laced Wyandotte and 2 Cochin. While these are (in my opinion) the prettiest in the flock we've had issues with them being a bullys at one point.
As far as your hen house and run, build bigger than what you think you'll need. Your chickens will thank you later! Good luck and enjoy your chickens!
 

Attachments

Serena Collins

In the Brooder
Aug 28, 2020
7
44
28
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
If you get all those hens your eggs will be more colorful than mine..🥰
A5C397AF-BFA1-423C-AF82-E5347D668619.jpeg
 

April0617

Chirping
Feb 28, 2020
103
232
73
SE Wisconsin
It seems like you are getting great recommendations, but I'm throwing in for Salmon Faverolles!! We are new to chickens as of this spring, so I don't have the experience that some others do, but I LOVE them 😊 They are sweet and silly and love to chat with you. We have australorps and faverolles and they are both great with my three year old and all come running to say hello/beg for snacks. Being good with kids was high on our list and these ladies totally fit the bill. We also have two silver laced Wyandottes who are gorgeous but not as interested in us. All are good winter hardy breeds. I would recommend more than one faverolles if you decide to go with them. I've heard they can be picked on by other breeds and it helps if they have each other. We have not had that issue, ours seem to be middle of the flock, leaning towards higher in the pecking order😊
 

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