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What chicken do I get!?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pinkpoppey, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. pinkpoppey

    pinkpoppey Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2010
    I'm new to the chicken world and I'm wondering what breed I should get. It must be a breed that I could convince my family to get as they are skeptical of my longing for chickens,exotic eggs are a plus.
    I have access to pretty much any breed as chicks as far as I know(efowl.com looks Nice) I need a beginners breed, something quiet,nice,economical and tolerant of 100+ degree heat as it is hot where I live. I'm probably only gonna get 5 and then add on.
    Any suggestions are nice and stories appreciated.
    So many Emotes...... [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    For very hot weather, you want something not bearded, meaning stay away from Faverolles, Ameraucanas, Silkies, bearded Polish, d'Uccles, and Easter Eggers (hatchery Ameraucanas). They are doable, but would be harder for a beginner. Cochins are super friendly, as well as Brahmas, dual purpose birds like Orpingtons are nice, personally, (don't want to offend anyone who likes these, but...) I do not care for Rhode Islands, Rocks, or any of the stars, comets, or sexlinks, black, gold, red, or otherwise - I find them to be aggressive to other birds, and occasionally to people. Wyandottes are also nice and come in several varieties. Welsummers and Marans are going to give you beautiful dark chocolate brown eggs, Welsummers also with speckles on them. I do not have personal experience with Marans, though lots of people love them. I have found Welsummers to be very curious critters that will follow you around, and pick at polished toenails, but scatter if you act like you're going to pick them up.

    Good luck on your chicken search! This place and the people here are a fantastic resource! [​IMG]
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Orpingtons, first. Wyandottes, next.

    That's just to satisfy the requirements you posed. Cochins would be wonderful too, but they sometimes have trouble dealing with extreme heat (they're very cold-hardy, though).
     
  4. CluckyChuckCrazy

    CluckyChuckCrazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Derbyshire, Uk
    I got 1 hybrid 2 cochin's and a silkie first
     
  5. Lilacfeather

    Lilacfeather Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Try this website: http://www.mypetchicken.com/about-chickens/

    They
    have a breed recommendor tool that you can use. It's neat, you can put in any requirements you have, and it will give you a list of breeds. They also have great pictures and descriptions of the breeds, and where you can get them.

    Have fun!


    BTW, I started with 2 Buff Orpingtons (beautiful and sweet), 2 Rhode Island Reds ( good egglayers), and 2 Ameraucanas/ Easter Eggers, (cool looking, and lay blue/green eggs). I got them from a wonderful breeder near me, and they are all super healthy, and should tolerate both extremes of climates that we have here. It's only been 2 weeks, but I'm happy with my choices, and the Buff Orpingtons are my favorite so far. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  6. ninjascrub69

    ninjascrub69 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    fayoumis (not sure on the spelling) are resistant to many diseases, and heat. They mature VERY early, and are relativly good layers.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    This chart gives you a lot of general information about the different breeds. The personalities and actual traits of the chickens can vary from this quite a bit, but I find they do generally follow the traits for the breed.

    Henderson’s Breed Chart
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    For "exotic" eggs, I suggest you look at either Welsummer or Maran for dark eggs and EE's (Easter Eggers). I'm not familiar with efowl, but I am not aware of any hatchery that actually sells Ameraucanas. They are just EE's misnamed. EE's will not show up on the Henderson Chart since they are a type and not a breed. They often lay blue or green eggs.

    Since you are getting a laying flock you probably don't want a rooster. Try to get chicks sexed at the hatchery. They normally only guarantee a 90% accuracy rate with full sized fowl and won't even try with bantams.

    Almost any chicken can handle the heat if they have plenty of water and shade. When it got to 100 this summer, mine stayed in the coolest places they could find during the heat of the day and did their roaming and feeding during the morning and after it cooled off in the evening. In extreme heat, some people put up misters or freeze a one gallon milk jug of water and put those where the chickens can snuggle up to them and cool off. They seem to appreciate that but I just left mine alone.

    One of the things to consider is do you want a hen to go broody or not. Even without a rooster, you can buy fertile eggs if you want a hen to hatch out chicks, but broodies are harder to mange if you don't want one. Some breeds, like Orpingtons, tend to g broody a lot. Any of them can go broody, but you might check the tendencies of the breeds.

    When looking through the Henderson Chart, one thing I think that would be important to you is "takes confinement well" Chickens that do not take confinement well need a lot more room and tend to not be as friendly.

    Again, you will not find the sex links on the Henderson Chart as they are a type and not a breed. They are a cross between two breeds (it can vary a lot as to which breeds are used as parents), but you can tell by color or markings or wing feathers on the just hatched chicks which are male and which are female. They normally lay very well, often don't go broody much, and are often very friendly. That kind of depends on which breeds actually are the parents of that specific cross. They are called sex links because there are certain genes that the hen will pass along to her sons but not her daughters. If these genes are dominant over what the rooster contributes, they show up on the chick. I think you should consider these. Many hatcheries call them something with "stars" in the name, golden comets, cinnamon queens, or something else.

    I personally like having a mixed flock with different breeds. You get a variety of egg colors and you can tell at a glance which hen is which. If you only have 4 or 5, you will probably get to know rhme well enough that you will be able top tell them apart evenif they are all the same breed, but I really like the look of a multicolored flock. Many people like to keep their flock the same breed. Purely personal choice.

    If you use a little judgment in picking a breed or breeds, I think it is hard to choose wrong. Many different breeds or types will work well for you. Good luck
     
  8. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    You have recieved some good advice from the posters. I can only tell you what I'd recommend from my experience. I owned a feedstore in Southern Calfornia for over 17 years and started many people down the road to chicken ownership. The breeds we sold and recommended to begginers were the Rhode Island Red, Barred Rocks, Orpingtons, Wyandotts and Australorps. Australorps were also very popular in my chicken club with the kids for showmanship. We also sold Sexlinks and Comets but I do agree with the first poster that they tend to be aggressive toward other flock mates and can be standoffish toward people if not handled alot as younglings. In my experiance, I have never had an aggressive Rhode Island or Barred Rock. We also sold Amerucana's and they are neat chickens but can be a little dominant.
    As time went on and backyard chickens were getting more and more popular, we started adding more "exotic" breed to the list of chicks we sold. We added Welsummers, Sussex, Brahmas, and Jersey Giants in the standard size and in the bantam group we added Old English Game, and frizzles.
    For the meat raising crowd, we also sold Cornish Cross meat birds and turkeys.
    We did try a few silkies and Polish, but had trouble mainly in getting live birds on arrival. Those customers who really wanted them we turned onto a local breeders and customers who needed to cull their show flocks.
    The one breed we stayed away from was the White Leghorn. The ones in the hatcheries are bred for production and tended to be very flighty and stupid. (Sorry if I offend any one!!)
    As with any chicken, no matter the breed, the more you handle them the more tollerant and friendly they are toward people.
     
  9. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    Buff Orpingtons are very quiet, friendly, and docile.
    They enjoy being handled lay quiet well and go broody offten. They lay large - medium brown eggs.
    Easter Eggers are a favorite, too.
    They lay large to medium green eggs, and have muffs and beard and come in lots of colors. Plus they're VERY friendly! I love mine.
     
  10. crash0330

    crash0330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Quote:I live in Southern California where in the summer the lowest temperature we ever get is 100 and thats in rare days, we usually have 105-110 temperatures, that said, this year was my first raising chickens here, I ordered some pullets from cackle, some RIR, Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, New Hampshires, and some EE's, let me tell you they all did just fine in this temperatures i didnt lost a single one to the heat so any of those breeds I think they are pretty heat hardy. Now as far as friendliness go I have some EE's who are really friendly and some others that are scared of me, the barred rocks for the most part are really friendly and are the sexlinks, I think it all depends on how much time you spend with them.
    As far as begginer chickens , ithink most chickens are really easy to raise i have all kinds of chickens now and I havent had any breeds that are really hard to raise, chickens for the most part you just have to have them water and feed and a good place for them to roam, and thats it.
    But if I had to recommend one, I'd say go with some EE's and some barred rocks the EE's are realy cool cuz they have you guessing all the time what coler they are gonna be and what color egg there gonna lay, and well the Barred rocks there just really cool looking birds, and great layers too.
    BTW whre do you live?
     

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