What heavy breed would you reccommend?

Phyrst

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
205
6
98
eastern shore of MD
I have ordered banty eggs and hope to get back into chickens, if all goes right. I would like to have 1 heavy breed hen to keep that lays nice big brown eggs. I'm alone a lot as my DH works out of state and is only home on weekends/ holidays. I've had chickens for years, but they have been either RIR. Barred R, or BO. Something different would be a nice change. I'd like a hen that is fairly friendly, broody so I could use her to hatch some of my bantam eggs (as I stated if all goes right), can tolerate temps that are high in summer and average cold winters, doesn't seem scarredy-cat type and most important, is a good brown egg layer. Everyone has their own opinion so I'd like to hear anything you have to say. I have a friend here with several breeds of chickens so I'm just going to pick 1 or 2 chicks.out of her flocks and keep them with my banties.
Please give me your opinion! I want to make a good judgment call. I'm going to have them for quite awhile. I have 2 old hens now that are 8 yrs. old. They don't lay eggs anymore and I consider them my "extended outside companions"!! I call them my old ladies. My coop is set up so the big girls have one side and the bantams have the other with a divider in the middle to keep them separate.
I live on the eastern shore of MD, between Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Our summers have tropical weather, hot and humid. We've had some drought in some years, seemed really really hot ( 90+ for weeks) but probably not as bad as TX!! Winters could be anything from mild, like last year with very little snow, to several big blizzards, a lot of snow, Temps around 30 are average but will get in single digits for a week or so.
My personal preference is for a clean-footed chicken.
Thanks for any suggestions!
 
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donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,955
581
Southern Oregon
Depending on what breeds you're talking about, your bantams will probably go broody more than a hatchery heavy breed hen. So, keep that in mind.

For eye candy, to me the laced wyandottes are right up there. They lay well and are docile, cold and heat tolerant.

Speckeled Sussex are pretty also, but not the greatest layers from what I've heard.

Maybe a pretty partrideg rock? Or a silver pencilled rock?

Welsummers aren't as flashy looking, but they're dependable layers and more likely to go broody from what I hear.

Good luck with whatever you choose!
 

Duramaxgirl

Songster
9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
1,631
44
178
Idaho
New Hampshires do all that you list. They go broody but not to crazy like a Cochin. Not flighty and they lay tons of huge brown eggs. They aren't aggressive and get along with other hens very well.
I've been happy with them and my sister loves hers.
 

Panth

Songster
7 Years
Mar 5, 2012
485
26
111
Indiana
I vote Partridge Rock, my main flock is them and they lay very large brown eggs like crazy. Mine lay all through the winter with no extra lighting and are very temperature tolerant. What I like most about them is that they are very very mellow, laid-back birds. Even my rooster is a doll, friendly and curious and pretty quiet. They are pretty birds with their double lacing pattern, but not especially the best eye-candy.
 

Leo1

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2011
210
77
171
Saco, Maine
How hot in the summer?
It doesn't say where you're from. If it's not extremely hot, Brahmas. They don't lay overly large eggs, but they are good layers and just about the friendliest birds you can get. I have a couple that are going on laying everyday for almost a month now and another that did 2 weeks straight. Being a heritage breed they will lay for more years than a lot of the better layers. They do lay brown eggs and even though very large will be nice to your little guys. Not to mention they are gorgeous! They make for great pets and even the roos are very friendly. Delawares are another good one, though I much prefer the Brahmas.
 

Phyrst

Chirping
7 Years
Apr 5, 2012
205
6
98
eastern shore of MD
How hot in the summer?
It doesn't say where you're from. If it's not extremely hot, Brahmas. They don't lay overly large eggs, but they are good layers and just about the friendliest birds you can get. I have a couple that are going on laying everyday for almost a month now and another that did 2 weeks straight. Being a heritage breed they will lay for more years than a lot of the better layers. They do lay brown eggs and even though very large will be nice to your little guys. Not to mention they are gorgeous! They make for great pets and even the roos are very friendly. Delawares are another good one, though I much prefer the Brahmas.
I edited my post with a brief weather description and a preference! What variety/color of Brahmas do you have? My friend has some type that is brilliant with light saddle or shoulder feathers and green wings. I'm not sure what it is but it's sooo pretty!! Thanks for answering my post. I'm going to keep an open mind.
 

Leo1

Songster
9 Years
Jul 1, 2011
210
77
171
Saco, Maine
I have both light and buff and all are wonderful chickens!
They do pretty well with heat, but don't like it when it sneaks up on them, i.e. jumping from 50's to high 80's as it does here. If they have shade they should be fine with your weather.
Well they aren't a "clean footed chicken", the Delawares I mentioned are though.
 

Hezz

Songster
7 Years
Mar 1, 2012
427
7
103
Poconos, Pennsylvania
Orpingtons, Australorps, or Wyandottes.

The Orpingtons are extremely friendly and docile. The Aussie's and Wyandottes are a little more skittish, but they do warm up to you. It just takes them a little longer.
 
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speckledhen

Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Feb 3, 2007
78,793
12,629
936
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Plymouth Rocks are the best layers I have and lay the largest eggs. I have barreds as well as blue, black and splash Rocks, but the barreds can't be beat for egg size and consistency of laying. I have some who are 5 1/2 years old and still laying regularly most of the year. My best layer is a Barred Rock, daughter of hatchery stock, about 4 years old and still lays 6 days each week. They lay jumbo size. They tolerate both heat and cold quite well.


My Orps do not lay the largest eggs nor do they lay as well as the Rocks by any means.
 
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