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What is the best breed for beginners and should I start with chicks or adults?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by dreamgirl21, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. dreamgirl21

    dreamgirl21 In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2017
    Hi! Im new to raising chickens. I did grow up on a dairy farm and we did have chickens. We raised them for eggs and meat.
    I have great memories from then but its been a long time so I want to try it myself to have farm fresh eggs and mature for
    my compost. I have ordered my chicken coop but haven't decided which breed to get yet. I am a home caregiver for my 82 year
    old mom. I thought a few chickens would be great for my garden and yard.
    What is the best breeds for beginners and should I start with chicks or adult chickens?

  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    There is no one "best breed." There are so many good choices for beginners it's not worth even listing all of them. Just about any common breed you'd find at a feed store - Rocks, Wyandottes, Easter Eggers, Sussex, Orpingtons, Sex Links, Production Reds, etc. - are good choices. Pick what you like the look of best, that's about all that differentiates most hatchery production breeds these days.

    Chicks can be more of a hassle to raise, but there are caveats when purchasing adults too. While chicks are not necessarily more difficult, they are more work and time. Adults, on the other hand, you must be careful in sourcing - they have more potential to have been exposed to diseases and parasites and it is not uncommon for folks to sell off older hens who are past their laying prime as younger, fresher birds - and it is very hard to age a chicken unless it is rather young or quite old. In my opinion started juveniles can be a good choice - about six to ten weeks is a good age - however these can be harder to find for sale.
    1 person likes this.
  3. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Songster

    Jul 18, 2013
    X2 If you live within driving distance of a hatchery, pullets this age can often be gotten. We've gotten Rhode Island Reds that were within a week or two of laying. Other hatcheries sell younger but sexed pullets that no longer need a heat source. Depending on where you live they may or may not be able to put out yet or they might need a transition period.
    If you have no other poultry you don't need to worry about quarantine. You might want to ask though, some hatcheries when they sell older chicks or young pullets they have automatically debeaked them.
    I did notice this year that two of our feed stores are offering older chicks in the one to two month range so that may be something you can check out.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, dreamgirl21, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our flock! I agree with the advice of Q'Misha. I think chicks provide a more complete complete experience but there is more time and effort involved. But at least you know what you are getting if you get them as chicks. In terms of breed...the sky is the limit. Best wishes in whatever breeds you decide to go with - and mixed flocks are always an option. BYC will be here to help you should you have questions. [​IMG]
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Prefab coop kits only house about half of what the manufacturers claim. Coop size can pose significant limit as to the breeds. The average sized hen needs a minimum of 4 sq ft of coop space per bird, and 10 sq ft of run per bird. Bantams only need about 2 sq ft of coop space per bird, and about 6 sq ft of run space per bird. Bantam breeds tend to be better pets than breeds that are intended for production, but are rarely available as sexed chicks.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Young chicks are easier to socialize and make "human friendly." Older birds may be more skittish because humans didn't interact with them.
  7. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under dreamgirl21 [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some great advice, I will just wish you all the best.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    You might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you ‘Find your State’s thread.

    If you would like to share pictures and stories of your flock when they arrive, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out [​IMG]

  8. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    You've already received some good advice so I'll just say hello and thanks for joining us!
  9. TattooedChicks

    TattooedChicks Songster

    Jan 21, 2017
    Kansas City
    I'm super biased, but I have loved every minute of my bantams. ;) There is a chicken, or 50..., out there for everyone! And welcome to BYC.

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