I have all the information from the site i'm just so confused as to what would be the best egg layers for me to begin with. Do you need to have all the same breed or can you have different breeds together and still accomplish the same goal?
My flock consists of several different breeds - I like the variations in color, temperament, egg color. If I'd have had to stick to one breed, it probably would have been Barred Rocks or RIRs. But since I name my chickens, can you see me trying to tell who's who in a flock of RIRs? They'd all be Rhoda - "Good morning, Rhoda. And you too, Rhoda, and yes, you Rhoda, good morning. Good morning to YOU, Rhoda! How are you today, Rhoda, gonna lay another nice egg for me to day? Hey, Rhoda, stop picking on Rhoda!"
So, as a new chicken keeper, I got all different breeds so I could tell them apart. I have a few "doubles" and I've learned I CAN tell them apart, but... I worried about it before I bought any.
I would recommend starting out with Plymouth Rock - Barred, commonly called Barred Rocks. Very mellow, friendly birds, great layers. And maybe a Buff Orpington, a gold or black sex-link, and of course some EEs.
The answer is really what your goal is. Do you want lots of eggs.
If so then you'd want production birds, These include Rhode Island Reds, Golden Comets, Sex links, perhaps Barred Rocks, and leghorns.
If your goal is a less eggs, then you could go with Delawares, Australorps, Buff Orpintons, Barred Rocks, and Wyandottes .
Certain breeds are less prolific but kid friendly and nice looking at running around the yard, though Golden Comets are friendly and lay lots of eggs. Rhode Island Reds lay well but there are no guarantees on friendliness.
Some breeds come in an assortment of colors so you could choose one or two breeds and get some in each color.
Some are better in the heat areas or cold areas of the country. A copy of Storey's illustrated poultry will help there.
You can check "Henderson Breed Chart". Just google it and you'll be hours decideing. LOL
Remember to get an colored egg layer or two. You'll only wish you did in the end.
I have an assortment of 9-10 different breeds and they do fine.
So check Hendersons chart and Storeys Illustrated Poultry and have fun.
You do have to check back and let us know what you've decided. It's only fair.
I love a mix of several. My DH on the other hand is totally driven by production and productivity. He likes sex-links and doesn't want anything else. Needless to say the least we have had several arguments over MY chickens. I finally decided I would just keep my own and he could get his own, and that is the way it ended.
I have 2 red-sex link, 2 black sex-link, 2 buff orphington's, 2 barred rocks, 3 bantam EE's, 1 Americaunana, 2 austrolops, and one mix bantam rooster. I love having the different types. I get pink to brown eggs, and a few blue ones. I like the different colors in the eggs. Good luck on you flock and remember you will want more.
I love my Barred Plymouth Rock, she is a total sweetheart, but also has her stubborn moments. I can hold her for a while as my younger neice and nephew stroke her back, and she is totally still quietly cheeping. My first chickens ever were Barred Rocks, and they laid wonderfully through the summer heat AND winter snow. My Barred Rock isn't too noisy, and she seems to handle being a backyard chicken just fine in an urban area. My vote? Barred Plymouth Rocks. I also have an EE who is great, but she is kinda a one person chicken, doesn't care much for anybody else but me, so she is skittish with the kids and stuff. Easter Egger's can range widely, either flighty, aggresive, or sweet and calm. Barred Rocks are more.. Gurenteed, even hatchery stock. I've only had hatchery birds.
Adding one more thing about Barred Rocks! They are by far SO EASY to sex early!!
I dunno - when I put my laying flock together last year, I just couldn't make up my mind... So I got a few here, and a few there, and ended up with a bunch of EE's, 2 orp/BCM crosses, a black sex link, an orp/CW cross, a couple cuckoo marans, a barred rock, a dominique, a light brahma, a welsummer, and BLRW's. I wound up with a very happy, healthy flock of good natured hens (and 3 roosters) that give me eggs in blue, green, pinkish, peachish, and every shade of brown you can think of - and my egg customers love them!!!
And wouldn't ya know, the first winter I EVER had animals of any kind living outside full time, we had significant snowfalls in December and January, and then we got 3 1/2 feet of snow in two back-to-back blizzards in February. And it just wouldn't go away - it hung around for a month! Although none of my chickens were real happy, everyone made out fine - even my bantams (silkies, cochins, Polish, seramas, d'uccles). There were no cold/snow related injuries and no health problems, except for one serama rooster in the garage that lost the bare tips of his comb to frostbite. They even continued to lay thru it all! I think *I* suffered more than any of my chickens did, trying to keep everyone from being buried alive - the chickens themselves proved to be as tough as nails!!!