What kind of chickens should I start with?

14myersp

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
7
0
7
Hi, I'm a highschooler in Central Iowa. I have always loved taking care of animals, and would like to raise chickens! Since I live in Iowa, winters are very cold and summers are quite hot. So I need a breed that can stand both. I would also like just some basic hardy chickens since this is my first time. I do not need to show them or breed them, I would just like to learn how to take care of them and get a few eggs a week. I would like to buy them as eggs so I can learn how to incubate them and get the whole experience(is that a good idea?). If you have any recommendations, I would really appreciate it!
 

BantamoftheOpera

Songster
9 Years
May 24, 2010
475
5
113
Southern Maine
Welcome! My recommendation for your first flock would be to purchase as day old chicks. I do not have experience with incubation, but I have heard many people have troubles with it. Day old chicks can also be sexed, so you can keep a flock of all hens until you are used to how chickens work. As for breeds, it's really up to you. For sturdy birds I like Plymouth Rocks, Easter Eggers (they lay blue and green eggs), and Black Sex Links. There is a lot of information here to help you select a breed. Try looking at the learning center under My chickens, you can learn a lot by looking at all of the different flock pages, feel free to visit mine, the link is in my signature below.
 

14myersp

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
7
0
7
Thank you!:) that helps a lot. Do you think I should just buy the chicks from our local farm store? They get chicks in the spring time.
 

BantamoftheOpera

Songster
9 Years
May 24, 2010
475
5
113
Southern Maine
That would be a great place to start, I got my first two flocks that way. This year is my first year ordering via the mail. The farm store should offer the breeds that I listed.
 

quintinp

Songster
9 Years
Oct 22, 2010
2,067
26
171
Southern Oklahoma
I would go with standard breeds, Barred Rocks, or Rhode Island Reds. I really like the Black Sex Links, or even Red Sex Links. Buff Orpintons are really nice, beautiful chickens. And then again I am in love with Black Australorps too.
 

CayuseRanch

Songster
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
1,818
65
178
Newalla, Oklahoma
I'm originally from Waterloo. If your not worried about showing you can get the chicks from any feed store. I would recommend a sex link because it will lay for you quicker than most breeds and I would also recommend cochins or orpingtons for the weather there. You need to worry about the cold but it wont really get hot enough there to worry about.
 
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tec27

Songster
8 Years
May 6, 2011
676
32
136
Pittsburgh
There is nothing like raising a flock of chickens that you know that you've hatched every single one of them from an egg. I was going to buy my first chickens from Tractor Supply (fyi chick days at tractor supply starts in march so you can wait till then), but then i figured i only wanted a couple chickens so they should all be special. i bought some eggs on this site and hatched out a couple easter eggers. I'm glad i hatched instead of buying a chick.
 

14myersp

Hatching
8 Years
Jan 14, 2012
7
0
7
I have a friend who lives in my town also, she has Ameracauna's and she offered to give me some of their chicks if they have some this spring. What do you guys think about Ameracauna's?

Also, about a chicken coop... should I make one or try to find one somewhere? My mom thinks building would be too difficult and cost too much. Where could I find a chicken coop? Somewhere like craigslist, or do people sell them here?
 

curious1969

Songster
8 Years
Apr 17, 2011
227
152
181
Northwest Montana
If you have or can get the equipment to hatch yourself I say give it a try
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There is really nothing like the feeling of watching your little eggs turn into little babies
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As far as breeds, it is obviously a personal choice. I have black copper marans and just love them. I have also kept light Brahma's, barred rock and Rhode island reds and they are great birds too. Best of luck whichever road you choose to take
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nurse_turtle

Songster
8 Years
May 28, 2011
3,518
107
201
Foothills of NC
My only recommendation is to buy several different breeds from the feed store/TSC. A mixed flock of different patterns and colors are very fun to watch and pretty to look at. I adore my mixed flock with all their personalities and colors. You're gonna love chickens!
 

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