What should my next breed be?

KrystalRose

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
294
19
83
Finley, WA
I started a flock this spring of several breeds. I am planning to order more chicks next spring and was debating on what breed to get. The things I am looking for in my flock are birds that can handle both cold and heat since we get both 100+ and below freezing temps here. I will be selling the eggs so I prefer good layers that lay large size eggs as well as a little color variety. I also prefer dual purpose birds but that is not a requirement (not that I want to eat my layers but I intend to let them hatch their own and will be needing to do something with the extra roosters).

Here is what I have in my flock so far:

2 Cuckoo Maran Roosters
1 Easter Egger Rooster
4 Easter Egger Hens
2 Black Australorp Hens
4 Barred Rock Hens
4 Delaware Hens
4 Buff Orpington Hens

I originally ordered 4 of each breed, but lost two Australorp along the way and ended up with all rooster marans instead of hens so I sold two of them to a co-worker. And my EE rooster was my "mystery chick".

I plan to order 15-20 more birds in the spring and would like some input on what your favorite breed for these considerations are.
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,434
438
Montana
You have my favorite standard breed already--Black Australorps. Sorry you lost two of them. I've raised Black Australorps for years (as well as all of the other breeds on your list), and they are extremely hardy, calm and gentle, and excellent layers of large, brown eggs. If you are not opposed to hybrids, I would suggest Black Sex Links (Black Stars). They are the only chickens I like as well as the Black Australorps. Black Sex Links are hardy, and friendly, egg laying machines which have been my best layers, consistently churning out over 300 eggs per hen per year. Whatever you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
 

KrystalRose

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
294
19
83
Finley, WA
Ok definitely more BAs, I do really like them, and as they are getting older they are getting soooo pretty with the green feathers. Here is a fun pic of one of mine as a chick. Since you both have had BAs I have a question, mine are 16 weeks old this week and I am starting to try to see signs of when they will lay but they have dark grey combs and faces not pink, will they turn red from grey before laying?
 
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iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
336
Central Oregon
Ok definitely more BAs, I do really like them, and as they are getting older they are getting soooo pretty with the green feathers. Here is a fun pic of one of mine as a chick. Since you both have had BAs I have a question, mine are 16 weeks old this week and I am starting to try to see signs of when they will lay but they have dark grey combs and faces not pink, will they turn red from grey before laying?
Can you post some pics of your BAs now that they are older? The reason I ask is this pic of it as a chick is a little unusual for a true BA. BAs have dark slate grey legs, no yellow.
 
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KrystalRose

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
294
19
83
Finley, WA
Here is a couple pics from when they were 11 weeks old, they did loose the yellow in their legs, now they are grey/black. As I said they are 16 weeks now, and the older they have gotten the blacker the legs have gotten. The chick with the lighter face in front is the one on my shoulder in the previous picture.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
660
336
Central Oregon
Here is a couple pics from when they were 11 weeks old, they did loose the yellow in their legs, now they are grey/black. As I said they are 16 weeks now, and the older they have gotten the blacker the legs have gotten. The chick with the lighter face in front is the one on my shoulder in the previous picture.
Beautiful girls! May I ask ... why are they walking on a chicken wire flooring?
 

KrystalRose

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
294
19
83
Finley, WA
I have a couple spots in their run that have that elevated chicken wire so grass can grow underneath and through for them to eat without destroying, plus I think they like sitting somewhere with airflow underneath them during warm days. This picture might show it better.

 

KrystalRose

Chirping
5 Years
Jun 28, 2014
294
19
83
Finley, WA
Here are some other breeds I have been considering in case anyone has likes or dislikes about any of them. Also I am open to suggestions for other breeds, I am new to chickens so all I have to go off of is reading about them, and I know from experience now that some breeds are not always what is advertised! Although sometimes in a good way. I am thinking of getting some more of the kinds I already have but then adding one more breed to my mix.

Cuckoo Maran (hens this time)
Leghorn
New Hampshire Red
Wyandottes
Speckeled Sussex
Welsummer
Cream Legbar

Again this is what I have already:

2 Cuckoo Maran Roosters
1 Easter Egger Rooster
4 Easter Egger Hens
2 Black Australorp Hens
4 Barred Rock Hens
4 Delaware Hens
4 Buff Orpington Hens
 

Michael OShay

Crowing
5 Years
May 14, 2014
25,581
2,434
438
Montana
Here are some other breeds I have been considering in case anyone has likes or dislikes about any of them. Also I am open to suggestions for other breeds,

Cuckoo Maran (hens this time)
Leghorn
New Hampshire Red
Wyandottes
Speckeled Sussex
Welsummer
Cream Legbar
I've had all of the breeds on your list above except Cream Legbars. I would personally avoid the Leghorn. They are excellent layers, but very high strung and flighty. Mine screamed bloody murder whenever I handled them. I really like Cuckoo Marans, Wyandottes, and Welsummers, but my favorite on that particular list of breeds you don't have is the Speckled Sussex. All four of these breeds have about the same rate of lay (Marans and Welsummers lay beautiful chocolate eggs), but the Speckled Sussex in my experience is the friendliest and gentlest of the breeds on this list of birds you don't have. As with Black Australorps and Buff Orpingtons, my children made lap pets out of our Speckled Sussex. Even though I've become very utilitarian as the years have past, and have picked most of my breeds and hybrids for high laying rate, I have seriously considered getting some more Speckled Sussex just because I like their beauty and good temperament so well.
 

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