What's the best breed for a beginner?

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by jmpaprocki, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. jmpaprocki

    jmpaprocki New Egg

    Jan 3, 2013
    I am a newby and plan on getting some baby chicks, probably 4 or 5, in a month or so. What is the best beginner breeds? I want them for their eggs and to be very friendly. Should I stick with just one breed or can I mix it up? Thanks for the help!!

    Joan from Panama City, Florida
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Mix 'em up! Try some of each and decide for yourself which ones you like. Black Sex Links were my first ones (as an adult) and I still like them. You can't beat a Buff Orpington, and I have some sweet Easter Eggers. Figuring out what you like is part of the fun! Good Luck and Welcome to BYC!
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2013
  3. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

    Oct 3, 2011
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC :)

    I love Buff Orpingtons and Black Australorps. Yes you can mix them together. I love seeing the different colors.


    The Australorp Breed was developed in Australia at the end of the nineteenth century with Black Orpington stock from England. The breed also has genes from Rhode Island Red, White Leghorn, Langshan and Minorca crosses. The purpose of the breed was as a “utility” chicken for both high egg production and meat. It was originally known as the Black Utility Orpingtons. The breed was standardized after World War One and admitted to the Standard of Perfection in 1929 in England under the fitting name Australorp. By the end of World War Two, Australian poultry breeders wrote up their own breed standards, which have been accepted worldwide. Historically, Australorps have been egg-laying champions: an Australorp hen once laid 364 eggs in 365 days.

    They are an exceptionally beautiful bird, quite big, with black glossy feathers that have a green sheen and huge black soulful eyes.
    Read more here. https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/australorp



    The original Orpington, the Black, was developed in England in 1886 and brought to the US in 1890. It was developed from Langshan-Rock-Minorca crosses. Today Buff, Black, White, and Blue Orpington's are recognized color varieties.
    Read more here. https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/orpington

    Here is my Buff Orpington.

  4. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 4, 2012
    london ontario
    i like the easter eggers or if you can get your hands on some pure breed ameraucanas
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I agree with trying out a few different breeds if you can. It is fun to see the differences and you can decide what you like for the future. I started out with Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns and Delawares. The RIR and Leghorns were my personal favorite. I love leghorns because they are the most amazing egg layers but they do take a bit of effort to tame and fly really well. The other breeds were a little friendlier to start. Agree that Australorp is also a great start.
  6. kacklinkelly

    kacklinkelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2012
    Southwest Desert
    Hey Joan - Welcome. I am also a new person to backyard chickens. I did the same as you and wanted similar traits. I did lots of research here and on the internet. Needed heat hearty birds as the temps in our summer can exceed 115. What I decided on for our family was a mix. Rhode Island Red, Australorp and Americauna. I have learned through this process (picked up our chicks beginning of October) is that I likely have mixes and am thrilled with what we have. They have distinct personalities. The RIR seems to be the most curious and first to do most anything. She is also the slower growing of the three so she's the smallest. The Americauna seems to be the top hen. She is always checking on everyone when they are free ranging in our back yard. She calls for them when they are separated. She also chest butts the others. Pretty funny to watch. And my favorite (if that's possible) is the Austrolorp. She is friendly, likes to be handled, will actually climb up on my arm when I put it near to her. The others aren't that willing. Although all three will allow themselves to be held and examined. They are not laying eggs yet. A few months to go on that. Also haven't hit our first summer so... Hopefully my research and attention to the suggestions found here will keep them happy when the heat arrives. They have brought a lot of silliness into our family. Enjoy[​IMG]
  7. jmpaprocki

    jmpaprocki New Egg

    Jan 3, 2013
    I love your quote! And thanks for the advice!
  8. stefan333

    stefan333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2012
    I like the ideas on here. I'm fairly new to chickens myself and did a lot of research on breeds before I got mine. I took into consideration eggs and meat and being docile. What I didn't realize is that just because a chicken is listed as docile doesn't mean it won't scare me. Docile is not synonymous with gentle or sweet. If I was a chicken I'd be the lowest in the pecking order. When I started out I got a mixture of chickens all listed as docile. After a bit it became VERY clear which ones were my favorite. My husband has no problem waving his hands in front of the chicken's face getting pecked, but when I walk into their coop I make sure I wear gloves, tennis shoes and long pants. None of them are aggressive, but I will get pecked if I try to pet some of them. The Rhode Island Reds started pecking me when they were only two weeks old (they really scare me). My curious barred rocks love to get on their perch when I walk in, and I'm always so scared they're going to fly onto my shoulder like they did when they were little chicks (they're EXTRA friendly, so I lowered their perch). None of this is by any means the chickens fault. I realized that every chicken breed is different and you have to fit the breed to the individual owner. For me, it's no use picking the best egg layer if I'm too scared to gather eggs from them. And I want to interact with my chickens without being afraid. If you want "very friendly" chickens I 100% agree with the suggestion of Australorps, Orpingtons, and possibly Easter Eggers. The word to describe them is "sweet". Most of my EE's are just as sweet as the Australorps and Orpingtons, but some of them are kinda crazy (they are entertaining). I'm keeping all the chickens I currently have, but in the future I'm only adding more Orpingtons.
  9. Tough Old Bird

    Tough Old Bird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2013
    Hi from another newbie who has just, after much research and deliberation, chosen to get a couple each: Delaware, Barred Rock-Dominique cross and (so excited!) Coronation Sussex. I set up criteria for what was important to me -- i.e., friendly disposition (I have kids), good layers and hardy in the cold weather. I preferred to avoid broodiness, but see that this might not only be an inherent trait, but one that can fluctuate with individual birds.

    Good luck and check out the breeds (ranking) section on here, which I found so useful because it's written by people about their own birds.


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