What's the difference???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Slim Chickens, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Slim Chickens

    Slim Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 1, 2011
    Hello all,

    I just finished my new coop and am starting with 6-8 chickens, but built it big enough for 12 or so. Anyway, I'm looking at all the types of chickens and am probably going with a mix of the following: Americauna-EE, White Leghorn, Welsummer, Buff Orpington (buying them all local). I know all of these breeds lay different color eggs, but what's the difference in the eggs? Are they all good to eat? Will others want them if I give some away? Should I not mix the breeds yet? Please help before I make a mistake!
     
  2. sjarvis00

    sjarvis00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Shawnee, OKlahoma
    If you are just looking for eggs you will be fine, You will likely be replacing the leghorn hen much earlier than the others but that is how it is for the heavy production birds shorter laying periods.
     
  3. Slim Chickens

    Slim Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    well, we also want them for pets. I only plan on breeding to get a few chicks for the kids to see grow. Thanks for replying!
     
  4. FarmerBoy24

    FarmerBoy24 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Good luck and [​IMG]
     
  5. sjarvis00

    sjarvis00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Shawnee, OKlahoma
    Quote:the leghorn will not likely make a good pet the other 3 will be fine for both purposes. If you were to use a welsumer or Buff Orp rooster you will likely be happy with the results, otherwise i would suggest just buying a few chicks each year for the kids, it much easier and much much less addictive than hatching. If you have no rooster the hens will lay very well and you will not be feeding an unproductive mouth and will have no risk with the kids as most roosters will try to protect thier hens. Additionally you will not have fertile eggs to fuel a hatching addition.
     
  6. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE Missouri
    Look up Henderson's Chicken Breed chart to compare the different breeds and what their good/bad points are. There are variances in how large the eggs are, how old the girls are when they usually start laying, general temperament, body size, broodiness, suitability for keeping penned up, all sorts of variables. It may confuse you at first, but you can figure out what characteristics you care about, then go from there. Also, have some second and third choices, because your first choice may not be available. You don't want to just "wing it" (Pun intended) when you are faced with having to substitute. [​IMG]
     
  7. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sullivan, IL
    As far as taste and nutrition, there is no difference at all in the eggs (assuming of course that all your birds are eating the same thing) other than shell color and probably size. The leghorn will most likely lay large eggs. The other breeds you mentioned are also likely to lay large eggs, although you may get medium sized eggs from any of them. I'm sure others will want the eggs if you are giving them away. Our green EE eggs are a hit with most people, although my husband's boss has requested only brown eggs because the green ones kind of weird her out [​IMG]

    As for temperament of the leghorns, they will probably be more flighty than the others. They won't be cuddly lap pets, but they are unlikely to be mean either. And they may or may not enjoy hanging out with you. I have an exchequer leghorn and while she is not a lap chicken (none of mine are really) she was consistently the least likely of them to run away when they were chicks. As an adult, she hangs out near us when we are outside, and while she likes to stay just out of arm's reach if we are trying to catch her up she merely saunters away from us rather than run screaming from us. She even lets my almost two year old get close enough to almost touch her before stepping just out of reach. So while not super-friendly, I wouldn't write off leghorns simply because of their reputation for being flighty.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Northwest Arkansas
    I just finished my new coop and am starting with 6-8 chickens, but built it big enough for 12 or so. Anyway, I'm looking at all the types of chickens and am probably going with a mix of the following: Americauna-EE, White Leghorn, Welsummer, Buff Orpington (buying them all local).

    I find if you build your coop and run bigger than the absolute minimum, you spend a lot less time actively managing it. The flock is less likely to have internal social problems and you have to clean it out less frequently. Good move.

    Each chicken is individual with its own personality. Breed tendencies do mean something and are good guidelines to go by, but you have to have enough of that breed for the averages to mean much. You will probably be fine with that mix. I don't know where locally you are getting the chickens.

    Something that a lot of people don't take into consideration. If you do not reinforce specific traits, then those traits can be lost through a few generations. Leghorns as a breed do tend to lay a lot of large eggs. They are the basis of many commercial breeds. If you get a leghorn from a flock that has been developed to lay commercially, there is a pretty good chance that they will lay a tremendous amount of eggs and burn out early. If they are from a flock that has been more of a backyard flock for a few generations, they will lay a lot of nice big white eggs, but not as many and are less likely to burn out.

    I know all of these breeds lay different color eggs, but what's the difference in the eggs? Are they all good to eat?

    There is absolutely no difference in taste or nutritional value if they have been fed the same. They are all good to eat.

    Will others want them if I give some away?

    There are a lot of myths going around about eggs and the differences in them, based on color. While there is no difference, some people have preconceived notions and won't believe that. The further from the source they are and the less they know, the stronger their beliefs may be. But I have never found it a problem to give different colored eggs away.

    Should I not mix the breeds yet?

    I personally like a multicolored flock. It is easy to tell them apart and I just think they are more attractive together. I persoanlly would not hesitate to mix the breeds.
     
  9. Slim Chickens

    Slim Chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you all VERY much, that helps a ton!!!! I will probably still go with a mix of chickens. And sjarvis00, thanks for that: getting chicks will be much easier, great idea. I'm not so sure about having roosters yet. Although I've always wanted to say that I have a cock running around in my back yard! [​IMG]

    Ridgerunner: very helpful info, thank you!

    I'm buying just from local backyarders. I REALLY want a Barred Rock or Dominique...think they are super pretty, but again, still learning how and where to do things related to chickens! Thanks so much for your help everyone!
     
  10. KristyAz

    KristyAz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Quote:I have quite a mix (see my signature). I purposely wanted a variety of colors in my egg basket. To me, other than size, there is no difference in the eggs as far as taste, etc. They are all delicious to eat. I do give my eggs away when I can spare them, and find that my friends are amazed at the rainbow egg carton they get from me and they all seem to think it's sort neat. As for mixing breeds, do you mean as far as how they get along together (mine get along great) or mixing as in offspring (which I haven't done, I haven't hatched any of my eggs...yet.)
     

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