Which breed do you suggest?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by frederic, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. frederic

    frederic New Egg

    Dec 16, 2012
    I'm new on chicken and don't have the possibility to go discuss with chicken breeders as almost all of them, here, are breeding Thai Game Chicken and they won't know answer I need.
    Well, I have the possibility to get 4 different breeds: Leghorn, Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red and Bresse.
    I will take Bresse specially for meat. I was thinking to get the 3 other breeds for eggs production (for my own consumption and also to sale a little bit) but I will try to get 2 other breeds next year: La Fleche and Ayam Cemani (specially for the look of these chicken). I have some land but I'm affraid it will be to much breeds (I have to separate them to stay with pure breed, so it will cost me more, ...). What do you think?
    If you have to choose between Leghorn, Rhode Island and Plymouth Rock, what will be your choice?
    Thank you for your advice.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] If egg production was my primary goal, I would choose the leghorn. Either RIR or BR would be fine as a dual purpose bird.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Leghorns are well known for having a good feed-to-egg ratio. That is, they are small for a large fowl so eat less. They are not classed "dual purpose," good for meat or eggs, whereas BR and RIR are. I don't care for them much because they tend to be "flighty,' afraid of people and a challenge to handle. But purely for egg production, they would probably be the most efficient. They do fly well and might require more secure housing.

    One thing, you could consider running them all together as long as you are eating or selling all the eggs. Many folks have breeding pens, a smaller coop and run, where they separate a few birds for mating, to get eggs specifically for hatching. The hen stores sperm for 3 to 4 weeks, but after that, you will get purebred eggs. It's convenient to do your hatching and chick raising all at once, anyway, or at least only at specific times of the year. This also lets you choose exactly which males and females you want to breed. For example, you might choose to breed a roo who is not people aggressive, or who is gentle on his hens when mating, thus causing them less damage.

    Another thing is, are the birds you're considering being bred for showing, or to the standard for the breed? Sometimes their broodiness increases and/or the number of eggs decreases as they are bred over generations.

    There are of course other factors to consider. You should be able to learn most or all you want to know on BYC. Check out the established threads in this section, such as the Heritage RIR thread. I'm FAR from an expert on breeds, but there are a number of people on here who are.

    Happy chicken keeping!
  4. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Leghorns are well known for having the best feed to egg conversion ratio. They are small slender birds that lay 6+ very large white eggs every week. The roosters are small and slender, so are not worth much of anything for meat. Leghorns can be sexed very young, at 6-8 weeks by comb development. They also start laying very early, at 15-17 weeks. They tend to be a flighty high strung bird, not much of a pet. They do very well in hot climates.

    Rhode Island Reds are known for being very good brown egg layers. They'll lay 5+ very large brown eggs a week. They are a dual purpose breed, so roosters can also be raised for meat and butchered at about 20 weeks of age. They are a much calmer breed than Leghorns. They do well in hot and cold climates.

    Barred Rocks are known for being very good brown egg layers as well. Depending on the strain, they'll either be nearly as good, or just as good of layers as the RIR. They are a dual purpose breed, so roosters can also be raised for meat and butchered at about 20 weeks of age. They are a much calmer breed than Leghorns. They do well in hot and cold climates. They can be sexed by color at 6-8 weeks of age. Both sexes will be barred, however the males have finer barring and the females have wider barring. The females appear to be quite a bit darker than the males.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  5. frederic

    frederic New Egg

    Dec 16, 2012
    Thank you very much for your replies.
    It's like I was understanding regarding the RIR and the Barred Rock, almost the same quality. So it's about choice or raising both breed. I will read about The RIR heritage.
    It seem that Leghorn are more difficult breed than the others and RIR or Barred Rock would be enough for eggs production at small scale (I don't think I will get in SME egg production).

    Quote: Bresse, RIR and Barred Rock (I forgot the Leghorn, now) would bred for meat and eggs, not for showing . I don't know much on chicken genetic so I will try to stay with pure breed for these chicken. The RIR and Barred Rock are common now so I beleive it's not so difficult to find new line if needed.

    Thank you again

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by