Which breed(s) should we get?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mae.wes, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. mae.wes

    mae.wes New Egg

    Jan 25, 2011
    We are just starting out and have pretty much no chicken experience. I am originally from a rural area, but am more comfortable with a thousand pound steer than with a little hen. My husband and I now live in the city in Indianapolis, Indiana, so we have pretty hot summers and cold winters. We are thinking of getting 3 or 4 hens.

    Based on the information that I have found so far, we have narrowed it down to the following six:
    Australorp, Star, Plymouth Rock, Easter Eggers, Dominique, Orpington

    Which breed(s) would be best for our setting?
    And where should we get them from?

    Any insight you have to offer would be great!
  2. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    LOVE my orpingtons, quiet, peaceable, beautiful, good mothers, cold hardy..etc....
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have Orpingtons and Easter Eggers. They are wonderful. I used to have Golden Sex Links (they are like Red Stars), but they are a bit pecky and aggressive IMO. I sold them because of it.

    Henderson's chart might help you decide too.
  4. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Blue Ridge GA
    I wouldn't know but I got Buff Orpingtons because of their reputation for sweetness and good layers. Also, the rooster doesn't crow every five minutes and disturb the neighbor.
    In retrospect I might get a mixed group just for the variety and chance to know other breeds--but I love these girls/guy.
  5. ghulst

    ghulst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Zeeland Michigan
    If you want eggs get Isa Browns from Townline Hatchery.
  6. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    Partly depends on whether you want eggs, meat or both. Alsoon whether you plan to raise your own replacements. The sex links are pretty much just for eggs, not much meat on them. They lay like crazy, but after they turn two, production drops way, way down. If you go with a more traditional breed, you may get fewer eggs each week but they should continue to lay more steadily for a longer time than the sexlinks. If you want meat, get meat birds or dual purpose ( australorps or orpingtons should work). Dual purposebirds grow slower than meat birds but will have more flavor and you can get meat and eggs from the same flock, which may or may not be an advantage for you. Ask around before buying from a hatchery; sometimes even their dual purpose breeds have been selected more for egg production than for meat - if you want dual piurpose, make sure you are getting birds that will really fill both needs.

    My first birds are sex links and will be 3 years this spring. They still lay, but only at 50 percent or less of their first year production. I won't cull them, but I did buy new chicks last fall to replace them as layers.

    Most hatcheries have a comparison chart (I believe BYC does too) where you plug in the characteristics that you want and it tells you which breeds fit.

    Good luck!
  7. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    Don't forget Sussex,great personalities and very curious.
  8. Meara

    Meara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    Have you considered any of the bantams? They make great "city chickens".
  9. NeilV

    NeilV Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2010
    Tulsa, OK
    I doubt you'd go wrong with any of those. I personally like Austalorps and would encourage you to try at least one. How about a mix of an Austalorp, and Easter Egger of some type, a speckled Sussex, a Buff Orpington and a Barred Rock.

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