Which breed would you recommend out of....

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by LisaChick1, Feb 20, 2015.

  1. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Were getting 4 new chicks and enjoy a variety in our flock. We have light brahmas, easter eggers, black auatrolourps, and golden laced wyandotte... We lost our buff orpington.

    Could I ask opinions of people's favorite breeds and why out of the list below we're considering? We are looking for somewhat heavier birds so they won't be as proned to flying into our garden lol, great egg layers, attractive appearance and of course fun personality is great but I know that can depend on the chicken itself. We live in Carmel Valley California where winters can get cold but no snow and summers are pretty hot... 75-100 but they are provided with shade.
    Here's what were looking at:

    1) barred or white rocks
    2)speckled Sussex
    3) Rhode Island Red
    4) buff or white orpingtons
    5) more brahmas (buff or dark)
    6) more wyandottes (silver or white
    7) red star
    8) New Hampshire red

    If you could just list your 3 or 4 favorite and maybe why, id so appreciate it!!!
    Thanks so much in advance!
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I like a mixed flock too.
    A couple points though. Generally and genetically speaking, the heavy size and egg production offset one another. There are good producing large breeds, RIRs, JGs, Orps, Rocks, etc. However, light breeds will often produce more for less feed input.
    Another thing is that the large heavy breeds you speak of were developed in cold climates and tend to suffer in heat.
    If I were you - which I'm not [​IMG], I would put some birds in the mix that can handle heat.

    Not counting the Brahma, the rest of your list produce pretty well.

    For heat and good production, I'd go for a Mediterranean breed. Minorcas are very large birds, wonderful production of huge eggs and handle heat.
    I also like Anconas, Leghorns and Spanish.
    Minorcas come in 3 colors and leghorns a wide variety of colors.
    My favorites are Penedesenca and Empordanesa. Of those, the Black Penedesenca is a DP variety of large very dark brown eggs, handles heat well, are easy to keep (low fences) and very alert (predator proof).
     
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  3. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much for all your great info!!! I guess I should have explained a little better... We don't necessarily want heavy weight breeds for any reason other than them flying over our fence into our organic garden... Lol!!! I don't mind what size they'll be were just hoping to find not so flighty hens.... like our easter eggers fly everywhere ... And our heat is usually about 75 up to 100 degrees but they are provided with shade and a huge run.... Does that change anything or would you still recommend the breeds you did? Sorry I wasn't more descriptive! Thank you again!! Oh and I was looking at leghorn too so maybe that is a good choice! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  4. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Is Carmel Valley nice weather or pretty cold? Comb type should be considered if you are cold weather.

    These are my thoughts on your list of breeds:

    1) barred or white rocks-- Barred Rocks --very nice birds, friendly. White Rocks also nice but the one I had seemed to attract alot of aerial predators.

    2)speckled Sussex - I love the look of the breed. I haven't had experience...but a BYC friend is not happy with his.

    3) Rhode Island Red- Prolific layer. Super friendly to humans. Not as friendly to flockmates. These are tendencies and there is bird-to-bird variations.

    4) buff or white orpingtons- Great birds to start with. Family Friendly. Tendency to broodiness.

    5) more brahmas (buff or dark)- No experience with these guys

    6) more wyandottes (silver or white-- Favorite bird in my flock right now. This bird is perfect for my climate. She also still is laying for me though getting older. Cute round shape. Favorite. Favorite. Favorite. The gold ones and Blue Laced Reds are gorgeous too, BTW.

    7) red star- No experience. but another prolific layer.

    8) New Hampshire red- Have a Roo and had a hen. These birds have a special place in my heart. He's excellent at leading my flock free ranging. Gentle with the hens from the start. Gorgeous golden red feathers with green shimmery tail. The Hen was beautiful. Great layer. Family Friendly as well. Just the wrong comb type for our cold winters. Otherwise I'd get more.

    Breeds I'm interested in now are for egg color and comb types: Ameraucanas, Marans, Welsummers, Olive Eggers.

    Edited to add that Another favorite of mine is the Black Australorp. She is thrifty on feed, loves to range and is always aware. She's an excellent layer. She does like to be broody from time to time. But she is super nice to her flock mates on the roost and never bullies. She's good with family, kids too but not overly friendly. Sort of shy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's OK, it's hard to get one's entire message across in a paragraph.

    I used to have Jersey Giants - Black, White and Blue. They're one of the largest breeds but it didn't keep them in. One blue hen would go over a 6 foot fence to get into the garden.
    Cochins and Brahmas may tend to stay inside a fence but aren't great producers.

    After 30+ breeds, I've found the easiest bird to confine are the Black Penedesencas.
    They're not flighty but are very skittish which some people misname as flighty. If pressed by a predator or strange person, they can fly 10' straight up. However if not pressed , they're quite content to reside inside a 3' fence. I keep a flock of roosters inside a 2' fence. They run like the wind and though they can fly, they prefer to run and when they see a fence, they don't even think about going over it.

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    Last edited: Feb 20, 2015
  6. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow thank you SOOO much! Our winters can sometimes hit mid 20s at night but usually aren't that bad.... All your info really helps! I have one golden laced wyandotte and she's adorable and lays an egg every day even through winter... In fact I hear an egg song now!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] I love my 2 black austrolourps too... They just started laying las week!
    The buff Orp
    barred rock
    Wyandottes and
    New Hampshire reds sound like winners
     
  7. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a gorgeous flock and eggs!!!! Are those the black Penedesencas? We do have a 7 ft tall fence around and only my younger girls tend to fly out so maybe when they get some more weight and mature a little more it won't happen as often [​IMG] I love those pictures! Definitely interested in that breed! Thank you!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    There's a couple guys in CA that have a pair or trios.
    Until a mink massacre last summer, I'm pretty sure I had the largest flock in the US.
    I'm slowly getting my numbers back up.
    You're winters aren't what I'd call cold at all so I'd go for more heat hardy. Even your summers aren't that extreme.
    In the last 2 years it has ranged from -19 to 110 F here so I need hardy birds.
     
  9. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! Yes that flock looks amazing! I'm laughing at myself about our weather... We live out in the mountains in town so everyone in monterey and Santa Cruz thinks we have such exteme weather... I needed to broaden my mind when I said cold and hot! Obviously compared to the rest of the world we have pretty mild climates! It has reached 120 here before but it's rare. 100's can be typical mid summer so I will look for more heat tolerant birds like you said! Thank you!!
     
  10. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    One thing I might add on prolific laying--it's great while it's happening...but these birds tend to "run out" at 1 1/2-2 years of age. If your looking for longevity in laying then the other breeds...that maybe have cycles of broodiness or take egg breaks...may be your best bet.
    I think also there is differences in Hatchery stock versus Breeders stock in this subject. Hatchery will breed to egg laying. Breeders will breed to show/body type and form.

    I hope that makes sense. I'm not sure if this is critical for you though, if you are just looking for a bird to stay put in a fence. [​IMG]
     

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