Which Breeds Would Be Good for a Newbie?

black_cat

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
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My favorites are leghorns, cochins, plymouth rocks, australorps, and *shudders with the effort of saying this* orpingtons. From what I understand, faverolles cockerels tend to be pretty calm. I would brood chicks from a hatchery and not hatch, because you are garunteed to end up with too many boys if you hatch your own.
the stuff in green is referencing something else, so don't worry about it, orps are a pretty good beginner breed. This is the one good thing i will say about orps, and the one time you'll hear me say it
Delawares and sussexs are pretty good as well.
 

nolotus

Chirping
Nov 13, 2020
76
164
63
You've gotten a ton of good advice. We first got chickens for eggs and because they're entertaining, so I was in your shoes not long ago. 50 chickens later, I have a few thoughts. Most have already been mentioned.

Nothing lays like a leghorn. You hear that a lot but it's true. If you don't like the pure white or want a less flighty version, there are a few colors and austrawhites are more docile - just leghorns mixed with australorp.

Unless you're going to be breeding a specific breed you like, don't be afraid of hybrids. Olive eggers, easter eggers, true blues and all the other hybrids get love here a lot for a reason. They're some of the most interesting birds.

I love orpingtons and brahmas. They're giant, beautiful, sweet - and they eat. A lot. Just keep in mind that larger breeds eat more and may lay less and what that means in feed cost/egg ratio - especially if you're softies like us and don't raise dual purpose birds to eat. I write this as someone with 10 very spoiled orpingtons.

Other than the leghorns for productivity, we really love a couple breeds. Cream legbars lay lots of blue eggs and have fun personalities. Barnevelders are beautiful, docile, and lay a darker brown. Wyandottes, rocks, etc are all great too but those 2 have stood out for us.

As for a rooster, temperament should be the primary criteria - especially if he's going with a mixed flock. There are so many options. A hybrid EE or OE roo might be worth considering. I like our lavender orpington roo but he's BIG. The best natured boys in our flock are our silkie roos. They're good to the girls and people - but they don't do much flock protecting when they can hardly see past their own crests. It just comes down to what you want/need.

Good luck figuring it out and enjoy the journey. It took us months of debating and our first birds ended up being a rare assortment from Meyer Hatchery - because we still couldn't decide on individual breeds. Kinda still want one of each.
Thanks for the really informative reply. Especially the note about rooster temperament.
So is the "50 chickens later" an example of chicken math? Should I prepare myself . . . and my long suffering spouse? And I'm glad to know that having trouble deciding is not just me! Thanks again! :D
 

black_cat

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
May 21, 2020
10,723
31,871
786
Connecticut
Thanks for the really informative reply. Especially the note about rooster temperament.
So is the "50 chickens later" an example of chicken math? Should I prepare myself . . . and my long suffering spouse? And I'm glad to know that having trouble deciding is not just me! Thanks again! :D
"50 chickens later" is DEFINITELY chicken math. Definitely prepare yourself.
perfect chicken meme.jpg
 

nolotus

Chirping
Nov 13, 2020
76
164
63
Delawares and sussexs are pretty good as well.
Thanks! I plan on getting chicks from a hatchery initially and not getting a straight run. I expect I'll want to do some incubating later. But who knows, I'm in the dark most of the time on what I will end up doing. Thanks for your take on the breeds! :)
 

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