which chicken question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by marvun22, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    first, my flock is 9 buff orpington hens, 1 black australorp hen, 1 golden laced wyandotte hen, 2 new hampshire hens, 3 rhode island red hens, and 1 silver ameraucana rooster. i really like having lots of different colors in my flock. what chicken do you think i should have. im most likely getting 8 this spring. 1 has to be a rooster. i've already decided to get one white colored bird. which white bird would be best. they need to be cold hardy and i'd like if they produced lots of eggs. could someone help me decide the rest. i've also been thinking about: silver laced wyandotte, blue orpington. i'm ordering these from mypetchicken.com.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Where are you located?
    My favorite white bird is the White Minorca. A big bird with big white eggs and both cold and heat hardy.
    Welsummers lay beautiful eggs, very cold hardy but not so good in heat.
    I also like Anconas, Jersey Giants and Jaerhons.
    Maybe a more rare breed that you could also have a rooster with and help save the heritage.

    Whatever you get, I would have a rooster the same breed as your largest number of hens so you can raise pure birds.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2012
  3. marvun22

    marvun22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so you're suggesting i get a buff orpington rooster?
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That's what I was thinking as I was reading your first post.
    That way you'll know early on which are purebreds and the bulk of chicks will be. If you chose a roo from a breed you only have one or 2 hens of almost all your chicks will be barnyard mix.
    After all, orps tend to be broody so you may always be able to replenish your own flock and never need to buy more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2012
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    As far as I am concerned, unless you are breeding to show, breeding to the SOP to preserve the breed (which means you just keep one breed, no rainbow mix of colors), or you just want to, there is no reason to worry about keeping breeds pure if you are breeding them yourself. Do as you want about that. Just my opinion.

    As far as white colored birds, I really like the Delaware, but that is just personal preference. I've been happy with the ones I got but my goals might be different than yours. There are plenty of white birds out there that would do you quite well. One reason I mention the Delaware is that I don't see any barred birds in your current flock. The Delaware has barring. You don't see that in the Delaware except in the black feathers, but that may be a way to introduce barring into your flock. You would need to save a rooster from the Delaware to do that since a hen only gives barring to her sons.

    As far as which rooster, I'd suggest a red or buff one if you want to keep a color variety in the chicks. If you get a black rooster all your chicks are probably going to be black in the first generation. White is trickier. There are three different genes that can give you white and you don't always know which genes the rooster has. If the white rooster has black feathers in the tail and hackles, the white is probably coming from Silver, but an all-white bird is either dominant white or recessive white. You usually don't know which and they have different reactions in the color for the first generation. The white may totally disappear in the first generation or it may show up in strange places, like you may get a red chicken with a white tail. It just depends on what other genes are present from the hens.

    With your mix of hens, if you save a rooster from the chicks that is a cross, not a purebred, there are a lot of options as to what colors and patterns his chicks will have, especially if you mix him with other crossbreed chicks. If you know he is a cross with other colors in the mix, it does not matter if he is black or white. He could still father red or buff chicks. To me, that is one of the fun things about hatching chicks from a barnyard mix. You never know what color down the chicks will have or what color or pattern the adults will show.
     

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