Which hens to buy? Looking for input.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jenniemig, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    Hopefully I've put this in the right place:)

    I am trying to chose which laying hens will suit my situation best. I have a premade coop on the way to house them when they are small, I'm working on the plans for the larger coop and run now. During the day they will have a 200'X200' area to free range, then at night and during bad weather they'll have an 8'X8' coop and 8'X12' run. I was only planning on 6-8 hens and would like to get a couple dozen eggs a week for our use, then if there are more leftover I'll share.

    I have only had chickens once before and didn't do much research on the breeds. I went to my local feed store and bought what they recommended. I had 2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Black Australorps, and 2 Araucanas. I liked the Reds because of the large eggs and their bold personality, but they were loud. The Australorps laid small eggs and we're very stand-off-ish. The Araucanas we beautiful birds but very timid. I did spend a lot of time with them, and handled them often from chicks to adults. The Reds always greeted me and stayed at my feet when I was in the yard.

    So, I would like to find a breed that are good layers, lay large eggs, relatively quiet so they don't blow my cover, and friendly. I want to include my 4 and 7 years old nieces, the 7 year old is scared of EVERYTHING.
     
  2. DavidKerk

    DavidKerk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 9, 2013
    Here are some good breeds for your situation:
    1. Leghorns. They are great layers of large eggs but may be moderately noisy.
    2. Wyandottes. They are good layers and have a bold personality. As far as I remember, they aren't very noisy.
    3. Australorps. I realize you had a bad experience, but I find this as a great breed. A little scared though.
    4. Orpington. They are O.K. layers and aren't noisy. They also are known to have good personalities and lay good in the cold.
    5. Barred Plymouth Rock (or Barred Rock): They are good layers and have a bold personality. Again, as far as I remember, they aren't noisy.
    6. Brahma. They are O.K. layers and aren't noisy. They are known to have good personalities.
    7. Amber Link (this is a hybrid- a mix of two breeds). They are great layers and have a bold personality but may be a little noisy.
    8. ISA Brown (another hybrid). They are great layers of large eggs. Bold personality but may be a little noisy.
    9. Sex-link (yet another hybrid). Have a bold personality and are great layers. May be a little noisy.
    All these breeds are easy to come across and should serve your purpose. I hope this helps!!!
     
  3. Wunjo

    Wunjo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My production reds are the sweetest things. They each lay one large egg a day in the spring, summer and fall. In the winter I was getting 2 eggs a day from 9 hens. My leghorns are flighty and skiddish.
     
  4. jenniemig

    jenniemig Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 28, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Thanks David, that's great information! I am teetering between Leghorns and Sex-Links, both will be at my local feed store in a couple of weeks. I did enjoy the Reds but BOY they we're very vocal.
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Massachusetts, USA
    I have buff orpingtons and speckeled sussex.

    THey lay a med-lg egg, 4-5 times a week and are great fun. BOth are usually a friendly bird if you play with them as chicks, and gentle types. Please remember that each breed will vary depending on which hatchery they come from.

    While these girls don't give huge eggs and don't lay every day, that also means they don't eat as much. My kids love playing with and dealing with the BO and SS, and the roosters are good boys.

    THee are English breeds and lay a light brown eggs. Great foragers and love to look around for goodies and help in the garden, grabbing worms when weeding.
     
  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    western PA
    My Coop
    -----
    You have room for 16 large adult fowl in that coop...figuring the proper 4 sq. ft. per bird inside.
    Outside its 10 q.. ft. per adult large fowl bird... so the only thing you would need to do is extend
    your 8 ft. wide yard by 8 more feet in length. Bingo, bango, bongo, you're all ready for a 16 bird flock.
    Or you could get artistic and divide the coop in 1/2. add a door ( and another 8x12 yard ) on the
    opposite wall and you have a nice 2 coop breeding set up. I love playing around with chicken math,
    smile. Always so neat to see how little it takes to expand a set-up.
    Best Success,
    Karen in western PA, USA
     

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