Which should we choose?

Lashy

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
21
0
22
I am just finishing up building a coop that has 40 sq. ft of hen house space (with three laying boxes), and two connected outside areas (one in a gravel carport and one in grass) at 60 sq. ft for each outdoor area. We have three chicks (all different breeds, but not sure sure which - they came from the co-op) that are almost 2 months old. We would like to get a couple adult layers to start getting eggs now. We have a couple options from craigslist to choose from. Looking for advice on which would be good based on what is now available. Would probably limit it to two or three at the most. Live around Seattle area if that makes a difference. Here is all I know about what is available:

1 - Copper Maran aprox. 2 yrs
2 - Buckeye approx 1 yr
1 - White Orpington approx 21 months old
2 - Buff Orpingtons approx 21 months old
2 - Speckled Sussex approx 21 months old
2 - Barred Rocks approx 21 months old

Any suggestions?
 

Angiebubs

Songster
8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
2,335
82
226
Amery, WI WI/MN border
I am just finishing up building a coop that has 40 sq. ft of hen house space (with three laying boxes), and two connected outside areas (one in a gravel carport and one in grass) at 60 sq. ft for each outdoor area. We have three chicks (all different breeds, but not sure sure which - they came from the co-op) that are almost 2 months old. We would like to get a couple adult layers to start getting eggs now. We have a couple options from craigslist to choose from. Looking for advice on which would be good based on what is now available. Would probably limit it to two or three at the most. Live around Seattle area if that makes a difference. Here is all I know about what is available:

1 - Copper Maran aprox. 2 yrs Will give you nice chocolate brown eggs
2 - Buckeye approx 1 yr Haven't had this breed
1 - White Orpington approx 21 months old I have Lavender, Black and buff orpingtons-sweet lil busy bodies! And they have laid more than what I have read..daily or every other day
2 - Buff Orpingtons approx 21 months old
2 - Speckled Sussex approx 21 months old I have one-shes very curious about everything and wants to be right in the middle of what I am doing. I cant speak to egg laying as I cant tell which ones she is laying.
2 - Barred Rocks approx 21 months old One of the first chicken breeds I started out with. "Debbie" is very calm, gentle, laid back.

Any suggestions?
Just my two cents in red above! :) If it was me I would probably go with: 1 maran, 1 Orpington, 1 Speckled Sussex, and 1 BR! (Yes chicken math-you say "2-3" and come home with 4!)
 

ve

Crowing
12 Years
Jan 27, 2009
1,931
136
286
Palmetto GA
Buckeye is younger then others, if is nice healthy looking I will not miss it. Marans are not very good layers. I will not get 2 year old Marans.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
675
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
The following advice is just my opinion and given that you have a very small flock, I can see how it might not be practical to follow this advice. However, I give it anyway, in the hopes that it makes you recognize the importance of purchasing healthy chickens and quarantining for awhile.

There are MANY diseases chickens can get. Respiratory disease that you cannot see until they seem to have a cold later on (this would likely be chronic respiratory disease) - it renders them asymptomatic carriers in some diseases and then they pass your 4 week recommended quarantine.

In other words, it is worth every amount of effort you can possibly muster to avoid buying anything but healthy chicks, or grown chickens from a respected breeder or friend who you know has healthy chickens.

Also I recommend treating new hens (not baby chicks from a feed store) for mites and lice with poultry dust and repeat in 7 days for mites, and 14 days for lice (treat them anyway, even if you don't see the mites).

In addition, chickens get worms after exposure to soil long enough. I could tell you a horror story of my own about that- buying chickens on Craigslist with worms. It is absolutely so stressful to bring home disease/parasites to your healthy babies. There are other diseases, too, that would make a grown man cry as he saw his flock health decimated.

Here is what I would do if I were you:
Buy from respected breeders/friends only OR buy more chicks and do the egg wait.

If you do buy from a stranger you may want to consider putting in one of your healthy chickens with them after quarantine to see if she gets sick. Definitely something to ask would be if they are healthy and if they have ever been exposed to chickens who have colds (or have they had colds themselves).

I hope this helps! As for the breeds, I'd hold out for younger chickens if I were you. You are looking for eggs, and while chickens will often stop laying after moving to a new coop, if they are young they should pick back up again if healthy. If they are already 2 years old they will slow down and your flock is quite small.

Edited to add: I personally feel more comfortable with BYC'ers as a whole and thus if I were in the market for a grown chicken I'd look to BYC'ers but of course this is no guarantee. Go BYC'ers!
love.gif
 
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Mitchell Farm

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 21, 2013
88
3
43
Buffs are sweet, docile, good layers of brown eggs, great dual purpose breed (if you are interested in butchering later) and they do go broody if you are interested in hens raising there own chicks. Of the breeds you listed, I would personally choose the Buffs.
 

Lashy

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
21
0
22
Thank you all for your input! I appreciate your honesty and opinions, and can say that i really don't know what I'm going to do yet. Being impatient, I really, don't like the idea of the egg wait. However, I also don't want to get a potentially sick chicken or two, either... Anyway, thanks again!
 

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