Wyandotte vs. Brahma help!

Bantimna

Songster
10 Years
Sep 29, 2009
5,089
23
241
South Africa
I can't choose between the two.
Wyandottes are pretty and cute
Brahmas are too pretty and cute.

I thought about getting both but I can't, here is the reason.
SA doesn't have any Hatcheries other than Broiler or Production Layers.
So if you are looking for purebreds then you have to go to a Breeder.
Now most breeders don't have more than three breeds, that they breed, and some might have five different breeds.
I can't find anyone near enough with Brahmas and Wyandottes. And I can buy from two different sources, but I've heard that it isn't hygienically safe to mix birds from different sources. And everyone sells young adults or Adults.
So now I've got to choose between two of my favorite breeds. My qeustions are to you:

Are Wyandottes reliable layers?
Are Brahmas reliable layers?
Which would you choose?
And why?
 

CelticMoon1

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
362
22
131
My Wyandottes have by far been better layers than my Brahma, plus I've had my Brahma breaking eggs by either stepping on them or sitting on them too heavily (she must be the clumsiest bird ever...). With Brahmas having feathered legs you'd need to be extra observant to discover scaly leg mites, and some people trim their feet feathers so they won't get so dirty. So: If I had to choose, I'd choose Wyandottes
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(you can tell from my sig line, can't you?)

You can still get both from different breeders though, you just need to keep them separately for appr 4 weeks (quaranteened) as people do when they bring new chooks into their flock.
 

CelticMoon1

Songster
10 Years
Jul 25, 2009
362
22
131
Well they're both docile to my experience (some will say Wyandottes are not, they are basing that on their experience with hatchery birds, which you've said you don't have in S-A. We don't have hatcheries here either, and my experience with both birds are that they are docile and get along well with other chickens.)

My Brahma would take longer breaks from laying, and lay fewer eggs a year than the Wyandottes. And our Wyandottes' eggs are larger than the Brahma's.

As for the "etc",
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Neither is flighty, the Brahmas are a bit larger than the Wyandottes... So, my "pro Wyandottes list":

-Steady layers
-Docile
-Pretty colours
-Non-feathered legs that are easier to keep clean
-Good foragers
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,070
19,450
857
Southeast Louisiana
Brahmas take longer to mature. You will not get eggs as early with Brahmas as you would Wyandottes.

Since Brahmas are larger, the feed to egg conversion is not as efficient as Wyandottes. Same for feed to meat conversion if you are interested in eating them. If they are foraging for food instead of you buying the feed, this probably does not matter to you.

Could you get hatching eggs and buy or borrow an incubator? That would solve the mixing flocks problem.

You can get chickens from different sources and combine them. People successfully do it all the time. Some quarantine and some don't. In some circumstances I strongly recommend quarantine. In some circumstances, I think it is a waste of time and effort. Let me try to explain.

When you quarantine a chicken, you are looking to see if it develops any symptoms of disease or infection by parasites before you put it with the rest of your flock. The parasites, like mites, lice, and worms, are always a threat to your flock. If you keep chickens long,you are highly likely to see them. They can get them from wild birds or eating earthworms, snails, or slugs. If your chickens get mites, lice, or worms, it is not life-threatening as long as you pay attention and treat when they show up. I rate parasites as certainly possible they could br carrying them but the consequences are pretty low as long as you treat when the symptoms show up. Whether you quarantine or not, you should always observe closely when you combine the birds.

A chicken can have a disease, be a carrier for that disease, yet have an immunity to that disease. Coccidiosis is a great example, although there are others. If a chicken has the cocci protazoa internally and has developedan immunity to it, you can keep it quarantined forever and never know it. The only time you will know is when you combine the flocks and the other chickens come down with it. Or if a chicken has been vaccinated for a disease, say Marek's, it can be a carrier but never exhibit the symptoms of that disease. In these cases, quarantine is of no benefit. If you do get chickens you should ask for a vaccination history, by the way.

What you are most likely to gain out of quarantine is, if the chicken has recently been exposed to a new disease or infection in a recent time period, you may catch that disease before you introduce it to the rest of your flock. If the flock the chickens are coming from has not been exposed to a potential infecting source, the odds of you finding something in quarantine is pretty low. There is a risk that you might find something by quarantine, even in a chicken from a closed flock. I am not saying there is no risk. The chickens may have been exposed to something during shipping or a wild bird may have brought in an infection.

If a breeder has introduced new chickens to his/her flock in the last couple of months, has taken any of his/herchickens to a chicken show, or exposed them to other chickens at all in the last two months, I think quarantine is certainly called for. If the chickens are coming from closed flocks where they have not been exposed to outside chickens fro a couple of months, I probably would not quarantine. There is a risk but I think the risk is low and the potential benefits of quarantiine, for me, are not worth it .

When I add new blood to my flock, I'll use hatching eggs, not living birds, mainly because of the risk of introducing diseases.
 

Sonoran Silkies

Flock Mistress
11 Years
Jan 4, 2009
20,149
438
421
Tempe, Arizona
The one wyandotte we had was from a breeder. He was fairly flightly. I have had brahmas from breeders and feedstore (hatchery originally). I love them--great birds, they forage quite well. Very personable breed. There must be someone out there who doesn't like them, but I've never heard anyone say they don't; everyone who has had them that I've ever heard give an opinion has been very favourable.
 

paduanchook

Songster
12 Years
Jan 17, 2008
209
6
131
McDavid Florida
I have both and like them both. But the brahmas for me are easier to manage. They don't stray very far, are very quiet and very friendly, to big to be flighty, and are gentle with the kids. But they don't lay as well as thw wyandottes so get both breeds, it adds variety!
 

Illia

Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
16,240
243
336
Forks, WA
Okay so I'm already outvoted, but I'll still say - I would choose Brahmas. I mean, it all depends on how much you actually want to bond with your chickens, but in my experience of my 10 Silver Laced Wyandottes - They began laying their eggs at just the same age my Brahmas did, and yes, they lay more than my Brahmas do - But their eggs are smaller, they're no where near as friendly, they're very argumenative, they had the nickname of "the gang" for 6 months because of their very selfish but group-like behaviors, and they're quite loud and not too friendly, even as chicks. Oh and they have the carelessness of kicking other chicken's eggs out of the nest box, especially if it is another Wyandotte's - And then they lay theirs. I have more broken Wyandotte eggs than any other breed, especially Brahmas.

My Brahmas actually have very good sized, tough-shelled eggs, and lay almost every day except for a couple months in the winter, and are very protective when laying or broody. They're extremely friendly, very sociable, and certainly not prone to be at the bottom of the totem pole. They're also, in my opinion, more attractive when it comes to hatchery quality. Hatchery Wyandottes are just sooo off with their skinny bodies, erect and thin tails, and not too amazing lacing on their feathers.

This doesn't mean I don't like my Wyandottes - They're quite funny at times because of their bickering and odd personalities, and they're very hardy and lay plenty of eggs - They just aren't the kind I'd love in an instant, and they're not really the kind that will even let me touch them. Plus, I looove feathered feet, large bodies, and those heads. . . Aaah Brahmas.
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