Your Ideal Flock....of only 4 birds!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by child_of_air, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. child_of_air

    child_of_air Chirping

    Okay, so because of ordinances in my area, I'm only allowed to have 4 chickens total. (I know, it's terrible, isn't it?!)

    We will finally be moving from a 950 ft apartment in Southern California to a large house with some land in the San Bernardino mountains. I'm so, so excited because I've never been able to keep chickens before! (Not possible in an apartment with 3 cats.) I've been researching like crazy and bought several books about chickens. There is already a large fence on the property, so we plan to free range our chickens when we're home, but they'll have a very large coop with a run otherwise.

    I've done a lot of research on the topic of breeds- but many times the info about the breed isn't always accurate or is incomplete by some of the breeders and hatcheries, and I also hear a good deal about people getting different breeds than what they ordered. I also see posts about particular breeds that are known for their broodiness or their friendliness, but being complete opposites of that. So, I decided to ask all you experienced chicken lovers out there. My question is, if you could choose only 4 birds, what 4 birds would you choose to create your flock, and why? What breeds have the had the best experiences with? And what do you think are the best qualities for an ideal flock?
    OhZark Biddies likes this.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Live in The Cuckoo's Nest

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Buff Orpington because they are good producers long into their lives and are all around good birds.

    Barnevelder because they are good quiet sturdy birds that lay darker eggs.

    Easter egger for that extra something different.

    Salmon faverolle because they are gentle nice chickens with an interesting look.
  3. silly4buttons

    silly4buttons Songster

    Jul 5, 2013
    Billerica Ma
    Congratulations chickens are so much fun
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Live in The Cuckoo's Nest

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I forgot to add that I have tried many different breeds and have a large diverse flock. It would be difficult to keep only 4 chickens for me. :)

    I would have different answers if the flock was bantams. Cochins, d'uccle, Easter eggers, and more cochins would be my answer.
  5. bblynn_chicken

    bblynn_chicken Chirping

    Jun 27, 2018
    Isa Brown, Barred Plymouth Rock, Easter Egger, and a Buff Orpington. All beautiful chickens with great laying skills!!! I would also like to add, but I too sadly have a limit of four chickens due to living in the city.
  6. Noellereagan

    Noellereagan Songster

    Jun 20, 2018
    Big Bend, Wisconsin
    It would be difficult to keep only 4 chickens for me. :)

    Me tooooooo!!!!
  7. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

    Aug 1, 2015
    My Coop
    All Chanteclers, honestly. I'm not as much for the mixed flock look as some other people. (Somehow, I still have ended up with a mixed flock, despite continually downsizing. A chicken problem? Me?) They are the perfect bird for me. They are large in size, great layers, cold hardy, not flighty---yet range wary, occasionally broody, and beautiful. Being in California, they definitely wouldn't be good for you. They are not good in heat.

    As a 2nd pick, and as a first suggestion for you, I'd get at least a few Leghorns. They lay an egg nearly every day, are intelligent, hardy, and can take care of themselves. They aren't my main breed, but they almost were. There were a few factors, but the biggest one is because of their combs. The Whites get frostbite, and I don't really like the look of the rose combed varieties. They aren't very broody which is good for constant egg production.

    I've had 20--30 breeds and varieties. In general, most of them were 'just chickens' and would have worked fine. Leghorns and Chanteclers just happen to be two breeds that constantly stand out to me.

    Qualities in my ideal flock would be the exact description of the Chantecler. I need docile-ish birds that don't pick on the others yet have enough spunk to survive the winters. Many a docile bird has just laid down and died because it didn't have enough fight to keep going. They need to have firm feathering that still has large quantities of down, and a small comb, especially on the males. They need to be good layers (no slackerbutts, they need to pay the rent) and if they're big enough to eat the extras, that's a nice thing too. They have to be smart. I was originally going to work with Sultans but they were just so stupid. Even with trimmed crests.

    I also own Ameraucanas. I think they're quite pretty, but they need a lot of work before I'd recommend them to anyone. They're a pretty rare variety, so I'm sure that doesn't help. Maybe a nice line of Blacks or Whites would be better.
  8. Noellereagan

    Noellereagan Songster

    Jun 20, 2018
    Big Bend, Wisconsin
    Can you have a rooster?
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  9. AlleysChicks

    AlleysChicks Enabler

    Oct 10, 2016
    Southern Ohio
    For Eggs: Cream Legbar, Olive Egger, splash Andalusian and a Blue Maran.

    For fun: frizzle bantam Cochin, Porcelain D’Uccle, Silkie, and a smooth bantam Cochin.
  10. Ursuline Chick

    Ursuline Chick Crossing the Road

    Jul 21, 2017
    We have kept Marans and have been very happy with the large brown yummy eggs. They are easy to keep as yard birds. If you are interested I use Cypress Duck Farm here in Louisiana, very nice man who ships to the states. Good luck Check out their internet site.
    puffypoo22 likes this.

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