Chicken Breeds

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by Psyfalcon, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    I am thinking about chickens, but I don't think I want to do the one of each kind thing. I have a spot where I can do a 4x8ft run and put a raised 4x4 hen house in or above it for 3-4 chickens. Shaded in the summer but it gets some sun in the winter. Urban/ Suburban boundary so the main predators will be my own idiot dogs but there are some raccoon around. Rodents too.

    I figure they'll have a run with a house above it. If I can get the run secured, I was planning on leaving the house door open. During the day they can free range the yard as long as I can keep them out of the berries in season. 6 foot fence, but there are trees near the fence line. I see other chickens not escaping in similar situations though.

    Barred Rocks, very common around here.
    Red (RI, NH or Star?) maybe a little more flighty?
    Dominique? Classic, I can get them, but egg laying seems less than the others.
    Easter Eggers? Ugly tufts, and they seem to fly more than the others?

    This is Oregon, where we have 8 months of wet. Some say that the Orpington isn't as good in that situation.
     
  2. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

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    [​IMG]

    I actually know nothing about chickens but come on... :p
     
  3. Greenmagick

    Greenmagick New Member

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    I actually think the tufts on ameracaunas are beautiful. I really like black sex-linked for personality as well. There are really so many cool breeds, I would say if egg laying isnt super high priority (meaning you dont have to have top of the line production) just go for looks. The frizzles and silkies and polishes are all IMO really cool looking but they are hard to find sexed.
     
  4. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    No fuzzy chickens.

    No fuzzy dogs, no fuzzy chickens :p
     
  5. SevenSins

    SevenSins APBTs & One Crazy Banana

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    Well fine then. More muppet chickens for me. LOL
     
  6. frostfell

    frostfell Kung Pow Fish

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    Silver laced Wyandottes?
     
  7. Maliraptor

    Maliraptor Bite me.

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    We have three baby silver laced wyandottes here. Four black sex links, two Easter eggers. I hated the tufts on the Ee but surprisingly they are my favorites growing up. Everyone is 3-4 weeks old. We lost one SLW last week very sad. They are fun.
     
  8. lovemypayne

    lovemypayne New Member

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    We have several different breeds but the black sex-links are good egg layers and by far the most 'broody' of all our chickens. This is great if you're looking to raise some baby chicks :D!
     
  9. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Silkies do terrible in our climate anyway unless you keep them in a covered hutch. Their feathers are not waterproof, and their leg fuzz gets all muddy and they just look miserable most of the year.

    Black Australorps do AWESOME here in the NW. They're a giant heavy bodied layer. They are super dog tame and very mellow with smaller birds so tend not to be bullies. They're great layers, and because they are heavier bodied than leghorns and other traditional layers they produce more consistently in cold weather.

    Sex links in general, and the "star" laying varieties are all really good producers. The ones I've had were really good natured too.

    Barred rocks can get tame, I've noticed they tend to be more "bitey". They don't run up and attack by any means, but when you're handling them they'll just peck and bite at you. Not enough to bother and adult but something to think about if you have little kids that want to play with the birds.

    Some more exotic birds that are good layers:

    Speckled sussex, also a good table bird
    [​IMG]

    There are lots of leghorn color varieties. They're a good old standard chicken. A lot of the phoenix in the USA are good layers because the original onagadori imports were saved by a leghorn breeder named Daniel Boone, who crossed them with his show birds to eliminate some terminal genetic diseases. If you're getting only hens, they don't have the long dragging tales and they tend to be more mellow than pure leghorns.

    Egyptian fayoumis are reported to be incredible early layers, have never owned them so I can't report any personal experience.
    [​IMG]

    Then there are some that are just pretty. Black sumatras have ancestry that goes back to red and green junglefowl. I find them to be a lot more intelligent than the majority of farm chickens. Plus their feathers have an incredibly beautiful rainbow sheen like you see on an oil slick. They get really personable with handling and my hens were pretty good layers and great moms.
    [​IMG]

    If you want colorful eggs there are a lot of mixed chickens out there without the face tufts too. If you cross an araucana with a white egg layer you will get blue egg laying birds. Crossed with a brown egg layer will give you green eggs. Check craigslist and you might find someone with a mixed flock selling pullets or chicks that fit what you're looking for. :)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013
  10. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    I think I am going to look at the RIRs tomorrow.

    Limited by city rules to 3 production is winning out. Limited by city rules, I don't want something too dog like when they stop laying eggs ;) Still tempted by the sex links though, since I can't have a rooster how do you replace a chick in 4mo. With an pullet? Probably shouldn't raise a single chick.

    CL does not have a lot of chicken related things right now. I don't expect they'll have a lot of pullets soon.

    I really want a Rhodebar but don't have $30 per chick ;)
     
  11. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Why not just get point of lay pullets from a local hatchery? They'll likely be about $8 each, and be a productive breed/strain that does well in your area.

    That way you don't have to worry about 1/3 chicks dying due to whatever and another's a rooster, etc. They'll be pretty plain-Jane and you won't have raised them from babies so if one is a dud/when they stop laying you won't feel so bad eating them.
     
  12. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    I don't think we have local hatcheries. Does make sense if I go for a more common breed though.

    CL has "pullets" for around $20.
     
  13. AmberH

    AmberH Member

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    I love bantam Cochins. My absolute favorite breed but not really the best if you're looking for layers.

    I had a couple of barred rock crosses. They were such pretty girls and very friendly! But my favorite girl is a red sex link. I call her Ophelia. She's actually very dog-like but gives nice, big, brown eggs.
     
  14. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Look for poultry auctions, you may be able to find a 'lot' for a good price.
     
  15. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Hmm... I'm in Vancouver, BC and that's how I got most of mine (they were 45 min drive). If there's anything I've learned about US, it's that if we have it in Canada, there's a better selection of it at a better price in the US :p. We heard about the place through word-of-mouth but it's in the yellowpages as well (it doesn't have a website).

    Our other source of birds was a Craigslist guy who was relaying retired layers from a commercial place for ~$7. One was a dud but some others were pretty good. I still have one and she's laid an egg a day for several years now.

    $20 seems like a hell of a lot for a run-of-the-mill hen.

    ETA: BTW, I have Bovans Browns.
     
  16. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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  17. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Craigslist is expensive for pullets, but I guarantee they sell at that price. Last year I made a small mint hatching eggs in a home made incubator and then selling 12 week old birds for $15 each. They go like hotcakes.

    Since there's a city limit, here's what I would do if you can't find three started birds that you like.

    Get some chicks, 6-12ish. Preferably sexed but at that number you should have at least three hens in the bunch.

    Raise them until they're well started. By 6-8 weeks they'll be feathered out, and when they're chicks there's really no difference between having 3 vs. 10 except that the more you have the warmer they keep each other so you don't have to worry about them as much when you start hardening them off to cooler temperatures.

    Anywhere between 6-12 weeks you should be able to sex them by sight (unless they're cochins, darn androgynous cochins...), have an idea of looks/personalities. Pick your three favorites. Put the rest up on craigslist for anywhere from $8-$15. I guarantee people will buy them. If you start with enough chicks you'll recoup all your startup money + some extra to buy feed for the keeper birds.

    ETA: I've been to Shanks hatchery in Hubbard, OR and they have really healthy birds. I think they're called Lazy 54 now. They carry a ton of different breeds.
     
  18. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    Looks like Shanks/Lazy54 closed.

    The local store gets them from Farwest and a non local hatchery.
     
  19. Psyfalcon

    Psyfalcon Fishies!

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    No plan survives first contact?

    2 Welsummer
    2 Orpington
    2 RIR

    Welsummers are 3 weeks, Orps should be 1 or 2, and the RIR are probably 1 week old (brought in last Fri, but could have been the week before). The older ones have the size, but the RIR are very feisty. A Welsummer grabbed a piece of pine and it was promptly stolen by a down covered chick.
     
  20. Xandra

    Xandra Active Member

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    Sounds like a nice little flock! You should post some pics soon!!

    I think you should keep them all unless you get a complaint :)
     

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