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S/O Favorite chicken breeds?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote mommy2five0406070911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: S/O Favorite chicken breeds?
    Posted: 22 Feb 2012 at 11:28pm
I am looking forward to that bug control this year!!!  With the ducks and the chickens I should be set :)
Jenn wife to Jamie 5/05 & Mommy of Kai (8),Zay (6),Liv(4),Brady (3),Max (9 months)& 2 dogs and 7 puppies, 5 bunnies, 48 chickens, and 16 ducks!   to,488px)div
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 7308anne Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2012 at 10:59pm
well I am a RIR snob lol. my parents had them all of my growing up years and then add in a lot of different breeds when we had a hired hand that needed somewhere to put his so we have had about 15 different breeds. My reason for liking the RIR is how their eggs tast and how they dont bother you (exept roosters i never liked any roosters of any breed). We did have some trouble in the winter if the temp where below 0 for a long time then they would not lay as much but when my DH and I had some we never had that problem I think it was the feed (my dad hardly ever feed them becouse they would go out to the cow pins and eat) We did not feed them fancy just cracked corn and then oats in the winter. We did however have the best tasting, yok color, and production when my DH brought home his distillers truck and we would get the extra off the rails and such for them they loved that. One more reason to love chickens is the bug control I would never live in the country agian without them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote sunnymom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Feb 2012 at 9:51pm
I still giggle a little every time I read or hear "sex links".   :D I always think "bondage birds".

this is really interesting to read! Still torn between australorps, rir, a few americaunas, and barred rocks. We have time though (not moved yet).

Edited by sunnymom - 23 Feb 2012 at 4:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Quote northwind Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2012 at 3:03pm
I asked my dad how he's liking his Sex Links, and he says he likes them the best of any hens he's had.  They are much cleaner than his Barred  Rock flock - he said the eggs frequently don't need to be washed, because Sex Links don't poop in the roost the way the Barred Rocks did.

And - he said he may try incubating some eggs this spring for meeeee!!!! Yay!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mommy2five0406070911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2012 at 2:57pm
wow this is all so good to know.  I got such a variety coming right now.  My plan is to feel out these breeds this year to settle more on what I want next year for meat purposes, egg purposes, foraging ability, brooding, and calmness around my kids.  Thanks for all this info too because it helps alot!!
Jenn wife to Jamie 5/05 & Mommy of Kai (8),Zay (6),Liv(4),Brady (3),Max (9 months)& 2 dogs and 7 puppies, 5 bunnies, 48 chickens, and 16 ducks!   to,488px)div
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jessmomto2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2012 at 2:40pm
My first flock was a mix of Barred Rocks, RIR's, and something black.  The RIR's were bossy in that catch.  The black things were horrible mean creatures.  And the Barred Rocks were such nice souls but got bossed around easily.
 
My second flock was a dozen RIR's and they were great girls.  Never had any problems with someone ganging up on someone else.  They sold me on RIR's and though it may sound strange i miss them dearly.  They were so much fun and great company at a rough time in my life.  They layed all winter long and the cold or heat never seamed to bother them.
 
My current flock is mostly Golden Comets, along with some Ameraucanas and Silkies.  I have been a bit disappointed in my Golden Comets but i think it might be my fault.  I've never been impressed with how they handle extreme weather or the quality of their eggs and after doing a ton of research lately i think it's their feed.  So at some point this week we're going to be changing feeds and see if that makes a difference?  Otherwise they are good girls and i'm pleased with them personality wise.  My Ameraucanas are a mixed blessing.  Two are roosters with night and day personalities.  One is a good boy and one is aggressive to everyone but me.  The hen is a good girl.  When she was younger she was very skittish and easily bossed around, but once she reached laying age she became very friendly and doesn't let anyone boss her around.  I've read that's a typical Ameraucana hen personality.  She doesn't lay as well as the GC's but her colored eggs are beautiful in color, shape, and the quality.  Then we have the Silkie's.  They're hardier than i thought they'd be, but being roosters they're not terribly friendly, though they also aren't terribly aggressive with people either.  Since we seperated them the one has been no trouble, while the other tends to peck me if he's hungry in the morning when i try to get his feed dish.
 
Our new flock that we're adding this spring is going to be 4 each of Barred Rocks, RIR's, Ameraucanas, Buff Orpingtons, and Buff Brahmas, plus 2 "mystery chicks" that i hope are not Wyandottes or Leghorns or whatever those black colored savages were i had the first go around.  I've heard so many people complain about how Leghorns pick on others that i don't want them, and i've heard some things about Wyandottes that also make me pause about keeping them in a child tended flock, though they are pretty birds.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SEMama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Feb 2012 at 10:29am
We have 2 mutt hens that we love. They look like they may have some game bird or something in them and they are a bit small (*not* meat chickens) and lay small eggs but are very smart! My $ is on them to survive if we're ever not able to take care of them.

I have 6 barred rock hens. One of them has a name but I call the rest of them "the b*tches" b/c they are so stinkin mean to the other chickens. Granted, I'm pretty sure they are low quality hatchery stock, and I think that makes all the difference. Everyone else I know that has BRs loves them. They are great layers though!

I have 2 Buff Orpington hens. Again, low quality hatchery stock. Not the sweet cuddly birds that everyone else raves about. One of them is definitely the low man on the totem pole and seems to have an anxiety problem. She is about half the size of her "sister". We had another BO that just dropped dead one morning. They have been pretty skittish birds. I would love to try some higher quality orpingtons. They have been great layers as well.

I also have 2 Marans that lay chocolate eggs. They are a fairly new addition to our flock and aren't laying great but they might just be too stressed out from the "b*tches" pecking them all the time. One of them is very skittish and anxious. The other one is the most calm hen I own.

We also have 6 sussex chicks. Their father was a silver sussex and their moms were either silver, coronation, or light sussex but all the babies ended up with silver coloring. They are eating machines! They are about 8 weeks old and go through 25 lbs of chick starter A WEEK. They are huge though and should make pretty good meat birds. Very pretty. But, we have 3 roos and 3 pullets so atleast 2 of the roos is going to have to go (either get sold or go to freezer camp). They are probably the best quality stock of all our birds - I think their parents were imported from Australia.

one note about Australorps, everyone says how calm and gentle they are, so my SIL got several chicks last year. All of those chicks were babied right from the beginning and they have totally been my nephews pets. They ended up with one Roo and he was soooo sweet and cuddly. Until about a month ago. Now, he tries to flog my SIL everytime he gets near her. Especially when she is holding her baby.  I've heard the same about RIR roos as well so I'm very hesitant to ever have a RIR roo in my flock.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote mamab Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Feb 2012 at 11:29pm
our ameracauna is scrawny but is a great producer.  she seems a bit dim, but maybe it is because she is flighty.  
i like my plymouth rock the best.  she lays well, and is the friendliest.  but i socialized her well too when she was a chick.  
our buff orpington lays huge eggs regularly.  but she is very loud.  every morning first thing and several times throughout the day she just stands there squawking and squawking with all her might.  perhaps it is the huge egg she feels she is about to push out!  i like her meaty body and plush feathers, but i would need to see some other buffy's not being so loud before getting more.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 8:59pm
LOL, Katherine! I dream about chickens once in awhile.
Erin, happy wife of Jason (7/21/07) and mama to Abram (3/09) and Adrie (6/11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote J2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 8:31pm
oh how i wish.....

sadly, no chickens for us
Jenn

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Post Options Post Options   Quote ambrose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 8:22pm
Oh i totally forgot. All you chicken mamas got me dreaming about chickens:
 
I adopted one with a wounded foot. It was gorgeous and friendly. It was a wyandotte, but not like any wyandotte you've ever seen it had more "mod" style patterns on its feathers, grey on black.
 
I woke up before it ever laid.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horseymama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 8:04pm
It doesn't get crazy hot but we do have stretches where it's in the 90s for several days to a week at a time.

I've also wondered if they had been in a more ventilated coop if they would have laid better - they're in a converted shed with just the man door on one side and chicken door on the other for ventilation, so it must have been gross in there in the heat of summer. Maybe if the shed had a cupola and/or some fans they would have been happier?

IDK, they just haven't seemed to be very good producers all around. They certainly are gorgeous though, so it's a shame they haven't done better.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 5:48pm
Originally posted by Gotchickens Gotchickens wrote:

I looked up the Dominiques. Quite an interesting breed and very old too. Because they belong to the American Class you should find that their temperaments are similar to the RIRs. The only thing you may want to watch with them is overheating in the summer. Because their combs are rose instead of single they will not ventilate as much.

My favorite chicken breed is the Dutch Bantam. We have raised and shown them for years now. However the males are to aggressive to have with little children. So, we are going to try some Americauna's from a breeder. I think the blue eggs would be a fun!

Thanks so much for the info on the Doms! We don't have the coolest summers, and I know there have been some stretches of 95+ with high humidity (well, most of the summer it seems actually). I don't think they would fare well at all.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 3:32pm
That has just been my experience. I think it can vary depending on the breeder/hatchery. but the JG is supposed to be a very quiet, gentle bird.
Erin, happy wife of Jason (7/21/07) and mama to Abram (3/09) and Adrie (6/11)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ambrose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 3:27pm
Originally posted by erinchelsea erinchelsea wrote:

I still have a lot of breeds I want to try. Then after I've tried them all I'd like to narrow it down and just keep a few different ones and maybe try to breed some.
 
My best layers (as far as I can tell) are my Turkens, my Jersey Giant, and my Partridge rock. Turkens #1 by far.
 
Personality wise I love my Jersey Giant and my Brahmas. The Brahmas took forever to mature though and I'm still not positive how well they are laying so I probably wouldn't get those again although they are super sweet and gentle. The JG lets me pick her up and hold her a bit and she is so pretty with dark brown eyes.
 
Least favorites are probably the Wyandottes. I can't tell who of them is laying or not because I have a lot of those. They are not friendly though (not mean, just stand-offish)- especially the Silver Laced are very flighty.
 
Also the Dark Cornish are not friendly (just shy) and lay small eggs but 2 of the 3 have gone broody so far so if I wanted to set eggs I might like those. Right now I'm thinking of sending those to the stew pot though. Ermm 
hmm, interesting about the wyandottes. And i'm curious about the JGs. I might need to refresh my theoretical list!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 1:53pm
That is interesting about not laying in the heat, Erin. it doesn't get THAT hot where you live does it?
We never had trouble with any of our birds, not even the meat birds which have a bad reputation for dying from heat stress.
 
I think it's also interesting about the hawk. Sounds like the issue I have with our dog- he has only gotten ahold of Wyandottes so far. I believe it's because they are more flighty than our other girls.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote horseymama Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 1:47pm
Our close friends that have chickens have Dominiques and Speckled Sussex. The Sussex are awesome! Very sweet and friendly, good layers, very "chill." The Dominiques are much more flighty in comparison, not as smart, and have had a really hard time with the heat in summer. They lay a ton from Dec-March, then start to taper off and over the summer our friends were barely getting 1-3 eggs per day from 25 hens! (They're pretty sure those were from the Sussex - they have 3 or 4 Sussex, the rest Dominique.) The Dominiques sure are pretty but when we get chicks (maybe this year but most likely next year) we certainly won't be getting them!

They've also had problems with a hawk around which has gotten 5 or 6 of their chickens over the past couple months - all Dominiques, no Sussex. 

I think when we get chicks I'd like to try Sussex and Australorp. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote erinchelsea Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 12:16pm
Renee, that sounds like a great plan. I'd love to hear more about how you like the RIR.
 
Char- we can compare notes on our Aussies. When are you getting yours? We can't get chicks till May this year unfortunately.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote 4LittleMonkeys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jan 2012 at 7:07am
After alot of reading, I think we have settled on Austrolorps.  We may add in RIR and Leghorns too?
 
Austrolorps are unusually docile and unlike most breeds they are great layers AND make good eating chickens too (if we decided to go that route).
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote moonangel12 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jan 2012 at 11:09pm
I haven't tried the RIR as meat. One my 2 that I have stop laying we'll probably can them or use them in the crock pot. DH and I talked a bit more about it tonight and I think I am just going to stick with one breed - the RIRs. They have some straight runs coming in early April so I'll get 8 pullets early March, then a couple straight runs in hopes of a rooster (any other time I would hope for all pullets and get all roosters, now it'll be the other way around Tongue). I can somewhat establish my own heritage breed then, and in the future let them raise up their own chicks to continue the flock and also possibly provide a small income with eggs, chicks, and roosters to sell (and/or eat). I feel like it will be one more step closer to self sufficiency that way. Kind of bummed to not have the colorful variety running around, but for us it just makes more sense. I really hope they are as great as the ones I currently have. It sounds like there is a pretty big difference between the older breed and the newer one they have bred for high production. I think the newer ones are lighter colored which makes me think the ones I have are the older breed b/c they are a deep, rich brownish red. Very pretty.

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