Breeds forum: Help? Going to get some hens....

 
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AlohaHoya
Mar 14, 2010 5:20 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
I know absolutely zip about chickens, but I like them and DH has ageed to building me a 'movable' coop 12x12 with a plastic cover... We want to be able to move it around, like a chicken tractor...but still put scraps and food in there. While our Chicken Chasing Lab is still around, we can't let them run lose.

SO... what makes certain chickens so much more desirable over others? I want them for eggs... We get alot of rain here, and I really don't know what makes one chicken better to have than another. Hopefully they will be happy here!!! I like the Silkies because I love wierd in any form....

Help? Really curious about the different breeds....
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porkpal
Mar 14, 2010 6:08 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
The Leghorns are probably the most prolific layers, but are not particularly friendly.
I am very fond of Buff Orpingtons. They lay large light brown eggs and are calm and friendly. Some of them tend to be rather talkative which might be a problem if you have near neighbors. Everyone has their favorites so you will probably get lots of recommendations.
Porkpal
AlohaHoya
Mar 14, 2010 6:46 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
I like chatting with hens... No neighbors... On the list. Of course, a lot has to do with what I can get here.....
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Imageflgardengurl
Mar 15, 2010 5:30 PM CST
Name: Lenette
Florida
You could probably start out by deciding what kind of eggs you want. Some lay brown eggs, some lay white eggs, some lay blue eggs and some lay easter eggs (blues, greens, pinks, creams etc.) There is not supposed to be any difference nutritionally between the different eggs. There probably is a difference nutritionally in the feed you feed the hens and thier eggs. Healthy hens =healthy eggs etc. Some good layers for brown eggs are Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and other Rock types, Orpingtons especially Buff Orps. Leghorns are great white egg layers but as said, they can be flighty/shy and not real friendly. Silkies will lay very small white eggs. The easter eggers (they are americauna crosses and will be sold by the hatcheries as aracaunas or americaunas) will lay the colored eggs and are friendly hardy chickens. The true/pure americaunas and aracaunas will lay light blue eggs.
Some chickens will like to sit on thier eggs this is known as broody hens. Buff Orpingtons and Silkies are known to be very broody. Most of the production type eggs layers such as Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns do not go broody as much.

You could check out some of the hatchery sites for good descriptions and photos of the different breeds to see what catches your eye. McMurray Hatchery has some good photos and descriptions. Also you could check out the Learning Section at backyardchickens.org They have a lot of good info for people just starting out as well as some nice coop designs.

Hope this helped a little and wasn't too confusing lol
Lenette
AlohaHoya
Mar 15, 2010 8:32 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Lenette....this was just the kind of information I was after! While I want some Silkies because they are so wierd....I really want happy laid back hens and the Buff Orps, I am told are good as are the Barred Rocks. Friends have them and I have met some personally I rather like. Just egg laying ones for me. I have a design of a coop put out by the UofH which is a breeze to build and costs around 250 for the material... Bob will make the laying boxes. Is it OK if the laying boxes are IN the coop. With the dog, we can't let them roam free...but we can move the coop around the orchard (2 acres).

I can't wait!!! It is really exciting!!!
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porkpal
Mar 15, 2010 10:14 PM CST
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Barred Rocks are friendly with people but often bully other breeds - especially the meek ones like Orpingtons. So you might not want to mix them.
Porkpal
AlohaHoya
Mar 15, 2010 11:21 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Interesting point. Thanks!
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Imageflgardengurl
Mar 19, 2010 5:17 PM CST
Name: Lenette
Florida
Hi, Yes you can put the boxes inside the coop or build it into the side with a door that you can open from the outside to get the eggs like in this design (scroll way down the page) http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=8389-coo...
I really like the french blue and white colors on this coop, I'm thinking of painting my new one that way.

Hey, you could always get a few silkies to mix in with the other egg layers. Haha! Beware, that's how you get addicted...a little of this...a little of that....:) Buff orps are a nice choice. We used to raise Barred Rocks but we didnt have any other chickens with them so I dont know if they are bossy lol. We just had some ducks and geese that ran around the yard with them then. I have some barred rock chicks now (2 pullets) I will have to keep an eye and see if they try to boss the others. Right now they are still little and get along okay.

It sounds like you are going to make a type of chicken tractor (moveable coop). That will be nice they can mow the lawn and fertilize as you move them. If you have a lot of predators around (hawks, owls, foxes, dogs, feral cats, raccoons etc.) be sure to use hardware cloth for the run. Many predators can easily chew through chicken wire. Also put wire over the top to prevent the Birds of Prey from getting them.
AlohaHoya
Mar 19, 2010 5:59 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Lenette...really good suggestions. Feral dogs and cats prey on fowl...as well as hawks and owls .... and people! Going to make a Hubble Bubble which is fast to make, inespensive and light weight. DH is an engineer so he can rig some wheels for it to roll on...or a sled to slide on.
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Imagecoconut
Mar 19, 2010 7:10 PM CST
Name: Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Zone 11
I can't find Hubble Bubble chicken coop on the www, could you post a link to what it looks like?
Melissa

AlohaHoya
Mar 19, 2010 10:56 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Oh...thought it might be on line.... let me check into it. I know the University here is 'pushing' it.....
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Melissa
Apr 5, 2010 8:22 PM CST
Name: Melissa
Did you find it Carol?

I vote for the buff orpingtons... I loved mine.
AlohaHoya
Apr 5, 2010 8:31 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Oh gosh...totally flew out of my mind. Let me check tomorrow...
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Melissa
Apr 5, 2010 8:50 PM CST
Name: Melissa
:) My mind does that often!

Have you totally decided what you're getting?? I had some Red Sex Links that had absolutely amazing personalities.... but the Buffs really are sweethearts. I have a couple girls from a Buff Roo with Leghorn Mom, and those two are the sweetest birds I have right now.... and lay a really pretty light brown egg. I usually put in a leghorn egg when I incubate so I can check their status... even though I seem to be a complete failure at hatching, I managed to hatch those sweet girls. LOL

One of them waits every night in the same spot for my husband to go to the barn, she then "hitches" a ride on his arm or shoulder, he carries her into the coop and locks it up. It's their nightly ritual. If she thinks he's not offering his arm to her quickly enough, she half flies half jumps towards his shoulder. Never a dull moment with Chickens around!!
AlohaHoya
Apr 5, 2010 11:29 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
I look forward to that! Yes, I think I am going for some Buffs, and some SexLinks (is there a difference with the colors?) Our daughter has one of each and they are fun!!! All of our animals have such personalities...so the chucks will have to fall in line!!! Thank you all for your help and encouragement!!!
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Melissa
Apr 6, 2010 6:58 PM CST
Name: Melissa
I had both red and black, the reds were a lot friendlier! :)
AlohaHoya
Apr 6, 2010 8:18 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
gOOD TO KNOW!!! tAHNKS
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dstarr
Apr 7, 2010 12:43 PM CST
Name: Debbie
Sealy, TX
Hi, Carol - I'm in the same boat. wondering which kind of chickens to get. I'm lucky, as I belong to the Guinea Fowl International Association and most of them also have chickens, so I got lots of first hand advice. I think all in all, the buff orpingtons are tops for me, too! I want sweet natured hens that will sit and hatch out some of my guinea eggs. While I adore my guineas, the mothering thing is not their strong suit! They'll sit and hatch (sometimes) but they don't understand that they can't then just let the little guys out in the tall, wet grass! Keets are especially delicate until they're approximately 3-5 weeks old, but then they catch up fast and earn their keep eating all kinds of bugs. My grasshopper population's really dwindled since getting my guineas, and they're a hoot to sit and watch! Hurray! Hilarious!
AlohaHoya
Apr 7, 2010 5:45 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
There is something so comforting about seeing a couple or more hens bobbing away on the lawn...and the cluckclucking is, to me, very comforting!!!

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dstarr
Apr 8, 2010 8:15 AM CST
Name: Debbie
Sealy, TX
I try to explain the restfulness I get deep in my soul when I look out over the gardens and see my guinea flock going about the business of bug eating and just hanging out. But the words don't seem to convey the feeling very well. I guess I'll just have to enjoy it and stop trying to explain! Smiling

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