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Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:18 pm
by panda007
Hi everyone - I hope you can help me with the decision of choosing the right breed for our new coop. We are total newbies to chicken keeping, so want to get a suitable breed for a beginner. We are thinking we would like a breed that is friendly, okay with kids, will give us a reasonable amount of eggs and preferbly not broody. Suggestions with pros and cons would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :-)

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:39 am
by Marina
Generally the heavy breeds will meet these requirements. They tend to be calm, most lay reasonably well. I see you are in Rangiora. I'm in Christchurch and I hope to have day-old Black Orpington pullets for sale soon. It's a nice project for children to raise them from chicks, they can live outside (at this time of year) from 6 weeks old onwards. So you need a heat source for them for the first 4, maybe 5 weeks or so. These are Black Orpingtons from an excellent laying strain (not the huge exhibition strain I also have).

Other breeds that are likely to meet your requirements are Sussex (especially the Buff), Plymouth Rocks (especially the black and the buff), North Holland Blue, New Hampshire Red, Australorp. All heavy breed hens may go broody on occasion but some breeds are much more likely to do so than others. Wyandottes are the most likely of the heavy breeds to go broody. They look stunning, though.

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:36 pm
by sewren
I agree with Marina that the heavy breeds are best; light beeds tend to be a bits flappy (so possibly likely to scare children or flap in their face) and the commercial breeds can be a bit overly bold (ie pecky). Marina's orpingtons are lovely so I would definitely grab some of hers if you are able to raise chicks.

Sussex are one of my favourite breeds, and there are a few fun colour variations (light, buff, speckled, silver...) Mine are great, although do occasionally go broody, but not so much as some other breeds, e.g. wyandottes, do though, so not enough to worry me when it comes to their egg production). I also have North Holland Blue and Australorps, which have never gone broody. I also really like Welsummer, which are smaller than most heavy breeds, but are still calm and I find mine to be a friendly birds, good layer, and never broody.

Good luck with choosing a breed - this is a really fun task!! :)

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:27 am
by panda007
Thanks for all the info - very helpful. If we looked at getting the chicks, at what age are you able to tell the sex of them?

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:18 am
by Marina
Some chicks hatch colour coded for male and female or you can tell from the wing feather growth. With this particular strain of Black Orpingtons I can tell at hatching.

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 8:54 pm
by panda007
When will you have your chicks available?

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:42 pm
by Marina
How many are you after? I hope to have some within a fortnight.

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:15 am
by panda007
Hi Marina, I have sent you a PM.

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:35 pm
by panda007
Hi Marina
I have been trying to PM you since this afternoon (thurs), but it doesn't seem to be working. Is there another way I can contact you?
Thanks
Pip

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:47 pm
by Marina
It didn't work because I wasn't on the computer :oops:

I've replied now.

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:36 am
by Kracka
I would endorse Orpingtons - my kids loved them, big fluffy docile birds - we ended up with some in a run with the previous years Ag Day brown shavers and I found the Orpington eggs tasted HEAPS nicer than the shavers eggs, even though they were eating all the same food - it was like they were ready seasoned (salted), the shavers eggs were tasteless/watery.

Re: Choosing the right breed

PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:37 am
by Marina
Hi Kracka, how are you? Haven't seen you around for a while.

I, too, think heritage breed eggs in general taste a lot nicer than Shaver eggs but some people like the wobbly conistency of Shaver eggs. They are bred for lots of egg white and little yolk as egg white is commercially more valuable than the yolk (which happens to contain all the goodness).