Good chicken breeds--suggestions wanted : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I'm considering ordering some chicks this spring and was wondering what you all recommend. I already have Barred Rocks and have had Rhode Island Reds, Dominiques and Cochins. I don't want Bantams, I'm looking for a chicken that'll lay good during the winter and that has a calm disposition. I was considering Buff Orpingtons, does anyone have any experience with them? Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

-- Sharon (, January 12, 2002


all the girls in the house are a little hit and miss this time of year except for one - my white leghorn. one a day every day since she began laying. she's the smallest of the bunch and lays the largest egg. she's a peach.

I also have a pair of B. Orpingtons. they too are good layers and the most likely of my crew to go broody. real pretty too.

-- B. Lackie (, January 12, 2002.

right now,, RR are the only ones laying for me,, had most of them laying,, before the dawg

-- Stan (, January 12, 2002.

My Barred Rocks are doing a pretty good job as well as my Wyandots. I put a heat lamp in the hen house to keep their water thawed out and they have all started laying like crazy.....

-- Tana McCarter (, January 12, 2002.

My Buff Orpingtons are the best I've had so far. I have 10 and all of them are laying. I have enough eggs for myself plus plenty to see. They are quiet and calm and very-very-very broody, I have to make sure and watch them or they would all have a clutch of eggs right now, as it is I have two sitting on eggs. They started laying at 4 1/2 months old. They are pretty chickens and very hardy.George

-- george (, January 12, 2002.

if it's not inappropriate to ask in Sharon's thread...

how did that leg job work out on your chicken Stan?

-- B. Lackie (, January 12, 2002.

Red Star is doing pretty well for us this winter. We got them through Murray McMurray Hatchery.

-- Charleen in WNY (, January 12, 2002.

My Buff Orpingtons continue to do well, I initially bought them to be my broodies for this Spring, but they are so calm and egg consistent, that I am going to get some more chicks! Keep them dry and out of the wind and they will do well. I think their looser feathers allow for more warm-air-trapping-insulating effect. Whatever it is exactly, they have become my favorite. (My leghorn, New Hampshires and Barred Rocks are all doing well, with the leghorn producing the most regularly) BTW I ordered mine from Belt Hatchery in California,

-- Jim NE KY (, January 12, 2002.

I like Light Brahmas. They take longer to grow out, but once they start laying, they seem not to stop because of winter. We have no extra light or heat for them, but they are still laying. They are also beautiful.

-- Kim Bailey (, January 12, 2002.

I have 23 Rhode Island Red pullets that just started laying in October, and 6- 1 1/2 year old Polish hens and I'm averaging 24 eggs a day. I do supplement light in the winter tho. The RIRs are quiet, and gentle, the rooster is a wuss. The Polish are fairly quiet too, but they are not high on the list in the smarts department--even for chickens.

I'd like to get a few Buff Orpingtons in the spring because they are so pretty.

Stacy in NY

-- Stacy (, January 12, 2002.

Breeds are really a personal choice. What you want them for will help you choose a breed. I've had a variety of breeds thru the years. They all have laid eggs and hatched chicks all year around with no added heat or light.

Click the link for a chart that may be of some help:

Chart For Choosing Chook Breed

-- ~Rogo (, January 12, 2002.

My Buff Orpington rooster is very nice; has tolerated having a second rooster, (an Arucana,) added to the flock with no fighting even though he, (the Buff,) is HUGE. Buffs are good for dual-purpose; meat and eggs. The ones that lay the most for me, and most consistantly, are the Golden Sex Links. Look like a RIR only lighter, lay a very large med. brown egg, and are very docile. Advantage is: if you get a rooster of the same breed the chicks are red if female and white if male. My fav.s are the Arucana though. I like their green eggs. And they are pretty with their mixed colors to my eye. Shoot, they're all nice; I guess I'm not much help. :)

-- Leslie in MW OR (, January 13, 2002.

I did a good deal of research before deciding what breed I wanted. I settled on BUFF ORPINGTON. Thay have not disappointed me. All above comments are true. They are so gentle.

-- Buddy (, January 13, 2002.

My friend swares by Austrilorps (sp). I personally love Cochins. The day light hours effect laying or it may just be light in general. You could try a fullspectrum light in the coop.

-- Susan norhtern MN (, January 13, 2002.

there is a lot of difference in variouse strains among breeds but if you want eggs then you have to have the lighter hens like the leghorns or the hybrid crosses ,if you are hatching your own replacements selecting setting eggs from high producing hens will show an improvement in a short time ,so if you like a rare or just pretty breed and want to take the time it can be rewarding ,or if you are buying chicks get extra and cull any low producers early they taste good and it makes shure you have enough eggs

-- george darby (, January 13, 2002.

I have had Barred Rocks, Red Stars, Buff Orpingtons and this year, Black Australorps. The Australorps are supposed to be the highest producing of the heavy breeds, so I will have to wait and see next year, because all of these breeds lay well the first year of egg production, it is the second year, after a molt, that really tells the truth!!!

I have learned that no breed produces well at all after the second year, sell them then and have replacement pullets ready to start laying at the same time. There is no way that the hens pay for themselves after the second year, the eggs really drop off.

The Buff Orpingtons are a very beautiful bird, but then, so are the Black Australorps, they are beetle black with irridescent green tint to their tail feathers and backs, very gentle too.

-- Annie Miller in SE OH (, January 13, 2002.

Sharon, I would recommend that you try some Buff Orpingtons or Buff Rocks. They are gentle, lay well and make good mothers. I have buff orpingtons, buff rocks, black australorps, barred rocks, New Hampshire reds, Rhode Island reds, anconas, Black giants, Light brahmas, lots of bantams, several mixed offspring and some white leghorns. While the white leghorns, anconas and rhode island reds are more for egg production. I prefer the heavier breeds for duel purpose. If they are not laying well at the end of a year or two, you can always invite them to dinner! Good luck!

Rogo-Good web site!

Cowgirlone in OK

-- cowgirlone (, January 13, 2002.

For the best egg production, try either the white leghorn or brown leghorn. They are so productive, they will lay all winter long. Not as pretty as other breeds but hardy.

-- r.h. in okla. (, January 13, 2002.

Thanks everyone for your help. I think I'll get some Buff Orpington's and maybe a few of this & that's that I haven't had yet.

-- Sharon (, January 14, 2002.

I have had every kind of chicken imaginable and I'd have to say Red Stars are the best. They are a lighter chicken than say a Rhode Island Red, but alot like them. They start laying early and just keep on laying hot or cold. If you are planning on ordering straight run and butchering the cockerels then I'd go with a RIR otherwise Red Stars are the way to go. You'll save yourself money on feed too. One drawback is they won't set though. Hope this helps!

-- Joel Combs (, January 15, 2002.

If you have to get the maximum egg to feed ratio then go with one of the hybrids that many hatcheries sell like the Red Stars mentioned above.

Otherwise I'd go with the Buff Orps. They have a good rate of lay, are very mellow for chickens, and you can still get one to set a clutch of eggs occasionally.

I'm a Barred Rock man myself but haven't had one in years that'll set so I included some Buffs in my last chick order.


-- Alan (, January 15, 2002.

I have Silver Laced Wyandottes and Black Australorps. I love the Australorps. They are good layers and have nice temperments.

-- amy (, January 15, 2002.

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