Good breeds for beginners

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by creeperolie, Sep 2, 2012.

  1. creeperolie

    creeperolie New Member

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    Hi, I am very interested in getting a mixed flock of around 4 chickens (due to low amount of space). I would like high egg production (280+ per year), and they have to be fine in confinement. Low maintenance is essential (hardy birds are needed due to living in the cold south cost of the U.K), and it is not necessary for them to be 'meat birds', as I will not be slaughtering them. I have already looked on many apps and websites, and I really just want to know answers from personal experience. Any places selling POL chickens around Dorset (around Poole would be perfect) would be appreciated.
     
  2. cindy

    cindy New Member

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    red sexlinks I have 12 they lay daily, easy to care for and not at all skittish
     

  3. creeperolie

    creeperolie New Member

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    Thanks I was thinking about getting sex links but red ones are rare around me-I have only seen amber and white. Are sussex good too? I am thinking about buying 2 sex links, 1 Sussex and 1
    Bovans Goldline, but I'm not sure if they will be ok with each other.
     
  4. annlouise

    annlouise New Member

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    i have a sussex and can highly recommend them mine is a great layer(well she was before she went on maternity leave) very easy going too. only thing is she is very vocal although that might just be mine luckily my neighbours love my hens like they are their own and don't mind when they strike up!! make great mama hens too if you choose to hatch your own!!
     
  5. Roslyn

    Roslyn A Round American Woman

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    Black Australorps have some of the highest numbers of per year production. In your neck of the woods you would probably find hybrids or sussex most popular.

    Any bird can be kept in confinement, but I would not take a free range raised hen and try to confine her, she won't be happy and will stress herself. It's best to get peeps and only give them their space, but be sure it's big enough or they turn on each other and can do quite a bit of damage.
     
  6. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Active Member

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    No, the vocalizations are not just your birds. I have 2 Silkies, 1 APA Ameraucana, and 1 Buff Leghorn. All but the Partridge Silkie are loud announcing their lays and sometimes for 10-20 minutes afterwards. My littlest Silkie will squawk for several hours before she finally lays her egg and then for another 20 minutes after. She paces all around the yard and stresses all the time squawking and will refuse treats because she is so agitated to get that egg out. The other Silkie is so quiet and calmly sits in her nestbox til she lays her egg and seldom announces it.
     
  7. realsis

    realsis New Member

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    I HIGHLY recommend silkies. I love the breed so much that my whole flock is silkies. What I've experienced with silkies is that mine have been calm and gentle natured they love to cuddle and lay on my lap. They purr when they are happy. They are gentle with each other and don't fight. Although they do have a pecking order like all chickens. Mine are mostly very quiet . When they do talk they are not as loud as other breeds . They do lay smaller eggs but they can keep up with the best when it comes to laying. At least my can. They are very friendly and easy to train. Also they are so cute. Here is a pic of one of my girls. She is about 5 months old in this picture. I wouldn't trade my silkies for a million dollars. They bring so much joy into my life. What I've noticed is each one will have their own unique personality! I doubt you would regret it if you started with silkies! They love to be handled and are true teddy bears of the chicken world!

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Chicken Forum mobile app
     

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  8. hellofromtexas

    hellofromtexas New Member

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    Silkies may not be the way to go for egg production. Sweet breed, great brooder, but not the 4 eggs a week bird.
     
  9. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Active Member

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    If eggs is all you want and not dual purpose, then go w/ straight egg-layers because dual purpose birds will eat you out of house and home. Of course Leghorns and Barred Rocks (Amrocks) are THE best layers in the world but if you get freezing temperatures then you wouldn't want to deal w/ frostbite on combs and wattles of these breeds. American Dominiques are a lighter weight barred fowl, good foragers, lay brown eggs about 4-5 week, good tempered, good feed-to-egg ratio, and have small rose combs. I personally love Sussex for all around sweet temperament and eggs, however they are large dual purpose & eaters. I and my chicken friends avoid the sex-links because hi-production large size egg layers have a lot of laying problems plus the poor things are exhausted by age 2. Not humane IMO. I am impressed about everything I researched about the Amberlinks or Amber Star hybrid - not usually more than 5 lbs but excellent layers and not huge combs. Our Silkies are high productivity except when broody which is often unfortunately but we're glad they take broody rests from too much egg production. If you are in the U.K. your English tailed Araucana is similar to our Ameraucana and Easter Eggers and are prolific layers of good-sized blue or greenish eggs, have the very small combs, and usually don't go broody so they have excellent egg production. We never get anything smaller than 2.25 oz from our pullet. They are about 5 lbs as pullets and my friend has used her excess and mean Ameraucana cockerels for soup. Whatever you choose as egg-layers be mindful of whether you want to deal with large frostbite comb issues as I don't care to. Good luck - Smiles :)