The Message Board for Pet Chicken People
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I am going to be getting some chickens (I'm an amatuer at this) and would like to know which chicken would be a good starter chicken for me. I was chased by Leghorns as a kid, so I really do not want that type! My chickens should be:
Will lay a few eggs; but not dozens of them
No crowing allowed!
I'm open to any and all suggestions. Yes, my friend has all of the equipment and buildings necessary, we just need some advice about kinds of chickens.
If they are going to be strictly pets then get bantams. They don't take up a lot of space, many are friendly and easy keepers. If you are not allowed to have roosters then you'll have to be in the market for started birds to make certain its females only.
If you want large fowl then you can purchase from most hatcheries sexed peeps. Every bird has a personality and even those that are docile can have one or two that have less than perfect personalities.
Yes, they will be pets, but live in the barn.
So I need to find Bantams that have already "started". what is started? sexed? Sorry I'm so ignorant.
Started=grown enough to know what sex they are.
I vote for silkies!!!!!
Rachy, you loon. Of course you'd vote for Silkies. Of course I would too but I would also vote for Silver Spangled Hamburgs.
Silkies, I have about 80 of them these days. Depending on their breeding they are not the easiest birds out there to raise. Some need hair cuts so they can see around them. Non bearded Silkies do far better free ranging since they can see better. Silkies that are highly bred for showing can be more problematic in caring for. Most have wonderful personalities but there is the occassional one that will tell you in no uncertain terms they are not pleased with you. I've had a roo latch on to my pant leg while feeding, I'd just keep walking dragging him behind me. Silkies can not fly so have a tougher time escaping predators.
The Hamburgs; I got them for the black and white flash. Knew nothing about them. Turns out I like them just fine. They're good yard birds, get along with my dogs. Will follow me around looking for hand outs, none of the six boys is aggressive.
You say the birds will be living in a barn, does that mean you don't want any crowing because you're afraid of roosters? Roosters are on guard and alarm when there is trouble in the area allowing the girls time to hide.
Your barn will also need to be fitted to keep predators out, owls are big for flying in to barns to snatch mice and chickens. Weasels have easy access to most barns. Winter is a consideration and keeping the birds warm enough to avoid things like frost bite.
Yes, the neighbors would not like crowing at 5 AM (crotchety old man) - but neither would I !!
The barn has a room-type setup inside. The chicken part has been double reinforced (with wood and fencing) for critters looking for a free dinner - raccoons, possums, skunks, armadillos, rabbits and hawks, eagles and owls. It's pretty much secure, but we will check for holes since it's been 5 years since chickens lived there.
After browsing this site, I think that barred rock and columbian rock chickens are what we are looking for. I also like the Wyandotte.
How many brands/types/kinds of chickens are there??? it seems like thousands!
How many chicks should I get? is 5 enough?
http://www.chickencrossing.org/breedlist.php lists information of different breeds.
My friendliest chickens are my Rhode Island Red (RIR) hen and my Speckled Sussex pullet. In case you don't know - - a pullet is a girl chicken before they start laying eggs, then they are called hens. Both of these will climb into my lap to get petted if I sit down outside. The RIR lays an egg almost every day. My Australorp hens are not particularily friendly (not unfriendly), but will fight to defend the flock from anything - like possums or other critters. The other girls run and hide. I think the most beautiful chickens are wyandottes. So many choices.
http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/ … hooks.html is one I use a lot also.
and of course all the hatcheries have lots of websites and pictures.
Here are my suggestions, http://www.chickencrossing.org/egglayers.php leave off the two breeds at the top, the rest are all friendly.
Add to the list Orpintons. Orpintons are among the most friendly.
I vote Brahmas or Opringtons...
Of course, my Red Stars are the sweetest, can live anywhere, are hardy in winter...although they do eat like pigs and lay a LOT of eggs.
Last edited by paganfish (01-30-2009 01:21:42)