What is y'alls favorite breed of chicken

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Ky hills

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Reserved some chickens today for when they come in March. Have been selling a few eggs lately, and kind of have in mind of trying to do a little more of that at the local farmers market, along with some produce. I am not really partial to any particular kind, seems like a lot of folks like brown eggs, while my mother prefers white leghorns. Our discussions have prompted me to wonder if other folks have a standby breed, and why.
 
We have red sexlinks. They're pretty Hardy. It ranges from -10 to 110 here and they've handled it well. Lay pretty nice sized eggs and have good personality's. We got a rooster, by luck from the hatchery, and he had to die, but the hens are pets.
 
The only thing that didn't become some kind of turd here is the Bannys. I have spent many a night and burned a buckboard of buckshot on keeping varmits off the Mrs. chickens.
 
You have a choice; commercial brown egg layers are sexlinks, there are red, goldens, blacks, comets, all sorts. They are all crosses that are bred just for laying. These are good standbys. They will lay good for about 2 years, then their production will fall off. All leghorns will lay white eggs, there are several color patterns but the commercial white leghorns are bred to be laying machines. Most will lay over 300 eggs in a cycle.
Then you can get into purebreds. There are many "heritage" breeds and there are several breeds that will lay these dark "chocolate brown eggs" , the blue egg layers, and then just your old fashioned brown and white egg laying breeds. One of the selling points at the farmers markets is to be able to sell the "breed" as well as the eggs. But you need to know and promote the breed if that is how you want to go .
I raise purebreds for show and the eggs are a sideline and for my own use. I did have black sexlinks for layers and ran about 100-150 as pasture run layers. They laid good. I like a standard breed for general purpose, like the plymouth rock breed that comes in many color patterns, the "barred rocks" being one of the most popular.
Most all the sexlinks will make good "soup chickens" when done laying, the leghorns will not have as much meat. The leghorns will be more flighty, the sex-links and heavier dual purpose breeds quieter.

If you have problems with predators, they will have to be penned at least at night. We have some real problems with eagles and they will pick them off. Also foxes and raccoons and such.
 
Farmerjan, your certainly an encyclopedia on chickens.

I have often thought about doing a semicommercial thing on free range chickens based on a mobile night time lock up caravan with the view to help fertilise my paddocks but then it does mean extra jobs to do feeding and locking up at night and collecting and marketing the eggs. I would like to do it but I am getting a bit old to give myself those extra jobs.

Ken
 
+1 on farmerjan expertise on the feathered fowls.
I would go broke here keeping them
breathing, locked the Mrs chickens up every night that was bait for
everything eating them during the day.
 
For yard chickens, any of the various Banty breeds, for eggs it would be leghorns, for strictly meat the old Cornish cross (cornishxwhite rock) is hard to beat. Since all I eat from them is young tender boneless chicken, i.e. eggs if I wanted to feed them it would be the pure egg layers. Other wise it would be Banties, I particularly like the looks of the golden and silver seabrights.
 
I crossed a white leghorn over black australorps one time and those were some egg laying machines and they did a pretty good job of taking care of themselves without being quite as flighty as pure leghorns. The eggs were barely tinted, though. I'd bet you could do the same thing with Delawares and get a brown egg.
 






Old English is what we've always had here. The owls and foxes wiped me out a few yrs ago but Ive eliminated part of the problem and will have a new flock this yr. They lay a large brown egg and pretty much self sufficient. They will roost in the barn rafters so that's an issue with having Them free range.
 
Farmerjan pretty much summed it up. I prefer the sex links, I just about have to kick them out of my way even when I turn them loose in the afternoon. Dash, I had some game birds one time, they do tend to roost higher in the trees, but the coons finally got them too.

If you want to keep the varmints away, get two or three spunky Jack Russell or Rat Terriers. They can't whip a coyote, but coons, mink, etc. won't tangle with them. If you have bigger problems, get a cur dog.
 
I have white leg horns. We raise ours. At first the were flighty now they jump up on the side of the pen to be petted . One of them even gets on my wife's shoulder like a dang parrot. We have 11 hens and get 10 to 11 eggs a day.. I built her a new chicken house for her birthday. I put cattle panel in the floor and covered it with dirt . Here's a picture of it before she finished staining it .
 
My favorite chickens are Rhode Island Reds. Got one by accident in a chick group from TSC. After that got some more and a rooster from a breeder in CALLMEFENCE's neck of the woods. I do have a chicken out there laying a green egg. Pretty cool. Forget what breed that one is. But Rhode Island Reds are sweet little birds, good egg layers and do well in the yard.
 
I have

Dominiques
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Buff Orpington
bufforp.jpg


Rhode Island Reds
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With a Dominique rooster - I am hoping for some hybrid vigor. Mine roam in a 4 or 5 acre fenced area. My dogs keep varmints away.

I'd pick RIR if I had to pick one. I don't feed my chickens at all during warm months. I feed cracked corn in the winter. They roost in the old barn with no heat and seem fine.

I want to add Australorp at some point.
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I'm doing pretty much Wyandottes. Silver lace and whites at the moment and have a couple golden lace cockerels to put on silver lace pullets to build that line. The wife loves egg colors so we have olive eggers, marans (chocolate eggs) and Wyandottes in the layer yard.
 

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