Chicken breed advice please

Discussion in 'Pig and Poultry' started by hendrebc, May 17, 2019.

  1. We have always run a few ex layers from a friends place for our own eggs but about 6 months ago a fox came and did what they do and we have been chickenless even since. Daughter is getting quite keen on farm stuff and animals especially (even though she's barley 2) so thought of getting some 'proper' chickens for her to be able to help with when she is here and be able to maybe breed a few chicks next year. Maybe.
    I have a proper wooden shed with attached run and am going to make a Joel salatin style run that I can move about the field near the house to keep them in most of the time but they will probably come back to the shed with the run in winter.
    What I don't know is anything about breeds of chickens. Plan is to go to this place
    http://www.pwllhalogfarm.co.uk/chickens/
    And I was thinking to get 2 or 3, of the copper comets because they are meant to lay all year and are hardy. Might be persuaded to get a cockerel to go with them. Maybe. And probably get a couple of something else for variety some blue or white egg ones or something. Does anyone have any experience of the copper comet hens? Or is there something else better on that list. Or somewhere else if it's sort of North Wales area but not too far.
    I hope this chicken breed thread doesn't go the same way as the suckler cow breed threads do :bag::ROFLMAO:
     
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  2. Jameshenry

    Jameshenry Member

    Location:
    Cornwall
    Black rock or rhode rock have always done me well and continue to lay good eggs for a few years
     
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  3. Lincs Lass

    Lincs Lass Member

    Location:
    north lincs
    Welsummers ,Morans,Light sussex are prolific layers ,,White stars lay blue eggs
    Wyandottes come in a multitude of colors and sizes and are ideal back garden birds
     
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  4. Should have included the list in the op.
    Breeds available at this place are
    Amber whites, black rocks, black tails, bluebells, Cheshire blue, copper comets, light Sussex, russet blue, speckledy, White Star leghorn, warrens and isa browns.
    There is a list and a brief description on them on the website which is about all I know about chicken breeds :oops:
     
  5. Lili

    Lili Member

    Calder ranger/Colombian Blacktail (or whatever the current name for them is) are very quiet, good egg layers and are easily handled by small children.
     
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  6. suffolksmallholder

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Copper or cuckoo Marans. Lovely brown eggs, good table birds too. An old breed.
    SS
     
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  7. LincsLongwool

    LincsLongwool Member

    Location:
    N.Lincs
    Battery Hens are good to rescue and tend to be cheap.

    Sussex and Wyandottes are good breeds.
     
    hendrebc likes this.
  8. All those are hybrids, apart from the Light Sussex.

    No purebreed will lay like a modern hybrid, which are all based on the Rhode Island Red or Leghorn.

    If you want variety of egg colour, a hybrid with some Maran will give you a dark brown egg and a hybrid with Araucana will give you blue/green eggs.
     
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  9. Blaithin

    Blaithin Member

    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    If you want a neat heritage breed you’re better to search private breeders. Marans here are known as sh!t layers, maybe different lines there. Expensive because of egg colour and then hardly lay. Good eating though.

    Wyandotte’s are pretty but I’ve had some mean Wyandotte Roos. I love my Cochins. Big, beautiful, ok layers until they all decide they want to hatch eggs and go broody. Not a mean bone in any of the roosters. Might want to keep quieter breeds like that in mind for the little one. No fun being attached by a mean bird. If you’re going to have a rooster he might as well be nice.
     
    hendrebc likes this.
  10. Thanks. That's a good point about the mean cockerel I hadn't thought of that. I can just give it a kick but the cockerel might be about the same size as her it would be more of a wrestling match :ROFLMAO:
    Maybe one of them is a bad idea.
     
  11. Lili

    Lili Member

    Having once had a small child floored by an agressive cockerel - (and that was the end of him) I would recommend you keep just the hens. If you want chicks a couple of bantams and some hatching eggs are a safer option.
     
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  12. Paddington

    Paddington Member

    Location:
    Soggy Shropshire
    Our local supplier does Beechwood Blues, pretty hens which seem to lay well. Bear in mind if a fox gets in he will go for the expensive hens first and leave the £1 ex battery jobs last.
     
  13. suffolksmallholder

    Location:
    Suffolk
    Our Marans lay in cycles. They don't lay much in the winter but hey, what bird does unless it is a hybrid? They don't lay so much in the times when they are going broody, as they have laid all they are going to and now want to sit, but at any other time we have a surplus of both birds and eggs. 50/50 stock with the excess hens being sold at the point of lay and all except those folk who want the occasional cockerell and these then going into the freezer. Nice cockerells, not vicious except to other cockerells. We keep about 40 hens in two flocks with a copper cockerell and a cuckoo cockerell.
    Perhaps the sh*t laying guff is from folk who really should have gone for a different breed rather than a 'good-all-rounder?' Remember these are very traditional old breed birds not interbred to produce 'more' of anything.

    We have a very steady market for both bird and egg. Guests here write that the eggs I provide from our flocks are the 'tastiest' they have ever eaten......... Some 200 guests can't be wrong! What more do you need? Masses of bland tasteless eggs or the afore? I rest my case(y)
    SS
     
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  14. When I first got hens when I was about 12 a family friend dropped off a maran cockerel to go with them. I did hatch some eggs from the ex battery hens and him and got one female chick from the bloody lot all the rest were cockerels :banghead:
    She started laying quite well but a fox got her not long after :( I did consider more marans thinking about old 'chief' as he was called but I haven't seen any for sale anywhere.
     
  15. Flyfisher93

    Flyfisher93 New Member

    Columbian black tail, as mentioned above great wee birds. Much the same it seems as an isa brown we had too. Seek to me like your wee boy standard brown hen. Lays very regularly and is quite friendly. We have a few Leghorns. Apparently they are the birds used commercially in the states. They lay just as much as the isa brown/columbian black tail but of course the eggs are white. But they are quite skittish and mainly keep out your road so maybe not great for a young kid.

    The legbars will lay blue eggs. Sold in the shops as cotswold legbars. They look quite a bit bigger these birds and only lay about half the time as the big layers mentioned above. An egg every 2nd day with the legbars really but with the others it's close to every day. The legbars are skittish too and easily spooked.

    Maybe that wee bit of info will help. Thanks

    Jamie
     
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  16. Flyfisher93

    Flyfisher93 New Member

    Cant edit my post to sort my error out but I'm just saying that it seems as though columbian black tails/isa brown hens are much the same thing. Can anyone advise on that ?
     
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  17. There are about 8 different trade names for the same hybrid, created from the same base breeds.
     
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  18. suffolksmallholder

    Location:
    Suffolk
    I thought columbian black was something to smoke!:LOL:
    SS
     
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