We are going to be ordering some chickens with some friends of ours. They will be our ‘foster care’ for the chicks until they are ready to be outside full time (since we don’t have electricity right now for a heat lamp). Here are the breeds I am looking at: Buff Orpington, Sussex, Rhode Island, Ameraucana, Black Australorp, and Delaware. I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these breeds (we want generally good layers, but definitely gentle/”good with kids” breeds). Also, any books you might recommend for raising free-range chickens?

6 thoughts on “Chickens

  1. auracanas (ameraucana) are excellent layers and when raised by hand, extremely friendly. my ‘pet’ hen is an auracana. she follows me everywhere. we are considering going solely with them in the future because we like them so much.

    i also have buff orps and australorps. i’m not sure how good layers they are for us but the australorps have a great reputation for laying well. both breeds are very friendly when raised by hand.

  2. I had Speckled Sussex; they were gentle birds that I thought were good layers. Haven’t had any personal experience with the others but I’ve heard good things about Buff Orpingtons and not-so-good things about Rhode Island temperament.

  3. We’ve lost quite a few of those breeds when we free range our flock, but then again, we seem to have more predators per acre then anywhere else on earth – it’s ridiculous. :) Even around here though, black australorps seem to fare well – it’s a combo of the color and size I think, but the hawks don’t seem to bother them. I love your wee house!

  4. We have a coop that someone is giving us. It was barely used. They built this fantastic coop and had chickens in the city, then their neighbors complained and the city made them get rid of the chickens. So, we are getting the coop. We will probably fence in a large area for the chickens to run around during the day and then coop them at night. I am also going to attempt to train Suki to be a chicken guardian… we’ll see how that goes :-)

  5. Oh Chickens, What Fun! I would love to have some chickens- but my neihbors would probably get irritated. haha I can’t wait to hear about your babies.

  6. If you want I’ll have a couple of roosters to get rid of in a couple months. I’ll throw one in with the chicken coop. Also handy farm devices has plans for a small chick house that’s heated by an oil lamp. I havn’t tried it but I’ve also never had chicks.

    On of the reasons we got the roosters is to have fertile eggs so our chickens can raise their own and we don’t have to buy new ones every year. Most breeds have the nesting behavior breed out but not the buff orpingtons which are apparently good mothers.

    good luck

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