"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark."

~ Saying of the Gladdagh Gypsies of Galway

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Chicken Decision

Okay, folks. Hubby and I have come to a decsion - I think - on the breed(s) of chickens we are going to get and how many. Remember, we are first timers in the backyard poultry neck of the woods and I have a slight fear of anything with feathers.

My husband has some prior experience as he had an aunt that raised poultry when he was younger. And I guess he has the advanatge of not having any fear either :)

We have decided on the Golden Buff ...

The Golden Buff, I am told, is a good beginner hen because of their docile nature. It seems the Barred Rock is very similar. And for whatever reason, we feel the need to have two different breeds rather than just one! I have some concerns though; like the Barred Rock hens being almost double the size of the Golden Buff - will this be an issue? Will they gang up on the Golden Buffs?

We've also decided that we'll start with 8 hens (dear god please let them all end up being hens!!). We'll do four of each breed.

So, for those of you experienced with egg layers, do these sounds like wise breed choices for us? Does 8 sound like a nice # to start with? What kind of feed do you recommend?

And the final question still stumping us, taking into consideration the weather in our area, when is a good time to bring these chicks home? April?


Nancy said...

Hi, Allison... thought I would drop by and visit and see how you are doing.

Chickens, huh? You sure you don't have enough to do already? Just kidding. Chickens are fun.

We have barred rocks and a few other various breeds that have survived over the past few years. Black stars I believe. We had a buff orpington and she was a lovely hen. You will like them.

I've usually gotten my chicks in April, so I don't have to spend and arm and a leg running the brooder lamp. As far as feed, we go with the un-medicated. Especially if you have your chicks vaccinated, you don't want or need medicated feed (they sometimes call it crumbles or chick starter.)

Let me know if you need any more info. Nice to see you are still bloggin. :)

Kim said...

So you are getting chickens? I think you will love them! My advice would be this. I didn't care for my barred rocks simply because they weren't very pretty. The roosters are gorgeous but the hens not so much. They are good layers though. Our first chickens were white rocks, buff rocks, and barred rocks. Since we have raised Polish, Americanas, and New Hampshire Reds. The New Hampshire Reds and the Americanas are my FAVORITE. I don't know about the Golden Buffs (I'm assuming those are Buff Orphingtons?) If I were you, I would throw in some Americanas instead of Barred and that way you can have some green eggs. After two years, I still love finding those in the nest boxes.
Also, be sure to tell them "no warmers" or you might end up with extras that are more than likely roos.

Unknown said...

Kim - I thought about Americanas because I'd love the green eggs but would the be good for a timid beginner?

Bee Girl said...

Our Americaunas are super docile. I think the trick is, with any hen, to handle her, a lot, from the beginning. Pick 'em up, hand feed them, carry them around, pet them, sit with them in the yard...whatever you can do to make them comfortable with you :-)

City Sister said...

We have tried americaunas and have our first ones after several starts now...they are tricky to get out of the chick stage and have them correctly sexed...We always keep sex link (red or black star) so we are guaranteed to have hens.