Jan 1, 2014

Tips for Selecting Chicken Breeds-The Breed I Need!

When assembling a new flock of chickens, the enormous array of breeds available to choose from can be daunting, but it's important to make an informed decision about breeds in order to avoid disappointment for the chicken keeper as well as unnecessary challenges for the chickens. Some breeds do not fare well in certain climates, some are not a good choice for young children, some produce fewer eggs than others, etc.
When assembling a new flock of chickens, the enormous array of breeds available to choose from can be daunting, but it's important to make an informed decision about breeds in order to avoid disappointment for the chicken keeper as well as unnecessary challenges for the chickens. Some breeds do not fare well in certain climates, some are not a good choice for young children, some produce fewer eggs than others, etc. Below are some of the basic factors to consider in selecting breeds. After the basics are established, the field of  suitable breeds becomes much smaller and making choices becomes a much less daunting undertaking.
Below are some of the basic factors to consider in selecting breeds. After the basics are established, the field of  suitable breeds becomes much smaller and making choices becomes a much less daunting undertaking.
A Little Terminology
Most backyard chicken-keepers want laying hens, breeds that are reliable egg layers, not necessarily chickens that will be eaten, which are known as meat birds or table birds. When selecting breeds, the term "dual purpose" indicates that the breed of chicken is a good egg laying bird that may also be processed for meat. When good egg production is the objective, breeds that are known for being broody are not ideal because broody breeds often stop laying eggs in hopes of hatching chicks.
Freida is a White Silkie who would rather hatch eggs and raise chicks than do anything else and she is an amazing mother.
Freida is a White Silkie who would rather hatch eggs and
raise chicks than do anything else and she is an amazing mother.
Some breeds cope better with cold weather than others, these are often referred to as cold hardy breeds. Breeds that fare better in very warm climates are referred to as heat tolerant.
Some breeds cope better with cold weather than others, these are often referred to as cold hardy breeds. Breeds that fare better in very warm climates are referred to as heat tolerant.
1. Climate
Some breeds cope better with cold weather than others due to heavy feathering; these are referred to as cold hardy breeds. Breeds that fare better in very warm climates due to their lighter/shorter/sleeker feathering are referred to as heat tolerant.
Sussex are a cold hardy breed.
Kate is a Speckled Sussex.

COLD HARDY BREEDS commonly include: Ameraucanas, Araucanas, Australorps, Brahamas, Buckeyes, Chantecler, Cochins, Delaware, Dominique, Faverolles, Jersey Giants, Marans, Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, New Hampshire Reds, Sussex and Easter Eggers (a hybrid).
Silver Laced Wyandotte, a cold hardy breed.
Silver Laced Wyandotte, a cold hardy breed.
HEAT TOLERANT BREEDS commonly include: Andalusians, Appenzeller Spitzhaubens, Campines, Cornish, (NOT to be confused with Cornish Rocks, which are a meat hybrid) d'Uccles, Egyptian Fayoumis, Hamburgs, Leghorns, Modern Game, Minorcas, Naked Necks, Polish, Shamo, Sicilian Buttercups, Silkies, Spanish, Welsummers.
Dark Cornish hen, heat tolerant breed.
Dark Cornish hen, heat tolerant breed.
Silver Spangled Hamburg, a heat tolerant breed.
Silver Spangled Hamburg, a heat tolerant breed.
Minor frostbite on the comb of this Black Copper Marans rooster.
Minor frostbite on the comb of this Black Copper Marans rooster. 
Breeds with prominent combs can be expected to have more challenges with frostbite in very cold climates than breeds with smaller, less prominent combs. This is not to suggest that a heavy breed cannot live in a warm climate and a light breed cannot live in a cold climate, but seasonal accommodations would need to be made for birds better suited for a different climate such as in the case of the Marans rooster pictured above.
While each chicken is an individual with its own unique personality, generalizations can be made about breeds in much the same way as in dog breeds.
While each chicken is an individual with its own unique personality, generalizations can be made about breeds in much the same way as in dog breeds.
Kate is my Speckled Sussex. She is very friendly, inquisitive and docile.
2. Temperament
While each chicken is an individual with its own unique personality, generalizations can be made about breeds in much the same way as in dog breeds.  If a household has small children where a docile, friendly dog is preferred, a feisty Chihuahua is likely not the best choice; likewise, a Hamburg would probably not be a good breed choice if one is hoping for a mellow lap chicken. Chickens are often characterized as being docile, flighty, calm, friendly and bearing confinement well or not.
Stella, my Silver Spangled Hamburg is very flighty & doesn't bear confinement well.
Stella, my Silver Spangled Hamburg is very flighty & doesn't bear confinement well. 
Breeds from left to right: Barred Plymouth Rock, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Easter Egger,  Blue Ameraucanas.
Breeds from left to right: Barred Plymouth Rock, Golden Laced Wyandotte,
Easter Egger,  Blue Ameraucanas.
Barred Plymouth Rock
Barred Plymouth Rock
3. Egg Production Rate
The rate of egg production can also be generalized by breed. Some breeds are known for being prolific egg layers, producing 4 or more eggs per week, (Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, Hamburgs) while others lay less frequently (eg: Silkies and Seabrights). If a family of five relies upon the eggs collected from the backyard flock, Silkies are likely not the right choice. My Silkie didn't start laying eggs until she was 14 months old and averages five eggs per month. (she's an extreme example, however)
The rate of egg production can also be generalized by breed. Some breeds are known for being prolific egg layers, producing 4 or more eggs per week, (Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, Hamburgs) while others lay less frequently (eg: Silkies and Seabrights).
Blue laced red wyandotte
Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Silver Spangled Hamburg & Bantam frizzled Cochin.
4. Egg Color
Each chicken produces a different egg color based upon genetics.  For some people, a colorful array of eggs is an important factor in breed selection, others, not so much. There are blue, green, dark chocolate brown, white and every hue in between to choose from. My neighbor insists on having a white egg-laying breed in her flock for the sole purpose of coloring eggs at Easter, while I prefer breeds that will produce fabulously colored eggs every day.
This is a Blue Ameraucana- she produces beautiful blue eggs. Shop carefully for this purebred chicken as many breeders and hatcheries mis-label hybrid chickens as purebreds.
 This is a Blue Ameraucana- she produces beautiful blue eggs. Shop carefully for this purebred chicken as many breeders and hatcheries mis-label hybrid chickens as purebreds.
This is an Easter Egger, which is a hybrid mix obtained from crossing a blue egg-laying breed with a brown egg-laying breed. While Esther produced a blue-green egg, Easter Eggers can lay a wide variety of colors from light brown to blue, olive green and everything in between.
This is an Easter Egger, which is a hybrid mix obtained from crossing a blue egg-laying breed with a brown egg-laying breed. While Esther produced a blue-green egg, Easter Eggers can lay a wide variety of colors from light brown to blue, olive green and everything in between.
Black Copper Marans. This breed is capable of laying dark chocolate brown eggs
Black Copper Marans. This breed is capable of laying dark chocolate brown eggs.
These eggs were from my Marans pullets.
These eggs were from my Marans pullets.
Freida (White Silkie) with her Buff Orpington adopted chicks
Freida (White Silkie) with her Buff Orpington adopted chicks
Some breeds are predisposed to hatching eggs more frequently than others. If a high rate of egg production is important, a broody breed such as Silkie or Cochin may not be the best choice. If one wishes to have hens hatch and raise chicks, broodiness is very important and either Silkies or Cochins are excellent choices.
Monica, a Black Cochin Frizzle, is a breed known for being broody. 
Monica, a Black Cochin Frizzle, is a breed known for being broody. 

The Breed I Need
After the five primary considerations are taken into account, the selection process is fun!

Here are some of the fun breeds I felt I needed when chicken math set in!
White Crested Black Polish
White Crested Black Polish
Bantam Cochin Frizzle
Bantam Cochin Frizzle
My handsome Serama rooster. He was hatched from an egg I got from a breeder.
My handsome Serama rooster. He was hatched from an egg I got from a breeder.
The hen on the left is a Golden Laced Wyandotte
 The hen on the left is a Golden Laced Wyandotte
Columbian Wyandotte
Columbian Wyandotte
White Leghorn Pullet
White Leghorn pullet.
Australorp (going through a rough molt!)
Australorp (going through a rough molt!)
Bantam Welsummer pullet.
Bantam Welsumer pullet.
Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red
Bantam Buff Brahma
Bantam Buff Brahma
Red Sex Link
Red Sex Link
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Tips for Selecting Chicken Breeds-The Breed I Need!
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

243 comments :

  1. Grace Murray1/1/14, 3:52 PM

    I Need, need , need, an Easter egger!

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  2. Teri Robinson1/1/14, 3:53 PM

    Bantam Cochin Frizzle

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  3. Melissa Grover1/1/14, 3:53 PM

    That first shot of Freida is so dang cute!!!! Chickens, like pokemon for me ;-)

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  4. Joyce Zaleski1/1/14, 3:53 PM

    I wouldn't mind any of these chickens to add to my flock...as long as they looked as beautiful as yours :)

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  5. Sandy Scofield1/1/14, 3:53 PM

    The selector pointed me towards Wyandotte and Sussex. (daughter did not seem too pleased about Sussex's--I don't think I have met one?)

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  6. silver grey Dokings!

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  7. Rachael.IN1/1/14, 3:54 PM

    I would LOVE to have some blue laced red wyandottes!!!

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  8. Jenn Werner-Williams1/1/14, 3:55 PM

    I need black copper marans!! Love the dark egg color and cold hearty is a must here!

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  9. Paige Burton1/1/14, 3:56 PM

    I need the Polish breed!!!! I'm so in love with the looks. Egg production is no problem with us. I have Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns, EEs, Black Cochin, and Red Sex Links. I would love a Polish pair to add to the mix. I'm thinking Bantam not standard size. My hubby doesn't know it yet, but in the spring, there will be another coop going up and being filled up! HA! Thanks for all the great articles and advice!

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  10. Paula Langhorst1/1/14, 4:01 PM

    i need all! But would love a Polish.

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  11. Kelly Hartman Comboni1/1/14, 4:04 PM

    i think a polish may be in our future!

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  12. Julie Walter DeMoss1/1/14, 4:06 PM

    I need some Jersey Giants, some Plymouth Rocks, and some more black sex links

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  13. Kaesi Cook1/1/14, 4:07 PM

    I would love to add a couple of Light Sussex chickens to my flock.

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  14. I thought I had silkies but I now think they are a cross between a silkie and a polish crested, must post pictures!

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  15. mary carmen1/1/14, 4:08 PM

    I want a couple Easter Eggers, but no roosters, not allowed:(

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  16. Shelia Walker1/1/14, 4:09 PM

    I need a Bantam Cochin Frizzle!

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  17. Jennifer Doane1/1/14, 4:09 PM

    Oh there are so many I need! My starter flock consists of a Barred Rock, a black Australorp, a black English Orpington, a Silver laced Wyandotte, and a golden sex link. Someday I want a gold laced Wyandotte, a blue laced red Wyandotte, a Colombian Wyandotte, a silver penciled Plymouth rock, a partridge rock, a welsummer, a cream legbar, an ameraucana. Just a few! LOL

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  18. Tonnyo Wright1/1/14, 4:10 PM

    I like Marans and easter eggers.

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  19. Vera Ring Jones1/1/14, 4:14 PM

    I have had many of the breeds you mentioned and always have a hard time deciding which to order, but I need Wyandottes, as these are becoming my favorite for egg laying and wintering.

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  20. Michelle R.1/1/14, 4:15 PM

    I love my Golden Buffs...need more!!!

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  21. Elaine Schaefer Hudson1/1/14, 4:18 PM

    It looks like the Australorp and the Rhode Island Reds are a start for me... When I have to update my three girls.

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  22. R.R. Starr1/1/14, 4:22 PM

    I had wonderful results from using the breed selector tool at My Pet Chicken, except for the one chick that was mislabeled (I got a standoffish Silver Lace Wyandotte instead of the Barred Rock I wanted at the feed store). Since anything I feed and name is going to be a pet, I went for easygoing breeds that are prolific layers and can tolerate coop life.

    I am placing an order in the next few months for a Barred Rock, a Faverolle, and an Australorp to add to my mini-flock of two EE's, a Buff Orp, and the above mentioned SLW. I also want a couple of pocket chickens, so I am ordering a Silkie bantam, a Mille Fleur, and a Polish bantam. That will bring my chicken total up to 10, and give me three bantams to squee over!

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  23. Neil Stewart1/1/14, 4:26 PM

    I need Welsummers or Marans! Love the look of those dark brown eggs!

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  24. Graywood Community1/1/14, 4:28 PM

    I would love a frizzle. I also want colored egg layers: chocolate brown or blue. I've heard of lavender and pink eggs too but don't know what lays those eggs. I have 2 Easter eggers; one lays a blue egg and the other lays an olive egg. I don't NEED more chickens but if anything ever happens to the ones I have I would like more hens!

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  25. The breed(s) I need are the ones we already have...Rhode Island Red and Black Sexlink. I have to confess that the Black Sexlink is my favorite though!

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  26. David Bell1/1/14, 4:30 PM

    Easter egger

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  27. I do believe I need an easter egger!

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  28. Judy Soles1/1/14, 4:40 PM

    Barred Plymouth Rock is the breed for me. We want chickens for eggs mostly because our grandchildren love eggs for breakfast.

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  29. Hassan Hamza1/1/14, 4:42 PM

    Here in New York (where it is damn cold at the moment) I've got Buff Orpingtons, Black Jersey Giants and White Brahmas. They are all heavy breeds and have fairly small combs which is great for cold weather. They are also great layers even with the short winter days. They could also use that bag of feed because I'm getting low.

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  30. Joan Paprocki1/1/14, 4:43 PM

    Thanks for the info!

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  31. Kimberly Dianne Feifel1/1/14, 4:43 PM

    Need a Speckled Sussex! So cute!!

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  32. Black copper maran and welsummers!

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  33. Cami Naccarato1/1/14, 4:51 PM

    I NEED a Belgian D'Anver!!! ;-)

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  34. Kristina Nicole Richardson1/1/14, 4:54 PM

    I need sillkies, my husband wants some polish lol Really Any breed is good with me as long as it's a chicken :-)

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  35. We are aiming to keep Ameracauna and Marans.

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  36. Amy Dohmen1/1/14, 5:00 PM

    MUST have all white frizzled Polish Hen-always wanted a swedish flower hen-lavender orpington hen.

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  37. Sherry Shirley1/1/14, 5:02 PM

    Im glad i found you on facebook.

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  38. I need some Silkies....white, black and buff!

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  39. I need to have the Egyptian Fayoumis for my hot climate in FL.

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  40. I disagree with your egg tally for silkies as mine lay 6 per week when they are laying which is the same as my Black Copper Marans. If they are broody 50% of the time that's still 3 per week average. I am not to happy with the Black Copper Marans as they eat allot relative to the number and size eggs they produce; Silkies are much more economical. I would like to try an all white Polish or a Sultan

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  41. Diane Stevens1/1/14, 5:32 PM

    I NEED some BLRW's, and more Columbian Wyandottes:) I like to have pretty chickens lay eggs:) and my chicks only eat nutrena:)

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  42. Susan Grandy1/1/14, 5:35 PM

    I love them all. I can only afford the beauties from my local farm store.

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  43. Waynette Stone1/1/14, 5:40 PM

    I like to get more Silkies. I have one white hen and a young one and not sure what sex it is yet. Love them.

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  44. Leah Wilson1/1/14, 5:43 PM

    I need the buck eye breed for my cold upstate ny temps

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  45. Rachel Luse1/1/14, 6:04 PM

    I need my Wyandottes! can't wait for my chicks in the spring, just waiting to get the money and the breeders to put them in the incubators!

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  46. Melinda Vaikasiene1/1/14, 6:08 PM

    We are in need of Ameracuanas, for my 6 year old as he is dying for blue eggs. Loves the Eggers green ones already. I would like a few Murans and a Golden Laced Wyandotte and Columbian to round out our girls. Just put one of our Astralorps in the broody breaker. She has plucked out her chest feathers. Will below zero winds a coming to NVA, this is not the time to think about chicks. Great article!

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  47. Rhonda S. Phillips-Tenderholt1/1/14, 6:18 PM

    I need ALL Breeds. OK. I want aGolden Laced wyandotte the black ones are cool too, An Aracuna (sp), the Rhode Island Red, and...not sure. Thank you for the giveaway. Good luck everyone.

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  48. Rhonda S. Phillips-Tenderholt1/1/14, 6:23 PM

    I'd like to have the Golden Laced Wyandotte, and the black one too, the Rhode Island Red, the Aracuna (sp), and I'm not sure what else. Thanks for the giveaway. Good luck everyone. (sorry if double post. Said I didn't post before).

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  49. Definitely the blue Ameraucana. Beautiful bird, good size, friendly and the bonus-blue eggs!

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  50. I rally want some dark brown layers- Marans or Wellsummer. Most of what I have are production reds- they lay beautiful large eggs, but I want some variety.

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  51. R.m. Hamilton Wilson1/1/14, 6:44 PM

    I have several breeds but my favories are the Delewares & the Barred Rocks. Perfect persomalities and durability, great egg layers.

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  52. Katelyn Levanti1/1/14, 6:59 PM

    I definitely NEED an Easter Egger! I've been absolutely DYING to find colorful eggs in the coop!! Brown is beautiful, but blue would be exciting too!!

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  53. Monika Pynaker1/1/14, 7:01 PM

    Based on this article, I'm convinced I need some Golden Laced Wyandotte hens next spring. They are absolutely beautiful and would be perfect for my cold Wisconsin climate. They also sound like they'd be pretty friendly and I love chickens that will visit me on the deck for treats. I'm dreaming of them walking through my backyard gardens already!!

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  54. Amy Pickering1/1/14, 7:11 PM

    Delawares-but I will settle for some Barred Rocks. I might (read: probably) get both. ;)

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  55. Patricia Stowe1/1/14, 7:25 PM

    I thought reading this would make it easier. LOL...now I want one of each. ;) just kidding...thank you for the great info as always. We're planning on adding to our little flock in the spring and my son has his hear set on Orpingtons but I'd like to make sure that's the right breed for us.

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  56. cochin frizzle, silkie and a blue egg layer

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  57. I love Bantam Cochins! I don't have one but am hopefully getting one this weekend! I've never seen Monica! She's adorable! You should post more pictures of your less-known flock members. I love seeing everyone!

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  58. Schelli Nimz1/1/14, 7:34 PM

    Thank you for this post. We have 2 orps and a BSL..the BSL lays like a champ. We want to add 3 more to our small yard this Spring..the chicken breed picker helped give us some ideas. Need more of those fresh tasty eggs! Looking at maybe the Australorps for next year.

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  59. I have welsusmmers. I would love to have an Easter egger, but the import at thing is I need more :)

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  60. chickencrazy1/1/14, 7:43 PM

    Thank you for the information. I want one of each.......okay. probably not feasible. But I will be starting with 6-10 in a couple of months... and then from there.... look out! "Chicken math"

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  61. You write very informative articles in an interesting way. I love the pictures you always include too. Being new to backyard chickens, it would be great to win a prize here.

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  62. Paulinee Fitzhugh1/1/14, 7:48 PM

    I have not tried Nutrena before and would love too! Is it organic?

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  63. Kristin Withrow1/1/14, 7:50 PM

    We expanded from a micro flock of silver laced wyandottes to a mixed flock of Easter eggers, barred rocks, light brahmas and a buff Orpington. I can't tell who lays which eggs, except for the eggers' blue ones!

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  64. Kelly Bueker1/1/14, 7:51 PM

    I would love the chantelquer because of its cold hardy. The buff color is great for our area, white would be a bullseye for hawks here. kellybueker@ymail.com

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  65. Alison Drouillard1/1/14, 7:51 PM

    Polish. Absolutely love th hen

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  66. Allison Phillips1/1/14, 7:54 PM

    You have sold me on silkies. I have really fallen for them. May have to add two to the flock. I have 6 barred rock hens, one barred rock rooster, and one black frizzled cochin. Love them!

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  67. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 7:55 PM

    There is a variety of chicken feed forumulations, Paulinee.

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  68. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 7:55 PM

    Thank you! Welcome to chicken keeping and good luck!

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  69. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 7:56 PM

    That's how it goes! :D

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  70. Rachael.IN1/1/14, 8:00 PM

    I would love to have a BLR wyandotte or a frizzle.

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  71. I want many more varieties! I love love love your pics!!

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  72. Nancy Addington Tye1/1/14, 8:04 PM

    Due to it being so hot here in Texas I like the the Barred Rock or the Brahmas, which I have 3 light Brahmas and 1 Barred Rock hen and Rooster. I plan to get some gold Brahmas come spring.

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  73. Chris Price Kluge1/1/14, 8:06 PM

    Wyndotte.. Can't wait to get a couple =)

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  74. LaDonna Martin1/1/14, 8:07 PM

    I would like to have the White Face Black Spanish breed of chicken. They are such a beautiful and rare chicken breed.

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  75. Richard Sharp1/1/14, 8:08 PM

    Just a good brown egg layer that can stand Chicago winters.

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  76. Lori keith1/1/14, 8:18 PM

    Pretty sure I need a Cochin frizzle and maybe a .....

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  77. Vicki Ponichtera1/1/14, 8:18 PM

    I love the Silver Spangled Hamburg.

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  78. For our first set of chicks, we needed hens that can handle crazy Midwestern weather and are good producers -- we wanted chickens in the first place specifically for the homegrown eggs. Now that we have an established flock with good layers (average of 5-6 eggs/day for our family of 4 - yikes!), we're considering "needing" Silkies or Polish Frizzles to add to the group -- mainly for their looks. :)

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  79. I would love to add some lavender orpingtons!

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  80. We have a Rhode Island Red & Barred Plymouth Rock. They're perfect for us. Cold tolerant, good layers, and kid friendly. We'd love to get more next spring.

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  81. Deborah J Jackson1/1/14, 8:33 PM

    would love to try a new feed. As for a new breed adding to the flock, still unsure. But I have so many bantams and only three big girls, I want bigger eggs so maybe more orps.

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  82. Yep, pretty much one of each would be cool. Have the Midwestern "standard" of Rhode Island Reds, a Buff Orpington, and some Plymouth Barred Rocks. Great producers but sure would like to get some unique breeds.

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  83. JessicaHughett1/1/14, 8:38 PM

    I have 23 chickens in total...so my husband would say I do not NEED anymore. However, I think I need a polish frizzle and I would <3 a golden laced polish frizzle =D

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  84. Cindy Thomas1/1/14, 8:51 PM

    I Need The Blue.. Hope I Get Some This Year To Join My Chickens!

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  85. My kids would love one that lays something blue.we have a. couple black sex links, i didnt realize they came in other colors.

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  86. I wait to see your blogs, it's the highlight of my. day. I had four cochin's only to learn they were all roosters, I wish to have cochin hensI Nutrena has to be good for you to post a giveaway. I would like to try this also..

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  87. Matt Swift1/1/14, 9:21 PM

    Gotta get me a Brahma!

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  88. Birdie Barb1/1/14, 9:54 PM

    I have my order placed for 2014 already from My Pet Chicken! I will be getting two of their Amaracaunas, two black frizzle bantam Cochins , and four Easter Eggers. Would love the Vetracin pkg. I have the brown hen bag and love it. The food would be pretty terrific as well! Thanks Cathy I am havin a ball watching the live stream of your hatch as well!

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  89. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 9:58 PM

    Aren't they beautiful?!

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  90. Welsummer's, Roos are beautiful

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  91. Donna McGlasson1/1/14, 10:04 PM

    I definitely need a Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex and a Buff Orpington! Coming in Spring 2014 along with several others I "need!"

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  92. I'd love to have a black copper maran and I'd love to win a prize!

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  93. Laura Frost1/1/14, 10:12 PM

    I picked out a rir

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  94. Lori Ignoffo1/1/14, 10:19 PM

    I need and want an Easter Egger and White Leghorn!

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  95. Caitlyn Ralston1/1/14, 10:23 PM

    I have been wanting to try this feed for awhile now! Thanks for the opportunity and another great blog!

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  96. Kim Warfield Weber1/1/14, 10:25 PM

    French Marans for me.

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  97. Jonathon Dunn1/1/14, 10:25 PM

    I truly need a Polish!! Always have!

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  98. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 10:28 PM

    Good for you, Barb! So eggciting!

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  99. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 10:31 PM

    Thank you Ruth.

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  100. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 10:32 PM

    Me too!

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  101. Amanda Christiansen1/1/14, 10:36 PM

    I've got some amazing breeds, like orpintons, BR, Reds, Silkies, Fizzles, and more but no Easter Eggers! I need a Chicken that lays a different colored egg to complete my flock. I love having a variety iof eggs and can't wait till mine all start laying,

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  102. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 10:40 PM

    Aren't they beautiful?

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  103. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 10:41 PM

    Of course you do! lol

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  104. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 10:42 PM

    They are lovely birds, I highly recommend GLWs!

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  105. I love this site, all the beautiful pictures and all the educational information you write about. I want to enter into the give away and try to win the 50 lbs of feed fro my daughter, Rachael. My Dad raised chickens for years, taught her so many things... they both showed them in open shows, and she also showed in 4-H. Live stream of you hatch is wonderful, as well! :) Thank you!

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  106. Thanks so much for all of your fantastic advice I've found the breeds that I have been searching for.....now the only sweet baby that I'm missing is the ♥ Light Brahma.♥

    As always Kathy thank you for your wonderful guidance and knowledge as I take this Chicken Adventure!! ~ ♥ ~

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  107. Not sure why this won't let me sign in! grrrrrr... Oh so many "needs" lol... Australorp, Easter Egger, Plymouth Rock, Sussex, Welsummer, Wyandotte, to name a few!!!!! Need need need!!! :)

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  108. Jocelyn White1/1/14, 11:08 PM

    I love Orpingtons! I am new to keeping chickens. I have two right now that I rescued. They are older girls and I love them! I will be getting 4 more within the month. I have one Black Orp and a Coronation Sussex. I want to add a couple of buffs and lavenders to the mix

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  109. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:10 PM

    I have only had one Sussex, but she was a total hoot- inquisitive and friendly. I would recommend the breed.

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  110. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:10 PM

    Me too! Of the 7 I hatched ALL 7 were roosters. :(

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  111. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:11 PM

    Order one of each! :)

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  112. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:12 PM

    You sound like you've got chicken math well in hand, R. ;)

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  113. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:13 PM

    Of course you do! :D

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  114. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:14 PM

    You can't lose with RIRs!

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  115. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:14 PM

    Gorgeous flock! I'm in Connecticut, so I feel your pain on the cold factor. It's about to get worse too. :(

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  116. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:15 PM

    I'm glad you did too, Sherry! Thanks for joining me!

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  117. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:16 PM

    Thanks Melinda!

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  118. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:17 PM

    Can't lose with RIRs, Laura.

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  119. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:18 PM

    Thanks Caitlyn!

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  120. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 11:20 PM

    Thank you Mary and good luck!

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  121. Caitlyn Ralston1/1/14, 11:27 PM

    You're welcome! I just realized I forgot to say what chicken breed I need! Lol! I absolutely NEED a tolbunt polish! They are so cute! I also need an Easter Egger!

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  122. Thank you! Great info!

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  123. Bev Thacker1/1/14, 11:44 PM

    I tend more to the Sexlink and Rhode Island Red.

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  124. Oh my goodness.. I must have a bantam frizzle cochin!! They are adorable! :)

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  125. Kris Kirkland1/2/14, 12:01 AM

    There are so many beautiful chickens and I would like to have one of dozens of different kinds, but the breed that I really "need" are some legbars. I love the idea of having more blue egg layers without having to worry that some of them might be roosters that need to be re-homed after I have become attached to them. A serama hen like your roo would be nice too. Chickens are addicting. :)

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  126. Amanda Naughton1/2/14, 12:04 AM

    I like the golden laced Wyandotte and the bantams. The Rhode Island Red is always a favorite at our house too.

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  127. Cindy Brown1/2/14, 12:08 AM

    I want two of each but I'll stop with my 11 girls (3 buff orps, 3 Australorps, 3 easter eggers, 2 barred rocks), plus 5 guinea fowl to round out the roost.

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  128. Love all the info.

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  129. would love to win.

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  130. We only have 1 white egg layer (a CA White leghorn) in our flock, so I'd like another. I'm thinking we need a red or brown Leghorn.

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  131. Theodora Carnes1/2/14, 1:08 AM

    I get on this site and I can't get off!

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  132. Patricia Sacha1/2/14, 1:31 AM

    I need a blue cochin rooster, but i love all the cochins in general :) And i also need my welsummers, they are great girls

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  133. Brandi Holady1/2/14, 1:38 AM

    i Always Need Orpingtons! I LOVE them!!

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  134. mary carmen1/2/14, 5:55 AM

    I will be adding a couple Easter Eggers this spring, very excited!!!!

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  135. Leigh Balius1/2/14, 6:13 AM

    I have Isa Browns, Black Sex Links, Easter Eggers, Marans (FBC & Cuckoo), a Leghorn, Welsummers, an Olive Egger (was supposed to be a Blue Copper Maran, lol), Light Brahmas - I think that's it. I had a silky 'pullet' that turned out to be a cockerel, of course :(. Thinking about adding GL Wyandottes . . . I need them, lol!

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  136. so much for me to learn on here ,thanks

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  137. I'd love to add some Buff Orpington's and Black Copper Maran's to our flock.

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  138. Sandy Scofield1/2/14, 8:58 AM

    Thank you!!

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  139. Beverly Rosa1/2/14, 9:53 AM

    I also love my Orpingtons. I have a running list at all times!! Next spring I will be getting my first cochin!! I can not wait for my Cream legbar also. Come on Spring!

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  140. Tracy Harden1/2/14, 10:38 AM

    I cant' wait til spring! I need to get another silver-laced Wyandotte and a couple others. My lil Wyandotte, Wyndy died last June.

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  141. peartreehens1/2/14, 11:36 AM

    I *need* a silver gray dorking. Or two. And a black copper marans. And a true ameraucana. And another welsummer. And more space.

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  142. peartreehens1/2/14, 11:39 AM

    I *need* a silver gray dorking. Or two. And a black copper marans. And a true ameraucana. And another welsummer. And more space...

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  143. I think I need a Black Copper Maran, although that breed did not come up on my breed selecting tool. I'd also like to try a silkie, and another Light Brahma , to name just a few!

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  144. Keri Miller1/2/14, 2:29 PM

    I'm just looking into getting chickens and your blog is so helpful! I like the new hampshire red...and many many others! Thanks for the link to help figure out which ones are good with what.

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  145. Juli Morris1/2/14, 4:00 PM

    The girls want to enter the Nutrena Feed contest!

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  146. Kimberly Swenson1/2/14, 4:27 PM

    I am about a month away from getting my first flock of girls. My husband and I are finishing up on the run mid month and then I can get my girls. I plan to start with 6 juvenile pullets. These are the breeds I have narrowed it down too and that are available in my area. Black Australorp, Easter Egger, Barred Plymouth Rock and maybe a Black sexy link. I'm getting excited!!

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  147. I got 5 Lavender Orpington last summer and they are really great. I have 33 chickens at this time and I am thinking of getting some Freedom Rangers just to try them (not as layers).

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  148. TheChickenChick1/2/14, 10:41 PM

    There are certainly less productive uses of your time, Dora. ;)

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  149. TheChickenChick1/2/14, 10:44 PM

    Good for you, Kimberly!!

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  150. Preston Leach1/2/14, 11:32 PM

    I have 5 Buff Orpingtons and I'm in the process of buying supplies to start incubatting eggs. I am wanting to start adding Lavender Orps to my flock. I am interested to try this Nutrena feed. I always like new ideas and I absolutely love your blog. So many great ideas and helpful tips. Thank you for your informative blogs.

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  151. Debbie Jaynes1/3/14, 1:59 AM

    black cooper marsh and olive egged

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  152. Heidi M. Maine1/3/14, 6:59 AM

    I *need* to get a coop and enclosure built after this blizzard of snow melts!! Probably want the 5' snow banks gone too! I don't own any yet but have cared for a flock of Plymouth Rocks. Added a pair of Silkies and they are definitely not the clam friendly kind. The rooster of the silkie pair decided he was going to attack everyone and everything. Moving or not. So I don't think I want a silkie rooster after that one made his way to the pot real quick! Anywho... Just want to say thanks for the info in your blogs. I've enjoyed learning from it from someone in kind of similar weather patterns. (Mid coast Maine here. )

    Heidi

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  153. Constance Payne1/3/14, 7:29 AM

    We raise freedom rangers (100+ a year, and they are a GREAT choice!)

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  154. Constance Payne1/3/14, 7:30 AM

    Every time I read a post like this, it is good to know I got the birds I NEEDED...not just wanted- I mean hey, "need" is a strong word...that is a responsibility :)

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  155. Robin Howard Cramer1/3/14, 9:29 AM

    I would love some Easter Eggers for the green/blue eggs. But, I promised my husband I would get no more! :)

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  156. Tina Allsbrooks1/3/14, 10:11 AM

    We have several different breeds - Barred Rocks, Delawares, Ameracaunas, Orpingtons,Red Sexlinks, Wyandottes. Would love some Welsummer and Rhode Island Reds. Have tried Nutrena Feather Fixer for girls in moult which seemed to speed this process up. Nutrena is hard to find in my area...would love to win this!

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  157. I have a fun mix of black and white chickens, with three white americaunas, one black copper maran, and two olive eggers. I'd love to add some more color variety to my flock. I think one of the laced wyandottes would be great!

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  158. I need Blue Favaucanas and I'd love to have more Ameracaunas! And some Gold Lacced Wyandottes and some Lavender Orpingtons and some... Darn chicken math is at it again!

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  159. Jenny Smith1/3/14, 5:31 PM

    I have three girls. A Buff Orpington, an Ameraucana, and Black Astralorp. I had a Rhode Island Red...but she turned out to be a he and we live in the city so he had to go live on a farm :(. I NEED a silky!! They are so pretty and they each look like they have funny personalities.

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  160. I was excited about getting an Easter Egger this year, but alas, she only lays brown eggs. Still lover her though! I would love to get another that lays colored eggs someday!

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  161. I haven't decided what breeds yet! I am so glad I stumbled upon your blog and twitter account! We will be ready for them at the end of the month and I think that the Ameraucanas seem like they would be great for us. Our coop is 4' x 8' and we have a big backyard for them to roam around in. I was thinking of getting 3 to start. I hope the 4' x 8' is enough room for 3!

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  162. TheChickenChick1/3/14, 8:19 PM

    You definitely need more than three to fill that coop up, Shauna! :D

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  163. Really!! That's exciting! How many would be good for a coop that size?

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  164. I like barred rocks.

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  165. I need a Wyandotte! Silver or gold and it doesn't matter if they're laced or penciled...they're all so beautiful!!!!

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  166. TheChickenChick1/4/14, 12:17 AM

    The rule of thumb is 4 square feet per bird inside the coop, but if you have a spacious run and/or let your flock free-range, you can accommodate more chickens than that inside the coop very comfortably.

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  167. TheChickenChick1/4/14, 12:23 AM

    Thank you Preston!

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  168. i would like a wyandotte, and a silkie. they both are very beautiful birds.

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  169. Diane Poole Gilbert1/4/14, 11:28 AM

    My daughter wants to add a Tolbunt Polish Frizzle like your Calista Flockheart. She thinks that breed is so cute. I think she just wants to be able to put a bow in her top feathers! haha

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  170. Jeanette M Cott1/4/14, 12:05 PM

    I don't have chickens right now. I live in a small yuppyville neighborhood surrounded by acreages that have all different kinds of farm animals. One day we'll be able to move out of here onto some acreage. In the meantime I study up on chickens and your site is so informative. My son works for a little old lady around the corner that gives us eggs. I enter your giveaways with her in mind.

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  171. Burczyk Linda1/4/14, 6:09 PM

    I need a blue and olive green egg layer!

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  172. TheChickenChick1/5/14, 1:13 AM

    Calista Flockheart hates having her feathers tied back. Go figure. :)

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  173. Kaylynn Connell1/10/14, 4:42 PM

    I went thru the chicken selector & have narrowed down the breeds... is it important that they are all the same kind? or can you mix them if all of their personalities are compatible?

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  174. I have speckled sussex, which I love. I am have a serious desire to get Swedish Flower hens. WANT!!

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  175. TheChickenChick1/10/14, 8:56 PM

    You can absolutely mix breeds!

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  176. Kaylynn Connell1/11/14, 5:18 AM

    we are going to start our small flock this spring, getting chicks, of different kinds. after they get bigger, are there any precautions that need to be taken to introduce a new hen or chick to the flock to prevent "pecking order"?

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  177. TheChickenChick1/11/14, 10:57 PM

    Yes, this is what I recommend: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/06/integrating-new-flock-members-playpen.html

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  178. Anita Miller1/15/14, 4:12 PM

    My husband and I built a chicken coop out of log. This will be my first year for raising chickens. I'm waiting till spring to get chicks. Can anyone give me some ideas of what kind of chicks to get? I would like good egg layers for the size of family I have. We have 5 children, 1 grandson and 3 residents in our home plus ourselves.

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  179. TheChickenChick1/16/14, 3:32 PM

    This breed selector tool will help you choose precisely what you want, Anita! Click here for the tool: http://bit.ly/13uyolF

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  180. Lori Morrone Mickle1/19/14, 9:36 PM

    I got 4 Silkies last spring. I took 3 and my friend took 1. Hers was first to be a rooster. Next my 2 black ones started. I knew because their heads turned gold. They got to be very loud, competing with each other. It was about 2 weeks after I gave them away my little white one started crowing! About 3 months after the others. Of course, 4 out of 4. Well, I really wanted a hen but as long as he stays quiet.....

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  181. Looking forward to this springs new chicks 🐔🐣🐥🐤

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  182. Hassan Hamza2/10/14, 2:54 PM

    I want meat chickens this spring. What I'd love to try is a chicken I've seem on Chopped and Iron Chef. It's a black skinned chicken. I don't know if they were Silkies. How long till they reach full weight?

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  183. Anita,
    I have seven hens. By far the friendliest is our Buff Orpington. She is so friendly and so curious, an absolute hoot. She would rather hang with me than the group. I also believe the more you are with them, the more they love you.
    She will let the kids (2 and 3 years old) touch her and hang out with them.
    I also have a welsummer, bantam cochin, bantam frizzle, silver laced wyandotte, and two easter egger (mixed breeds).

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  184. Ferne McAllister2/10/14, 4:31 PM

    I love my Buff Orpingtons! So calm and sweet. I'd like the Lavender Orps too, but only have room for 5 more chicks and the local Agway isn't offering any. So, will be getting some Easter Eggers.

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  185. Ferne McAllister2/10/14, 4:31 PM

    I would love one of everything....

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  186. I have my 5! 2 Easter Eggers, 2 Barred Rocks, and one Production Red. I was supposed to have 3, lol. Is production red the same as red sex links? I still want Wyandottes and Buff Orpingtons. Your Columbian Wyandotte is gorgeous!!

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  187. Gail Koehling2/10/14, 7:46 PM

    Great article,still making my list....

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  188. TheChickenChick2/10/14, 10:54 PM

    Thanks, I think Lola is really pretty too. :)

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  189. TheChickenChick2/10/14, 10:58 PM

    I don't raise chickens for meat. Silkies are small though.

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  190. Donna Wilson Wolff2/11/14, 10:54 AM

    The most sophisticated of all the chicken sites by far. So glad I happened upon your site first. The elegance of the writing and photos is a joy and the humor a daily smile or chuckle we all need.

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  191. Donna McGlasson2/11/14, 11:20 AM

    I'm continually inspired by you, Kathy. What a great article and information that is important for chicken-lovers to know. I love all the photos! I could look at chicken and egg photos all day, does that me a chicken addict? LOL

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  192. TheChickenChick2/11/14, 9:49 PM

    Thank you Donna!

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  193. Preston Leach2/13/14, 11:40 AM

    Very Neat! I have heard from several other friends that Easter Eggers are a great breed to have. I have thought about getting some for in the future. My Buff Orpingtons are so much fun. I absolutely love the breed.

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  194. Very interesting read, your blog goes above & beyond, thank you Kathy!!!

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  195. Michele Ponton Parish2/19/14, 7:37 PM

    I really enjoyed your article. Answered all of my questions. Thank you

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  196. How many hens do you have? And how many of each breed? I've always wondered and have counted 25 in one picture.

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  197. Elizabeth Nicole Stelling2/26/14, 1:12 PM

    Just how many chickens do you have? I started with 10 which will soon be 9 due to a very mean rooster that happened along by accident. Waiting for 15 +1 in April. Trying a different site this spring because My Pet Chicken didn't have all of the ones I wanted--5 buff orps, 5 golden lace wyandottes, 5 black jerseys and 1 random bonus chick. That will bring me up to 25 and I will have to stick with that for a while and give my husband a chance to expand the runs and install the little chick coop!

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  198. Kathy, I am sure you can help me. I am into my 3rd or 4th year with laying hens and this year I would like to change things up a bit. I want lots of eggs as my husband sells them at work. We love just having them around as they inspire conversation when people come to visit. I would like a breed that can tolerate the cold Vermont winters. We currently have Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds I think it is. They are good egg layers and do very well in confinement throughout our long winters. I have been considering allowing a hen or two to hatch their eggs but not so successful this last year when I allowed a broody hen to sit. No eggs hatched and she was a crazy bird. We have a Rooster . I believe he is 4 this year so I assume he can still fertilize eggs ok. He came with our first hens and he is a wonderful and gentle guy. I love him. We don't cuddle { ; ) } but he is always a gentleman around his ladies and myself. I guess what I am asking is if I were to order a new breed what would you suggest and where to order close to us here in Vermont? And if I let a hen or two sit what should I do to ensure their happiness and ease in sitting and the steps to doing that? Thanks do much for all you do here on your site. I love reading your stuff and seeing your photos. Awesomeness ! Liz

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  199. Diane Barnard3/2/14, 1:27 PM

    We share some of the same breeds. Great article that everyone who is new to chickens to read so they understand the breed differences.

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