I should have already ordered them but Jamey and I are having a difficult time deciding which chickens would be best for us. He wants productivity, but I am a sucker for a beautiful egg and a nice personality. Last night I researched and read about different breeds in hopes of narrowing our list down. That did not work at all because instead of paring the choices down my research only gave me the names of a few more chickens to add to my chicken wish list.
I never had any trouble deciding which breeds of goats to raise. I knew what I liked and I liked what I liked, but these chickens.... Argh! I just can't decide! I planned on ordering from Cackle hatchery since they are so close to us, but they require a minimum order of 5 chicks per breed. There will only be room for twenty chickens so I would like to narrow it down to four or five breeds only. I am indecisive, I am running out of time, I am in chicken hell here...would ya help a fellow blogger out? If you have experience with any of these breeds I would love to hear the good, the bad and the ugly about them so I can narrow my list down. Thanks so much!
Ameraucana - It sounds like theAmeraucanas from most hatcheries are actually "Easter eggers", whatever you want to call them, they are on my list for productivity and egg color. Blue eggs, come on...that is cool!
Australorp - On the list for size, productivity and personality. They seem to have it all.
Barnevelder - My first choice of dark chocolate egg laying hens for rating as more docile, but they are not available in most hatcheries. My second choices are the Welsummer or Maran.
Delaware - On the list for productivity and personality, sounds like an all around good farm hen.
Faverolles - They just sound like sweethearts. Adorable and odd with muffs, a beard, and feathered feet...who doesn't want a chicken that will make them smile every time you look at them. Apparently they are too nice and submissive, often being the target of bullying. That is a concern; those poor, sweet, feather faced girls. (Have you guessed this is the breed I want yet?)
Buff Orpington - They were not rated quite as productive as some of the others on the list, but still not bad and their personality was described as "calm and patient". Since these will be our first chickens, I can't help but think calm and patient would be very good virtues for these chickens to have.
Barred Plymouth Rock - Smart, docile and beautiful producers of large brown eggs. Sounds great!
Rhode Island Red - Jamey's family had some when he was very young and he originally just wanted to get 20 of these for our farm, but how could I tell them apart then! Jamey loves their productivity and hardiness. I have heard they are dominate to other chickens and I don't want them picking on my poor, sweet Favorolles. Other than this they sound like great, red, egg laying machines and that is important too.
Red Star - Sounds like a very productive, good all around chicken.
Speckled Sussex - Supposedly these lovely birds lay well in cold weather and they are docile, mellow and easily fenced in. This was one of the chickens that got ADDED to my already too long chicken list.
Two of the places I read about these breeds at were My Pet Chicken and this handy dandy chicken chart of comparative breed information.