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miss_harriet

hybrid/ pure breeds/ bantams (newbie help!)

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Hi I am new to the forum (sorry if this post isnt in the right place or has already been answered) I am hoping to get chickens (and a cube!) in the spring when we re-design our garden and have a feeling i will be asking a lot of questions in the process! (you are all very knowledgeable and just reading the forum posts has given me a lot of insight into keeping chickens)

 

I was thinking about getting around 3-4 chickens, I dont want too many because our garden at the moment isnt the biggest but I do like the cube with it being off the ground and feel the run is much more spacious than the classic, they would be in the cube and extended run during the day and then have supervised FR in the evenings and then at weekends. Anyway! I was thinking about getting a couple of hybrids and a couple of pure breeds at the same time (wyandottes have me hook line and sinker because they are so pretty!) Would it be ok to mix two hybrids with two wyandottes? would bantams be better with hybrids or not? (im not sure of the size difference between them all, pics would be a great help if anyone has any) and what are wyandottes like temperament wise?

 

Sorry for all the questions, i have hundreds more!

Any feedback would be really appreciated

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Hi and welcome :D

 

You are going to love chicken keeping. We all do.

 

Are you getting all your chickens at the same time? If not , it doesn't really matter which breed you get, you will still have to be careful introducing them. There are lots of topics about bullying on the forum. Worth a read. Also about introducing new hens.

 

As for temperament, I don't know about wyndottes as I don't have any. I do know they are beautiful though. I'm sure someone here will tell you.

 

You will be very susceptible to the "morehens disease". Another topic well worth a read. Most of us have it. :lol:

 

I've got all sorts of mixed hens. Make sure you get them from a reputable seller though. You want them to be vaccinated and point of lay. A few of us, myself included, have ended up with a cockerel :oops:

 

Good luck, and keep us up to date. Photos are compulsory :D

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It sound like you were in the same situation as me a month or two ago.

 

We got a cube, with the extended run.... and 4 hens.... So they have loads of free space even without the FR they can get in their larger cage.

 

We went for Hybrids as we want the eggs to start with, we are looking at a broody pure breed for the summer so we can have chicks.

 

We have a white star, black star, gold star and speckled star, and apart from a little bit of pecking they are fine. getting 2 eggs a day, for this time of year that's great! (o:

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I have hybrid, large pure beed fowl and bantam. I find I can mix hybrid and large pure breed, but the bantams (Polands) are best kept separately otherwise they get bullied. However, there are some bantam breeds which cope with larger fowl, For instance, I know someone who has Pekins and large fowl living happily together.

 

Not sure if it helps, but you'll have fun choosing!

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I have an established group of large fowl and bantams. They will all be 5yrs in the spring but it did take a long time to mix the bantams with the bigger hens. However they all get along so well now. We have a cube + a 15m x 3m run for the summer and in the winter they like their WIR + eglu and garden. Having said that they fly over the netting in the summer so are rarely in their run.

 

I think if I was starting over again I would probably have only bantams and be more determined to restrict them to a run. Whatever you chose you will love them and there is nothing quite like collecting their eggs. After an egg drought it is just so fantastic to find the first egg of the year. Roll on February :D Will my 5 yr olds still lay :?:

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Thank you so much for all the replies :) (and happy new year to you all!)

 

I am probably getting a green cube chrissie (very excited about it!) I think bantams would sound like the best idea for me from what you have all said, the reason i wanted to add a couple of hybrids was so i would still have eggs through the winter but i dont have the room to house them separate, If i went down the hybrid route would it be better to have large fowl then? Also how big (or small as the case may be!) are bantam eggs or does it depend on the breed?

 

Im hoping to get all chickens on the same day if it is possible sonya as ive heard this will be easier with introductions? (i dont want to rock the boat too much if i can help it with being a complete novice!) I will have to try and control morehens until we move house in the distant future but i am not sure how successful this will be, It's hard enough now controlling myself to wait until spring when we have sorted our garden!

 

Thank you again for all your advice :)

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Sounds like a good plan. Bantams eggs are small, but yummy. If you're getting bantams only I'd suggest you get more than 4. They will be lost in that big cube :lol: . Sorry I'm a bad influence :oops: . Bantams are fascinating to watch, they have their own little personalities. I'm excited for you. :D

 

As for what size of hybrid to go for, I don't think it really matters. From my experience (I'm probably wrong), they're all of a similar size. They just have different coloring and marking.

 

Loads of luck for the spring :D

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Hybrids only lay reliably during the first winter so you may find there isnt much difference

 

Chuckier bantams like Wyandotte and Sussex could live ok with hybrids ok

 

If you decide on all bantams you could include a couple of the better egg layers such as Leghorns, Sussex or New Hampshire Reds. Silkies and Polands can make good winter layers sometimes but have a few special care requirements

 

Wyandottes have the best temprements of all chooks (not biased :lol: ) they dont have feathered legs so are good in all weathers, they are calm and placid and depending on the colour arent necessarily too broody prone, the eggs are a good size and the come in so many different colours, they are a fabulous choice for a begineer and experienced keeper alike

 

With any bird space is paramount, the cube is very large but the birds you can keep depend on run size - almost any combination of birds will live happily IF there is enough space

 

If you arent 100% sure then go for birds all the same size (did I mention that Wyandottes come in loads of LOVELY colours? :lol: )

 

Get birds around the same age too

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To answer the original question about GL Wyandottes

 

similar colouring can be found in

 

Barnevelders - these are super birds, gentle and eay going and a good one will lay a nice dark egg

 

Hamburghs - these are flighty but are good layers of nice white eggs

 

Sebrights - These are tiny, can be aggressive to each other and are not suitable for beginners

 

Orpingtons - these are smashing fluffy and placid birds but can be very broody

 

Poland - these need a little extra care and dont always mix with other birds

 

Similarly pretty and worth considering:

 

Wyandotte - Silver laced - these are easier to find than gold laced

 

Wyandotte - Gold Partridge, Silver Pencilled, blue or buff laced and barred - all easier to find than gold laced (barred are the best lol)

 

Gold partridge Pekins - their feathery feet need a little extra care but they are characterful and fun

 

Welsummer - these are a pretty gold partridge type bird, a good one will lay teracotta eggs

 

Araucana - red/black Araucanas are partridgy type colouring and lay blue eggs

 

Apenzellers - silver or gold spangled - flighty but very pretty and lay a good size white egg

 

Thuringians - gold spangled - a nice alert and hardy bird but not easy to find

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wow thanks both of you, such a wealth of knowledge on here! I may stick with a couple of wyandottes if they would be a good breed for a beginner :) and then as redwing suggested have a couple of good egg layers like a sussex as well

 

The first wyandotte that caught my eye was a silver laced one that i saw on these forums, i tried researching breed temperament/ how good they are for beginner chickens but didnt have much luck and that is when i discovered there were so many other beautiful wyandotte varieties! i love the gold and silver laced ones and the silver pencilled ones, i never new chickens could be so beautiful! I will have a look at the other varieties you have mentioned too redwing :D

 

I have yet more questions! :roll: (i do try research things on the internet but i find this forum so much more helpful) Is there much difference between the bantams and the large fowl or is it mainly just down to size? do they lay a similar amount of eggs (the bantam eggs just being smaller?) and would 4 LF be too cramped in the cube run (with the supervised FRing on evenings and weekends)

 

Sorry for all the questions i just want to get things right

Thanks again for your invaluable advice :!:

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I think as long as you're not looking at getting something like 4 Orps (they are lovely though), the extended run should be fine.

 

You might want to think about putting a permanent base in your run. If your not moving it around you will quickly end up with a mud bath. Also a heavy duty rain cover for the run is great. There are many ways of making a permanent base, it can be done very easily and with little cost. :D

 

Just noticed you mentioned the Sussex. My Daisybelle is a light Sussex reverse. She is a fantastic layer, probably my best. I got her when she was a year old because she had been bullied badly. Had a few problems myself with her, but she never stopped laying. No bullies at the moment, thank goodness. This is her second winter and she's still laying :D

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Yes I second the advice about a permenant site for a coop and run

 

The difference between large and small in the same breed varies. As a general guideline bantam versions of many are not as good layers but of course there are many exceptions and ifs and buts!

 

One difference is in broody tendancies - of the breeds that have broody tendancies the bantams tend to be broodier than their large fowl counterparts

 

I think a lot of this comes down to the fact that bantams are much more common in showing so many strains have been bred for looks alone meaning that eggs are a little less important and broodiness isnt normally a problem as it doesnt tend to happen in show season

 

Still, I get plenty of eggs from my lot in the summer, there are only so many eggs you can eat after all - the trick for my husband is to intecept them for eating before they end up in an incubator!

 

If the main aim for having chooks is eggs then you could always look for a very good 'utility' strain of large fowl birds (Practical Poultry magazine often has a list of such breeders)

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Thank you all so much that has helped me a lot :)

 

For the base my thoughts at the moment was to slab the area and then add either wood chips or Aubiose then border the area to stop it going everywhere (as best i can anyway!) I understand with aubiose you have to keep the area very dry so perhaps wood chips may be the way to go? (any other ideas welcomed!)

 

I dont suppose anyone has dealt with/heard of sunnyside poultry have they? i contacted them regarding gold lace wyandottes as they are only about half an hour away from me and they have some at the moment but said they cant guarantee whether they will have some in spring (i will have to keep my fingers crossed!)

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Good idea for the base. I and lots of us here would go for aubiose all the way. I would say wood chip is worse when it get damp. Make sure you leave tiny gaps between the slabs for drainage and don't put too much aubiose down in one go. The girls love it and it will go everywhere. They just need enough to scratch around in. If you get the omlet waterproof covers you don't need to worry too much about the rain getting in. It will of course when it's windy, but it's not too much to worry about. :)

 

Sorry I don't know your chicken farm :?

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Depending on where you are in the East Midlands I would highly recommend Kerry Wilson who is down the A5 south of Milton Keynes, Kerry breeds Wyandottes in a few different colours (sadly not gold laced) and a Google will no doubt bring up her contact details

 

I ahve had no dealings with Sunnyside poultry but their website seems sound from the point of view of advice and quality of the birds so I would think them well worth a look

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