The Backyard Flock–The Beginner’s Flock

It is generally accepted that brown egg layers are the best choice for beginners. It also seems that the brown egg layers tend to be dual purpose birds. Meat and eggs. Raise them for which ever you prefer or both.

Let’s check out some common breeds:

New Hampshire: friendly, docile, good backyard bird, make good mothers, not overly active. The happy healthy New Hampshire hen will lay about 140 egg a year

Plymouth Rock: friendly, docile,doesn’t mind being handled, good with kids The happy, healthy Plymouth Rock will lay about 160 eggs per year

Rhode Island Red: egg laying machines, great beginner bird, usually calm, not the greatest mothers. A happy, healthy Rhode Island Red will reward your care with 200+ eggs a year.

Orpington: Believe it or not, this breed is considered cuddly. When I asked around at the county fair. What is the best chicken for a beginner who is afraid of chickens? Every time it was the Orpington. Big, fluffy, so gentle they tend to get bullied by other breeds. While they aren’t laying machines, they will give you a very respectable 160 good-sized eggs.

Another thought: If you have little kids that will want to pet the chickens, Orpingtons might be your girls.

What’s in my backyard?

Auracana cross bred with some brown egg factory layer.

Why? My little boy was far more likely to do his chore of egg collecting, if the eggs were cool to look at. He told his class that he is the only kid in school that actually eats “green eggs and ham.”

We get 36 eggs ( twice what we hoped for ) every week from 6 girls. The egg shells range in color from blue green to khaki, since they are not pure bred. Some places call these pretty egg laying crossbreeds Easter Egg Layers–not a breed, more like a nifty mutt.

Since the ground is so covered with snow, today, my layers are playing in a wheel barrow filled with fresh compost. Goofy! I wish we had gotten them years ago.

Other Backyard Flock articles:

Chicks Checklist

Coop Considerations

The Egg Challenge: Store Bought Vs. The Backyard Flock

Contemplating a Backyard Flock

Choosing a breed

The White Egg Layers


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Published in: on February 10, 2009 at 8:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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