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Choosing Chickens?
July 23, 2013
4:33 pm
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Kandra
Banty
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July 23, 2013
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What is the best chickens for producing eggs and eating?

July 23, 2013
5:10 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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Hey there Kandra!  There isn’t any simple answer for this, there a lot of variables to consider, so we need some more info from you.  For one thing, where are you located?  Just a general idea so we have an idea about climate because some chickens do better than others in extreme heat or cold… and humidity or dampness and some need more shelter than others too.

Are you going to keep them penned?  Or will they be free ranging?  Some free range better than others, though honestly most will enjoy that a lot and do ok, but some do better than others. 

There are sort of three divisions for you to choose from, Layer, Meat, or Dual purpose.  I’ll tell you that Dual purpose birds aren’t all that dual purpose.  They’re really good for layers for a while, then to make broth or stew from, but if you’re like me you don’t usually butcher soon enough for them to actually makeeven decent broth.  If you get extra roosters though, and butcher them really young, it’s pretty good, but if you wait too long, it’s generally a huge disappointment.  I do get dual purpose though, just cause that’s what I like best.

Anyway, here’s a link to a site that has some very bare bones info.  If you pick some favorites, we can maybe discuss details of their pros and cons.

http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

Located in N.E. Ohio

July 24, 2013
12:56 pm
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Kandra
Banty
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July 23, 2013
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We live in Ionia, MI Just getting started on trying to become self-suffient. Thank you for all the information. We can use all the information we can get.

July 24, 2013
1:12 pm
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BuckeyeGirl
N.E. Ohio
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I’m in NE Ohio which has a lot of the same weather as you do.  That chart is nice because it gives info about how friendly the hens are, and how easy they are to deal with etc if you are just starting out.  DO look it over and come back for more detailed info, a lot of us have experience with some of the breeds.  I’m not personally worried about high production, I want them to do well free ranging and be easy to deal with.  Also, I prefer brown eggs!  We all have our own preferences and needs, and none of them are wrong!

Also, if you are going to order hatchery birds or get them from someone who breeds for true heritage quality birds, there is a lot of differences in how strong a lot of their qualities hold true.  I have a few true Buckeyes from a breeder, and I’d like to get more, but most of mine come from a hatchery just south of me.  Their birds are as true to the breed as any hatchery birds are, but they are very affordable.

A lot of the hatcheries have fryer specials which are mixed cockerels, to be raised for a couple months for butchering.  Otherwise, I always order only pullets so I don’t have to deal with unwanted roosters.

Located in N.E. Ohio

July 25, 2013
5:05 pm
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chickenhead
Big Chicken
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Murray McMurray Hatchery http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com has been the best for me.  I have found the best, healthiest and happiest birds from them.  I highly recommend them if you are going to order from a hatchery.

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