Backyard Farming Forum

Chicken breeds
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Author:  Charlie [ Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Chicken breeds

Finally going to get myself some chooks, been searching and reading around the forum and am still left a little unsure what the best options are so hence the thread.

I'm assuming we have 2 categories. Eating and laying? Temper is also something to consider.

Can you all help me out with your experiences please, I'm after a well tempered layer to begin with then will get some good eating ones down the track. Any tips would be appreciated.


Author:  Bender [ Mon Apr 14, 2014 12:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

Chooks are awesome Charlie. You will love having them. The variety you choose will depends on the outcome you want ie eggs, meat or both. If it's just eggs you want then isa browns are good but do have health issues after 2 years. A purebred variety of egg layers are leghorns. I don't know much about pure meat breeds.

My grand plan is to have a utility breed such as Australorps or light Sussex that lay a good number of eggs but are also excellent for the table. You can also mess around with crossing these breeds with something like Indian game to provide a meat cross.

Currently we only have 5 backyard layers. An isa, two Australorps, an araucana x australorp and a leghorn x bantam. We are on a suburban block but are looking at upsizing soon so we can have a rooster and breed our own birds.

Whatever you choose they are great fun to keep and provide plenty of entertainment

Author:  Charlie [ Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

Thanks Ben, valuable info. Australorps and Isa's sound to be promising as Ive read a few members mentions those breeds too. Is there a particular amount of birds you need in an area? And are there breeds that don't co-habitate together or do they all mix fairly well?

Author:  Simo [ Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

+1 Australorps for a utility bird plus they are purpose bred for Australian conditions and are common so easy to source.

European regulations for free range is a minimum of 4m2 of outside space per bird ( ... d_565.html ) but that is probably because they want the pasture to be able to regenerate.

If you let them out to roam free during the day you could get away with having less outside cage space.

They all mix well together.

Author:  Perpetuitas [ Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

I think he might be using his cage...

And the EU regs about right for your cage. Organic regs are much higher I remember something around 10m² to 25m². Pasture can not regrow under 4m² regulations as it is not enough, trust me!

Are there any native Australian chicken breeds?

Author:  Ccbear [ Sat Apr 19, 2014 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

Go the Austrolop charlie, Australian breed and still holds the world record for egg laying. A good meat bird as well and if you are allowed a rooster all the better. Check your local produce store they will know who is breeding what in your district.

Author:  Charlie [ Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

Thanks Bear, the Channon markets apparently have nice birds for sale so I will wait for the next one to come up, I think they are once a month. Read an article in the paper today stating that the northern rivers have the best chicken breeders in Australia. There is a big Poultry auction tomorrow nearby but Ill bee too busy drinking myself stupid and eating prawns.

Author:  Perpetuitas [ Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

Charlie wrote:
.... but Ill bee too busy drinking myself stupid and eating prawns.

I like that!

Author:  NanaBeth [ Thu May 01, 2014 12:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chicken breeds

I have a rather mixed flock that I hatched out last spring and are just starting to lay. I have a light brown leghorn (lovely white eggs), a leghorn cross (light brown eggs), a naked-neck cuckoo (pale cream eggs, and the (2) larger breed chickens (1) golden laced wyandotte and one black Australorp have not started laying yet (as far as I can tell)

My Naked neck is a great utility bird. could be a meat bird, but is a great layer (and has an awesome personality!) I would not hesitate to get a few more just like her. (She is safe from being a table bird, since we do not eat our birds with names (Family Members) - we don't name the quail now)

I did have 2 of the leghorn cross chooks laying regularly (Frick and Frack), but a neighbor's spaniel got loose the other day and killed one. I'll be attending the Gidgeganup Poultry Auction to hopefully replace her on Sunday.

I also bought some full grown "fun" chooks. A young breeding pair of Lavender Araucana, and a breeding pair of bantam pencil laced Wyandottes. (Obviously not hand-reared because they are antisocial little buggers! - unlike the ones I raised from chicks, who are friendly and easily handled.)

My lone rooster is a Silkie - his (2) mates died of Crookneck before I realised that was what was the problem. Nearly broke my heart since I raised them from chicks.

BTW: Anyone with Silkie pullets who would like to sell a couple? I know Hercules would be a very happy boy if he had some girls to keep company with.

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