chickens

What would be the best breed of chicken to buy if you could only have 3. They would be to have for bug eating and a few eggs.I live in a area that only allows 3 hens, no roosters.
Thank you

Philadelphia, PA(Zone 6b)

I like the Rhode Island Reds because they are friendly and easily managed, along with being great layers. My favorites are Sebright Bantams but Bantams can be rather flighty.
Trish

Brewers, KY(Zone 6b)

Second on the Rhode Island Red! Real sweet chickens, they will follow you like a dog.

Wentworth, SD(Zone 4a)

How do you go about ordering chickens. I want some, but am not sure where to start. Do you have to order them a year ahead? Do you order locally? Help!! I want them for bug control and eggs also.

Brewers, KY(Zone 6b)

I always get mine from the feed store when they get them in, I try to go that day and buy them. I have never ordered any, although I have been tempted to! Bye, Lisa

I already have a chicken (Rhode Island Red and I also agree that they are fun chickens) but I also would like to get a couple more. Would this older chicken get along with the little ones? Would the older chicken seek out the young ones running about the yard to torment them? Would they eventually get along when the young ones matured?
thanks

Valley Head, WV(Zone 5a)

Hatcheries that sell chickens through the mail usually require a 25 minium of baby chicks. They are shipped when they are 1 day old, and the 25 min. assures they stay warm. You'd be surprised at the small size of a box of 25 baby chicks - my last one fit in my large country mailbox.

For only 3 chickens, your best bet is to buy the baby chicks at the feed store in the spring. Watch out for the straight run chickens - you'll probably get roosters. All the knowing chicken people pick out the baby hens!

Sex link chickens are good egg layers too. They are cross breeds that are bred for egg laying. Many of them have some Rhode Island red in them.

Philadelphia, PA(Zone 6b)

A consideration in getting very young chicks..peeps?..is that they will require heat for warmth and a starter kind of mash. They need the extra care and are very fragile when that young. My feed mill has a great setup for these little guys and they loose babies everyday. I get an order form from the feed mill and can pre-order chicks but I don't like to get them that young. I go to Amish country and get "started" pullets, which are still babies but they are just getting ready to lay, they eat normal laying pellets and they don't require the extra care as newborn peeps/chicks. The hard things about leaving the feed mill when all of those cute guys are there...the ducklings are the cutest things, however..I've been there and done that, for they are way too messy for me. Another good source for young chicks is the local farmers auction but you have to know what to look for when buying poultry, otherwise you may be buying someone's headache. It's a good place to make contacts and to buy from someone at their place. Just a few thoughts..
Trish

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

Marti's, Allens, GrainBelt, all in Windsor,MO will sell as few as 5 of the banties(which is what I would get if I were you)but you have to pick them up at the hatchery. Go online and search for poultry hatcheries. You will be amazed how many there are. You can also advertise on the radio if you have a local trade/sell/give away for free show. I like the Silkies, bantam Aracona, and the Mille Fleur' s for dispostition. The Silkies can get kind of large tho. Bantams do less damage to the gardens than larger chickens. They also require much less room and feed. Chickens purchased when newly hatched will bond with you as they think the first thing they see after hatching is momma.

Schenevus, NY

funny..i have been thinking of chickens all winter. I started out wanting this breed called Dominiques (for there looks) I have been asking everyone i know about chickens. I have gone to Yahoo poultry sites. Good info on chicken raising from 4H site. Sometimes it sounds complicated but if you break it down it comes down to keeping a clean chicken house. I want chickens for the freezer and chickens for eggs. Just a small bunch to start. I learned that these two wants require different chickens. Lots to know. I had a bantam hen when i was very young. She did follow me around like a pup. As i walk around this winter i keep imagining where my chicken house will go. Not too far from the house so i can keep tabs on them...On my desktop i keep an audio sound i downloaded from a Dominque site on yahoo. Its of a rooster named George crowing. It keeps me thinking of chickens even after I read some complicated chicken story.

Baker City, OR(Zone 5b)

Locate your chicken house where it will get sun in the morning, preferably on the long side of the building where you should have a window. This helps wake them up, and warm them up. Put it where you can get electricity to it and connect a light to a timer in the winter, set it to come on at about 3 am, and go off after the sun is up. This will help your chickens keep laying eggs all winter.

Toston, MT(Zone 4a)

Katie. If you're looking for a chicken that loves to forage and lays every day (except during the molt) and is beautiful, I'd suggest the Silver Spangled Hamburgs. I have two Hamburg hens (along with 50 others of different types of hens and roosters). My Hamburgs run loose in the yard and horse pens, and very faithfully lay me 2 eggs a day which they lovingly hide somwhere in the haystack. It's like easter every day!
You can find more info. on them in the Murray McMurray Hatchery catalogue. Their web site is: www.mcmurray.com

Gardener Mick - If you're wanting to get more than 25 chicks, I'd recommend getting them from a hatchery. They are cheaper (as a rule), and they come directly to you or your post office. I've ordered from hatcheries for years now, and have always been very impressed.
My favorites are McMurray's (above web address) and also Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, INC. web address: www.mthealthy.com
If you'd like their address, just let me know.
I hope this helps you guys.
Heidi

Knowlesville, NY

I vote for Orpingtons--I have buff, white, and black--blue is due in April from my hatcher. Buffs are a beautiful big golden bird. They are calmer than other breeds. I wish you were in the Buffalo area, I'd give you some of my spring hatch! I'd also give you a deal on a dozen eggs--got 7 dozen in the fridge right now! Chickens are the best.
Good luck

Surry, VA(Zone 7b)

There's a great chicken forum you can visit and post any questions you may have. The people were very friendly and helpful, just like here, when I asked questions about raising chickens. It's http://ameraserve.com/chicken.html Your local extension agent should also be able to help you find someone locally. Or, you could be bold like me and politely knock on a chicken farmers's door, (I live in a pretty safe area though),and see if they have any healthy chickens for sale or find out where they get theirs. I've found in life that most people are very helpful when you share their hobby or interest. As we all know, sharing helps. Carol

New Paris, OH

I vote for orpingtons or any rock (Barred are very pretty) Get a heavy breed for foraging and insect control and if you get chicks you mux=st set up a brooder for them which they will live in for about 4 to 6 weeks.
If you use a mail order hatchery like others have said they have a minimum. This is because 25 is the fewest chicks that can be shipped and survive-any fewer and there isn't enuff heat.

I use My healthy only because they are about 1.5 hours from the farm so we can go down and pick up the peeps and get them home and in the brooder in hours, not days. We almost never lose onr=e this way but always lose some if we mail order. Murray McMurray has the best selection of bredds I have seen and they are nice to do business. If you have any loss they will cheerfully refund or credit your account.

Last sprinvg when we went down to Myt Healthy we caught a loose duckling in the parking lot. They didn't want him so now we have a mallard drake. I guess we will have to get him some ducks before the hens kill him.

Vashon, WA(Zone 8a)

I have a few chickens left but a racoon problem so I have to re-do my pen and fence. I have a trap for those R-critters but have not used it. I love the Cornish but all the ones you all mention also. We also have Aracuanas because we love the eggs. I saw an add for a foo-foo type resteraunt touting some Chlliean egg dish....ha ha some of those people would puke if they knew they were green or blue. I can not stand any other eggs but home grown, I am spoiled. I love the sounds chicken make and they way they run, just put little football helmets on them and they look like football players, right? I love home grown chicken to eat too but do not want to slaughter without help, I just live with my sister (developmentaly disabled). I wish I could get everything fresh from the farm, that's what I'd wish for if I won the lottery! At least I can have vegtables, herbs and some fruit, that is better than nothing! Love this site!!! Dave is a gem!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ooops almost forgot, I get my chickens from Murray MacMurry but you have to get at least 25 so they can stay warm. They have a web site BTW.

Milton, FL(Zone 8a)

You can also check www.eggbay.com.That is a site that sells
poultry,eggs,cage birds etc.A bit pricey but a nice place to buy a few chickens.

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