I get tons of questions over the temperment and qualities of the chickens we have in our coop, so I think it is high time that these special ladies get to shine in the spotlight. But before I tell you about them, I need to let you in on a lesser-known term for first time chicken buyers: chicken math. That’s right, math for chickens. This is a phrase that we as first time chicken parents had no clue about, and have had the “pleasure” of learning about through experience.
So, what is “chicken math”?
With that preface, I want to share our chicken ordering experience, and I bet you can guess what happens. We built our chicken coop with an enclosed run to protect our babies from all the hawks that we have nesting in our trees. Humanely, chickens need approx 8-10 sq ft per chicken in the run area to avoid any agression or health issues. With this knowledge in our back pocket, we decided that we wanted to have 10-12ish chickens total (maybe more if I get brave enough to let them range outside the run as they get older).
We decided to order our chickens from Cackle Hatchery, a hatchery that will ship your selected chick breed/sexes to you as soon as they hatch (one day old chicks). We decided to purchase 15 chicks, 3 of 5 different breeds, and did this because we expected some to not survive the mail/adolesance for whatever issue that can arise in baby chicks. WELL. Apparently the breeder already takes these risks into account, and sent us 5 EXTRA in case any were lost due to the mailing process or sickness.
So now, we have 20, healthy, thriving, RAVENOUS, chickens. Supposedly they are all female, but we are waiting to see if any crow before we start to rehome some of them. There’s just no way we can keep them all. First to go will be any roos, because we live in the city limits and have a couple of neighbors that would probably report them…lame…I know. But that’s okay. We aren’t ready to tackle the whole fertilized egg process just yet. Maybe one day!
With all that being said, I chose my breeds of chickens based on these primary factors: temperment, and egg color, and production output, all paired with how the bird itself would look.
Meet Our Flock Breeds:
We have 5 different breeds- Cuckoo Maran, Buff Orpington, Black Laced Golden Wyandotte, Brown Leghorn, and Easter Egger. Check out the quick facts about each breed below.
Size: Hens- 7 pounds; Roos- 8 pounds
Temperment: Friendly, Docile, Easily Handled
Egg color: Dark Chocolate Brown
Egg Production: 150/year
These are actually my easiest to catch and best handled chickens. Every single one of them is well-held, and may be my favorite breed in the coop for that reason.
Size: Hens- 8 pounds; Roos: 10 pounds
Temperment: Calm, Friendly, Bears Confinement well, Easily Handled, Docile, Quite
Egg color: Light Brown
Egg Production: 200-280/year
These birds are huge, which makes sense that they are great dual purpse birds. They’re extremely calm, howeve, I can’t catch one. These big girls have some speed!
Black Laced Golden Wyandotte
Size: Hens- 7 pounds; Roos: 9 pounds
Temperment: Bears Confinement Well, Calm, Docile, Easily Handled, Friendly, Quiet
Egg color: Brown and Speckled
Egg Production: 200/year
SUCH pretty birds. I love how the black in thier feathers refelcts blue/green in the sun. They have been some of my more difficult birds to catch, but when I do they are well handled and calm.
Size: Hens-6 pounds; Roos: 7 pounds
Temperment: Friendly, Bears Confinement well, Calm, Flighty, Noisy, Shy, Very Active
Egg Color: White
Egg Production: 300-320/year
While I haven’t noticed a major noise issue, these birds are extremely curious, but very flighty. They run at most sudden movements.
Size: Hens- 4 pounds; Roos-5 pounds
Temperment: Calm, Hardy, Friendly, Docile, Easily Handled, Bears Confinement Well
Egg Color: Blue/Green
Egg Production: 200-280/year
Fun fact: these chickens are named purely for their egg color, and no two birds are guaranteed to look alike! We have 2 fawn colored ones, a white one, and this beautiful grey one!
So as you can see, if we kept all 20 chickens, we would have SO MANY eggs on our hands (I’m talking average 5,000 eggs a year). All of these birds are either medium or high producers, and there is just too many of them.
Rumor is, we can 100% accurately sex anywhere between 4-6 months,we are just waiting for the crows! As a plus, any day now these ladies should start paying their rent! I hope to be able to name them once we rehome and get to our final number, and I will officially introduce the whole flock when that time comes!