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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:09 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:59 pm
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Hi. Looking for some advice. I am completely new to chooks. We live semi rural and have a 3 year old. We would like chooks as pets, for eggs, to eat the snails and to turn my veggie patches over. Maybe also breeding and eating the boys.

What would you recommend pure breed or mixed breed flock? What breed or breeds?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 3:47 pm 
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Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
There are benefits to both. It ultimately depends on what you want to do and what you want from your chickens.

A mixed flock will give you variety to look at (there are some beautiful chicken breeds out there), and variety with the eggs that are laid, both in colour and size, shape and regularity. Having a mixed flock can give you a longer layer period, choosing breeds such as Leghorns, any of the other Mediterranean breeds (Minorca, Ancona), etc, they tend to lay more and are broody less. But other dual purpose breeds (Dorking, Australorp, Wyandotte, Marans, Naked Necks, there are a lot) will give you meat birds as well as eggs, and with some breeds, broodies to raise offspring. You also increase your chances of durability with the birds, some are more hardy than others.

A pure flock however gives you the ability to really concentrate on a particular breed. It allows you to really focus on breeding quality birds that are as close to the standard as possible, for your own satisfaction, but also if you want to sell or show them. There are a lot of poor quality pure breed chickens being sold out there, so breeders who focus on producing quality, healthy and to standard birds are valuable.

I have a mixed flock myself, I like the variety and differences between the birds. However it's not very mixed, I've predominantly got Silver Grey Dorkings, with a couple of Araucana and a Wyandotte, and some Pekin Bantams in the brooder. I really like the Dorkings, they are an auto-sexing breed so you know the sex of your birds upon hatch, they are great egg layers and great heritage meat bird. If you have a young child, a couple of the friendly birds are good too, Pekin Bantams and Silkies don't lay a lot of eggs, but they are great, friendly chickens.

No matter what birds you pick, build your pen bigger than you think because you will most likely get more, and setting up an electric fence around the pen will help in any rural area to keep foxes and other predators away.

Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:37 am 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 2:59 pm
Posts: 3
Azira wrote:
There are benefits to both. It ultimately depends on what you want to do and what you want from your chickens.

A mixed flock will give you variety to look at (there are some beautiful chicken breeds out there), and variety with the eggs that are laid, both in colour and size, shape and regularity. Having a mixed flock can give you a longer layer period, choosing breeds such as Leghorns, any of the other Mediterranean breeds (Minorca, Ancona), etc, they tend to lay more and are broody less. But other dual purpose breeds (Dorking, Australorp, Wyandotte, Marans, Naked Necks, there are a lot) will give you meat birds as well as eggs, and with some breeds, broodies to raise offspring. You also increase your chances of durability with the birds, some are more hardy than others.

A pure flock however gives you the ability to really concentrate on a particular breed. It allows you to really focus on breeding quality birds that are as close to the standard as possible, for your own satisfaction, but also if you want to sell or show them. There are a lot of poor quality pure breed chickens being sold out there, so breeders who focus on producing quality, healthy and to standard birds are valuable.

I have a mixed flock myself, I like the variety and differences between the birds. However it's not very mixed, I've predominantly got Silver Grey Dorkings, with a couple of Araucana and a Wyandotte, and some Pekin Bantams in the brooder. I really like the Dorkings, they are an auto-sexing breed so you know the sex of your birds upon hatch, they are great egg layers and great heritage meat bird. If you have a young child, a couple of the friendly birds are good too, Pekin Bantams and Silkies don't lay a lot of eggs, but they are great, friendly chickens.

No matter what birds you pick, build your pen bigger than you think because you will most likely get more, and setting up an electric fence around the pen will help in any rural area to keep foxes and other predators away.

Good luck!

Thanks for the reply. I'm thinking I will go with a mixed flock for now as I'm not sure how to do a good job with breading quality birds or have the right set up with breeding pens.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 9:30 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6731
Location: ACT area
Start with a mixed flock. You can always select a preferred breed later on if you develop a particular interest and gain more experience. You will get good general knowledge from a range of birds and is a good starting place to base later choices on if you wish.
Consider a mixed flock of pure breeds (or cross breeds) rather than a range of commercial layers.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 11:31 pm 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 9:54 pm
Posts: 413
Location: adelaide
As for a breed Australorps seem good layers that are robust and common enough that you should get them at a reasonable price.

They come in several colours.

Are chooks god at eating snails?

I thought Ducks are the go for eating snails.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 12:46 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6731
Location: ACT area
Chooks love snails.
Snails are a good source of protein for chooks
Snails eat your garden if the chooks don't eat them
Chooks love to eat what snails eat
Chooks will eat your garden if you let them
Snails are a vector for Tape Worm
Chooks which eat snails need regular worming with a product which kills Tape Worm.
Ducks eat snails too


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 10:55 am 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:53 pm
Posts: 1349
Location: West of Bendigo
With a little three-year-old I'd go for small friendlies that kids can play around safely and relate to. Pekins and Silkies and d'Uccles are child-friendly. So you slightly compromise on egg frequency and size, but benefit from the cuties presence and gardening usefulness. No need for a rooster at all, and that means no moments of aggression a rooster can turn on.

Then if you want to raise some for eating, just buy some pure bred fertile eggs to put under your broody hens, raise the male chicks to eat and easily sell the females.

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