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Small breeds - any suggestions?

stevenandnicolastevenandnicola Junior Member
edited February 2013 in Pure Breeds and Enthusiasts
My wife and I are about to enter the world of chicken keeping.
My wife is quite keen on bantams because of their size, but I enjoy eggs and would like decent sized ones.
Are there any smallish breeds that produce decent sized eggs that would be good for beginners?



  • monkeymummymonkeymummy Senior Member
    edited June 2012

    Welcome to the wonderful world of chooks (almost!). Well I love Pekins, their eggs are around 2/3 size of a normal egg, but the yolk is only a tiny bit smaller than a normal egg so useless for baking but make the best scrambled, souffles, fried eggs etc. Pekins are very friendly and great if you have kids as they tolerate human contact well (so far in my experience). They are also fine at being confined for periods of time - mine free range when I am home but are in a smallish run when I am at work. On the down size bantams are prone to broodiness, and Pekins are particularly bad, but they are cute. Wyandotte bantams produce lovely eggs, very slightly bigger than Pekin eggs and whilst prone to broodiness, are certainly not as bad as Pekins. They are more skittish tho.

    Hope this helps - may be worth reposting on the Health and Welfare Section as that is where most of us 'hang out'.

  • stevenandnicolastevenandnicola Junior Member
    edited June 2012
    That's great advice,
    We have just come across some pekins locally. They are 10 weeks old but haven't been wormed or vaccinated.
    Should this be cause for concern? Avoid? or can vaccinations be done at this point?
    Only just starting to read up on hen keeping. Advice much appreciated.
  • MEGANMEGAN Senior Member
    edited June 2012
    Pekins are adorable but as Sarah says they have a tendency to go broody a lot which means no eggs for a while. They also have a rest in winter which most pure breeds do. So it really depends how important eggs are to you. I would not be without mine they are such great little characters and if you have children they are great. None of my hens are vaccinated and not too many pure breeds are and I have never had any problem. I do believe that if you look around you can find vaccinated pekins. As far as I know vaccinations are done when they are small chicks and are done in bulk I think vaccinations come in like 1000 batches so thats probably why small breeders don't do it. I think you will get different answers to this question depending on who you speak to and if they have had problems.
    At ten weeks old the pekins should be sexed so you won't end up with a cockerel but just make sure they are a reputable breeder because it happens a lot people being palmed off with cockerels, you end up getting attached and then they start to crow :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
    I could write a book on hen keeping now I didn't do enough research before starting out well done you for finding out before taking the plunge. Just get back on a nd ask any questions everyone on here is friendly and helpful.
  • monkeymummymonkeymummy Senior Member
    edited June 2012
    10 week olds aound good - I got my girls at 16 weeks who were all vaccinated as I lost my first 3 Pekins last year (they had e-coli) and I was paranoid about them getting something else, mainly because my daughter was so broken hearted). Although my girls are vaccinated and came from a large breeder they weren't problem free - one had scaly mite really badly!!

    Personally, when you are ready I would go and look, you should get a gut feeling - are they clean, happy, looking alert etc etc.

    I leapt in too quickly and have ended up with a much smaller run than I should have bought which has a felt lid - means I do have to be extra vigilant for red mite too, so take care - cheapest is certainly not best!!!

    Pekins are fab, but as Megan says if you are wanting a good supply of eggs then they won't be for you.
  • edited June 2012
    Personally, I'd go for a Light Sussex Bantam. There are still some good utility birds around and they will lay a fair number of bantam sized eggs for you.

    I keep large fowl Light Sussex but the bantams are equally as nice :-)
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited June 2012
    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on taking the plunge into hennie keeping. Very addictive and great fun!

    We have a mixture of large and small here. Bantams do go broody A LOT!! We have Buff Sussex, Pekin frizzle (backward feathers, gorgeous) Pekin plus the large breed girls. If space is an issue, go for bantams. I am happy with our mixture. We run two main houses, one for large one for small girls. Though at the moment I have 4 houses... (it is addictive). Creme legbars are great and you get green eggs too... perhaps start with some bantams, then when one goes broody, get some day old legbars and pop them under :D
  • john 64john 64 Junior Member
    edited February 2013
    Personally, I'd go for a Light Sussex Bantam. There are still some good utility birds around and they will lay a fair number of bantam sized eggs for you.

    I keep large fowl Light Sussex but the bantams are equally as nice :-)
    I also keep light sussex bantams good layers hardy easy to keep. are prone to going broody but for some people a bonus who may want to hatch some eggs.
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