Friday, January 7, 2011


I told some of my teacher friends at work today that my new idea is to get a few chickens for my garden. They laughed and waited for me to say the words, "Of course I'm joking". But I'm really serious. I've thought about getting a few chickens for years. There is no city law against them and they would be pets kept in a nice, roomy area with a chicken fence. I would tame them since many breeds actually like to be picked up and cared for. I'm thinking about breeds that would take the SUMMER HEAT, are great egg layers (I would not EAT a pet you know), and have a nice temperament. If you know of any garden bloggers that have chickens, tell them I'd love some input. Here are a few I'm thinking about.  I'm getting hens since roosters crow loudly and I don't won't to wake the neighbors.  (Images from Wikipedia and Oklahoma State University)

Australorp: a black chicken prized for laying many brown eggs. Described as 'delightful, a great pet chicken, calm, and friendly". Also called " peaceful and dignified" and "docile, sweet, and shy".  Has soft, shiny black feathers with a greenish or purplish hue in sunlight.

Barred Plymouth Rock: looks like a zebra with black and white stripes. Described as 'sweet, very friendly, great layer, and easy to manage. Gets along with people and other chickens".

Welsummer: looks like the chicken on Kellogg's Corn Flakes, brown and black. Described as "active, friendly, intelligent, and easily handled".

(New Hampshire Red is very similar to Production Red)
Production Red: a hybrid cross between the Rhode Island Red and the New Hampshire Red. It has a bit lighter shade than the darker Rhode Island Red. It's an efficient egg producer and can take climate extremes of both hot and cold. The hens are described as for the most part calm and docile.

(Image of Ameraucanas...Easter Eggers vary in color and are not a standard breed)
Easter Eggers (often sold as Ameraucanas): Not considered by some to be a breed, but carries the blue/green gene that produces these beautiful eggs. Described as having a 'fun' personality and usually quite friendly to children and humans. The pullets(hens) are smaller than most and weigh 4 lbs. compared to other hens that can weigh 6 to 8 pounds. Considered to be especially docile. Said to like treats and will often follow you around while you do garden chores.  I really want one of the Easter Eggers.

Buff Orpington: Described as have a calm disposition and easy to handle. A heavy breed weighing up to 8 pounds. Can lay large, brown eggs year round and is said to be easy to handle. Also said to be 'large, gentle, and friendly'. They have a lot of plummage, so I'm not certain if they will do well during hot, Texas summers.




Any other breeds I should consider? Texas gets hot in the summer and so that's my top concern.
David :0)


  1. I've been thinking of getting chickens too. I look forward to reading about your adventures in raising hens.

  2. Um, Clare at Curbstone Valley Farm is a virtual chicken expert. You will learn anything and everything you ever wanted to know by reading her site.

  3. has chickens, she lives outside of San Diego. Closer to home is in College Station. I'm sure there are more, but those are the two that I can think of off the top of my head.

  4. Robin at Bumblebee Blog and Dee at Red Dirt Ramblings both raise chickens. Either of them would be delighted to assist you, I know.

  5. Hi Cindy, Houston Garden Girl, and Florida Girl!
    Thanks for the help on finding chicken friendly folks. I'm excited to know the garden bloggers and the chicken bloggers have some Venn diagram things going on. You know, the 2 circles that overlap....with the middle having both in common. Now I just wish I had enough sunlight to raise a vegetable garden again (3rd circle). David/ Tropical Texana

  6. Australorps are lovely chickens to keep. Very calm and friendly, and pretty intelligent as far as chickens go. We've (hubby & I) found them to be very good layers, and soothing and beautiful to watch with their glossy black plumage which has a greeny metallic sheen to it. We live in the northern tropics of Australia, and they don't seem to get too stressed out by the heat. Best of luck with your choice!

    Michelle - Far North Queensland, Australia


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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