looking for young ready-to-lay pullets in auckland

hi all! Im a newbie Oooby and I have finally got the chicken coop that i found on the roadside up and running and im ready to get some lovely chicken friends in there : ) Does anyone know of some anywhere in AK that i could buy from? Would prefer to have organically raised free range girls.... Also, i have been looking on Trademe at some and there seems to be a lot of shavers out there. What would people reccommend for breeds. I don't have a huge amount of land, and thinking around three at the most. But bantams perhaps are a little too small?

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  • You may be feeding your older chickens with an aggressive brand of chicken pellets which has more hormones in it. Once a commercial chicken farmer told me, the pellets they used are good for pullets, but not 2 or 3 year old chickens. They can have exploded bottom and die. I feed mine with chicken mash mixed with sprouted wheat and barley.
  • Hi there, I can recommend orpingtons and light sussex too. I have 2 of each and 1 brown shaver.

    My orpingtons are about 18months old but they are definitely off the lay now, so I'm not sure about the claims of laying through winter!

    In our case the shaver is actually the tamest but having had shavers for years I can confirm that they lay really well for about 2-3 years and then get quite sporadic. Some of ours have become egg bound as they got older too. This is not pretty and resulted in death for our girls. A former chicken farmer said this was quite common in shavers older than 2 or 3. Mostly though our older chooks have simply sat down one day, with no real warning and died. Our araucana did that too, so when they are ready they just kind of leave and we bury them under a tree (means I have never actually had to kill one for meat...yet).

    I have been told that spring -born chicks are best (stronger than autumn-born) so if you get pullets now I'd think they would start to lay in about August if they haven't been already. check out these guys http://www.preciouspoultry.co.nz/ they have great descriptions of breeds and you can buy from direct from them.
  • Another chicken newbie question : can you mix and match ? Can you have say 2 shavers and 2 orpingtons ?
  • thanks everyone for your replies and your offer Steve, i might look for Orpingtons though : ) This seems to be the breed that other people reccommend as well
    i'm assuming that Janet and Nikki havent any to sell?
  • Hi Zoe, i started with shavers but now like the old purebred chickens. Orpingtons are lovely and tame and quiet. I also have white sussex, an old english breed, they are also good layers and quiet (important for us city dwellers!!) I also have brown leghorns. would'nt recommend as very scatty and flighty and not tame at all.
  • If you want a bit of color, araucanas lay blue/green eggs. They can be a little "wilder" and better flyers than some of the heavier "meat" breeds, but mine have always been friendly. I hand raise my chicks, so they are more accustomed to people.
  • I'm no expert, but as a rough guide to breeds, the shavers seem to have a shorter but more productive life, as in they lay eggs more frequently but perhaps only for a few years. The fancier breeds may not lay every single day and lay fewer per year, but will keep laying for longer. Orpingtons are apparently known for keeping laying regularly through the winter, whereas most other breeds either slow down or stop altogether when the hours of daylight reduce. They also lay good sized eggs.
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