Suzie Baldwin at Hollywater Hens in Hampshire, lists the most popular birds with her customers
Here at Hollywater Hens we sell a lot of chickens. The most popular at the moment are the hybrids, but I have to say that more and more people are getting the chicken keeping bug and coming back for pure breeds to add to their flock. With so many different breeds, we are spoilt for choice. Here are my top six best sellers:
These are chickens that have been bred mixing different breeds together to produce one that excels at egg laying (up to 300 eggs a year). They are very hardy, healthy birds with less of a tendency to go broody than pure breeds. They come in a variety of colours - ginger, grey, white, speckled, white and black, and produce a variety of egg colours - blue, brown, cream and white - which is great if you want an attractive egg box. Some are very placid and friendly. Some can be rather flighty, but they are a great starter bird and are a very popular choice for beginners.
These girls are hugely popular, and with good reason. They are a small breed that is well suited to smaller gardens. Being friendly and loving interaction, they are very
suitable for young children. They walk like Charlie Chaplin and have personalities to match a lion. They come in lots of different colours and brighten any garden with their beauty and charm. They are hardy and robust and mix well with most breeds if given enough space. Expect around 120 small sized eggs a year (they make the best scotch eggs) although this does depend on how many times they go broody! They make great broodies and are protective and attentive mums.
Buff Orpington’s have always been popular. They are a stunning, large docile bird with the best fluffy bums by far! They are often featured in magazines. They have endearing personalities and are calm and inquisitive. Because of their size they are not flighty nor escape artists but they do need a large house with low perches. These birds come in an array of colour - but Buff is the most popular colour with blue/splash a close second. Their eggs are a good size and you can expect about 160 a year from them.
4 HOLLYWATER GREEN
This last couple of years has seen a huge increase in people wanting different coloured eggs, so we have produced our own strain of bird producing green eggs. They are a mix of Marans and Cream Legbar. They are fab girls and mix well within a flock and great layers. They produce round 180 good sized khaki green coloured eggs. They don’t particularly like being cuddled but are happy to eat treats from your hand.
ABOVE: A Lavender Pekin CENTRE: A group of Suzie aldwin’s hens, including hybrids
TOP: Buff Orpingtons ABOVE LEFT: Suzie Baldwin
Hollywater Greens. This is a strain produced at Hollywater Hens