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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The local feed store has Buff Orpington, Black Sex Links (Black Stars) and Production Reds.

Are production reds just as good as rhode island reds? I want egg production and am not too concerned about a meat chicken. It would be nice to have a dual purpose chicken for butchering, but I already have Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks and Dominickers.

My girlfriend wants some Buff Orpington chicks. I thought about getting her maybe 8 buffs and maybe 4 more chicks of another breed to make an even dozen.

The Buff Orpington will make a nice dual purpose bird when it is grown. What I need is quality egg production as I already have mainly dual purpose chickens.

For egg production, how do you think the black star (black sex link) compares to the production red?

Here are the chicks I got in spring 2015. Some were killed by predators, some died from the summer heat, and my exwife took some in the divorce.


I would like to replace the chicks I lost.

EDIT

Another feed store has Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.
 

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My production reds layed almost daily even threw the winter. They also make a decent dual purpose bird and are good stewing hens at 2 yrs old. I like the rhode island reds better but they dont lay quite as many eggs as the production reds. I would get a cpl buff orpingtons if your hoping to have any go broody, although i have had two barred rocks hatch out some eggs for me last spring.
 

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Cave canem
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Production Reds and Rhode Island Reds can be pretty aggressive towards gentler birds like Buff Orpingtons. Bullying becomes even worse if you have a bunch of an aggressive breed and only a few members of a breed with a softer temperament.

If you plan to buy some at the feed store (and keep them together) then production reds would probably be best for egg production. If your girlfriend really wants Buffs they would likely get along well with the Black Sex Links (both are gentle) instead of the RIRs or Reds.

Are these new birds going to mix in with your existing flock? Or will your girlfriend have her own flock?
 

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I think you made good choices. Buff orpingtons are good, calm, gentle and productive. I've never had production reds, but I have had the black sex links. They are a cross between Rhode Island reds and barred rocks. They are excellent egg layers, probably the best I ever had, but are "pecky". They peck everything, including the people who are feeding them. I'd be reluctant to have them around young children and I'm not sure I'd have them for myself either.
 

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Never had a problem mixing any breeds when Ive raised them together as chicks. That includes bantams as long as theres enough space for them to get away from each other. Of course some are lower in the pecking order.
 

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For efficiency you want the most egg weight in return for feed weight input. The leghorns are unbeatable. On the downside they are skinny, bony meat birds best used to flavor soup. They don't have enough meat for dual-purpose use. The other downside for egg sales is the white shell. Folks want fresh eggs to be brown shelled. They think they taste different. All eggs, white, brown, green, or other are the same inside. I raise mostly brow shell types because they sell better for direct purchase. I also raise games. They are hard to beat for foraging and production. Shells are cream color. The roosters can be a handful though. All are fun to keep.
 
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