Rhode Island Reds
Rhode Island Reds, (abbreviated RIR), are some of the most docile chickens you can own, making them the perfect family friendly pet. They are also some of the most popular of chickens as they make for good egg layers (a nice brown in color) and for a sizable meat bird, but once you meet your RIR, fried chicken will be the furthest thing from your mind. They are insatiably curious too.
Whereas many chickens scatter when frightened, some of the RIR’s will want to check out what has got the other chickens upset. In the case of a predator, this isn’t always a good thing.
Many of them are so friendly, they will actually eat from your hand while you hold them. Some won’t do this as they will be too busy struggling to get away. One RIR hen we had we named Rhose. She had no fear of our large dogs and would often attempt to eat out of the dog’s bowl, when they were still eating. Our lab didn’t quite know what to do when this bird started pecking away at the food and just kind of let her do it.
The RIR’s we had always got along with the other breeds of chickens we had, almost too well, until it was time for the broodiness to begin and they didn’t like anyone, human or chicken alike to disturb them. The low rumble they made in their throat was a clear sign that they weren’t happy with something.
Buff Orpington Hen
The to be) than the hens. They lay large eggs that are tannish to brown in color and they lay a lot of them. They are docile, and pleasant additions to your flock. They lack the curiosity of the RIR but a few of them will eat from your hand while you hold them. Their color is a beautiful golden hue. So much so that we named one of the Buffs “Golden”. Original? No. But sure fit the bill.
They always got along fine with the other birds and made excellent mothers to the chicks they produced. The one disadvantage to the Buffs, and to be fair, it wasn’t their fault, is that predators were able to spot them from long distances and they always seemed to be targeted. They are sweet birds and very friendly to people they don’t know, even when those people are curious second graders on a day’s outing with a habit of picking birds up.
Having had both breeds for years, choosing which one to pick from the two would be difficult, close to impossible. If it came down to it, and I couldn’t get both, I would choose the Buff for the size of their eggs alone.