We have had a house built which is approx a 900mm cube plus nesting box. This will sit inside a secure run which is around 3m by 8m (full height), which they will have permanent access to and free range when I am in the garden. I wanted to get some wyandotte bantams and maybe a couple of hybrids, but I'm not sure how many how many to get without cramming them in?
I had a look at similar sized houses on the web and it says around 8 hens, but as I am thinking of wyandotte bantams, I'm not sure what would be the best number?
Can anyone also recommend a good hybrid that will get along with the wyandottes, provide a reasonable number of eggs and is also very child friendly?
Can't help with the house question... but I have 5 hybrids and their personality varies wildly even between the same breeds! This might help though:
Gingernut rangers - had 2, now only got 1. 1 is super friendly, loves a cuddle, really nosy and sometime noisy! She's lovely, not the best looking bird (a bit scrawny) but a good layer with occassional double yolker. Other one (before she dies) not at all friendly (would stay away) but a fantastic layer of double yolkers. Large, tinted eggs.
Miss Pepperpots - got 2. Beautiful birds, very easy. Not 'friendly' but not aloof either. Will allow a cuddle. Good, reliable layers. med-large speckled eggs.
Pied suffolk - lovely looking but BIG. fairly inquisitive but not 'friendly. Fairly good layer of average pale eggs.
Bluebelle - lovely looking but again, BIG. Quite aloof but still young. Quiet though. Just started laying small dark brown eggs.
I think that it's hard to define a 'breed' as being friendly as the individual chickens do vary, but the top 2 are a good bet I reckon.
The more you handle them and the more time you spend with them the friendlier they are - just like other pets really, no mystery to it! We have an elderly neighbour who has one hen that she hand feeds and who sleeps at night in her utility room. Daftest, friendliest (and fattest) bird i have ever seen. Look at the size rather than the breed and how much time you can spend with them
The best hybrid that we've had has been our Speckledy ;Clover,she is on her third summer very reliable layer and quite friendly.We have had a bluebelle in the past and to be honest I found her to be quite skittish and definitely not awfully friendly (friend who has them says hers has been really friendly though so perhaps we were just unlucky ).At the moment we also have an Amber Star(white )laid really well through the winter but seems to be on a bit of a break ,a Colombine lays really pretty green/blue eggs and is quite friendly , and we also have a Welsummer ,who is a pure breed ,a real character and lays fantastic eggs .