Once you have decided to keep chickens, you must be wondering about the breed you should choose according to your specific circumstances.
When considering the type and breed of chicken to raise on your homestead or farm, you should know that chickens come in multiple sizes and colors. They even have different personalities.
The right kind of chicken depends on why you want to keep a coop. Do you want to raise chickens for having eggs, meat or just as pets?
There are a few types of chickens that are exceptionally good egg layers such as Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds. Whereas, Broilers or other breeds don’t lay too many eggs but are great for meat.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you have enough time to care for your chickens. If you don’t have enough time to maintain your coop, you should opt for self-reliant types of chickens, such as Buff Orpingtons.
Moreover, you also need to consider the weather or climate that is ideal for the breed you prefer. Most breeds are excellent in all climates. If you are investing in chickens that are being sold to you locally, then there is not much to worry about.
But in case you are purchasing rare breeds, which beginners should not do in the first place, you need to guarantee that they can survive in your backyard coop.
In this guide, we are going to explore the best and most common chicken breeds to help you make the best decision.
True Ameracaunas comprise of a rare breed of South American chicken. What’s fascinating about this breed is that the chickens lay blue eggs.
The chickens are a mix of South American breeds and originated from Chile during the 1970s. This interesting breed is excellent for laying a good number of eggs.
However, you won't get much meat out of these chickens. Eggs and personalities can vary. The green, blue and even cream colored eggs are incredibly popular among farmers and children.
Another common breed is the Plymouth Rock. The Barred Plymouth Rocks are popular and good-looking and originated from Massachusetts.
This breed is relatively popular for a homestead. Farmers like Plymouth Rock Chickens because of their docile and gentle personalities. The birds are popular for both their meat and eggs but the latter is given more importance.
New Hampshire Reds are best known for their meat. However, this is a dual-purpose breed which can also come in handy for collecting more eggs. This breed can have varying personalities from aggressive to docile and tame.
Being prolific egg-layers, Rhode Island chickens were once a standard for all poultry farms. However, they are great for meat too. This breed is handsome and active, but the birds are incredibly calm. But beware of the Rhode Island Red roosters since they can be aggressive.
Wyandotte Chickens are beautiful creatures and were initially called the American Sebright. This breed comprises of dual-purpose birds.
All chickens lay a good number of brown eggs. Even though the breed has several color varieties, the most common type is the silver-laced Wyandotte. Since they are inherently good-natured and can survive through inclement weather conditions, these birds are perfect for beginners.
This breed is English, and the chickens were once the most popular British table bird. The most common variety is the Speckled Sussex. Thanks to their white speckles and brown plumage, they are sure to stand out in a flock. These birds have curious and friendly personalities and make for great pets.
Before you start a chicken coop, make sure you consider different breeds and your climatic conditions. Pay attention to the size of your backyard and how much time and money you can invest in the venture.
Here are the most popular backyard breeds:
These chickens are one of the best choices for any beginner. Being dual-purpose, these birds hailing from Australia serve multiple purposes. Australorps generally lay around 250 brown eggs per year. The birds are excellent layers as well as good foragers. They are easy to care for and are the best choice for you if it’s your first time starting a coop.
These beautiful, friendly and fluffy creates are also dual-purpose. The breed comes in different colors including white, black, buff, blue and lavender. You can get almost 200 light brown eggs per year. Buff Orpingtons come in a beautiful shade of gold.
Easter Egger chickens are popular for laying colorful eggs. The eggs are blue, green and even pink. It is not a breed, but a bird that lays colored eggs. It doesn't conform to breed standards for Araucana or Ameraucana chickens.
These are hybrids that vary in appearance. Some of these chickens have fluffy beards or crests. Typically, these egg-laying chickens tend to lay fewer eggs than other breeds.
This breed is large sized and comes in white, black and blue colors. Jersey Giants lay around 260 brown eggs per year. However, they are dual-purpose birds which are docile and calm. This reason is why they make an excellent choice for beginners.
One of the most productive egg layers, Leghorn chickens lay 280 white eggs per year. However, this breed gets startled easily, and the birds are not docile. Nevertheless, the chickens are productive layers and survive through the hot climate, thanks to their large comb.
Since, chickens have more than 200 breeds, choosing the right one can be tricky. All types and breeds of chicken have different dietary needs. It is essential to feed them according to their needs to keep them healthy.
Regardless of the breed of chicken you want to raise in your coop, it is essential that you keep their environment clean and tidy.