Now that everything is all set up, it is time to pick out the breed that you would like to bring home. There are many breeds of chickens, but not all of them are going to work the best in your backyard. Some just don’t do well for producing eggs while others may not do the best in colder climates because of the heat. You will need to choose carefully to decide which chickens are going to be the right one for your family.
The first thing that you should consider when picking out a chicken is the temperament. You want a breed that is easy to get along with and won’t mind being touched or followed, especially if you have some younger children. Chickens are that are a bit more vocal and loud may have trouble being around smaller children and should be avoided.
You will also need to consider how many eggs the chicken is able to produce. If you would like to have a good egg laying chicken, you need to pick a breed that will produce at least a few eggs each week. This is a challenge when first getting started and you don’t want to put in all that hard work to find out you’re wrong.
The weather in your area is going to make a big difference. Some chickens do poorly in cooler temperatures so if you live up in the north, you should not choose those breeds. On the other hand, there are several types of chickens that can do pretty well in the winter due to their thick coats and these may be the ones that you should go with.
Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences. There are many differences and similarities that come with each of the chicken types and you need to find the one that you like the best, whether it is because of the color of the bird, if they do well with children, or how well the chicken does in the cold.
The Plymouth Rock
The first kind of backyard chicken that you should consider is the Plymouth Rock. This breed has a lot of different varieties with the most popular options being the barred and the white. It is really friendly, making it perfect for hanging around in the backyard and with younger kids. It is good for those who are just starting out with the backyard chickens and need something that is sturdy and doesn’t need a lot of care.
This bird is able to reach a big weight of almost 9.5 pounds, which means they are going to be good for eating the meat. They are also perfect for laying brown eggs on a consistent basis. If you would like to have a chicken that can produce a lot of brown eggs each day and who will be good as a meat bird when it comes time to prepare for Thanksgiving, the Plymouth Rock chicken is the right option.
The Rhode Island Red
You can recognize this kind of bird by the rust colored feathers that are easy to spot from a mile away and it is one of first birds that hobbyists will choose when it comes to their backyard chickens. They are not going to get as big as the Plymouth Rock variety, but they are still a pretty big bird and they do well with hatching a lot of eggs so it is a good option for most families to choose.
You might want to make sure that you have some experience under your belt before choosing to go with the Leghorn. These are a little bit noisier and flighty compared to the other breeds and they may not like that little children are messing with them or all the loud noise that can come from this. But if you would like to get a chicken that is really good for the eggs, the Leghorn is one of the best for this due to their special breeding.
The Jersey Giant
This is the bird that you are going to choose if you really want a bird that is good for getting the meat from. This one is from America and if you feed them well and keep them happy, you will find that the Jersey Giant is able to get to a weight of 13 pounds in no time. This is one of the most popular breeds to choose if you would like to get a chicken that is mainly for the meat. There are a few different varieties that you are able to choose from and they all reach about the same size so you will be able to get a nice big bird.
To find this bird, you need to look for the chicken that has the fluffy feathers all around its head. These are one of the best known for raising blue colored eggs and they are really good for pets. For a family farm, they will work well with kids and the children may like to see the eggs of different colors as well as all the feathers that are on the chickens’ head.
While this kind of chicken does a great job at helping to lay a lot of eggs and can be perfect if this is the main purpose that you want out of this bird, they are not good for slaughtering. These birds do not reach really big weights and the meat is going to be minimal when eating. If you want some eggs from the bird, this is the breed to go with but if you are looking for more of a meat giver, you should pick another option.
For the person who is brand new to the idea of chicken farming in their backyard, this is a great breed to start with. They are great for laying a larger amount of brown eggs and their personality is great for just placing in the backyard and taking care of on occasion, and they do well with younger children. In fact, the Orpington likes to have contact from humans and can even jump on humans as you try to feed them so they won’t have any issues with the children playing with the chicks. In fact, even the adult birds like to get attention and will sit calmly in a lap before going to sleep.
The Orpington is not only good for laying some of the best eggs. You will find that they are a bigger bird, often getting to more than eight pounds so they can make for some good eating. They are a really hardy chicken and can tolerate the colder weather pretty well so they are perfect for being in the northern climates.
Next on the list is the Cornish chicken. This chicken is really popular for those who want to raise chickens for meat because this chicken is able to grow really fast. If you have a male Cornish chicken, you can expect them to get around 11 pounds and the hen can get to 8 pounds or more. And since they have some white plumage, you are not going to need to worry about having a pigment in the skin.
This breed is not really as active as some of the other breeds of chicken, so it is easier to keep them in one area and you will not have to waste a lot of time chasing them around and keeping them in their coop. They are also really good at living through the colder weather climates. But since these birds are slower and aren’t really good at defending themselves, this is not a good choice if you are going to have a mixed flock.
This breed is considered an ornamental breed. If you are looking to keep the chickens as a pet at the home, the Silkie is one of the best choices. They are really tame compared to some of the other breeds and they are pretty small so you will not have to chase them around to keep them contained. In addition, the hens are really good as mothers so you can hatch the fertile eggs and not have to do as much work. Even if the original mother is lost, the hens will become foster mothers and take care of any new babies that you add into the flock.
Silkies have some really great features. Their face is going to look similar to the Shiatsu dog and they have five toes, most chickens only have four toes, and black skin. They do well when they are kept in close confinement, but if you are having more than one type of chicken in the area, make sure to keep them separated from the flock. You should also take care during colder weather because their crest feathers will freeze in the cold.
These are just a few of the options that you can choose when it comes to picking out a chicken that you will like. You will need to pick whether you would like a chicken that is good at laying eggs or one that is better as a meat provider, or even one that can do the combination of the two. Once you find the chicken, or combination of chickens, that work the best for you, the rest of the process can be so much easier!