Your Backyard Chicken Keeping Toolkit
While there are dozens of different types of chickens, selecting one to be a part of your flock can be challenging. First you’ll want to consider the role of the chicken meaning, is it a pet, will it be bread for meat or an egg producer? There are lots of choices to make when selecting the right type of chicken.
Egg laying chickens come in a variety of breeds and their egg production will vary. The top egg laying chickens that produce white eggs are Ancona, Andalusian, Catalina, Hamburg, Holland, Lakenvelder, Leghorn, Minorca, and Redcap. Each chicken will have their own disposition as well from nervous to wild, noisy or shy.
There are also chickens that lay brown eggs and they include Australorp, Java, Naked Neck Turkin, Plymouth Rock, Delaware, Dominique, Rhode Island, Sussex, and Wyandotte. Many of these chickens have good dispositions and are relatively mild mannered and good producers.
If you’re interested in growing chickens for meat, you want to look for breeds that are able to gain weight within the first 4 months of life. The disposition of these types of chickens is less important than egg layers because they aren’t expected to live for long. Meat producing breeds consist of Cornish and Cornish Cross.
Some hens of specific breeds can both be used as egg producers but also provide a good source of meat. These types of birds may be ideal. An example of these types of chickens include Brahma, Buckeye, Catalina, Araucana, Australorp, Barnevelder, and many others already mentioned above.
Birds like the Cochin, Phoenix, and Showgirls are perhaps a bit more attractive than those chickens bred purely as a food source but whatever type of chicken you decide you’d like to breed or raise, it’s good to do a little research based on your ultimate goals.