Chicken Breeds – Which One is Right for You?
Chickens are no longer only on farms in rural areas, so no matter what your goals are, you will find chicken breeds that are right for you. You can raise your own chickens in your suburban backyard or even outside your city apartment. Chickens offer a consistent and sustainable source of food, and they also make wonderful pets. Here are some things to consider to help you find the best chicken breed for your lifestyle.
Why do you want chickens?
Ask yourself why you are interested in raising chickens.
Do you want to take care of them as pets and use their eggs for food?
Or, are you raising chickens for slaughter with the intention of eating their meat?
Once you determine what you will do with your chickens, you can learn about the various chicken breeds and how they will suit you.
What are some of the best chicken breeds?
You may not realize that multiple chicken breeds exist, yet they are numerous. Each of the following chicken breeds have their strengths and are highly recommended, even for people without much farming experience. They can be raised in any setting, including small backyards.
The Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is one of the most common and most popular chicken breeds. They are named after the lovely rust color of their feathers. They lay exceptional brown eggs, and they are a dual-purpose bird, which means that they can also be used for slaughter. They are easy to maintain and therefore are considered the “quintessential backyard chicken.”
The Plymouth Rock
This breed is one of the most highly recommended chicken breeds for beginners. They lay large brown eggs. They are pleasant and friendly birds, so they make great pets. Of course, if you are less interested in their role as pets and more interested in their role as dinner, you will do well with the Plymouth Rock. They weigh an average of 9.5 pounds, which is substantial for a slaughter chicken.
The Leghorn chicken was originally discovered in Italy, and it is now one of the most common chickens throughout the world. This chicken is famous for its bountiful egg production. It is not meant to be slaughtered, so if you are only interested in plenty of eggs, the Leghorn is an excellent choice. However, it is important to note that this is a particularly noisy breed. If you live close to neighbors, they may not appreciate the Leghorn.
The Jersey Giant
As its name implies, the Jersey Giant is an incredibly large chicken. These birds can weigh up to 13 pounds, so they are ideal for meat. If you are looking for large chickens to slaughter and are less interested in egg production, the Jersey Giant is the chicken for you.
If you want blue eggs, the Ameraucana is your bird! They are not meant to be slaughtered, so if you are looking for meat, look elsewhere. The Ameracauna is a great pet with a friendly disposition and an excellent egg layer with a colorful bounty.
After you review these chicken breeds and select the one that is right for you, consider how much space you have available. You should offer 3 to 4 square feet of space for each chicken, so the number of chickens you can house depends on the amount of space you can offer.
Once you’ve made your choice start thinking of building a suitable home for your feathered friends. To make sure you have the right plans for your chicken coop project read my review here.
Henderson’s Chicken Breed Chart