Alright, so you have decided you want to start raising chickens either on your homestead or in your backyard? Well before you head out and get just any odd breed, there are a few things that you should consider when it comes to choosing your chicken breeds. These will help you select the right breed based on your needs and make the whole experience a lot more fun and fulfilling. Here’s a chicken breed comparison chart, you can also refer to.
The first thing you should consider is what purpose do you need your chickens for, usually between for eggs or meat and sometimes even both. Then once you have decided what you need the chickens for, you can drill down even further.
When raising chickens for eggs you can then further look into things like egg production, size, color and productivity. When raising for meat, you can look at things like how fast they grow and their color. One important thing to note, is that when raising for both the egg production will never be the same as if it was an egg layer breed, and the same goes for the meat breads.
2. Standard Vs Hybrid
If you choose a standard breed, you will find you have more options when it comes to things like color, size, plumage, head crests and more. They are usually very colorful. The hybrid breeds tend to be easier to identify the sex when they hatch and more productive laying more eggs and growing way faster.
This will determine how the birds behave around each other or when they are in contact with people. There are breeds that are pretty chilled and calm, whilst others tend to be more aggressive. This important to know especially if you are trying to raise chickens in your backyard in an urban setting. Then you would probably look at the Cochin breed, which lay 2 to 3 eggs weekly, but are quiet and friendly.
The lifestyle your chickens will live, should also be considered. Their living conditions for example, if your chicken coop is outdoors then it would be wise to choose a breed that can withstand the harsh temperatures of the winter such as Easter Eggers. However, although this breed lays multi colored eggs it is also very noisy. There are some breeds that thrive free ranging, whilst others tend to wait for you to feed them.
At the end of day, personal preference will play a huge part on which breed you select. The best egg layers are Barred Rocks which are docile, enjoy free ranging, make great pets and can lay over 150 eggs per year. Others great layers are the Rhode Island Reds, Australorps, Sex Links and the more popular Leghorns.
You can use the chicken picker tool at My Pet Chicken, here…
You can watch the video below on choosing chicken breeds…