My favorite breeds of chickens

These are just my recommendations on chickens. The right chicken breed for you depends a lot of what you personally like, what you are going to use them for and the climate and environment in which you live.

buff_orpingtons_mainMy all around favorite chicken is the Buff Orpington. They are the gentlest of chicken breeds. They are also a dual purpose hen. Meaning they are a meat/ laying hen. The hens get about 8 lbs but some are smaller. They are less likely to fly out since they are heavier if you do not have a top on your chicken run. They do go a little broody. The roosters are large but calm. This breed is also known for laying all year. The two drawbacks of this breed is since they are dual purpose they take longer to mature so they will start laying a large tinted brown egg at 7 months of age. The other drawback being they have no defense or fight in them if they are attacked. They are just to docile to fight.

delaware_mainAnother chicken breed I like is the Delaware. They lay beautiful brown eggs and also take about 7 months to lay. They are also a dual purpose breed. They are a beautiful bird but a little flightier than the Buff Orpington. I don’t personally know how the roosters act of this breed since I have only had the one hen. She is quick to complain and gripe you out if you disturb her but that just adds to their character. I love their look, okay lay rate and their size for butchering.

dark_cornish_mainNow if you live out in the country and want your chickens to free range the two above breeds will not be for you because their coloration will draw attention to them from predators. My first choice for you would be the Dark Cornish. They have a lot of self preservation in them and are excellent foragers so they will find a lot of their own food. They are a little broody and lay at an okay rate. They come out of the shell “fighting” and are tough little buggers and not as delicate as other chicks. They are also a great meat bird also. The roosters have been referred to as “walking drumsticks”. However some of the roosters can be mean. So if you have young children quickly identify which roosters are and butcher those and only carry on the breeding with the more docile ones. This breed is as low maintenance as you can get.

single_comb_brown_leghorns_mainNow if you live in the country and want a chicken that can camouflage into its environment and you really don’t care if you have brown eggs or not. The best white egg layer there is is the brown leghorn. They are beautiful too! They forage well and have been known to lay up to three eggs a day! The two drawbacks of this breed is they can easily fly out of a run and they are not dual purpose. I mean you can butcher them and people do, you are just not gonna get as much meat out of them.

Now you may wonder why I don’t suggest the Rhode Island Red. I don’t because I prefer the year round laying of the Buff Orpington rather than the a lot at one time laying of the Rhode Island Red. Also the roosters are known for being vicious. That being said we have a RIR rooster named Clifford that isn’t mean at all. Also know that there are two strains of the RIR. One being the production strain (which most are) that have had the broodiness bred out of them. The nonproduction strain is better but is rare. They are still broody and have a wider chest in the hens. I would love to find some of this strain to preserve them. But alas they are very rare.

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