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Which chicken breed is right for you?

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Which chicken breed is right for you?

When it comes to picking the right chicken breed you must first consider the characteristics and what you would like to gain from your hen/s.

Are you after a family pet? Some breeds have gentler temperaments than others. Did you want to keep chickens for their egg production value? Or to farm them for their meat? Have you considered the cost of feeding them?

If you can decide which of these are most important to you, it will simplify the process of choosing the right chicken breed for you.

Best Chicken Breeds for:

eggs

Egg laying

Popular chicken breeds most suited for laying eggs include: ISA Brown, Leghorn, Australian Langshan, Rhode Island; Legbar; Spanish; Hamburgh; Campine and Ancona.

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Leghorn
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Leghorn

Thought to have originated from Italy, Leghorns are popular world-wide for laying white eggs. They lay an average of 280 per year and have been known on occasion to even reach 320 in a year. With a timid temperament they are not the best choice for a pet. They are nervous, flighty and highly active.

 

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Australian Langshan
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Australian Langshan

A popular cross-breed which was developed in Australia and are well suited to our harsh climate. The Australian Australian Langshan comes in both bantam and standard size. They are often kept for exhibiting or egg laying and they are considered a good “all rounder”. They are known to be quite friendly and docile.

 

Hy-Line-Brown-Chicken.jpg
Hy-Line Brown
Image from Talking Hens

Hy-Line Brown

Hyline Brown Chickens are popular egg layers, and are often used for Commercial egg-laying.
They also make great pets as they are placid and friendly, and economical, having been cited as having the "Best feed to egg efficiency of all layer hens" on the website talkinghens.com.

family

Family and Child Friendly

Popular chicken breeds for keeping as pets include: Silkie, ISA Brown, Pekin , Frizzle and the Australorp.

silkie_chicken_breed.png
Silkie
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Silkie

As the name implies, Chinese Silkies are soft and fluffy. Together with their placid, docile nature and the fact that they are an extremely robust bird you can't go past these when considering a pet chicken for your children. They lay small eggs, and you can expect roughly 3 per week from them.

 


Isa_Brown_Chicken_Breed.jpg

ISA Brown

ISA Browns' are one of the most popular chicken breeds found in backyards Australia-wide. They are a hybrid chicken, and are said to produce up to 300 eggs per hen in it's first year of laying (they typically lay for 2 years). ISA Browns' produce eggs daily, have a good temperament, are sociable and make great pets.

cheap

Barter-Black-Chicken.jpg
Barter Black

Barter Black Chicken

The Barter Black originates from an Australorp and Rhode Island Red cross.
A Barter Black is a good layer with a friendly, calm temperament which makes for a great pet.

 

Cheap to feed

The following breeds are very economical to feed: Jungle Fowl , Silkie, Rosecomb , Frizzle, Modern Game, Japanese , Belgian Bantams, Barbude Watermael , Sultan , Sebright.

frizzle_chicken_breed.png
Frizzle
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Frizzle

The frizzle is a friendly bird and an average layer which doesn't consume much feed. They were selectively bred for exhibition they are good looking, however their curled, fragile feathers aren't suited for rainy or cold weather.

 

leghorn_chicken_breed.png
Leghorn
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Leghorn

Thought to have originated from Italy, Leghorns are popular world-wide for laying white eggs. They lay an average of 280 per year and have been known on occasion to even reach 320 in a year. With a timid temperament they are not the best choice for a pet. They are nervous, flighty and highly active.



jungle_fowl_chicken_breed.png
Jungle Fowl
Image Public Domain

Jungle Fowl

Originally a wild bird, the Jungle Fowl produces eggs seasonally.
It is a very wary and alert bird who eats very little.

 

Barter-Brown-Chicken.jpg
Barter Brown

Barter Brown

The Barter Brown originates from a Rhode Island Red and a White Leghorn cross.
A Barter Brown chicken is economical, as they do not each much feed and provide plenty of eggs.
They are a very friendly, quiet and calm bird that makes for a great pet.

 

Barter-White-Chicken-3.jpg
Barter White

Barter White

The Barter White originates from a Pure White Leghorn rooster and Rhode Island Red cross. This economical chicken eats less than other breeds and still lays plenty of eggs.
With it’s calm, friendly nature it makes a great family pet.

 

Good for the Table/Meat Chickens

If you are considering farming chickens for their meat, the following are popular as table birds: Dorking, Croad Langshan, Faverolles, Barnevelder, Australian Langshan , Marans, Plymouth Rock.

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Dorking
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Dorking

A large bodied bird with very short legs, they are hardy and gentle birds which make excellent eating when farmed for their meat.

 

croad_langshan_chicken_breed.png
Croad Langshan
Image from backyardpoultry.com

Croad Langshan

Another large-bodied bird, they lay from 140-150 eggs a year making them another all rounder. They are easily tamed and need to be kept in sheltered conditions.

 

Rhode-Island-Red-Chicken.jpg
Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red

This breed originated from America and makes an excellent meat chicken, it also is a good egg layer, laying an egg nearly every day.
They are a hardy breed that make a great pet as the hens are quite relaxed in nature (however Roosters in this breed can be aggressive).

 

See Also

Sources

 

 

 

Toni_Benton_-_Somerzby_Pet_Enclosures.jpgToni Benton - Toni has a lot of experience with keeping pets and pet enclsoures, with her very cheeky British shorthair cat named Charlie and a rescue cat Rosie who is now nearly 17. Toni's pets also includes Dwarf Lop rabbits and Australorp cross Chickens.

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