By Jordan Walker
Chicken breeds differ in many ways—colors, sizes, personalities, and productivity. Choosing the best breed for your backyard flock depends on what you want from them. Do you want just eggs? Do you want meat? Or, do you want both?
If you are raising backyard flock for egg production, you have to choose egg layer breeds. White Leghorns are among the superior egg-laying breeds. Although this breed is heat tolerant, it’s more susceptible to cold weather and they don’t make good eaters. Laying breeds tend to be lighter thus they can fly well so complete enclosure may ideal to be used than just contain them in the fence. Another egg laying breeds are Golden Comet, Campine and Hamburg.
Breeds for Meat
For breeds that were developed for eating, breeders aim for chickens that grow large and heavy. These kinds of breeds are huge with large feet and thick, stout legs. The very common breeds for meat production and can be easily raise in your backyard are Cornish and Brahma. Modern crossbreed that you can commonly buy at the supermarket includes Cornish-Rock, which grows up to 4 pounds in just 7 weeks. Other meat birds suitable for meat production are Jersey Giant and Cochin.
These breeds of chicken are perfect for breeders who want both quality eggs and meat. These are the kinds of breed generally raised by many households, and most were considered organic breeds. These chickens have calm temperament, which is one of the factors that made every produce desirable. Very well known dual-purpose breeds include Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, Orpington, Sussex, and many others.
Breeds for Show
One of the most beautiful bird species is the chicken breed because of its unique plumage and looks. Chickens come in every feather shape, design, and color thinkable. For most flock owners, showing is not really a priority. Backyard chicken masters generally raised their flock for two main reasons –egg or meat production. But as time goes by, raising chickens as pets has become a hobby, which resulted to the rising popularity of raising show chickens. Roosters are normally chosen because of their distinct feather and coloring characteristics. Among the popular show chicken breeds include care Silver Spangled Hamburg, Cubalaya, Brahma, Cochin, Dominique, Orpington, Dutch Bantam, and many more.
Raising chickens in a backyard required chickens with calmer temperament than active and aggressive. Oftentimes, temperament in chickens is influenced more by pecking order than genetic trend. The higher your chicken breeds are in the pecking order, the more aggressive they became and the lower their order is, the more tame and submissive they developed. Although, one of the highlights in backyard farming is whether or not you will have your flock just roam around your fenced backyard or have them contained in complete enclosure.
Jordan is the lead content curator for Coops and Cages as well as a couple of other pet-related blogs. His passion for animals is only paired with his love for “attempting” to play the guitar. If you would like to catch more of him, you can by following his Twitter or Facebook accounts.