There are many different breeds of chickens to choose from so we have put together the following summary guide for selecting the best backyard chicken breed to help you narrow down the options.
There are a range of things that you need to consider when deciding on the best types of chickens for your purpose and area in which you live. These include the climate in which you live, whether you are raising backyard chickens for eggs or meat production, their temperament, foraging capability, predator awareness, and broodiness.
This is probably the most important consideration when selecting the best breeds of chickens for your home. If you live in an area with extremes of temperature that are either very cold or very hot then you need to think carefully about selecting the best breeds of chickens to ensure that your backyard chickens can survive in those conditions.
If you live in a milder climate then you will have a much greater range of options available to you.
Fresh eggs is likely one of the main reasons you are considering backyard chickens and not all breeds of chickens are equal when it comes to egg laying. Many breeds have been selectively bred for egg laying and therefore will be better layers than others. We have put together our list of the top 5 laying hens and types of chickens but make sure you balance this with the other considerations to ensure you have a happy and healthy flock.
All breeds of chickens can be used for meat production but the best breed for you will depend on why you want to raise backyard chickens in the first place. Like egg laying chickens not all breeds of chickens raised for meat are equal. Whilst it is not for everyone, raising your chickens for fresh organic meat can be a sustainable way keep food production local.
The temperament of your backyard chickens is another very important consideration particularly when your chickens will be confined into a small area in a city environment. Flighty breeds of chickens are easily spooked and you may spend a lot of time retrieving them from your neighbour’s yard. Some breeds also do not like being handled or touched which makes them difficult to handle – although this can be a good way to tire your children out having them chase the chickens around the yard!
Some breeds are excellent foragers and can find natural sources of food. This characteristic is important if you want your chickens to be mobile pest control systems in your urban garden but it also helps the chickens maintain a balanced diet. Other types of chickens will simply wait to be fed.
Predator awareness refers to a chicken’s ability to detect and avoid danger from predators. For urban chickens this might include predators like cats, dogs, hawks, and even racoons. How important this characteristic is will depend on your location and where you keep your chickens.
A broody hen is one that thinks she is incubating eggs to hatch. Broody behaviour is a natural instinct in the chickens and some owners consider it a good thing as they can allow the broody hens to hatch chicks instead of using an incubator, whilst others consider it a nuisance particularly if your main reason for maintaining a backyard chicken flock is for egg production.
One final note. Whilst raising chickens for eggs is a sustainable way to produce your own food – why stop there. At backyard chicken zone we believe that going green does not mean sacrificing your lifestyle and that green tech and eco friendly products can give you the lifestyle you desire whilst moving towards a more sustainable future. Our partners at GoGetEco.com have the latest in cool eco friendly gadgets, future gadgets, future tech, the latest in green technology, eco friendly products and cool green tech inventions. Why not check them out