Selecting Your Chicken
So you have decided to raise chickens. You are skimming through the Purely Poultry website and overwhelmed by all the beautiful birds there is to choose from. Where do you begin? Which birds should you pick? There are many things to consider when deciding which chicken is right for you.
Why do you want chickens?
Do you want chickens simply for pets? Are you wanting hens to produce eggs in your backyard? Are you wanting to breed your birds? What about meat? These are some questions to consider when picking out your breeds.
There are many breeds of chicken and Purely Poultry provides them in different categories to help you pick out the bird that best suits your needs.
During the summertime it can get very hot and some birds do better than others in some regions. Some heat tolerant breeds of chicken are the Rhode Island Red, Leghorn, and Fayoumi. Each breed has many qualities which make them great breeds to own.
The Rhode Island Red, although a common breed, is a wonderful dual purpose breed as well for their eggs and meat, but also a docile bird. They adapt to both warm and cold climates. Leghorns lay many eggs but are very light, therefore can tolerate the heat. Egyptian Fayoumi originated in Egypt, therefore, are amazing layers in the heat as well.
Cold Tolerant Breeds
For colder climates and snow, the Chantecler and Buckeye are two cold hardy breeds that adapt well.
The Chantecler is a Canadian breed that was noted to be a very cold hardy one. They are a great source for both meat and eggs. The Buckeye originated from Ohio and is also a well suited bird for the snowy winters.
The Orpington is a heavy bird that is a great meat and egg chicken. This breed comes in many colors and lays exceptionally well and adapts to many climates. The Wyandotte chicken is another good dual purpose breed. They are also docile and make wonderful mothers. They come in a variety of colors too. The Jersey Giants are large birds that come in a few colors. They are cold tolerant and are heritage birds great for meat and eggs.
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For the backyard and for those that only want productive hens, prolific layers are a must. The top prolific chicken breeds are Leghorns and hybrid chickens. These birds will produce an ample amount of eggs for you each year. Other breeds will lay a good amount of eggs of course, but these two breeds will lay you the most if you are looking for productivity.
Dark Egg Layers
There is nothing more fun than getting eggs that are colorful. The Marans lay beautiful dark chocolate colored eggs. The Welsummer lays a remarkable mahogany speckled egg. Barnevelders are a good choice as well.
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Easter Eggers lay various egg colors from light brown, pink, to a blue/green tint. They are heat and cold tolerant birds and are considered dual purpose as well.
Many of you are looking into raising your own birds for meat. Nothing is more worthwhile than growing your own food after all. The Cornish cross broilers and free range broilers make great meat birds as they grow fast. If you are looking for a more slow growing bird, heritage birds are a good option. The Delaware and the White Plymouth Rocks are examples of heritage breeds that can be used as a meat chicken as well.
Whether you are choosing your first breed or second, Purely Poultry has categories to help you make your selection easier and more efficient. Nothing is more exciting than raising chickens and Purely Poultry wants to share that excitement with you!