Thursday, April 11, 2013

What is the Right Chicken Breed For You?

Hello Chicken Raising Chicks!

Considering ordering chickens, but can't decide what breed is right for you?

There are many different breeds of chickens. In fact there are hundreds! I remember reading somewhere that there are at least 746!

That is a lot of chickens. And just like what you would do with any other pet you'll want to make sure you get the one you want.

The first thing you need to do is decide why you are getting chickens. Are you getting chickens for:  pets, eggs,  meat,  or are you wanting show chickens? Or maybe you're wanting a combination of some of these. 

You need to also ask yourself these questions: 

1. Do I need a chicken that is hardy? One that can survive harsh winters, or sweltering summers?

2. How many eggs do I want? Do I need a chicken that lays year round, almost everyday?

3. Do I need a Bantam breed (A smaller chicken of the same breed) so they take up less space and eat less?

4. Am I looking for meat birds or laying birds? Or perhaps both?

5. Do I want friendly chickens? Do they need to be docile and good with children? Or will I rarely come into contact with my birds so their temperament doesn't matter?

Those are the main things you need to consider when trying to decide a breed or breeds.

To help you with choosing I am providing a link to My Pet Chicken's Which Chicken Breed Selector Tool

This tool will ask simple questions about what you are looking for, and then determine what breeds you may like and provide you with a list of those breeds.

Each breed of chicken has its own characteristics. In other words they all act different. Some breeds are docile and good layers. Some breeds are good layers but do not interact well with humans.

Our chickens are all fairly docile, they are okay being picked up most of the time, and they don't have a problem with our other animals.

An important thing to remember is that not all chickens will turn out exactly as promised. When people say a certain breed is docile that means that the majority of that breed is. But chickens are animals, and like all other animals they have unique personalities. You take a chance when you order a docile chicken, because that chicken might turn out to be the meanest thing you ever laid eyes on.

A friend of ours owned a Blue Laced Wyandotte rooster who was very mean and aggressive. He would try and chase her children away from the hens in her flock. But I just read a comment a couple of days ago from someone saying they are very happy with their Blue Laced Wyandottes and that their roosters are never aggressive and very docile.

The important thing is to watch your chickens yourself to determine behavior characteristics. Sometimes a rooster or even a hen needs to be separated from the rest of the flock due to issues with aggressive behavior. But, sometimes you won't have single problem. We have only had to give away three chickens since we began raising them in 2010.

I personally think that any chicken can become docile and used to humans if they are handled enough as chicks. If you just let them sit in their box the entire time they grow, of course they are going to be scared of you. Our chickens are used to be picked up, carried around, and petted.

As I said earlier, chickens are animals, and like all other animals they have unique personalities. Many people love chickens and never have a single problem. And if you do wind up with a naughty chicken, you can always give it away to someone who doesn't interact with their chickens and doesn't need it to be friendly.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope this post has helped you in some way. If you have any questions please send them to us: and we will try our absolute hardest to answer them for you.

Later on I want to write more posts on each chicken breed, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks again,