Getting Started With Chickens – Types

There are hundreds of chicken breeds. Everything from basic Leghorns to fancy pants Silkies. For getting started, I’m a fan of basic.

First, you’ll want to determine whether you want eggs or meat. We’ve not had much luck with meat birds. But we mainly want them for their eggs.

Different breeds lay different amounts of eggs. Some lay nearly every day, while others lay only a couple per week. Good layers include:

  • Rhode Island Red
  • Black Australorp
  • Columbian Wyandotte
  • Buff Orpington
  • White Leghorn

If you are going to sell your eggs, you may also want to think about egg color. Most are white or brown colored eggs, but you can get other colors as well.

  • Blue – Americauna or Easter Egger
  • Green – Olive Egger to Green Queen
  • Speckled – Welsummer
  • Chocolate Brown – Black Copper Marans

And if you hatch, you can get all sorts of mixtures. We have an EExCuckoo Maran (we think) that lays mauve eggs.

If you have kids, you might also consider temperament. Buff Orpingtons are really good pets. They will follow you around. We also have a White-Crested Black Polish who is a pet.

If you’re planning on hatching, you’ll need a rooster. One is sufficient. You don’t want too many or they will injure your hens. Keep in mind, most cities do not allow roosters.

So where do you buy chickens? You might be able to find them at Orscheln or Tractor Supply. I order from Meyer Hatchery every year. Or, if you can find one, a livestock auction is great fun.

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