Raising backyard chicken breeds can be a very rewarding experience for those that may be interested in it. There is a very long list of chicken breeds that are suitable for this type of breeding. That being the case, deciding which backyard breed is the best is a completely personal choice. It depends on what one’s preferences are as well as what the chickens are being reared for. Knowing the purpose for which you wish to rare chickens is the best starting place for deciding which breed will be right for you.
There are varying reasons as to why people breed chickens in their backyards chief among them being for fresh healthy eggs and/or meat. Chickens also provide an environmentally friendly way of controlling insects and weeds. They are also a great source of fertilizer for farms or gardens. There are those that breed chickens for shows and then there are those that just like to have them around as pets.
For individuals that are looking to raise backyard chicken breeds, there are plenty of options to choose from. The choice of between hundreds of domesticated chicken breeds from all around the world. The different breeds are differentiated from one another by way of color of plumage, size, skin color, type of comb, feathering, type of eggs that they produce and the number of toes among others. Breeds are also classified with regards to the function with which they are known for i.e. layers, meat or ornamental purposes.
Chickens for egg production
The best backyard chicken breeds for egg production are; Ancona, Araucana, Andalusian, Ameraucana, Jaerhone and Easter Egger. These chickens are light in weight and have a temperament that is balanced.
Chickens for meat production
Most individuals that rear chickens for meat production prefer that the breeds that they get serve a dual purpose i.e. a source of meat and laying of eggs. The breeds that are common for meat production include Indian Game, Ixworth and Bresse.
Dual – purpose Chickens
Dual-purpose chicken breeds are the most common breeds that are kept in farms and backyards and for obvious reasons. These breeds may however be slightly better at either their egg or their meat production but the bottom line is that they do both. The most commonly bred dual-purpose breeds include: Brahma, Astralorp, Braekel, Chanticleer, California Gray, Jersye Giant, Faverolles and the Derbyshire Redcap.
If your goal is rearing chickens in your backyard for the purposes of meat and eggs, then there is no need to get a rooster as well. The only reason why you would require a rooster is if you need your eggs fertilized for hatching in which you have to ensure that your rooster to hen ratio is in line. The standard is that you should have at least eight hens for every rooster if you want your flock to co-exist in peace. For a backyard flock, the best way to go would be to keep dual-purpose birds. Some good examples of these are Dorking, Dominique, Plymouth Rock and Wyandotte.
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