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Guide To Backyard Chicken Breeds

Updated on January 10, 2017
Twenty-nine varieties of chicken (and one Guinea Fowl).
Twenty-nine varieties of chicken (and one Guinea Fowl). | Source

Choosing a Chicken Breed - Variety is the Spice of Life

Deciding between backyard chickens breeds to raise depends on a lot of things, not the least of which is one's own personal preferences.

Raising chickens in your backyard or garden can be a fun and rewarding venture for those who interested, however, the reasons for having chickens are as varied as the people who tend to them.

This article will explain the differences between several popular chicken breeds so you can come away with a little better idea of what type of birds you may want to invest your time and money in.

Girls holding chickens.
Girls holding chickens. | Source

What do You Expect From Your Chickens?

Planning ahead will save you time and money in the future.

Knowing what you want from your backyard chickens is a good starting point for deciding which breed will be right for you.

There are a lot of different reasons as to why people raise chickens, chief among them being for fresh healthy eggs and/or meat.

Chickens can also be a great source of fertilizer for farms or gardens, and they are a sustainable way of controlling insects and weeds.

There are also those individuals that breed chickens for show, and then there are those that just like to have them around as pets.

For people that are looking to raise backyard chicken breeds, there are many options to choose from. You can choose between hundreds of domesticated chicken breeds from all around the world.

Different chicken breeds are classified by several characteristics including the number of toes, type of comb, the color of plumage, size, skin color, feathering, the type of eggs that they produce and whether they are egg layers, meat producers or strictly for ornamental purposes.

Chicken Breed Books

The Perfect Backyard Breed

Do you want meat, eggs, or are you a show-off?

Choosing the perfect breed depends on what you want from your birds. Are they for meat, eggs, a combo of both meat and eggs? Are you raising them for show or to keep as pets?

Breeds available today are split into two size categories: Standard and Bantam.

Bantams usually weigh only a pound or two, and they are sometimes a smaller version of a larger breed. These are often referred to as miniatures. A bird that has no large counterpart are referred to as a "true bantam".

Bantams can be fun, but they don't produce much meat, and their eggs are small, usually coming in at about half the size of eggs you can get from the store.

Chicken breeds also come in 4 different categories: Meat birds are bred for quick growth and large meaty breasts; egg birds which produce eggs at a higher pace than other chicken breeds; dual-purpose birds (providers of both meat and eggs); and ornamental chickens raised for show.

In addition to categories, chickens can be referred to based on their class. There are 11 classes in total, some of which include American, English, and Mediterranean (larger breeds), and Game Bantam, Single Comb, Clean Legged and Feather Legged (bantam breeds).

Then there are the "varieties" that refer to breeds that exhibit two or more traits yet have the main characteristics of their parent breed. Jersey Giants are an example of breeds that comes in two varieties, a white variety, and a black variety. Rhode Island Reds have two varieties based on comb configuration. The Wyandotte breeds have nine varieties, based on color and pattern.

You also have the heritage breeds that are no longer used commercially. Most of these breeds were of economic importance not too long ago and still have characteristics that need to remain in the gene pool.

Egg Producing Chickens

The best backyard chicken breeds for egg production are Ameraucana, Ancona, Andalusian, Araucana, Easter Egger and Jaerhone.

Hens and Egg Production

All healthy female hen lay eggs. Some laying breeds start producing eggs at an earlier age and lay more frequently and for a longer period of time.

Good egg-producing hens lay about 250 eggs per year, but the best performers can lay over 300, which is almost one a day. These breeds have smaller bodies with light breasts and tend to have high-strung personalities.

Egg production for layers is usually about three years then the output drops dramatically. At this point in time, you have a decision to make, which usually means someone eating the bird. Older chickens tend to have a bit tougher meat, but with proper cooking are quite edible.

The color of eggs has little effect on nutritional value, although a lot of egg eaters prefer brown eggs. Most eggs are white or brown, although some breeds like the Araucana, lay a bluish-green egg, and some like the Ancona, lay a pink egg.

Blue Ameraucana cock
Blue Ameraucana cock | Source

Ameraucana

  • Breed Size: Standard and Bantam
  • Comb Style: Pea
  • Egg Production: High - 200/year
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium to Large Blue in Various Shades
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Country of Origin: United States

Ancona hen.
Ancona hen. | Source

Ancona

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Comb: Single or Rose
  • Egg Production: High - 220/year
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium to Large White/Pinkish White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Wild, Flighty, Noisy, Active
  • Country of Origin: Italy
  • Nicknames: Mottled Leghorn


Blue Andalusian hen
Blue Andalusian hen | Source

Andalusian

  • Breed Size: Standard and Bantam
  • Comb Style: Single
  • Egg Production: High - 165/year
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium to Large White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Active
  • Country of Origin: Spain

Silver and Gold Campine chickens.
Silver and Gold Campine chickens. | Source

Campine

  • Breed Size: Standard and Bantam
  • Comb Style: Single
  • Egg Production: High - 200/year
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium to Large White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Chatty. Flighty, Active
  • Country of Origin: Belgium

Citron Spangled Hamburg hen.
Citron Spangled Hamburg hen. | Source

Hamburg

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Comb Style: Rose
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Flighty, Active, Alert
  • Country of Origin: Holland

Two Silver Lakenvelder cockerels in a chicken yard.
Two Silver Lakenvelder cockerels in a chicken yard. | Source

Lakenvelder

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Flighty, Shy
  • Country of Origin: Germany

Cream Legbar hen.
Cream Legbar hen. | Source

Legbar

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Blue-Green
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Flighty, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

White Leghorn hen.
White Leghorn hen. | Source

Leghorn

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Flighty, Shy, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: Italy

Black Minorca rooster and White Minorca hen.
Black Minorca rooster and White Minorca hen. | Source

Minorca

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large White
  • Best Climate: Likes Hot Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Flighty, Shy
  • Country of Origin: Spain

White-Faced Black Spanish rooster.
White-Faced Black Spanish rooster. | Source

White-Faced Black Spanish

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Hot Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Easily Handled
  • Country of Origin: Spain
  • Nicknames: Clown Chicken, Fowl of Seville


The Incredible Edible Egg Jingle

Meat Producing Chickens

Some excellent meat producing breeds suitable for backyard operations are Brahma, Cochin, Cornish, and New Hampshire.

Chickens and Meat Production

"You can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat"

Most folks raising poultry for production go for dual purpose breeds (meat and eggs). Common breeds for meat production are Indian Game, Ixworth, Bresse and Cornish Hens.

Some characteristics of meat breeds are rapid growth and large meaty breasts with lighter colored skin and feather, which facilitate easier plucking.

Classifications of meat breeds are based on butchering size.

Rock and/or Cornish hens (a.k.a. game hens) are butchered around the 4 to 6 week age and weigh between 1 and 2 pounds.

Broilers are the most common of the butcher group. Usually taken at 10 to 12 weeks of age and weighing 4 to 5 pounds, they can be of either sex.

Roasters (you guessed it) are birds intended for roasting whole. They are larger breeds, usually around seven pounds or so and 4 to 5 months old. While most roasters can be either male or female, capons are de-sexed males allowed to grow anywhere from five to eight months, resulting in a larger meatier bird.

Commercial broiler operations tend to breed Rock-Cornish hybrids. These are the prominent crossbreeds in the chicken industry because they grow quickly and are efficient at converting chicken feed to meat.

Dark Brahma hen.
Dark Brahma hen. | Source

Brahma

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Docile
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Nickname: Shanghai Bird
  • AKA: Brahma Pootra, Burnham, Gray Chittagong

Dark Cornish Game hen.
Dark Cornish Game hen. | Source

Cornish

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Low
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Cold Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Cornish Cross chickens at 5 weeks.
Cornish Cross chickens at 5 weeks. | Source

Cornish Cross

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Low
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: United States

New Hampshire Red hen.
New Hampshire Red hen. | Source

New Hampshire Red

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Easily Handled, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: United States

Dual-Purpose Breeds

Some of the better dual-purpose breeds are Dominique, Dorking, Plymouth Rock, and Wyandotte.

Mature New Hampshire Hahn rooster.
Mature New Hampshire Hahn rooster. | Source

Do You REALLY Need a Rooster?

If you are raising backyard chickens mainly for meat or eggs, then a rooster waking you up every morning at the crack of dawn, annoying you and the neighbors, is not needed.

If you plan on breeding and raising chicks, then you will need a rooster.

The best rooster to hen ratio is around 8 hens per rooster (no wonder Foghorn Leghorn is so happy).

Dual-purpose chickens are recommended for most backyard chicken operations and are the most common breeds kept in backyards and farms. Although some breeds are better at producing eggs, others produce more meat. The fact is, they do both well.

Araucana hen showing ear tufts.
Araucana hen showing ear tufts. | Source

Araucana

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Blue/Green
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Easily Handled, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: Chile
  • AKA: South American Rumpless

Black Australorp hen.
Black Australorp hen. | Source

Australorp

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: Australia
  • Nickname: Australs
  • AKA: Black Australorp, Australian Orpington

Barnevelder, double-laced hens, 25 weeks old.
Barnevelder, double-laced hens, 25 weeks old. | Source

Barnevelder

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: Netherlands

Buckeye rooster.
Buckeye rooster. | Source

Buckeye

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Wild, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: United States

Catalona flock.
Catalona flock. | Source

Catalana

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium White
  • Best Climate: Likes Hot Climates
  • Personality: Flighty, Shy
  • Country of Origin: Spain

White Chantecler hen.
White Chantecler hen. | Source

Chantecler

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Cold Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: Canada

Crèvecœur (rooster in foreground).
Crèvecœur (rooster in foreground). | Source

Crèvecœur

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium White
  • Best Climate: Likes Hot Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Docile, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: France


14 week old Deleware pullet.
14 week old Deleware pullet. | Source

Delaware

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm
  • Country of Origin: United States


Dominique pullet (6 months old).
Dominique pullet (6 months old). | Source

Dominique

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Docile, Quiet
  • County of Origin: United States
  • AKA: Dominicker, Pilgrim Fowl

Silver Grey Dorking rooster.
Silver Grey Dorking rooster. | Source

Dorking

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Docile
  • Country of Origin: Italy


Faverolles rooster and hen.
Faverolles rooster and hen. | Source

Faverolles

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Light Brown to Pink
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Docile
  • Country of Origin: France


Black Frizzle chicken.
Black Frizzle chicken. | Source

Frizzle

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Docile
  • Country of Origin: Unknown. Possibly in Asia.


Holland chicken
Holland chicken | Source

Holland

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • County of Origin: United States


Pair of Japanese Bantams
Pair of Japanese Bantams | Source

Japanese

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White or Cream Colored
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Wild, Restless, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: Japan


Mottled Java
Mottled Java | Source

Java

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • County of Origin: United States


Jersey Giant hen.
Jersey Giant hen. | Source

Jersey Giant

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Cold Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Docile
  • Country of Origin: United States


La Flèche hen
La Flèche hen | Source

La Fleche

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Hot Climates
  • Personality: Wild, Restless, Shy
  • Country of Origin: France


Pair of Black Australian Langshan chickens
Pair of Black Australian Langshan chickens | Source

Langshan

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: Australia


Barred Cuckoo Marans
Barred Cuckoo Marans | Source

Marans

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Dark Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Cold Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Easily Handled, Docile
  • Country of Origin: France
  • AKA: Poule de Marans, Country Hen


Naked Neck-turken
Naked Neck-turken | Source

Naked Neck-Turken

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Varieties: Black, White, Buff, Red


New Hampshire Red hen
New Hampshire Red hen | Source

New Hampshire Red

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Easily Handled, Noisy


Black Orpington hen
Black Orpington hen | Source

Orpington

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet


Barred Rock hen in backyard.
Barred Rock hen in backyard. | Source

Plymouth Rock

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Easily Handled, Docile
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • AKA: Barred Rocks, Rocks

Silver-laced Wyandotte rooster.
Silver-laced Wyandotte rooster. | Source

Wyandotte

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: High
  • Egg Size/Color: Large Light Brown
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: United States


Ornamental Chicken Breeds

The cock of the walk wins first prize.

Ornamental rooster
Ornamental rooster | Source

Ornamental Show Birds

Ornamental chicken breeds are raised mainly for show. Like at a dog show, a chicken exhibition will bring together breeds that have a wide assortment of colors and patterns, ranging from one-colored chickens to those with multi-colored designs. Some of the breeds have feathers puffing out from their heads while others have feathers covering their legs.

Also known as fanciers, some individuals keep show birds and take their craft quite seriously. Judging in these shows is on a 100-point scale that rates shape, color, patterns, comb configuration, the number of toes and even the shape of the earlobe.

The specifics and criteria for each breed are described in The American Standard of Perfection.This book is published by the American Poultry Association and is considered ultimate authority for poultry fanciers and judges.

American Game hen.
American Game hen. | Source

American Game

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Aggressive, Easily Handled, Noisy
  • Country of Origin: United States


Trio of  Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens.
Trio of Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben chickens. | Source

Appenzeller Spitzhauben

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Medium White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Calm, Quiet
  • Country of Origin: Switzerland


Belgian Bearded d'Anvers hen
Belgian Bearded d'Anvers hen | Source

Belgian Bearded d'Anvers

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Egg Production: Low
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Flighty

Belgian Bearded d'Uccle
Belgian Bearded d'Uccle | Source

Belgian Bearded d'Uccle

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Flighty, Docile


Booted Bantam rooster.
Booted Bantam rooster. | Source

Booted Bantam

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Hot Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Flighty, Quiet


Booted Dutch Bantam pullet.
Booted Dutch Bantam pullet. | Source

Booted Dutch Bantam

  • Breed Size: Bantam
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Small White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Flighty, Easily Handled

Brabanter rooster and hen.
Brabanter rooster and hen. | Source

Brabanter

  • Breed Size: Standard
  • Egg Production: Medium
  • Egg Size/Color: Large White
  • Best Climate: Likes Most Climates
  • Personality: Friendly, Flighty, Shy


ET Chicken Pays a Visit to Earth

Chicken Train Stomp

Let's Socialize

Reader Poll

What Qualities Are You Looking For When Selecting A Chicken Breed

See results

© 2010 Hal Gall

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    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 17 months ago from Bloomington, IN

      Thanks!

    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 17 months ago from California

      I have had chickens of some sort almost my whole life. They are great bug catchers for the yard. Even if you just have a few they keep the bug population down. Great well written post

    • katespetcorner1 profile image

      katespetcorner1 4 years ago

      Wow, I didn't know that you could predict their personality by their breed. Something to consider carefully when choosing a breed as I would like friendly ones!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I might do this sometime, my neighbors do. I have a border collie though..............This is a great lens, like a hobby blog. Pinned to my poultry board and "squidoo lenses worth blessing" - (even though our wings were clipped.)

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      If I dint have cats I would be tempted. You have quite a wealth of information here.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Many people are going to raising their own chickens these days for eggs and the meat as we keep hearing about the terrible conditions commercially. I live on a farm years back and we used the chickens for both meat and eggs and they sure were good, I always enjoyed having the job of feeding them. My uncle had bantams a while back and they sure were as cute as can be, the eggs were tiny but delicious. Unfortunately Mr. Weasel had a taste for chicken. I can sure tell this is a love of yours and those looking to start raising chickens will definitely benefit from your wealth of information and expertise. Very impressive and beautifully presented! FB liked because I love this! :)

    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @Brandi Bush: If you are like me, some of the chickens were probably pets as well. That makes it tough sometimes...

    • Brandi Bush profile image

      Brandi 4 years ago from Maryland

      This lens makes me miss my backyard flock! A couple of years ago, we lived on some acreage in central WV and at one point we were up to 34 layers and chicks. I'll never forget how fascinated my kids were to see the eggs hatch into peeps...our favorite part of the whole experience! Sadly, we had to move to the suburbs, so we gave our flock away, but someday I hope to have my own eggs again. Your pictures are wonderful...and I absolutely love that crazy looking rooster on the calendar! :)

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      It would be so gret to have backward chickens. I had no idea there were so many breeds.

    • GramaBarb profile image

      GramaBarb 4 years ago from Vancouver

      Love this lens! I'm a chicken farmer at heart :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      What a list and great lens. My chickens were always white Australorps, an Australian breed. They were easy to care for, less noisy and great egg producers. They also lived until they were 10-12 years old. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013. Hugs and Happy Valentines

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 4 years ago

      Our next-door neighbor raised chickens for years, and we actually miss hearing the rooster crow in the morning. This is excellent information for anyone interesting in raising chickens.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Great lens for anyone wanting info on backyard chicken breeds. Thanks for sharing. Blessed.

    • Jo-Jackson profile image

      Jo-Jackson 4 years ago

      I have Australorps - good egg producers and friendly like pets.

    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 4 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @AllThingsPotter: In a way that brings up a down side to raising chickens. They make decent pets and it's easy to get attached to them. Makes it tough when you lose one to old age or predators, and even tougher if you raise them to be eaten! Thanks for stopping by.

    • AllThingsPotter profile image

      AllThingsPotter 4 years ago

      My neighbors had chickens and when they moved I really missed their rooster - he was the only one up at that hour besides me.

    • Countryluthier profile image

      E L Seaton 4 years ago from Virginia

      Chicken train Now Departing! Great Lens! Blessed by COUNTRYLUTHIER. Saw some chickens from my youth here.

    • floppypoppygift1 profile image

      floppypoppygift1 4 years ago

      This is clearly a subject that is near & dear to you! A job well-done. Cheers~cb

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Lots of useful info from an expert chicken man! Well done.

    • golfgpswatch lm profile image

      golfgpswatch lm 4 years ago

      I can tell you are a real expert

    • vinodkpillai lm profile image

      vinodkpillai lm 4 years ago

      Exhaustive list and useful tips. Thanks for sharing

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      Great details about chicken breeds. Thanks!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You really do know your chicken. Enjoyed all the info. I smiled at that high strung major producer.

    • FallenAngel 483 profile image

      FallenAngel 483 5 years ago

      Great lens with lots of detailed information on the different breeds. I really want to have some chickens. I think some Buff Orpingtons and some Sussex would be just right for me.

    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @sojourner-1: Depending on the breed, chickens make great pets as well. After 2 or 3 years though, they slow down in the egg production, and you end you having to eat them.

    • profile image

      sojourner-1 5 years ago

      I haven't looked into this yet, but I would love to be able to have a few egg producing chickens in the city limits.

    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @sunlightseer: Starting out with 5 or 6 chickens is a good way to begin without investing too much money. The Ozark Mountain Daredevils are one of my all time favorite groups! Thanks for taking time to comment.

    • sunlightseer profile image

      sunlightseer 5 years ago

      I want to have a few chickens for eggs when we are able to move to a bigger place. I had no idea there was so much to consider. Thanks for all the info. LOVE the "Chicken Train" song and video

    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @junecampbell: I remember watching my grandmother and great aunt pick out 2 live chickens and have them butchered, cleaned, fried and on the dinner table in a couple of hours. Best fried chicken I have ever ate!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I came from a farm where we raised chickens for personal use and for sale. They are an interesting species, to be sure.

    • vineliner57 profile image
      Author

      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @flinnie lm: Thanks for the visit!

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      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I enjoyed reading about the many breeds of chicken. I love having my little flock, they are such fun, and the fresh eggs can't be beat.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lens, squidliked and pinned, well done.

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      BeadCatz 5 years ago

      Great lens. Chickens are wonderful animals. Not only do they supply us with fresh, organic food, they also make good pets and are very educational for kids. Of course I have to mention my favorite bird, the Orpington.

      I have a website devoted to chickens. I'm in the process of putting together a breed chart for it: http://thebackyardchickenfarmer.com

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      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @julieannbrady: That sounds like a whole new lens idea there, Julie! Maybe I better start researching the local wing joints and check it out!

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      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Holy Smokes > who seriously knew or really thought of the fact that there could be so many different chicken breeds!!! Which breed makes the best wings?

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      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @Anthony Altorenna: Very nice! Very big selection!

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      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @anonymous: Yes indeed, that always helps. Thanks for stopping by!

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      Hal Gall 5 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @GenesisLabs: Can't beat them fresh eggs. We love them too!

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      GenesisLabs 5 years ago

      We absolutely love are chickens. We have some Rhode Island Red's and Bard Rock's. Can't go back to store bought eggs after having fresh eggs. Store bought aren't even close. :) Nice lens.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      good to know what I'm putting into my mouth when I eat it.

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      Anthony Altorenna 5 years ago from Connecticut

      Good tips on selecting backyard chicken breeds for your flock. We have an eclectic mix of 18 hens, representing about a dozen different breeds.

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      TeamZuhl 5 years ago

      I'm just beginning my chicken experience and your lens is such a great resource! Thank you so much!

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      Murphypig 6 years ago

      very helpful lens. I have recently added 4 rescue hens to my "zoo" at home and am very pleased with their egg production. I wish I had a bigger garden to keep some of the rarebreeds as well :-)

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      Hal Gall 6 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @sockii: Thanks for the comment. My main reason for preferring free range or "home grown" chickens is what they do to chickens on the factory farms. It's pretty bad.

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      Nicole Pellegrini 6 years ago from New Jersey

      Very nice page! My mother raises chickens - some hybrids for egg production, then Cochins for breeding and because they have such great personalities (and are beautiful). I actually like using the Cochin eggs for cooking and especially baking as they are very rich in flavor.

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      Hal Gall 6 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @pheonix76: I was just talking with my wife about remembering when I was a youngster my grandma and aunt grabbed two chickens from the flock and butchered and cleaned them on the spot.

      We then had some of the best fried chicken I think I have ever ate.

      I also remember the warning from grandma "You best stay away from that Banty rooster, he's a mean one." Good advice :)

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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      pheonix76 6 years ago from WNY

      Interesting lens. My family has been keeping chickens for eggs for about 13 years and we are hatching more chicks this spring. As for eggs, we've had excellent success with Barred Rocks, Delawares, Buff Orphingtons, sex link, and Black Astralorps. Cannot beat the eggs of free range chickens! Cheers.

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      Hal Gall 6 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      @anonymous: An oldie but a goodie...:)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      chicken train song brings back memories!