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Selecting Your Perfect Chicken

FINDING THE PERFECT CHICKEN

Selecting a Chicken

One of the most common questions I hear is, “What is the best chicken?”  Replace the word “chicken” with the word “dog”, and you’ll see that the answer is really based on personal needs and preference.

The first and most important question to consider is:

Why do you want a chicken?

Do you want eggs? Meat? A little of both? A pretty bird for show? A bird ‘s feathers for arts and crafts?

Once you can answer why, you can consider other questions, like egg laying rate, egg color, bird size, bird temperament, endangered status, and such.

You can also ask other chicken owners their favorite bird and why.  This may give you some ideas as you start your chicken quest.

Keep in mind, just because a given breed is listed with certain characteristics, each individual bird is unique and may not follow all breed characteristics.

2 comments to Selecting Your Perfect Chicken

  • Debbie

    Hello,
    We are looking to raise chickens, mostly for eggs. Nice demeanor and pretty feathers would be nice as well. I am also concerned about how long they lay eggs. I know of a lady who has chickens that lay all or almost all double yolk. Any one know anything about that?
    I am just getting ready to build the coop. Any suggestions?

  • FunnyAdmin

    Hi, Debbie.

    I’d also consider your weather environment. Where are you? I’ll assume Texas for now (I think I saw you join the Austin Backyard Poultry Meetup?) Here in Texas right now it is brutally hot. If heat is a high possibility, look at the comb size. The larger the comb, generally the better the breed can dissipate heat (but also consider in freezing weather without good ventilation these same combs are more susceptible to frostbite). In reverse, the really tiny combs are generally adapted for cooler weather. Mediterranean breeds like Andalusian or Leghorn, for instance, are heat tolerant. However, they are also more flighty in general. Good layers, economical feeders, but not as “chilled out” as some other breeds.

    Australorps have nice temperaments, nice feathers (shimmery-soft green-black), and are good layers that generally do well with heat. Super heat-tolerant birds are Naked Necks…but they are not always considered the most attractive breed!

    As to double yolks, there are some specific lines (not breeds themselves) that can have this characteristic. You also can see double yolks when chickens are first starting to lay eggs, but often this goes away.

    Hope that helps, and good luck! If you are the Debbie from the Austin BYP meetup, hope to meet you in the future!

    Michelle

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