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Top 5 Backyard Chicken Breeds

post #1 of 143
Thread Starter 

This seemed like a good article for Backyard Chickens. Here is a list of the top 5 breeds of backyard chickens from Living the Country Life.

 

I was surprised by Jersey Giant on the list. But they mention that this breed is good for meat. I think people who just want chickens for meat raise Cornish crosses. Is the Jersey Giant a fair layer of eggs also?

 

I laughed when I read what they wrote about Rhode Island Red: "... the Rhode Island Red is also a dual-purpose breed and lays brown eggs." It seems that one of the greatest chicken breeds of all time should get a little more respect than that. How about: the Rhode Island Red is one of the most popular dual-purpose chicken breeds of all time and one of the best layers of brown eggs.

 

It is interesting that they didn't list any of the hybrid crosses, such as Golden Comets/Red Sex-Links.

 

 

 

 

http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/animals/poultry/top-5-backyard-chicken-breeds/

 

When backyard hobbyists first start raising chickens, they are sometimes astounded by the number of different chicken breeds that are available. A quick perusal of your favorite hatchery's catalog will reveal several hundred chicken breeds. After several millennia of domestication, it's no wonder that there are so many types of chickens out there. Choosing the right chicken breed can be difficult. Thankfully, several breeds standout and make excellent additions to any backyard poultry flock.

 

1. The Plymouth Rock: The Plymouth Rock -- a breed that comes in several varieties, the most popular varieties being white and barred -- is a docile and friendly breed that makes a great starter bird for new hobbyists. They reach a considerable size of up to 9.5 pounds, which makes them excellent meat birds. They are also great brown egg layers. For this reason, Plymouth Rocks are considered a dual-purpose breed, a term denoting breeds that can be used for either meat or egg production.

 

2. The Rhode Island Red: These rust-feathered chickens are the quintessential backyard chicken breed and can be found in many hobbyists' collections. While they do not achieve as great a weight as Plymouth Rocks, the Rhode Island Red is also a dual-purpose breed and lays brown eggs.

 

3. The Leghorn: The Leghorn is one of the best chicken breeds for those raising chickens for eggs. Originally from Italy, Leghors have one of the highest rates of lay out of any chicken breed. This is largely due to specialized breeding. Leghorns may be more flighty and noisy than some other breeds.

 

4. The Jersey Giant: Aptly named, this American breed can achieve an astounding weight of up to 13 pounds. Thus, Jersey Giants are a popular backyard breed for those raising chickens for meat. There are several varieties of this breed, all reaching the same average size.

 

5. Ameracaunas: This breed is easily recognizable due to the fluffy feathers around its head. Ameracaunas are perhaps most known for raising blue eggs. They make great pets and also relatively good egg layers, though they aren't intended to be raised for slaughter.

 

Whatever breed of chicken you choose, you will find that each breed has unique characteristics and will add its own personality to your backyard chicken hobby.


Edited by Bullitt - 2/6/12 at 5:18pm
post #2 of 143

Awesome. I have Barred Rocks, White Rocks, and RIR. In my order coming this March I'm getting some Light Brown Leghorn and some Ameraucanas. I guess I have the quintessential backyard flock. I have other breeds too, including production. But I'll have the top 5 down pat.

 

About my Jersey Giants. I have 2 white ones. They seem to lay eggs alright. Maybe not as much as my barred or production but they give an egg almost everyday, they are so big and beautiful too!

I'm the proud mommy of 6 German Shepherd Dogs, 2 beagle hounds, a Guinea Pig, a Beta fish, 2 kittens, 2 geese, and 66 of the best chickens ever!!!!!! I also breed German Shepherds. Check out my website and facebook page!

http://www.VonHiestandShepherds.com or http://www.facebook.com/VonHiestandShepherds

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I'm the proud mommy of 6 German Shepherd Dogs, 2 beagle hounds, a Guinea Pig, a Beta fish, 2 kittens, 2 geese, and 66 of the best chickens ever!!!!!! I also breed German Shepherds. Check out my website and facebook page!

http://www.VonHiestandShepherds.com or http://www.facebook.com/VonHiestandShepherds

Reply
post #3 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolita117 View Post

Awesome. I have Barred Rocks, White Rocks, and RIR. In my order coming this March I'm getting some Light Brown Leghorn and some Ameraucanas. I guess I have the quintessential backyard flock. I have other breeds too, including production. But I'll have the top 5 down pat.

 

About my Jersey Giants. I have 2 white ones. They seem to lay eggs alright. Maybe not as much as my barred or production but they give an egg almost everyday, they are so big and beautiful too!



Wow, you have all five on the list.

 

Your Jersey Giants lay an egg almost every day?

 

I'd say they are great layers then. But do they lay eggs like that all year?

post #4 of 143

Funny, Rhode Island Reds as a breed actually shouldn't be rusty red, and, I find it funny how Ameraucanas are listed yet very few people actually have real ones. Notice how nothing was mentioned on color variations, yet the other breeds were.

 

hide.gif Just had to point it out.

 

I actually though don't understand the list. Sadly but truthfully very few people raise Jersey Giants for meat since most have rather undersized over-producing hatchery stock, most "backyard" type owners just want eggs since they're usually in the urbs or suburbs, and same goes for the Plymouth Rock - Most out there are average/small sized pet layers. When people do want meat, they usually go for either Cornish X crosses or the extra rooster in their chick order.

 

Interesting, really, the choices on the list.

Araucanas, Polish, Shamos, Olive Eggers, and a handful of Finn Sheep, Wensleydale Sheep, Gotland Sheep, Kinder Goats, a Yak, and various rare breed Turkeys, Ducks, and Pigs.

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Araucanas, Polish, Shamos, Olive Eggers, and a handful of Finn Sheep, Wensleydale Sheep, Gotland Sheep, Kinder Goats, a Yak, and various rare breed Turkeys, Ducks, and Pigs.

Reply
post #5 of 143

Yea, Well right now I'm getting 20-25 eggs a day from 28 hens. So I don't really know how often each one is laying, but I have only 2 and I see at least 1 in the nest box almost everyday (But I'm not out there every minute either). They are really nice birds too, but have a loud egg song!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post



Wow, you have all five on the list.

 

Your Jersey Giants lay an egg almost every day?

 

I'd say they are great layers then. But do they lay eggs like that all year?



 

I'm the proud mommy of 6 German Shepherd Dogs, 2 beagle hounds, a Guinea Pig, a Beta fish, 2 kittens, 2 geese, and 66 of the best chickens ever!!!!!! I also breed German Shepherds. Check out my website and facebook page!

http://www.VonHiestandShepherds.com or http://www.facebook.com/VonHiestandShepherds

Reply

I'm the proud mommy of 6 German Shepherd Dogs, 2 beagle hounds, a Guinea Pig, a Beta fish, 2 kittens, 2 geese, and 66 of the best chickens ever!!!!!! I also breed German Shepherds. Check out my website and facebook page!

http://www.VonHiestandShepherds.com or http://www.facebook.com/VonHiestandShepherds

Reply
post #6 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by lolita117 View Post

Yea, Well right now I'm getting 20-25 eggs a day from 28 hens. So I don't really know how often each one is laying, but I have only 2 and I see at least 1 in the nest box almost everyday (But I'm not out there every minute either). They are really nice birds too, but have a loud egg song!

 



 

I have the Barred Rocks and they really are excellent layers and meat birds if you get into the older lines. I also have the RIR and I will always have some of them. I've had Leghorn but probably 40+ years ago and they are one of the wilder birds as for the ones that I had. It surprises me that the Buff Orpington wasn't on their list. That is a breed that my parents always had and were and still are good layers, I have them also. I have other breeds and I can honestly say that they are all good layers except the Silver Penciled Rocks because they haven't started yet so I don't know. My Sussex lay good but they tend to go broody very often. lol  Also these are all good winter layers also.
 

 

Thank You Jesus, Just for being YOU !!!!!!!!!!

http://jimspetsandpoultry.weebly.com

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Thank You Jesus, Just for being YOU !!!!!!!!!!

http://jimspetsandpoultry.weebly.com

Reply
post #7 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Illia View Post

Funny, Rhode Island Reds as a breed actually shouldn't be rusty red, and, I find it funny how Ameraucanas are listed yet very few people actually have real ones. Notice how nothing was mentioned on color variations, yet the other breeds were.

 

hide.gif Just had to point it out.

 

I actually though don't understand the list. Sadly but truthfully very few people raise Jersey Giants for meat since most have rather undersized over-producing hatchery stock, most "backyard" type owners just want eggs since they're usually in the urbs or suburbs, and same goes for the Plymouth Rock - Most out there are average/small sized pet layers. When people do want meat, they usually go for either Cornish X crosses or the extra rooster in their chick order.

 

Interesting, really, the choices on the list.



Well, Rhode Island Reds can come in different shades depending on the line. I think the traditional RIR was a darker red, though. I think it is also more difficult to find non-commercial RIRs.

 

The discussion about Ameraucanas and "Easter Eggers" has taken place a few times here. smile.png

 

It seems I read over and over that with every breed the quality is much different when they come from a hatchery. I think you are right that hatcheries are breeding the chickens to be egg layers and they are neglecting the meat qualities. I am sure some breeds are bred by hatcheries for their colors also. But most people want hens for eggs first.

 

As is repeated over and over on this forum, if you want quality birds you have to go to a good breeder. The hatcheries are fine if someone wants good egg layers.

 

 

 

post #8 of 143

I see a LOT more Buff Orpingtons than I do Jersey Giants and as others have pointed out it really should be Easter Eggers rather than Ameracaunas.  The rest of the list I generally agree with though the Rhode Island Reds should probably just be Reds since they are often a varying mix of real Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires, and various crosses that come out looking more or less like a Rhode Island Red.

 

 

Chance favors the prepared mind.
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Chance favors the prepared mind.
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post #9 of 143
Thread Starter 

I think lists about everything are popular because they generate debate.

 

I would take Jersey Giant off the list because I do not think they are that popular. Maybe Australorps or Orpingtons would be good choices for the list.

post #10 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post

I think lists about everything are popular because they generate debate.

 

I would take Jersey Giant off the list because I do not think they are that popular. Maybe Australorps or Orpingtons would be good choices for the list.

 

 

Agreed, considering Australorps are easily one of the 3 most common I see, where ever I go. It's always Australorps, Reds, or Rocks when it comes to breed.


 

 

Araucanas, Polish, Shamos, Olive Eggers, and a handful of Finn Sheep, Wensleydale Sheep, Gotland Sheep, Kinder Goats, a Yak, and various rare breed Turkeys, Ducks, and Pigs.

Reply

Araucanas, Polish, Shamos, Olive Eggers, and a handful of Finn Sheep, Wensleydale Sheep, Gotland Sheep, Kinder Goats, a Yak, and various rare breed Turkeys, Ducks, and Pigs.

Reply
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