Sooo everyone, to help out newer folks thats joined our thread, whats your favorite chicken breed? Least favorite? Best roosters, and hens? Please share your thoughts, pictures and opinions. Who is your best layers, and if you keep them for a table bird what breed has worked best?
My bad rooster experiences have been Australorps and Wyandottes. I will point out though that they were all hatchery lines and not from a breeder. Hens were also top in the flock and dominant.
All the breeds I currently keep are great, adore the Orpington most. Followed by EE/OE, Sumatra, Ameruacana, Naked Necks, RIR and WL.
Egg layers, Leghorn and comets lay daily and give us a lot of eggs.
Table birds, most of my breeds have excellent size aside from leghorn. If we have to purchase birds meant for the freezer Cornish Cross are huge at 8 weeks, and that's the hybrid we get.
Ooh, big important questions!
Favorite species: turkey. Among breeds of turkey, for personality, the broad-breasted breeds have all had very sociable temperaments and eagerly bond to humans if socialized young enough. They need lots of cuddle time. The two Black Spanish poults mark my first time rearing a heritage breed from a very young age, as unfortunately, my experience with other heritage breeds concerned older poults or adults, which isn't quite fair. BB turkeys, however, have been consistently bred for docility because only an idiot would breed a bird at such expense that is over fifty pounds and hates them. Talk about stupid. For longevity, however, anything but broad breasted... because they're heart-breakers (and bank-breakers).
CHICKENS: For numerous eggs: Leghorn, RSL/comets and EE. For pretty eggs: EE all the way... maybe with Breda (cream), Welsummers (darker brown with speckles) and Marans (dark, dark brown). For friendliness: Orpingtons, Brahma. For quirky personalities and curiosity: Welsummer, EE, Leghorn, Wyandottes. For beautiful plumage: Wyandottes, Sumatra. For meat: Cornish Cross. Roosters: I've had no human aggressive roosters, but the best ones with the ladies are Sumatra. Best for children: Brahma, Silkies. For broodiness: Welsummers, Australorps
GUINEAS: for being clowns, alarm systems, conversation pieces, noise violations, the murder of threats (they've been known to kill snakes and hawks) and the eating of ticks
DUCKS are funny but messy and rapacious. Eggs are very tasty. I've yet to have a duck that enjoyed my company once being turned out into the yard. So far, I've had good broodies but poor mothers. Mallard-derived ladies are noisy but lay well. Muscovy don't lay as well, are more sensitive to cold, fly well, and are super quiet. Mallard-derived breeds sound like old men telling dirty jokes, and they are impervious to cold.