So, you've taken the plunge into the wild world of chicken keeping? Congrats! Now you need the chickens, but you are wondering what breed to get. Yes, there are over 200 different breeds of chickens, and it's very, very tempting to just go to the feed store in the spring and randomly select your peeps. But, choosing the right breed takes a little more work.
When choosing your breed, think logically: do you want to breed your chickens for extra income? Do you have a taste for very rare breeds? Do you live in a hot or cold climate? This may seem like a lot of questions, but they are very necessary. If you live in a hot climate where, in the summers, the temperature rises above 90 degrees? Then purchasing Silkies or Cochins wouldn't be a very good idea. Instead, you would do better with Seramas, Leghorns, or other such "light" breeds. If you live in a very cold climate, where the temperatures drop below 30 degrees, then buying light breeds wouldn't be a wise idea.
Now, before you rush to find your breed, there are still more questions to consider. Do you want eggs, or meat, or maybe both? If you want both, then a dual purpose breed would be a good choice for you. If you want primarily eggs, then layer breeds would be good for you, and if you want just meat, then there is a whole huge variety of breeds that are considered "meat" breeds.
But, wait! The questions don't stop there! Do you want very friendly, pet breeds, or do you want breeds that are somewhat self-sustaining? If you want pet breeds, then there's a whole variety of pet breeds out there. Some of the most popular pet breeds are Silkies, Cochins, and Polish. If you want a more self-sustaining flock, breeds such Hamburgs, Leghorns, and other such breeds would be a better choice.
Whatever breed you choose, always remember, chickens are very rewarding and a lot of fun. They make wonderful pets, and give a constant supply of fresh eggs. Below are some list I have composed that contain the most common meat breeds, pet breeds, dual purpose breeds, and egg laying/self sustaining breeds.
Layer Breeds/Self Sustaining Breeds
Pet Type Breeds
Dual Purpose Breeds