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Breed Choosing

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by norristhechickenman, May 14, 2011.

  1. norristhechickenman

    norristhechickenman In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I have 3 Astralorps now, i know they are pretty good layers though i am just wondering which chicken is for this and that... let me explain this further...

    - which chicken is the best for egg laying...
    - which chicken is the best for meat...
    - which chicken is the best as pet... for showing...

    if i missed a question feel free to add... ehehe

    thanks in advance for your answers...


  2. tandersphoenix

    tandersphoenix Songster

    Feb 25, 2011
    Hi Norris, I think everyone has their own opinion of best breeds for their purpose. To me the most important thing would be to seek the breeds that you are liking and decide what you want to do with them to decide what would be best for you. I like Rhode Island Reds for layers, cornish cross for meat birds and my absolute favorite are my bantam phoenix. Those are my picks but everyone has their favorites..
  3. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    There are alot of dual purpose birds out there usally heritage chickens.Go here to check out there temperment
    Braekel (Brakel)
    California Gray
    Derbyshire Redcap
    Iowa Blue
    Jersey Giant
    Marsh Daisy
    Naked Neck
    New Hampshire
    Norfolk Grey
    Plymouth Rock
    Red Shaver
    Rhode Island Red
    Rhode Island White
    Scots Dumpy
    Scots Grey
  4. norristhechickenman

    norristhechickenman In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    that post was really helpful... so interms of eggs go for Rhode Island or Leghorn... how about the meat part? hehe
  5. ModernGameGrl

    ModernGameGrl In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2011
    Chippewa County
    I agree that it's really a personal thing when picking breeds. I myself like bantams for their small size and birds that have unique traits so turkens and modern games are favorites of mine. I find turkens to be great dual purpose birds provided you get standard size and not bantams. They are great egg laying machines and produce about the best breast meat I've ever gotten. They're also fun to show.
  6. pdsavage

    pdsavage Sussex Monarch

    Mar 27, 2008
    Well alot of people start out with RIR or LH and then start finding birds they like.Its all a matter of finding something you like to look at and their personality.I could have a pen full of great laying naked necks but still not like the looks of them,so I would not be happy with them or I could have some great laying Leghorns and be attacked every by the roo and the hens fly into the fence everytime I go in the pen cause there such a flighty breed.

    This chart will tell you alot about what chicken is for what and personality,also will tell you if it fits what your looking for.
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  7. norristhechickenman

    norristhechickenman In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2011
    thanks, i guess i'll just have to start with LH or RIR's... i want a multi purpose bird, as per you know, the economy isnt that good...

  8. Sylvester017

    Sylvester017 Crowing

    Nov 29, 2012
    So. Calif.
    Hi norristhechickenman - just wondering how you did with your breed choices?

    I never presume what birds to recommend as best. All I can do is share my personal experience and why I made the choices I did. Everyone has different needs from their flocks and ours was not just pets, but economical pets that paid us back with occasional product (eggs).

    As a kid my parents raised Babcock White Leghorns for eggs - they were egg-laying machines at 6 eggs apiece/week, never went broody, got along w/ ducks and geese in the pen at dusk, were good foragers, good feed-to-egg ratio, alert and not predator bait in spite of their white plumage, plus we had many a soup and baked chicken dinners or stews from them though not particularly huge birds but enough for us 3 people. RIRs were not as economical - they did lay large eggs but were a large bird and not good feed-to-egg ratio and that included the Barred Rocks we had - however they would serve up a good meat after egg production waned. We had these other breeds but we preferred the White Legs for feed-to-egg economy. Even now in my backyard I always keep at least one Leghorn variety (there are so many colors to choose from today!)

    Years later I had a pet New Hamp who free-ranged the backyard alone and we only needed to supply her a handful of feed once a day. She carved out a den under a bush by the backdoor to lay her brown egg every day. She was a rescue and we only had her a year before re-homing her to a friend's flock - our new swimming pool used up her foraging space! She loved running thru my veggie garden to pick horned worms and grasshoppers and spiders - wonderful bird never touched the vines.

    Recently we got a couple Silkies for pets. Found they were fantastic egg-layers for bantams but since the eggs were only 1.25 oz and they went broody a lot, we got a White Leghorn for consistent egg production. Later we added a Marans who was too large and a bully so re-homed her. Then we added a Buff Leghorn pullet who is slightly smaller than the White Leg but just as prolific, and added an APA Blue Wheaten Ameraucana who lays large blue eggs. When the White Leg got aggressive we re-homed her but I miss her beautiful eggs - if we didn't have the Silkie bantams we would have kept the White Leg but she could injure the smaller gentler bantams so decided it best to re-home her. Heartbreaking but good for her and for us.

    Since having the Ameraucana this past year we have become very impressed with her gentle temperament, her prolific blue eggs at about 5-6 weekly, alert, very active forager, around 5+ lbs, she chases cats out of the yard (which our White Leg used to do before we re-homed her), and she loves to talk to you, allows petting. Her only flaw is slow to mature and integrate with the other breeds but she is now our best flock bird. She pals around w/ the Buff Leghorn most of the day. She allows the smaller Silkies to rule the roost as she isn't interested in flock politics and she loves just about any food offered from the kitchen. She isn't a fussy eater like some breeds. She lays a lot of eggs so we don't mind replenishing her nutrition. My friend has an APA Ameraucana and 3 Easter Eggers and she loves her birds best also. She loves that they are not aloof but very personable toward humans. Her processed Easter Egger cockerel at 6 months weighed as much as her dressed Cornish Cross birds. The cockerels make quantitive table meat. The APA Ameraucana is a blue egg layer in various hues of blue only. However, Easter Eggers can lay not only blue but also mint, sage, pink, tan, cream, or white eggs and you never know what color a hen will lay for life until you see her first surprise egg. Ameraucana is a funny, quirky, gentle-tempered breed that is entertaining as well as prolific for eggs - rarely if ever will she or Easter Eggers go broody.

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