Official BYC Poll - Which Breed Characteristics/Traits are the Most Important to You?

Which characteristics/traits are the most important to you?

  • Egg production

    Votes: 115 55.0%
  • Climate hardiness (Can withstand very hot/cold conditions)

    Votes: 92 44.0%
  • Temperament

    Votes: 154 73.7%
  • Dual purpose (Good egg laying and good meat bird)

    Votes: 36 17.2%
  • Broodiness - Good mother/setter

    Votes: 24 11.5%
  • Aesthetics / Looks

    Votes: 77 36.8%
  • Good free ranging/foraging abilities

    Votes: 58 27.8%

  • Total voters


Staff member
Premium member
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
Tipperary, Ireland
We each have our own list of traits we would like in our chickens and choose breeds accordingly. Whether it's good egg production, or eye candy, we'd like to know which characteristics/traits are the most important to you when selecting breeds. You can choose up to 3 choices from the poll options. (If your criteria is not listed in the poll options, please reply to the thread and tell us what it is)


The Chicken Whisperer
Premium member
9 Years
May 11, 2010
For me, temperament is the most important. A calm docile bird is usually most adaptable to the back yard environment. Now a bird raised on farm and can free range, I want one that is alert, active, and smart enough to get out of harm's way and find food. In either case, I don't want an human-aggressive chicken.


Hi Bug
Feb 6, 2018
Hi Hannah
I pick birds that are good foragers, can withstand the cold and the heat, can go broody, and I also like breeds that can fly. The last one is just because I like to see chickens fly, looks funny.
If I had to rank them from most important to least I would say:
1. Good Foragers
2. Weather tolerant
3. Broodiness
4. Looks
5. Egg production
6. Temperament
7. Dual Purpose


Ut optimum sit, tamen, ut veni!
Project manager
Premium member
Nov 7, 2015
Southwestern MB, Canada
I pick replacement stock on an entire variety of traits.
  • Correct conformation
  • Temperament
  • Hardiness (not just temperature climes but the ability to be robust under less than ideal conditions)
  • Excellent free-ranging capabilities
  • Easy keeping (as in gaining/doing well on less feed etc.)
All of the above have to be stellar or I'm not going to get a chance to select for egg laying traits or those below.
  • Duel purpose
  • Egg laying
  • Longevity in life and in laying capability
  • Aesthetics
  • Broodiness AND mothering ability. Because some hens can be excellent setters but are not good mother material.
I select my birds on the merits of the entire list above. I feel the entire list is key to producing the birds I desire. It will take longer to achieve the entire list, but it will be well worth the extra time.

*Broodiness is the only trait that is not as key in some of my birds because I have too many that are extreme broodies already. I'd like to temper the extreme broodies I have to a less broody (As in less amount of times to go broody) but still retain the excellent mothering qualities.
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