The right chicken breeds for you!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by sgps, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. sgps

    sgps Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2015
    Hi, [​IMG]
    If you could help us discover the best breeds for laying, broodiness, meat, and show that would be amazing! [​IMG]
    Also tell story's of your past birds, and send pictures, thanks!
  2. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are as many kind of chickens to choose from as people to choose them! It's a hard one to answer!

    For me:

    1. I wanted "real" size eggs, so bantam and silkies are out
    2. I don't care if they are duel purpose or not, though I plan to "stew" mine when they are done laying...makes me sad to think about
    3. I wanted research took me to Australorps...and yes, they are very friendly and docile
    4. I wanted variety in chicken colors, not so much the eggs so most of mine lay brown
    5. I wasn't interested in showing so hatchery birds were fine for me

    My favorites in MY flock for personality - Andelusian
    For laying - Australorp and Production Red
    For eating - I don't know yet
    Ones I wouldn't buy again - Hatchery Wyandottes, just personal opinion

    If I cared about showing and SOP I would buy Ayam Cemani just cause I think they look so cool, but they take a lot of work and culling to keep them 100% black like they are supposed to be.
  3. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2013
    [​IMG] Some of the questions you are asking are opposite each other...For example, the best layers probably don't go broody as much. A hen that goes broody (or hatches and raises her own chicks) will stop laying during that period. That is why some people will choose the breeds they like then keep one or two hens of a breed that goes broody to hatch their eggs or will incubate them.
    Same way, a bird that is a good layer probably isn't the size of a bird you would use strictly for meat and a bird that is raised for meat probably won't be the best layer. There are lots of compromises in chickens.
    Lots of times the little bantams make great show birds, and are lots of fun, but they certainly don't lay as well and as far as being a meat bird....forget it.
    If you're trying to figure out what to get, you can go to They have a short questionnaire and based on your answers give you suggestions for breeds you might like.
    Another thing you can do is start with several breeds and see which you like and have the most fun with and go from there. That is what I did and am still doing.
    And even if you want to keep them penned or in a free range situation, that may influence your choice of breeds.
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Based on experience, my answers to your catagories are as follows:
    Best layers: White Leghorns (for white eggs) and Sex Links (for brown eggs). These are the hens used by laying houses as they are egg laying machines, producing more than 300 large eggs per hen per year.
    Best Brooders: Silkies, Cochins, and Game hens. Silkies will sometimes spend weeks just trying to incubate a golf ball. :eek:)
    Best Meat Birds: Cornish cross. Due to their incredible growth rates, Cornish cross are ready for butchering at 8 weeks.
    Best Show BIrds: This depends strictly on the quality of the individuals with each breed (how well they meet APA standards. However, the only breed that I ever had that one best in show were Mille Fleur D'Uccles.
  6. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 7, 2013
    That depends on a few things. Closest breed I can think of to fit them is the Black Australorp. Amazing egg layers, can also make great meat birds, docile, and friendly. The only problem is some go broody but not really as a breed. Broody chickens tend to not lay as well when they start brooding or have a chicks with them. Bantam chickens tend to be the best brooders and an excellent show birds since younger kids can show them with little to no problems compared to a larger chicken such as the Jersey Giant. All chickens can be great show birds. Just depends on the person showing them and how serious into showing they are. Also birds that are bred to the standard tend to lose the productivity. Not saying you can't show an excellent producing bird, you can. If you get into APA shows you'll want a bird closest to the standard. Hatcheries usually don't breed for the standard they breed for production.

    If you're looking for breeds that are some of the leaders in each request than you would want:
    Egg laying: White Leghorn, Sex Link, or Australorp
    Meat: Cornish cross, Australorp, Jersey Giant
    Broodiness: Silkie, Cochins (my cochin hen was a great brooder)
    Show: Serama (their standard is fairly easy to remember and the only thing I've seen them used for is shows.)
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    you've been given some very good suggestions so I will just say Welcome to Backyard chickens.
  8. N F C

    N F C home again! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    This chart was very helpful to me when it came time to select breeds for my first flock. It show traits by breed, traits like egg productivity, broodiness, and hardiness.

    No matter what breed(s) you end up going with, by spending time with them and getting to know them (and they you), you'll end up with great birds.
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  10. sgps

    sgps Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 3, 2015
    Thank you so much![​IMG]

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