What breeds have what qualities.... such as....

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Chicken_Pauper, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California

    So many times people ask: What breed is best for backyard flocks? Or similar questions.

    I would love to see real information on real qualities of different breeds... (all in one place).... As I try to decide what breeds to aquire for my flock, I wish I knew more about which breeds offer which qualities, such as...

    Breed that is:

    Most heat tolerant (not cold tolerant)

    All weather tolerant - hardy in all weather

    Cold tolerant (not heat tolerant)

    Frail... vs. Hardy...

    Economical, less feed for more eggs...

    Quietest breed...

    Noisiest breed....

    Lays Largest Eggs...

    Lays Smallest Eggs....

    Lays prettiest eggs....

    Lays most eggs...

    Lays least eggs...



    Etc.. so that I could, anyone could look up a breed or traits and find info such as...

    Barred Rock -- Hardy in all weather, good layers of extra large eggs... 5 per week average, hens tend to be quiet, roosters are "average", not excessively loud or unusually quiet. Hens never go broody, normally. "Beige eggs". Roosters are large and will cause bare backs on hens in his flock. Not an aggressive breed. Roosters are excellent flock leaders, breeders, providers and good protectors. Heavy, dual purpose breed. Not flighty, not overly friendly but tolerate people well. I don't know how economical they are...

    It seems we get some information here, and some there, but not all about any one breed in any one place. And, I think that when someone asks "what breed is best for backyard flocks?", they often want a breed that is quiet, economical, a good layer, not flighty -- tolerates confinement, good for whatever their climate is where they are located, size of eggs may or may not matter to them, etc.

    Might be good to have a rating system in filterable qualities... such as Aggressive: 1 of 5 stars = least aggressive, or Large Eggs: 4 of 5 stars = Extra Large. Noise level hens: .......... Noise level roosters: .............

    Well.. if anyone has a link or source for more filtered and detailed info than MyPetChicken has on their site, please... thank you.

  2. Nic&Chickies

    Nic&Chickies Songster

    Aug 23, 2010
    New Britain, CT
    Isn't that what the "Breeds" section on here is for?
    I've kind of wished for something like that at times. It sounds like an admirable thing to strive for, but a couple of things might get in the way. One is that many on here (myself included) aren't professionals, and any info provided is only what our own chickens teach us. Also, while there are general traits of each breed, to borrow a phrase, "Individual results may vary". For example, a single chicken of a breed known to be quiet, could end up being the loudest one in your flock.
  3. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
  4. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Two problems with rating breeds that way -

    1) different strains, especially comparing hatchery stock vs show or heritage type stock really don't compare, and there is usually anywhere from very little to a very drastic difference, whether it be in temperament, size, production, etc. So while one says this breed is so and so, three other may disagree, and only because of strain difference.

    2) different opinions. For example, pretty eggs or quiet bird. How are either measured? I personally think any normal brown layer is boring, and quiet is measured by the frequency of a hen's babbling/sound making through the day, but someone else may think quietness is measured by a rooster's pitch or amount of crowing, or maybe they hate green eggs, etc. . . And again leading back to strain, someone may say RIR's are terrible for anything but lots of eggs, while another says they're super dual purpose birds, always friendly and large in size, but slow growers.

    So that said, best to look through the breeds section and read reviews here on BYC. But remember, strains do differ and most people have hatchery stock, whereas who knows, maybe you're looking for better. Or maybe you just want an egg laying machine.

  5. Chicken_Pauper

    Chicken_Pauper Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Southern California
    Absolutely agree and understand.... thank you all.

    I greatly appreciate, value and understand the input, thank you much to each and all of you.

    One more question, then.. if I am looking for a breeder... not a hatchery... what qualifications, standards, etc. do I look for? How do I know I found a good, reputable breeder? And, are all of them 10 to 20 X as expensive as a Hatchery?

    Well.. thank you, again... I will keep up the search, and fine tuning what breeds I want.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

  7. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA

    The best way to know a good breeder from one with hatchery stock is one who explains what they're doing or the true breed traits, knowing what they're talking about but above all, one who has visual evidence of birds that match the SOP. Best to either get the American Standard of Perfection book to know yourself, or to look for a breed Club website for the standard, and get yourself to know just really what the standard entails. Also, weight is a big thing. If the breeder cannot give at least an estimate of weight that is correct and isn't severely under the SOP weight for the breed, that's always a plus.

    As for price, most out there really aren't very expensive at all. Depends just how much "show quality" you want in your stock, how rare the breed or color is you're after, and what the demand is for it at the time. Also, of course, there will be nice cheap or giving people and prices. and then of course there's the people with outlandish prices as well. Always good to compare notes and ask questions.

    Some out there are tricky, and some will throw out words that may lure you into a trap. The word heritage and show quality especially these days are being shal I say abused, as I see a LOT of so-called out there who most certainly aren't. But, with words like heritage, the question is by who's definition. I personally follow the ALBC definition which makes it practically show-worthy stock.

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