Think about the purpose of your potential flock.,
Consider your lifestyle.,
Measure your home.,
Consider the year-round weather in your area.,
Think about eggs.
Do you want eggs? Meat? Or a bit of both. You might want them as a pet by making sure you get a friendly breed. Or maybe you want to make money by entering your chickens in poultry shows? There are plenty of breeds to choose from that have different pros and cons.
Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Australorp, Leghorn and Plymouth Rock chickens are fantastic egg laying breeds. They lay large, strong eggs almost every day.
The best meat breeds (or broilers) are the Cornish Cross and Jersey Giant. They are large birds that grow rapidly.
You can also research more into dual-purpose breeds meaning that you can get two in one. Most breeds are friendly and great egg layers such as the Buff Orpington. The Australorp is a friendly breed that can also be slaughtered for meat along with many other breeds.
If you want a friendly breed consider a bantam chicken. Bantams are miniature chickens with big, friendly hearts such as pekins (a very common breed).
Showline chickens can be bought from reliable breeders but cost a lot more money. Some breeds can go up to $500. You can easily find inexpensive showline breeds for $50 that have stunning feathers.
If you want to breed chickens consider a popular breed. Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Pekins and a few other breeds are highly wanted (although it may range depending on where you live). If you don’t have an incubator or the money to buy one then consider a broody breed. Silkies and Pekins are guaranteed to go broody and make good mothers too.;
, Time, money and family should be weighed out here! Do you need an inexpensive breed that is cheap to buy and cheap to take care of altogether. You may also need a breed that is more low-maintenance than others or a friendlier breed that is good around kids.
Bantams are smaller breeds that cost half the amount of a standard breed to keep. They are also friendlier and get along with kids well. Buff Orpingtons and Australorps are also friendly breeds but simply in a standard chicken form (meaning they are much larger).
, Chickens tend to take up a lot of space if you’re not careful. They need storage for all their food and a large home to stay in. The bigger the flock the more space that is needed.
Chickens don’t have to free-range. They can stay inside their coop all day as long as it has an attached run. But the run may be costly to buy. At least they will take up less space in the garden and avoid destroying your prized plants!
, Do you get a lot of heat or a lot of cold? Some breeds are sensitive to too much heat due to their fluffy feathers whilst some cannot deal with the winter snow. However, you can find some hardy breeds out there if you look., Would you like a colourful egg basket? You can get beautiful chickens that lay beautifully coloured eggs in an array of colours. What’s best is that you get a varied flock too! You can get eggs from colours of brown, white, cream, pink, green and blue!
For a brown coloured egg you might want to go for Isa Browns or Buff Orpingtons. These are common breeds so won’t be expensive or hard to find.
For a cream or white egg look for Leghorns which are top egg-laying breeds or Pekin bantams.
If you’re looking for a beautiful and exotic green, pink or blue egg then purchase an easter-egger breed such as the Araucana or Ameraucan.