Top 10 Chicken Breeds for Beginners
If you’re thinking about getting chickens, but don’t know where to start, this list is for you! These are the top 10 chicken breeds that are perfect for beginners. With these breeds, you’ll be sure to get lots of eggs and enjoy having backyard chickens!
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Which breed is right for you?
When it comes to raising chickens, picking the right breeds for your flock is essential. It’s not just about having a rainbow of colorful eggs; you’ll also want to consider climate hardiness and temperament – two factors that can spell success or failure when it comes to poultry-keeping. With some careful consideration and research, you could end up with a thriving happy family of birds ready to lay healthy delicious eggs!
You must consider your climate. Many breeds will do well in both hot and cold climates, but some are more cold tolerant and some are more suited to living in areas with extreme heat.
How one views hot or cold can be subjective, so keep your own biases in mind. When considering heat, we can probably agree that temperatures in the 90s are pretty darn hot. However, when it gets over 110F, it’s burning hot.
You’ll have a better experience if you select the right birds for your climate. For example, if you’re in Fargo, you’ll want to avoid getting Turkens, also known as Naked Necks due to their lack of neck feathers. This lack of feathering can be dangerous and life-threatening in freezing temperatures because feathers are necessary for insulation and warmth. However, if you live in a desert climate like Las Vegas then the heat hardy Turken would be a wise choice. A heavily feathered bird with poor heat hardiness, like a Cochin would suffer too much heat stress in the desert.
In a wet climate you should also thing about avoiding breeds with feathered feet. Constantly wet feet, especially feet with feathers that can hold on to moisture, can increase problems like leg mites and bumblefoot.
To us temperament is one of the most important characteristics in chickens. If your chicken is a jerk, won’t let you handle her, or is aggressive toward your family her being a good layer of beautifully colorful eggs will seem a lot less important.
With some patience, you can train most breeds or mixes to trust you. Many will view you as a member of the flock. The extra docile and friendly ones will allow you to pick them up, and even give you chicekn cuddles. Others will give on the ground affection but don’t like being picked up. Some will interact, chat and eat out of your hand but don’t want to be petted, so they’ll keep you at wing’s length. Flighty birds will be very hard to handle, even if you hand raised them, and may run away screaming like a banshee if you get close.
As much has I love the look and idea of certain breeds. I won’t raise them if they have natural flighty or aggressive traits. My flock in mostly comprised of friendly, docile birds who are easy to handle- a necessity when I’m conducting health checks or tending to an injury. A couple of my birds were just born neurotic and catching them for any reason is very frustrating. I really don’t recommend flightier or more aggressive breeds for beginner chicken keepers.
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The Best Chicken Breeds for Beginners
Raising chickens can be a fun and rewarding experience, but knowing which breed(s) to select for your situation can be overwhelming. To help you make the best decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best chicken breeds for beginners. Here are our picks: Austrolorp, Buff Orpington, Easter Egger, Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock, Silkie Bantam, Speckled Sussex, Welsummer, Leghorn, and Cochins.
In-depth look into each breed's characteristics:
Austrolorp: This large Australasian breed is best suited to warmer climates and is one of the best egg-layers, producing up to 260 eggs a year.
Buff Orpington: This is an easy-going breed that can tolerate colder temperatures and lays light brown eggs. They are friendly and calm, making them a great choice for families with children.
Rhode Island Red: This is a hardy breed that can withstand harsher climates and still produce up to 250 eggs per year.
Barred Plymouth Rock: This dual-purpose breed is best for colder climates, but produces fewer eggs than most other breeds (around 150-200).
Silkie Bantam: These small birds are best suited to warmer climates and lay small cream or white eggs. They are incredibly friendly, making them a great choice for families with children.
Speckled Sussex: This breed is best suited to warmer climates, lays creamy-brown eggs, and has an inquisitive personality.
Welsummer: This hardy breed is best suited to cooler climates and lays dark brown eggs.
Leghorn: This dual-purpose breed is best for warmer climates, but produces fewer eggs than other breeds (around 150-200).
Cochins: This docile breed is best for warmer climates and can lay up to 200 eggs per year.
Choosing the best chicken breeds for your situation is key to a successful venture. We’ve outlined the top 10 best chicken breeds for beginners and provided an in-depth look into their characteristics, suitability for various climates and environments, and other factors that may influence a beginner’s best choice. With this information, you can now confidently choose the best chicken breeds to raise for your situation.
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