How To Choose The Best Chicken Breeds For Your Poultry Business

chicken types

Choosing Chicks for Your Poultry – Chicken Buying Tips

When it comes to your preferred chickens, there are many types than you can think of. We should answer these questions first: what is our purpose in rearing chickens on the first place?  Is it for business or for pleasure?

One of the best things of this step is learning some of the poultry type names: Silkie, Showgirl, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Rosecomb, Redcap, and Russian Orloff, to name a few.

Important things that you’ll have to consider include housing space and baby chick cage, the quantity and also the color of eggs produced, the breed’s temperament, its noise level, and its adaptability to the environment. If you are unable to let your chickens to roam freely, the environment factor is important for a happy, healthy flock. Noise level impacts matters if you do not reside in the suburbs. Some experts advise against mixing poultry ages, but I have never had trouble with the older birds picking on younger birds.

Different types need different condition. Most of the breeds thrive in all climates, although some have special demand: Phoenix and Minorcas need hot weather, for example, and Brahmas and Chanteclers prefer cold weather conditions. All of the breed produces eggs, even the so-called ornamental breeds, but egg size and production vary from breed to breed. Medium-production layers have plenty of demand for a family. Bantam eggs are more smaller to complement their yolks and you will need more whites than most angel food cake recipes call for.

Facts to Know Before Going to Buy Chicks for Poultry

  • Need a coop or chicken cage. It has to hold a feeder and water containers and a nest box for every three hens. It should be large that you can stand in it to gather eggs and shovel manure.
  • Chicken needs food and water regularly. Feeds is about $21 per 50-pound bag at my own coop, how long the bags lasts depends on the number of other chickens that you have. Automatic feeder setup can be used for make it more efficient.
  • Hens lay through spring and summer and into the fall, as long as they have 12 to 14 hours of daylight. Expect to take eggs daily, or even twice a day if you have lots of hens.
  • All year round, you have to shovel manure.
  • If you go on vacation or holiday, you need a reliable chicken-sitter, and they are scarcer than hens’ teeth.

Types of Chicken for Poultry

Egg Layers

egg laying breed comparison
egg laying breed comparison
egg facts
egg facts

Meat Birds

  • Brahma – Brown eggs
  • Cochin – Brown eggs
  • Dark Cornish – Brown eggs
  • Jersey Giant – Brown eggs

Dual-Purpose Birds

  • Araucana – Blue green eggs
  • Black Sex-Link – Brown eggs
  • Dominique – Brown eggs
  • Faverolle – Brown or tinted eggs
  • Houdan (crested) – White eggs
  • New Hampshire – Brown eggs
  • Orpington – Brown eggs
  • Red Sex-Link – Brown eggs
  • Rhode Island Red – Brown eggs
  • Rock – Brown eggs
  • Sussex – Brown eggs
  • Wyandotte – Brown eggs
dual purpose chicken breeds
dual purpose chicken breeds

Conditions of Poultry

The Purpose

Why you want that chicken will dictate which breeds would be appropriate and narrow your list down considerably. If you need great layers, you will want to stick with production breeds and leghorns or other high-yield breeds. If you need chickens for meat, then the Cornish Cross or other meat breeds are the best. But also consider both purpose of breeds or heritage breeds. They are good for both meat and eggs. There are many people who rear chicken for meat and also egg which will keep the females as layers and use the roosters for meat – just same as old-time farmers used to.

Hens Only?

Some breeds don’t need a rooster for egg production. So that’s not a tough question to answer. Just because you are allowed a rooster, doesn’t mean you should have one. You don’t need the rooster for hens to lay down eggs – they’ll lay just as well without one, but the eggs won’t be fertile and don’t need to hatch. Roosters are hardly match for a predator like a coyote or fox, and despite common belief that roosters don’t just crow at sunrise – they crow all day long. Roosters are rough on other hens and tear them up ‘treading’ their backs while they mate. And if you have small chicks, consider what would happen if an aggressive rooster come to attack one of them? Roosters are best to rear if you want fighting cocks used for gambling in some countries like the Philippines.

Fighting Cocks
Fighting Cocks

The Climate

Most of the chicken are naturally cold-hardy, so in the northern states, you don’t think much about choosing the breed that couldn’t handle the cold, though the Mediterranean breeds, with larger combs and slight bodied, don’t do well in the cold weather. However, they are perfectly suited for the hot southern climates, since they expel their body heat through those combs in the summer to stay cool. By becoming familiar with some of the cold-hardy and heat-tolerant types is a good idea if you live in either of the extreme climates.

The Temperament

Temperament in chicken does vary quick remarkably by breed. From the type of the super docile Faverolles, Buffs, Cochins and Australorps are more skittish Marans, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas and Leghorns, if you want a “lap chickens”, you’ll want to select your chicks carefully from the more docile types. If you have child bird especially, the docile breeds may become family pets, enjoying being petted and snuggled and even pushed around in doll carriages or pulled in wagons. However, casual tricks may be used to exhaust fan setup for maintaining a healthy and sound temperature and air at your poultry.

Color of Eggs

Eggs are in different colors such as white or pale cream to pink, light tan to brown or even it become dark chocolate brown, green and blue. Doing some research on it which types has laid which color of eggs will result in a colorful egg basket, if that become your goal.

different poultry egg colors
different poultry egg colors

The Appearance

The appearance of the chicken is another consideration. There are some people that love the Ameraucanas with their cheek muffs and others prefer a “cleaner” face. There are frizzle chicken who always looks like a stiff wind is blowing. There are some feather-legged breeds, such as Cochins and Brahmas, and those without feathers. Other breeds, like Faverolles and Marans, have feathered feet. There are both larger breeds and smaller. Hefty-bodied and more sleek-bodied have increased demand.

Once you’ve narrowed down some breeds based on your requirement, you’ll be more prepared to head out to choose some chicks to bring in your house with you. And have a better chance to end up with the perfect flock for your backyard.

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How To Deal If Your Chicken is Sick

sick chicken

Despite the most attentive chicken keeping, one of your birds will get sick sooner or later. It’s essential to have the ability to recognise the signs of illness and act fast — chickens are good at hiding their symptoms, so by the time you notice, they are generally very sick indeed.

If you believe that your chicken is ill…

A veterinarian always gets the best possible way of helping your birds and will have the ability to diagnose any issues with far greater details than any online source.

This article is a useful guide, but merely just guide — your vet is your best solution!

Diagnosing chickens is a huge challenge: they hide their symptoms, and could not let you know what’s wrong even if they wanted to. Furthermore, lots of the external symptoms aren’t specific to any one illness.

Not drinking or eating
-Weight Reduction
-Weakness or lethargy
-Hiding
-Difficulty walking
-Pale comb or wattles
-Dull eyes
-Diarrhea or abnormal droppings
-Not setting
-Losing feathers
-Fluffed up feathers
-Other unnatural behaviour
If any combination of the above describes your chicken, she might be sick, and you need to take her into the vet ASAP to get specific diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of respiratory disease

Respiratory illnesses manifest unique symptoms in contrast to most other ailments.

Again, it’s practically impossible to get a backyard keeper to recognize the specific illness in question. You have to take your chicken to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. This will often involve antibiotics that your vet may prescribe.

General treatment choices

If, for some reason, you can’t bring your chicken to the vet immediately, then there are a few simple things which you can do to improve her probability of recovery.

Isolate her from the rest of the flock to avoid any possible spread of illness and decrease bullying from healthy chickens.
-Keep her in a well ventilated and dry location.
-Provide a lot of water and food. Give treats if she will not eat her normal food-eating anything is better than nothing.
-Give a teaspoon of yoghurt for a few additional probiotics. Do not overdo it as this may lead to diarrhoea.

At times, a little TLC might be a chicken wants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After you’ve gone to the vet, it could be worth checking your coop setup — windy dust and loopholes are a common cause of illness, and repairing these issues will help keep your flock healthy.

Particular symptoms

Some disorders have particular symptoms (in addition to those described above) which can help with home identification.

Coryza: [respiratory] Extremely swollen eyes, and a very rancid odour.
Coccidiosis: Occasionally leads to bloody faeces.
Avian flu: [respiratory] Dark, reddish spots on legs and comb, and sudden death. This disease can infect people, so be extremely cautious if you suspect it. Report any cases to the community government immediately.
Impacted harvest: Swollen crop (a pouch in the front of the body), which is very tough to the touch.
Sour harvest: Swollen harvest, which can be mushy to the touch, and a rotten odor from the mouth.
Botulism: Tremors of increasing intensity, end in death.
Bumblefoot: Infected wound .
Egg binding: The bulge of a stuck egg at the exit to the port.
Frostbite: Pale, slightly blue comb or thighs.
Pasty butt/vent gleet: Droppings caked over the buttocks.
Mites or lice: Pale comb (from blood loss), and compact insects among feathers.
Worms: Proof of worms in droppings.

If your chicken is acting strangely, but does not appear to be showing signs of illness, they might just be broody.

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Why You Should Feed Your Chickens Mealworms

mealworms

They may not look very appealing to me or you, but from a chickens point of view mealworms seem as yummy as a home cooked meal prepared by someone you love. Even though they have the feel of crumbly corn chips, these tasty little morsels will drive your flock wild with temptation. Only a small part of these previously wiggly wonders is enough to enhance your chickens’ health and well-being so that they can live life in their flip-flappity best! Stick your beak into this easy to digest article with the top 7 reasons to feed mealworms to your hungry feathered friends.

chickens eating mealworms
Chickens eating Mealworms

1. Just a couple mealworms goes a long way.

Be sure to don’t create an entire meal from your mealworms alone. Generally speaking, adult laying hens should have a diet of approximately 16% protein. Younger chicks and pullets of course have additional protein in their chicken feed, or extra mealworms in their diet for that matter, to help them as they grow big and strong. Your laying hens will obviously eat the entire bag if you allow them, but make sure you limit their intake to the recommended serving size. Moreover, do not go overboard when you feed your hens with mealworms.

2. Power your hens with protein.

Protein is a vital part of any living creature’s diet, especially chickens. Not to mention chickens will need to have plenty of protein so that they can develop lustrous plumage to keep them warm in winter. Therefore, it only makes sense that any poultry owner needs to make certain that her hens have loads of protein in their diet. Mealworms are usually the natural choice, as every meal worm is nearly 50% protein — HOLY HEN!

3. Mealworms will help your hens through moulting season.

During moulting season, which generally occurs throughout autumn and spring, it’s essential that each and every chicken owner boosts their flock’s protein intake in 1 way or another. Mealworms are an especially good option, as they are a dense source of protein, which will aid your chickens grow their feathers back in no time. It’s also important to be aware that your flock’s immune system will be reduced throughout moulting season, so it is critical that you fortify their diet with a few tasty mealworms, to help them through this challenging season.

4. Bulk up your eggs with mealworms.

Naturally, when your chicken has enough protein in their diet, they’ll have the ability to produce eggs at their best. There have been many accounts of chicken owners noticing an improvement in size and flavour of their eggs after they began to feed their flock the recommended serving size of mealworms. Remember, eggs are almost entirely protein, so mealworm are the perfect extra treat in any laying hens diet.

5. Will help to flip the bedding in a deep litter system.

This may seem slightly left of focus but anyone who uses a deep litter system is always looking out for a simpler way to turn the bedding. Let me clarify, chickens absolutely love mealworms — actually it sends them a little loopy with enthusiasm. By scattering an appropriate serving size of mealworms blended in with feed within the deep litter system, your chickens will start to scratch and peck in the bedding, consequentially mixing it through. Long story short, you won’t have to get out the scoop and blend that hot and heavy bedding through.

6. You will love watching your chickens munching on the mealworms.

You think your hens are excited when they lay an egg just wait until you see how they act when they find out they’re having mealworms for dinner. Like many chicken enthusiast has stated before,”if my hens are happy, I am happy”.

7. Your chickens will love you for it.

As many poultry owners already know, chickens are very responsive to food. There are countless anecdotes of chickens charging across the backyard when their doting owner comes out of the house holding a feeder full of poultry feed, with maybe a few mealworms blended through. Food is just one of the great joys in any chickens’ life, so it’s only right that any chicken lover should provide a few snacks and variety in their diet. Mealworms are simply something that all chickens will love. Do not be a scrooge. Be sure you treat your hens to mealworms every now and then.

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