Choosing Chicks for Your Poultry – Chicken Buying Tips
When it comes to your preferred chicken breeds, there are many types than you can think of. We should answer these questions first: what is our purpose in rearing chickens in the first place? Is it for business or pleasure?
One of the best things about 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 you’ll have to consider include housing space and baby chick cage, the quantity and color of eggs produced, the breed’s temperament, its noise level, and its adaptability to the environment. If you cannot let your chickens roam freely, the environmental 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 chicken breeds need different conditions. 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 chicken breeds produce 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 smaller to complement their yolks, and you will need more whites than most angel food cake recipes call for.
Chickens are fantastic animals. In more ways than one, chickens are reproduced and raised since it involves a lot of advantages. In Asian nations, chickens can be consumed from beak down to their funny-looking feet.
Chickens aren’t utilized only for food but for ornamental purposes. If he’s going to raise chickens for food or exhibition, it all depends on the poultry farm owner. Whatever the function is for these critters, you can choose one basic concern … what breed should you get?
There are four ideas to consider when choosing a breed– egg production, eggs and meat combined, exhibit, and meat only. Aside from these four, people likewise account for chickens as a hobby, and they effectively delight in caring and watching for their chickens.
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 last depends on the number of other chickens you have. An automatic feeder setup can be used to 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 Breeds for Poultry
There is a point to contemplate upon however if you wanted white eggs, select a chicken type that has white ear lobes. If you wanted brown eggs, select a chicken type that has red ear lobes.
Around the exact same time that Orpingtons were being established as a type, Australorps were. Australians preferred the black Orpingtons that were being delivered from England, and admired them for their egg laying capability. With optimum egg production in mind, Australians maintained to establish their own distinct breed. The type passed numerous names, having a hard time to identify itself from Orpingtons, and lastly chosen Australorp in the 1920s.
These birds are understood for their exceptional egg production. You’ll quickly get 250 light brown eggs annually. The record-holding hen laid 364 eggs in a year duration, without help of synthetic lighting!
Meat Chicken Breeds
In meat, you have to buy a type that grows quickly and weighs huge like the Cornish Cross. It is a cross breed between a White Cornish and a White Plymouth Rock. These types weigh four to 5 pounds in six weeks and weigh more than 6 pounds within 8 to 12 weeks.
Frequently described as the “King of All Poultry”, the Brahma chicken is valued for its excellent size, strength, and vitality. By 1901, birds were recorded to have actually reached the unbelievable weights of 18 pounds! This type, together with the Cochin, sustained what ended up being referred to as “Hen Fever”– a nationwide fixation for poultry that struck both America and England around 1850.
Brahmas are an exceptional addition to a yard flock. They are durable chickens in winter season environments, they can not fly over low fences (because of their size), and they have calm and docile characters. The very best part, they lay most of their eggs October thru May! That indicates while the rest of your ladies might slow and even give up production for the winter season, your Brahmans will keep the egg containers loaded with big, medium brown eggs.
Something to remember, Brahmas are not perfect for hot environments. Their anatomy makes them prone to overheating. If you keep Brahmas, make sure to keep them cool in summertime!
- Cochin – Brown eggs
- Dark Cornish – Brown eggs
- Jersey Giant – Brown eggs
Dual-Purpose Chicken Breeds
Breeds that are double purpose is a combination of a breed that is both having the skill of vast egg production and grows larger and faster than the rest of the species. One typical and popular example is the Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes and Sussex. They are both English and American breeds.
Barnvelders are called after the Dutch town of Barnveld. They are a medium sized, dual-purpose bird. They are durable and make great foragers. They lay a reasonable variety of dark brown eggs, are great winter season layers, and have a calm personality.
The initial and most popular variety of this breed is the Double-laced pattern. They have lovely plumage, with each plume having copper, black, and metal green coloring. They make an outstanding addition to a yard flock, and are rather the conversation piece!
The Bielefelder is a modern-day type, established in the early 1970s in Bielefeld, Germany. Poultry breeder Gerd Roth utilized genes from a variety of types consisting of the Cuckoo Malines, Amrock, Wyandotte, and New Hampshire. The Bielefelder handled to keep the very best qualities of all these types. Consider this type another example of remarkable German engineering. They mark off all packages on your “best chicken” wish list.
This dual-purpose type is autosexing so males and women can be recognized immediately upon hatch/">hatching. Women have a chipmunk strip on their backs, while males are lighter in color and have a yellow area on their heads. They develop to have a complicated plume pattern which is finest referred to as cuckoo red partridge.
Birds are extremely friendly and look for human interaction. They have a big frame that holds lots of meat. Roosters can weigh 10– 12 pounds! Their size and camouflaging plume pattern makes them ideal for free-range conditions.
Hens can produce upwards of 230 big eggs annually. Their eggs are a distinct shade of brown with pink undertones that you will not discover anywhere else.
The Buckeye type was produced by Mrs. Nettie Metcalf in Ohio in the late 19th century. The Buckeye is the only American type of chicken established exclusively by a female. She crossed Buff Cochins and Barred Plymouth Rocks to produce a big, lazy fowl, and after that included some Black-Breasted Red Game birds.
Buckeyes are a dual-purpose type of chicken with a glossy red color. They have pea combs (differentiating them from Road Island Reds), are cold-weather sturdy, and adaptive to a range of living conditions. These active, friendly birds are popular for their capabilities to hunt and catch mice!
In 1907, a monk, Brother Wilfrid Châtelain, observed that no types of chicken had actually yet been developed in Canada. All the birds were from Europe or America. He set out to alter this and develop an useful chicken that would be fit to Canada’s environment, and be an outstanding dual-purpose bird. By 1918, he debuted the Chantecler.
Chanteclers are big birds with white plumage that lays tight versus the body. They have remarkably little cushion combs and wattles, which credits to them being among the most durable types. They are relatively tame, however do not flourish in confinement, so consider this type totally free varying. They lay about 200 brown eggs each year.
Delawares were established in 1940, in Delaware, by George Ellis. The were initially referred to as “Indian Rivers.” The type stemmed from crosses of Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens. Initially planned as a meat bird, Delawares make an outstanding double function bird. They are understood to have a calm and friendly personality, and lay jumbo brown eggs– about 4 weekly in perfect conditions. Plus, let’s not forget to discuss their stunning plumage!
The Java is the 2nd earliest chicken type established in America, returning to 1835. Its forefathers originate from the island of Java in the Far East. Javas are an exceptional type for free-ranging homesteads and are understood for their egg production and table qualities. Javas been available in white, black, mottled, and auburn. The Black Java is understood for the dazzling beetle-green shine of its plumes.
The Jersey Giant chicken was established between 1870 and 1890 in New Jersey. You can most likely think that these birds are quite huge! Roosters weigh in at 13 pounds, and hens can quickly mature to 10 pounds! They are the biggest pure-blooded chicken type.
They are understood to be pretty good layers compared to other big types and are great winter season layers. Anticipate about 260 big brown eggs annually.
Marans came from western France and were imported in the 1930s. There are 9 acknowledged colors: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian. If you discover Marans chicks at a feed shop, they will more than likely be the Black Copper or Cuckoo range. Hens are active and take pleasure in complimentary varying, and likewise have friendly, outbound characters.
Marans are renowned for their dark chocolate brown eggs. If you’re trying to find distinct eggs, these are rather the discussion peace! You’ll get about 150-200 each year in your nesting boxes.
The Naked Neck is a chicken breed that is naturally without plumes on its neck and vent. The type is likewise called the Transylvanian Naked Neck, along with the Turken. The name “Turken” emerged from the incorrect concept that the bird was a hybrid of a chicken and the domestic turkey.
They produce a great dual-purpose energy chicken. They just have about half the plumes of other chickens, so they are simpler to pluck if raised for meat. They likewise lay a reputable variety of eggs. They are excellent foragers and are unsusceptible to many illnesses, plus they are quite enjoyable to take a look at!
Orpington chickens were established in the town of Orpington, England of all locations! Throughout the late 1800s, William Cook wished to produce a brand-new type that was double function, however had white skin, which the British chosen for meat. Within 10 years, Orpingtons were preferred in both England and America, and can be found in a range of colors– black, white, enthusiast, jubilee, and spangled.
Orpingtons lay about 200 eggs each year. If you’re thinking of including some to your flock, we recommend the Buff Orpington. They are understood for being extremely docile– they make excellent family pets!
Established in America in the middle of the 19th century, this chicken breed is traditionally the most popular in the United States. Up until WWII, no other type was kept as thoroughly as the Plymouth Rock. The original birds were all of the Barred range– with black and white removed plumage– and other color ranges were established later on.
The appeal of this dual-purpose type originated from its qualities as an exceptional farm chicken: strength, docility, broodiness, and exceptional production of brown eggs. This chicken is normally what enters your mind when you think about the chickens Grandma utilized to keep!
Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds are an excellent option for novice chicken-keepers, or professional little flock keepers alike! Established in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the late 1800s, these birds are a durable, double function type. They are really low upkeep, and can endure less than beneficial conditions. Hens lay about 5– 7 eggs weekly.
Speckled Ranger or Speckledy
Are you prepared for your brand-new preferred type? The Speckled Ranger is a modern-day hybrid, arising from a cross in between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Marans hen.
They are stylish in construct, with feathering that looks like a Cuckoo Marans. The plumes are smooth, soft to the touch, and rather plentiful and fluffy. They have pale bay eyes, pale legs, a medium-sized single comb, and little earlobes and wattles.
They are docile, simple to tame, and simple to manage birds. They are great foragers and well fit for a free-range environment.
Speckledys are excellent layers. Hens will lay 250-270 chestnut brown eggs each year, which are frequently speckled. Their eggshells are especially strong and the yolks are a deep yellow. They might produce less than some other hybrids, however, they will keep your egg containers complete!
This type has ancient connections going all the way back to 43 A.D. when the Romans got into Britain. They grew a track record of being the finest poultry in Britain and reached America in 1912. They are a dual-purpose type and will place on fat really quickly, so beware of feeding them a lot of deals!
If they end up being too obese, you will see a decrease in egg production. Sussex chickens are a fantastic type for a little farm or homestead, being active and well-rounded an exceptional type for meat and eggs. Hens lay approximately 250 light brown eggs each year, and be available in 3 acknowledged color ranges: Speckled, Red, and Light.
Welsummers are a Dutch type of domestic chicken, established in the 1920s. It is a light, friendly, and smart type, with rustic-red and orange color. Hens lay big eggs, that are a dark, terracotta brown, and typically speckled. Roosters are thought-about to have the “traditional rooster” appearance, and frequently utilized in media.
Established in the 1880s, Wyandottes are called after a Native American people common in parts of upstate New York and Ontario, Canada. They are believed to be established from the Dark Brahma and Spangled Hamburgs.
The Silver Laced Wyandotte was the initial color acknowledged, however ever since black, blue, enthusiast, enthusiast Columbian, Columbian, golden laced, partridge, and silver penciled have actually been included as acknowledged color ranges.
Wyandottes get along calm, and cold sturdy. Hens lay on typical 200 light brown eggs annually. They make exceptional setters and moms.
Araucanas came from Chile. It is hypothesized that this type was established prior to Old World contact, which would make them the only type of chicken belonging to the Americas.
Araucanas are really unusual in the United States. They are rumpless, indicating they have no tail plumes, and have ear tufts. They do not have beards or muffs (like an Ameraucana). Their rarity is most likely due to the reality that the gene for ear tufts is a deadly gene. Offspring with 2 copies of the gene will not make it through to hatch. When reproducing Araucanas, 50% of chicks will have one copy of the gene (and ear tufts), 25% will have absolutely no copies (and no tufts), and 25% will have 2 copies of the gene (and not make it through).
If you have an Araucana in your flock, consider yourself an extremely fortunate chicken keeper!
Ameraucanas were established in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. They are come down from Araucanas brought from Chile. Ameracaunas lay pale blue eggs. If you’re looking to brighten up your egg basket, they make an excellent option! They have a pea comb, white skin, slate or black legs, muffs, and beards. Color ranges consist of black, blue, enthusiast, silver, wheaten, or white.
Hens can be relatively broody and will lay about 250 blue eggs each year.
Please be encouraged!!! Ameraucanas are just readily available through credible breeders !!! You will not be discovering this type at your regional feed shop. You might discover Americanas, which is really a hybrid, not this real type.
The Cream Legbar was established in Britain in the 1930s. Geneticists at Cambridge University had the objective of developing a chicken with high egg production and autosexing characteristics. Autosexing characteristics stand out distinctions between males and women that show up on the day chicks hatch. That indicates you understand hens from roosters on the first day and do not need to wait 12 weeks to discover, which is quite convenient!
Female chicks have a dark brown stripe. Male chicks have a less unique, lighter brown stripe.
Legbar plumage is cream and silver grey. Both hens and roosters have a little crest that slopes back and well away from their eyes. Birds are medium-sized, active foragers, and do finest in free-range conditions. Hens lay 160-200 eggs each year that are sky-blue or pale green in color, and they hardly ever go broody.
While this type has actually existed for practically a century and is a preferred global, it is just recently that Legbars have actually been given the U.S.
A relative of Ameraucanas and Araucanas, an Easter Egger is any chicken that has the blue egg gene, however does not completely satisfy any type basic specified by the American Poultry Association. This suggests that they are a hybrid, not a real type of chicken. They can be any mix of types, with one parent bring the blue egg gene.
What makes EE’s fantastic is that they can lay a rainbow of egg colors! Hens can lay any shade of blue or brown, or a mix of the two (check out Olive Eggers!). Please keep in mind that each hen will just lay one egg color in her lifetime. They are likewise reproduced to lay great deals of eggs! You’ll get somewhere in the variety of 280 eggs each year.
Easter eggers are a preferred kind of chicken and can be discovered in practically any feed shop that offers chicks. They might be identified as Americana, however, remember we currently discussed how they are not real Ameraucanas. EE’s are a terrific addition to any yard flock!
The Isbar (pronounced “ice-bar”) is an unusual type that was established in the 1950s in Sweden. Catholic monk Martin Silverudd had the objective to produce autosexing types that lay a high volume of uncommonly colored eggs. Those 3 qualities all in one bird? That’s a tall order!
His biggest accomplishment was the Isbar. It is stunning, useful, and special. Isbars are the only single-combed type to lay green eggs. They are cold-hardy and excellent foragers, and look out to predators however friendly to individuals, making them terrific free-range birds. Hens lay about 200 eggs each year that are different tones of green, and often speckled brown. Isbar eggs are rather the conversation piece, even an artwork!
Roosters have deep blue body feathers and glittering metal hackles. Hens are similarly lovely with their blue plumes. Splash patterns are likewise typical in the type, including range to their look.
Olive Egger Chicken Breed
Olive Eggers are a hybrid chicken that is the outcome of crossing a bird hatched from a Dark Brown Egg and a bird hatched from a Blue Egg.
Olive Eggers can be an actually enjoyable type to raise! The precise shade of green in their eggs and likewise their look is extremely variable and modifications based upon the type of moms and dads. Attempt to explore a mix of different breeds! These birds are durable, curious, and active and are a fantastic addition to any yard flock!
Whiting True Blue
The Whiting True Blue is not a heritage type, however, a contemporary type established by poultry geneticist Dr. Tom Whiting. His objective in producing this type was a production bird that lays a constant blue egg. Their plumage will differ throughout a myriad of colors, however is most typically “chipmunk” or grey. If you’re a fan of a blue egg basket, this type might be for you!
55 Flowery Hen
Another development of Father Martin Silverudd! Established in 1955 in Sweden, the 55 Flower Hen is in fact Silverudd’s very first and most effective developed type. These birds have all the qualities Silverudd wanted: an autosexing type that produces eggs in industrial amounts. Hens lay big and round shaped cream-colored eggs.
As a day-old chick, the males are simple to differentiate by the blonde down on the backs of their heads. As grownups, the males are mostly white while the women are embellished with a stunning spotted pattern– the ‘flowers’ that add to the type name.
- 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
Conditions of Poultry
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 purposes of chicken breeds or heritage breeds. They are good for both meat and eggs. Many people rear chicken for meat and an egg that will keep the females as layers and use the roosters for meat – just the same as old-time farmers used to.
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 a match for a predator like a coyote or a fox, and despite the 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 comes to attack one of them?
Roosters are best to rear if you want fighting cocks used for gambling in some countries like the Philippines.
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. 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.
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, the docile breeds may become family pets, enjoy 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 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.
The appearance of the chicken is another consideration. Some people 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.