It is not always that we see a person who’s about to set out on a venture of raising chickens, so pat yourself on the back for deciding to be one. Indeed, raising chickens is an arduous task that requires proper knowledge, commitment, and responsibility. Some breeds even need special attention, given their unique adaptation to the environment. So, choosing the right chicken breed for you ultimately determines your overall chicken raising experience.
Now some people want to raise chickens, but in most cases, they don’t know what breeds to choose and what exactly they need or want. So, this post will give beginner chicken raisers a list of the best chicken breeds to raise in your homestead.
WHY RAISE CHICKENS
As a raiser, one has to determine his purpose in raising chickens and not breeding the animals without knowing the unique characteristics of each breed. Your knowledge about raising chickens ensures the survivability of the flock and the return of investment on your venture. People raise chickens for many several reasons:
People raise chickens for fresh home-grown products such as meat and eggs.
People keep them as pets.
Chickens create excellent fertilizer.
Chickens feed on annoying bugs and weeds.
People can sell good quality chickens for a high price.
People wanted to have a worthwhile pastime.
Chickens are chill and don’t make that much noise compared to other farm animals.
While we have mentioned several reasons people raise chickens, the most common ones, and undoubtedly the most important, are the chicken eggs and meat. These products make for excellent sustenance for the household, and you can even profit from them.
BEST CHICKEN BREEDS TO RAISE
Rhode Island Reds
Rhode Island Reds are your typical chickens that usually roam around the backyard without being much of a nuisance. They are pretty chill, independent, and OK with confinement. This breed is high-laying, double-purpose chickens that are perfect for beginner raisers. With a healthy Rhode Island Red hen producing around 250 medium-sized brown eggs each year, you can surely make a reasonable ROI in no time.
Another favorite on this list is the Jersey Giant, which, as the name suggests, is a large breed of chicken. They are arguably the heaviest chicken breeds to date. The calm and docile chickens might take more time and food to reach their max shape and size, but they are fair producers of large eggs (known as good winter layers). The breed is also friendly flocks and is usually unaggressive, even the cocks. With their gigantic body and thick feathers, Jersey Giants are considered cold-hardy.
This British breed of chicken is among the easiest to raise and is well-known for its egg-laying prowess and stunning looks. Buff Orpingtons lay about 175 to medium-sized light-brown eggs per year, although some argue that they can produce as many as 340. They are friendly and extremely loveable with their fluffy, fine feathers. Their bodies may be massive at first glance, but it’s actually their fluffed-out feathers that give them the shape.
White Plymouth Rocks
Originated in Boston, Plymouth Rocks re-emerged in Worcester, Massachusetts, as selectively-bred birds intended to serve as dual-purpose. These flocks are extremely friendly and make for a perfect backyard chicken – they are very active and free-ranged birds. The breed is recognizable for its bright red single comb composed of five points, wattles, and ear-lobes. Moreover, they can produce about 200 large brown eggs every year, making it one of the most mass-produced chicken breeds in the United States (US).
The Dominiques, or Pilgrim Fowls, are one of the gentlest breeds of chicken in the world, making them easy prey for predators due to their passive attitude. This breed is dual-purpose, and in the earlier times, their feathers are specially used as stuffing in pillows and mattresses. They produce a fair amount of eggs, laying around 180 medium-sized, brown eggs per year. Dominiques are adorably gentle, to the point that you can train them to eat in your hand. Further, they are the oldest chicken breed in the US. If you are looking for pets to give to your kids, Dominiques will make a perfect companion.
Hybrid breeds are bred for a particular purpose. For instance, some species like the Golden Comets are bred to lay as many eggs as possible but consume only a minimum amount of food. Hybrids can give you the ROI you want, producing about 280 medium-sized brown eggs each year. If you are only for profit, this setup might work for you. The downside of hybrid breeds is that laying eggs at an above-normal rate might take a toll on the hen’s body.
Raising chickens can give people a worthwhile and fun experience, not to mention profit, in the long run. While raising chickens can be daunting at first, you’d surely enjoy it once you get the hang of it. Since we grow living creatures like chickens, we must take good care of them as we would a living being. After all, we can only produce good quality chickens with the proper treatment and excellent maintenance. Have fun raising!