When you raise a small flock of chicken on your backyard, you could inject life there. At the same time, you will be able to get your requirement of eggs and meat without spending a lot of money. However, you need to know which breed of chicken to raise as different breeds of chickens have different characteristics.
The following are the common breeds of chicken suitable for rearing in your backyard.
Egg laying chickens
These medium sized breed of chickens grow up to a weight of 6 to 7 pounds. They are good layers that lay 3 eggs per week on the average. Eggs are of light blue color. Chicken could be of blue, red, black brown or even white in color.
Anconas are excellent layers that lay five eggs per week. They are of Mediterranean origin and lay large eggs. Raised for their eggs, these active chickens normally avoid human contact.
Originated in Andalusia, Spain, this is also a medium sized chicken. It lays 3 eggs per week and the eggs are white in color. It is raised for its eggs. This rare breed could be identified when you compare it with a chart that has chicken breeds with pictures.
4- Appenzeller Spitzhauben:
This active and alert chicken is Switzerland’s national breed. They are good layers that lay 3 eggs per week. The medium sized eggs are white in color. It is one of the better egg laying chicken breeds.
These prolific layers are of northern European origin. They lay 4 eggs per week and weigh between 4 and 5 pounds. Eggs are white and small. They are good flyers and need open spaces to live.
Dual purpose chickens
Araucana is a breed of chicken bred for both eggs and for their meat. However, they are not easy to breed. They are of South American origin and lay blue colored eggs. Birds are of black, golden or white in color.
These large birds that grow up to 7 to 8 pounds originated from Australia. They yield five brown colored eggs per week. It is a black colored chicken that is sweet and shy.
8- Rhode Island:
This is an American breed of dual purpose chickens. They grow up to 7 to 8 pounds in weight and lay five eggs per week. Rhode Island Red was a very popular breed until recently.
9- Plymouth Rock:
This American breed of chicken is reared as dual purpose chickens as they weigh 7 to 8 pounds when well grown and lay four eggs per week.
This is an ancient breed that has its origin in the Roman Empire. They lay three eggs per week and the birds weigh 6 to 7 pounds. This is a rare breed that faces extinction. They are calm and nurturing birds.
Meat breeds of chicken
This Indian breed of chicken is large and one of them weighs 8 pounds or more. They lay three medium sized eggs of brown color per week. They are one of the better meat chicken breeds.
Cornish is an English breed of chicken reared for its meat. This heavy bird grows up to over 8 pounds. It is dark, white laced red or white in color. Lays only one small light brown egg per week.
13- Jersey Giant:
Though some people think this is a dual purpose breed they are better as meat chicken. Called the poor man’s turkeys at one time they take a long time to gain weight but for your backyard they are a good breed. They are of American origin.
Orpington is another heavy bird that will grow up to 7 to 8 pounds. Though they are also good layers they are more popular as meat chicken. They are of English origin.
Sussex is another breed of chickens that could be categorized as meat chicken. They grow up to 7 to 8 pounds and lay 4 eggs per week. They are better meat chickens than dual purpose chicken.
These are some of the chicken breeds that are suitable for your backyard but there are also some small chicken breeds. These are the best in case you love to have ornamental birds. Most of these breeds of chicken are found in popular hatcheries while there are some rare breeds that are difficult to be found.