Now that we knew we were getting chickens
, the next question was what breeds do we choose for our backyard flock. There is such a variety to choose from , it can be quite overwhelming. Temperament was something very important to us. Having kids and wanting this to be a good family experience , I wanted a flock that would be good layers , great temperaments and cold tolerant.
- "Which Chicken?" - Breed Selector Tool from My Pet Chicken
- Chicken Breed Database - Backyard Chickens
- "Which Breeds are Best for Kids" - Poll from My Pet Chicken
Based on these resources
, we decided on the following breeds*.
Orpingtons are big
,friendly dual-purpose birds originally developed in the UK ,and for many small farms Orpingtons are the only way to go! They're friendly and cold-hardy due to their fluffy plumage.
Barred Plymouth Rocks or "Barred Rocks"
,as they're called ,are one of the most popular dual-purpose chickens on small farms today. Their heritage is unclear with reports of different crosses ,but what is clear is that they're very friendly ,great layers of large brown eggs and able to withstand cold weather quite nicely.
Easter Eggers are not a breed per se
*Breed information and pictures from My Pet Chicken.
We now have gone from 3-4 chickens to 5-6 in the matter of a 60 minute documentary.
Belmont Feed and Seed is a wonderful resource for the
backyard chicken enthusiast. On another Sunday afternoon we took a ride to Belmont Feed and Seed to look at the baby chicks they had in stock Chicago , we were not quite ready to bring any home, but wanted to actually see and hold some chicks. The owners were so incredibly nice and helpful. We came to find out the following week they’d be getting a batch of white Silkie’s. The owner recommended that if we wanted at least two Silkie hens , we should get four chicks as they are hard to sex and quite possibly could end up with a couple roosters. When buying locally or through an online hatchery you can usually buy your chickens sexed to prevent getting the unwanted rooster, however Silkie’s are a breed that is very difficult to sex. My huge concern was what would we do with a rooster if we ended up with one or two for that matter. The owner said they would gladly take back any roosters or if we ended up with four hens , they take two hens back and find them homes. This was a relief.
It was becoming a reality – we REALLY were getting chickens…