Chicken Breeds

If you’re ready to learn which types of hens lay lots of eggs on a regular basis, make good pets, and fit happily in small sized yards, you’ve come to the right place. 

  • Getting the Best Chickens
  • Choosing Coops
  • Feeding and Care
  • Beating City Chicken Laws

Provides you with information on many types of chickens which are best suited for a small back yard flock.

There are as many as 175 different kinds of chickens in the world. However, only several chicken breeds met criteria, which were:

  • Regular and prolific egg layers
  • Comfortable in an enclosed coop and run area
  • Preferably, not too loud
  • Friendly around people

Each Chicken is an Individual

As any chicken expert will tell you, there are common features to every breed. Physical attributes are the most obvious, but these common features also extend to personality and behavior. However, chicken experts also agree that every bird is an individual and it is impossible to predict personality and behavior with complete accuracy.

Features chicken breeds

While this article provides information on the general characteristics of each breed, we also need to contend with the luck of the draw. For example, if you ordered ten chicks of a particular breed from a hatchery, you might find that eight or nine of them grow into quiet birds (consistent with the nature of that breed), but it is possible that one or two of them may make a racket. You might have five birds of another breed which are supposed to be great layers, and it turns out that four are incredible layers. But the fifth one is a bit of a lemon; she just eats and sleeps.

Individuality breeds of chickens

One of the great things about keeping chickens is getting to know their individual personalities. Some will come right up to you and want to be picked up and touched, while others (even if they are nice birds) prefer to keep a little distance. Some like certain foods, while others won’t touch them. Some like to lay eggs in nesting boxes, while others make their own nests on the floor of the coop. Occasionally, you’ll get a good layer who also is broody and has to be kicked off the nest, while others just abandon their eggs to you as soon as they’ve been laid.

Most of these individual personality differences are fun. On rare occasions, a very broody, aggressive, or loud hen can be a real pain in the neck, and you may have to get rid of her. But in general, all of the breeds mentioned in this book are quite reliable and I think you will be happy with whichever ones you choose. 

Best Breeds

Here are the best chicken breeds I have found for backyards, presented in alphabetical order. Both standard and bantam sized birds are available for most of these breeds. The size information I have provided for each one refers to standard breeds only. Also, bantams usually do not lay as many eggs.