Homesteading in increasing in popularity with every passing day. People can thus be seen enquiring about best chicken breeds for their family homestead. If you have similar queries in mind, then you have come to the right place. Today we are going to take a look at some of the best dual purpose chicken breeds.
Things To Look For While Choosing The Best Chicken Breed
- Heritage breed chickens rank highest in the list of best breeds. They were developed using the best genes but are becoming rare with the growth of industrial farming.
- They need to serve a dual-purpose of growing to a substantially big size while providing meat to the table.
- The chicken breeds should be cold hardy for withstanding the harsh winter months.
- An ideal chicken breed is the one which has a pretty friendly temperament. Aggressive birds are the last thing you would want in your backyard especially if you have children and pregnant ladies around.
7 Best Dual Purpose Chicken Breeds
#1 Plymouth Rock
These beautiful and friendly chickens come in a variety of colors. However, they have gained popularity due to the barred rock and white shades. They lay pinkish brown eggs and can sustain extreme cold climates.
This type of breed does pretty well in confinement making it ideal for people who do not have adequate space for homesteading. The Plymouth Rock can lay about 280 eggs every year. They are docile in nature and can be kept in close proximity to children.
Plymouth Rock is a hardy American breed weighing between 7-8 pounds on being fully grown. They are excellent mothers and be seen sitting on the eggs over long spans of time.
#2 The Rhode Island Red
This is a cold-hardy heritage breed which been around for a pretty long time. The Rhode Island Reds weigh about 7-8 pounds on being fully grown and thus form a part of the heavy poultry class.
They lay around 300 extra-large brown eggs every year and tend to become broody over time. Although the males are infamous for their aggressiveness, the female chickens are extremely calm and friendly.
This fantastic breed has given the poultry industry some of the most prolific layers. In an average, they lay 250 eggs per year. But there are also reports of the Australorps laying a maximum of 364 eggs in 365 days.
Their friendly nature makes them ideal for being left around children. On gaining their trust, they might even eat out of your hand. Their black features look gorgeous in sunlight and even radiate shadesof purple and green.
They tend to grow big pretty quickly and lay light brown eggs. The Australorps tend to be get broody and have excellent mothering instincts.
#4 Black Star
This breed is popular for being one of the best layers of brown eggs and can lay about 300 eggs every year. They are a part of the medium poultry class courtesy their maximum body weight of 5-6 pounds.
The Black Stars are extremely docile and friendly in nature. They can be handled easily and usually do not become broody.
This beautiful breed was considered to be a part of the endangered list even till last year. The silver laced Wyandottes are extremely friendly in nature but have a tendency of bossing around the flock. They can go to any extent for ruling the roost.
They have been named after a Native American tribe. The Wyandottes lay light brown eggs and can handle extremely cold winter seasons pretty well. In most of the cases, these chickens become broody which makes them excellent mothers to tiny chicks.
This breed is extremely popular amongst backyard chicken enthusiasts and homesteaders. They come in a variety of colors and can lay up to 200 brown eggs every year. Calm behaviour makes them ideal for being left around children.
Orpingtons’ are excellent foragers and are extremely broody. They can easily set eggs without any encouragement on your part. This self-sustaining breed can make your backyard flock grow without the requirement of an incubator.
This breed of chicken has received the title of being the king of poultry courtesy their massive strength and size. They were originally bread as a table bird and tend to lay more during winter months.
The Brahmas lay large medium brown eggs and can be a bit broody. Irrespective of their large size, they are extremely docile in nature. However, you need to take care of them during winter months as their feather feet grow increasingly vulnerable to frostbites.
Before deciding on the chicken breed, you need to analyse your end goals. You might want them to feed your family or just for eggs. You also need to consider your surrounding environment while choosing a breed.
Khaja Moinuddin, a computer science graduate, finds joy in gardening and homesteading. Join him on this blog as he shares his experiences in homesteading, gardening, and composting