The Different Types of Chicken Breeds

Once you’ve decided to start a backyard flock, you need to figure out what types of chickens you want to raise. Indeed, there is more than one type of chicken. In fact, there are hundreds of breeds you could choose from, but many of them can be classified into three categories: egg layers, meat producers, and dual-purpose breeds.

Here we discuss the different types of chicken breeds so you can determine which is best for your backyard flock:The Different Types of Chicken Breeds

Egg Layers

Egg layers are as they sound—they are breeds that excel at laying eggs. While all breeds of chickens will lay eggs, egg layers will produce more eggs more frequently. If you want backyard chickens for the purpose of enjoying fresh eggs in the morning, then these are the breeds you want to buy. Such breeds include:

Meat Producers

Chickens can produce more than just eggs; they can also produce meat. If you intend to raise chickens for their meat, then you’ll want meat producers. These are larger, broad breasted chickens that are bred specifically for this purpose. Thanks to their larger sizes, they have more meat on their bones than other types of chickens. They include the following breeds:

Dual-Purpose Breeds

If you want the best of both worlds, then dual-purpose breeds are the way to go. These breeds are good for egg laying and meat producing. They are the classic backyard chicken—hardy and relatively large, able to lay plenty of sizable eggs. If you want a dual-purpose chicken, you should look out for these breeds:

How to Choose the Right Chicken Breed

Now that we’ve discussed the main chicken breeds, our next task is to figure out the right one for you. Choosing the right breed depends largely on your goals as a backyard chicken raiser. To better define those goals, you should ask yourself the following questions:

What do you want out of your chickens?

What draws you to raising backyard chickens? Do you want a large supply of fresh eggs? Are you looking to sell meat? Or maybe you just want a few friendly companions? If you’re looking for fresh eggs, then obviously an egg-laying breed will be your best choice. However, if you’re simply wanting a pet, then you should opt for a gentle, more docile breed.

How many chickens are you planning to have?

If you’re only planning to raise a couple of chickens, then it’s best to stick to one breed. However, if you want a large flock, you will have the opportunity to raise multiple breeds. You may also be keen on breeding your own chickens. If that is the case, you’ll want to find breeds that are good mothers and brooders.

What are you willing to put up with?

Different chickens have different quirks. Some may be louder and more aggressive, while others are quieter and more docile. This can vary by breed but also by individual chicken. Ask yourself how willing you are to deal with certain issues, and which breeds won’t test your patience.

At Chickens for Backyards, we offer plenty of egg layers, meat producers, and dual-purpose breeds. To learn more, contact us today!