My Favorites: Chicken Breed Recommendations

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After having several different kinds of chickens for a year now, I can say that I have definitely developed a fondness for particular breeds. Now, there are tons of different breeds of chickens, so I haven’t experienced owning all of them, but if I were to suggest to you which kinds of chickens you should get, I’d say eitherย  Leghorns, or Rhode Island Reds. They are my favorites.

But this sweet girl is one of my favorites too:

chickens 006 (Medium)

This is Henny Penny. I love her. She’s super sweet, and gives good medium sized eggs. Can anyone tell me what kind of hen she is? I have no idea.

rhode island red hen (Medium)

Here’s Big Mama, one of our Rhode Island Reds. She gives us nice big brown eggs. The Reds seem to be smarter than the others. These girls always go back to their coop when it starts getting dark outside in the evenings. All I have to do is shut the door on them to keep them safe for the night. (All of the other chickens roost in the trees if I don’t lure them into their coops with food before the sun starts to set. Once they are in the trees they are on their own. I haven’t lost any to predators overnight yet though, so they’ve been lucky so far.) I’d love to have more Reds.

leghorn rooster (Medium)

Here’s Dirty Wilson. He’s a Leghorn. He’s so cool. He never bothers us, or chases anybody, or does anything wrong. He just struts his stuff around the yard, trying to impress his ladies. His girls were camera shy, so I don’t have a picture of them. The Leghorns have been my best layers. They’re the only ones who have laid consistently for me, even through the winter. They give big white eggs. Leghorns are also good meat birds. I’m hoping my hens start sitting this year, so that we can have some more of these chickens for meat and eggs.

diablo rooster (Medium)

And remember this guy? El Diablo, the mean rooster. He was a Sebright Bantam. Seems like Sebrights have a reputation for being mean. Even this guy’s lady was mean. She would peck my hand every time I reached into her coop to give her fresh food. She’d peck any other hens I’d put in there with her too. I had to keep her in her own little cage. We called her Big Bully, cause that’s just what she was. When I let all of the chickens out for the day, she always stayed away from the flock and went off on her own. One day she just didn’t come back. Guess she met her match.

I don’t like Sebrights. I’m sure some people appreciate their “character”… not me. I like my chickens friendly.

Bantams are nice, small chickens to own. Most of them are friendly, and they don’t take much room to keep. The only thing I don’t like is that they give small eggs. And the hawks seem to prefer them to the bigger chickens. We’ve lost a lot of Bantams over the past year to hawks. For that reason they aren’t really good for free ranging. But they are great hobby chickens.

So, those are my recommendations. Do you have a favorite breed of chicken? What is it that you like about that particular breed?


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Kendra
About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

18 Comments

  1. I agree Henny Penny is probably a Light Brown Leghorn, either large fowl or bantam, but I can’t tell from the photo. There are other breeds with the light brown coloring and a single comb (i.e. – Light Brown Dutch Bantams), however Leghorns are by far the most common.

  2. Kendra – We have Golden Sebrights and they’re some of our friendliest birds! Some of it comes from the bloodlines; if a breeder consistently makes “Mean Rooster Stew” the breed tends to become more friendly! Some people also think birds take on the temperament of their owners… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Henny Penny appears to be a brown leghorn hen. She has a single comb and
    if she lays white eggs, i would say she is a brown leghorn.
    My favorite breeds are production red, rhode island reds, buff orphingtons, black australoups. I have not developed a fondness for
    the americans, they have been more aggressive and pick at everyone.
    I’ve had poultry for close to 40 years now and anywhere from 10 hens to 5000 hens. Poultry has been a source of food, income and enjoyment.
    I would also recommend purchasing your chicks from a local reputable hatchery if possible. This will avoid the extra stresses that go along with the chicks traveling great distances. Follow the hatchery’s advice in setting up your brood when they arrive, they are in the business to keep the chicks healthy and you happy. I would also not vaccinate
    the chicks if you have a few but would vaccinate if you have over a couple hundred to mainten the flock’s health. Find a brand of feed that
    your chickens like to eat and keep using that brand, changing feeds can
    affect egg production. Oh, if you want only a few chicks, you can buy them at a feed store. Find out where they buy them from, i have mixed
    opinions about buying them from feed stores because they usually do not
    warranty their chicks like the hatchery does. Good luck and have fun!

  4. Your top picture is of a Brown Leghorn, the rooster version is what they use as the logo for Kellogg’s. For clarification, the White ones [that you call Leghorns] are White Leghorns. As a general guideline, white ear patches = White Eggs, Red ear patches = Brown Eggs. Americana/Aruacana hens will lay light green eggs very near the color and size of Mallard ducks and they often have feathers of similar coloring to the brown leghorns. You can tell them apart though b/c they typically have “feathery poofs” at their cheeks and black/grey legs. I love having an egg carton with a full range of colors so I have all of these girls along with a “Dark Chocolate” layer. Cuckoo Marans (feathers similar to barred rocks) and Welsummers (Feathers similar to Brown Leghorns) lay the very dark brown eggs. I’m headed to pick up some more Americanas and Cuckoo Marans from the hatchery right now. Hope that helps…Chantel

  5. I had started with 4 chickens last year, 2 new hampshire reds and come rocks but my husky got them, we are going to try again this year. I love the reds.

  6. I have Rhode Island Reds and they are great for my purposes but do tend to slack off in their production the older they get. They are molting right now (bare bottoms here too) and have stopped laying. I also have Leghorns and they have just started laying. They are a little more spry and fly more than the reds and have been more suseptable (sp?) to hawks. I have one Barred Rock ๐Ÿ™ that survived the Maerks outbreak we had. I had wanted Americanas but none survived. My friend has Americanas and they are great layers…cute green and blue eggs. They did have a rooster that was REALLY MEAN! The hens are great though.
    My fav. right now is a single comb brown leghorn rooster named Romeo…and oh yes he knows he is sooo cute ๐Ÿ™‚
    I hatch eggs in the spring and sell off chicks. This pays for my feed for the year. I was lucky enough to get a GQF bator and hatcher from….you guessed it Craigslist for $300. Boy has that paid for itself. I also hatch off eggs for other people, charging $1 an egg. The only draw back to all of this is that I had to learn to give the Maerks vaccine to my new chicks. If you ever have had chicks on your farm who had the vaccine then they will give the disease to all your unvaccinated chicks. Its not hard but just one more thing to do.

  7. i blogged about how i was planning to start with chickens recently. i was thinking americanas (not the more erudite americunas i think they are called but the “lower”{ breed lol ) since i read they are good around little children. any thoughts on that ?

  8. We had 2 Rhode Island Reds and 2 New Hampshire Reds. I loved them all, but they took forever to start laying. They were 9 months and only one started to lay. Unfornately I had to sell the RIR and the 2 NHR got killed by a predator before selling so I have no clue how long it would have taken them to start laying. I loved how they were so loyal to me though. As soon as I would step outside they would come running toward me and follow me around the yard. I sure miss them!

  9. Henny Penny looks like a game hen to me. We have one that looks just like her we call Goldilocks. I love her pretty tail feathers.

    I like my Buff Orpingtons they are sweet and lay good and have went broody the most out of all my chickens. I also love my Easter Eggers that lay blue/green eggs. The Speckled Sussex are very pretty to look at and very friendly too.

    There is something unique about all of them!

  10. She looks like a lamp my grandma had… but I don’t know the name of the breed. And she reminds me only vaguely of our aracuna, Shalom, but you didn’t say her eggs were odd colored, so I’m guessing she’s not an aracuna. They’re also known as ‘easter egg’ chickens, because their eggs range in color from green to blue (and sometimes pink, or so I hear.) I have two aracunas – Sheba and Shalom. Sheba lays pale green, Shalom lays teal.

    We also have RI Reds… they lost half their feathers and look like crap with bare butts and long skeletal tail feathers. The Aracunas and my Langstrams didn’t do that. Needless to say, the RIs are not my favorite. They don’t seem very hardy, at all.

    We have Barred rocks (unnamed, as we can’t tell them apart), and they seem to be dumb as rocks. One can’t find her way out of the henhouse, and the other walks in circles. It’s weird.

    And we have two of the Langstrams – our rooster (Aquila) and Priscilla. Langstrams are black, but iridescent green in the sunlight… very pretty. He’s a big chicken… uh, I mean pansy. And we have him in with the goats, because he was tearing up the girls pretty badly. He refuses poultry feed – he eats goat feed. I think he thinks he *IS* a goat. Maybe putting him in the pen instead of the avary has messed with his head? Dunno, but he’s completely non-threatening, and has a beautiful tall tail.

    But Shalom is my favorite. She’s just beautiful, her eggs are conversation starters, and she’s not a candidate for the special bus, if you know what I mean.

  11. Like Country Living Mom, we also have Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons, five of each hen. We too have been very happy with both breeds so far. Both give nice big brown eggs.

  12. Thanks for the recommendations. I plan to get some chickens this spring. I was leaning towards Production Reds, Leghorns, or Americaunas.

    I can’t free range since we have a dog that enjoys killing chickens so I have to build a coop first.

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