Chicken Breeds I’d Like to Own


Wish List Wednesday | Chicken Breeds I’d Like to Own

Welcome to another Wish List Wednesday! Though most of us are stuck in a deep freeze, this is the season to be thinking about little baby chickens arriving in time for spring. (Learn more about the how-to’s and benefits of backyard chickens here.) Because it’s chick-shopping season, this month’s Wish List Wednesday is focused on chicken breeds I’d love to own.

Blue Orpington

chicken breeds I'd like to own

Blue orpingtons are as docile and friendly as they are cold hardy (very). They are good egg producers and provide brown-colored eggs. Those would all make them a great fit for my suburban Michigan micro-farm, but the real reason I want one is because they look so awesome! Aren’t they pretty?

Lavender Orpington

chicken breeds I'd like to own

Duh. Same info as above, but with the beautiful distinction of being a pale purple color. And unlike Blue Orpingtons, Lavender Orpies breed true, meaning that their offspring will look just like them. (Blue Orpingtons can produce black, blue or splashed offspring.)

Barred Plymouth Rock

chicken breeds I'd like to own
She looks cool. She’s an excellent egg layer who isn’t deterred by cold weather. And, frankly, when she stops giving eggs, she makes an excellent roasting chicken. What Michigan chicken owner wouldn’t want ol’ BPR?

Easter Eggers/Ameracaunas

chicken breeds I'd like own

chicken breeds I'd like to own
I think a basket (or egg carton) of multi-colored eggs is so beautiful! I’d love to introduce an Easter Egger or Ameracauna hen into our flock for their blueish-green eggs. These birds are good egg layers, very cold hardy and friendly (although also very active). They also tend to be a bit broody.

Black Copper or Blue Splash Maran

chicken breeds I'd like to own

chicken breeds I'd like to own
Speaking of beautifully-colored eggs, I’d like to spice up the Easter Egg quality of my egg cartons by including the chocolate-brown eggs of a Maran – either a Black Cooper or a Blue Splash Hen. These birds are good (but not excellent) egg layers with very docile personalities. (Which is good… loud birds in the suburbs is a no-no for being neighborly!) The catch? Their hardiness varies and they tend to be broody. But maybe just one… for those chocolate eggs…

Rainbow Ranger

chicken breeds I'd like to own
We’re probably a ways away from having a flock of birds solely intended as meat birds. But when we do, I’d like to start with the Rainbow Ranger. She’s not as large as the genetically-engineered White Broiler, but that’s ok because I love the fact that these birds are au-natural. They are good foraging birds who like to free-range and they are ready to process between 9 and 11 weeks.

Rhode Island Red

chicken breeds I'd like to own
When we’re ready to raise chickens for their meat, I’d also like to try raising a dual-purpose bird. Dual-purpose birds are heavy enough to be good broiler chickens but who still do a decent job at laying eggs. I’d start with Rhode Island Reds, although many of the birds who are cold-hardy, good egg layers are also said to be decent dual-purpose birds. Rhode Island Reds are hardy in both very hot and very cold environments. They are supposed to be excellent layers of extra-large eggs and are rarely broody. Win!

Golden-Laced Wyandotte

chicken breeds I'd like to own
I just think this bird is beautiful! Besides being pretty, she’s pretty good (ok, very good) at laying eggs. She’s also very cold hardy, docile and less apt to be broody. I’d welcome her large brown eggs to my breakfast table for sure!

Red Star

chicken breeds I'd like to own

The Golden Buff hen is a superstar known by many names: Golden Buff, Golden Sex Link, Golden Comet and Cinnamon Queen. She’s made her fame by being an excellent layer of large brown eggs who matures early, is cold tolerant and is rarely broody. As a bonus, she has a calm temperament, which makes her a good choice for my backyard.

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