Chickens are the perfect starter livestock for your homestead — whether you have a small backyard in an urban area or 20 acres in the boondocks. Chickens provide eggs, meat and fertilizer, plus they’re small and easy to manage. Several chicken breed charts are available online and in books, but their information is often based on old data. So, to get current information on the best chicken breeds, we developed a survey of our readers who have lots of experience with various breeds. (Many thanks to more than 1,000 readers who participated in the survey.) The summaries below include only results from people who have more than three years’ experience raising chickens. And we only included breeds or hybrids if at least three people responded to questions about them.
Our survey didn’t ask which chicken breeds are prettiest. That’s important, too, but it’s subjective. If you’d like to see what each breed looks like, check out Feathersite.com or get a copy of Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds by Carol Ekarius. It’s an excellent book with outstanding photos. (Read more)