Consider these three things prior to purchasing your chickens.
What’s a simple way to start growing your homestead? Chickens. They’re an incredible resource, some breeds are hearty and they give you an excuse to spruce up your homestead by decorating a coop.
But what do you need to look for when choosing the best breed? If chicken math is a real thing (which I can attest to – it is) then the number of birds you’re adding to your backyard will quickly grow. If you live in city limits like I do, we don’t have space to waste! Consider these things prior to choosing chickens.
If growing your own eggs is a priority for you, you want a chicken breed that is notorious for being high producers. In my experience, the more flighty the bird, the less eggs they produce. So I stay away from breeds like Ameraucanas, Easter Eggers and Leghorns. Luckily, you don’t have to take my word for it! A quick Google search is sure to how you high producing breeds.
Dual purpose breeds can also be listed here. Some of my chicks won’t grow to be more than 4 to 6 pounds. That’s an itty bitty meat bird! Definitely better suited for eggs for my family.
When choosing chickens, it’s important to be mindful of how these animals will integrate into your existing infrastructure. Especially if you plan on keeping them for eggs – they’ll be around a while! Do you have children? Do you have other animals? Do you have the structures you need to keep them safe? Again, a quick Google search can tell you a lot about the general demeanor of birds. In special cases, the demeanor of the bird is just how that bird is. But it’s always something worth taking in to consideration.
In my experience, I’ve loved having Buff Orpingtons and ISA Browns. I will never house another Barred Rock, though. They are incredibly mean birds.
Heartiness of the Bird
Our winters can be brutal. We saw a negative 27 windchill last winter (read more about how we got our chickens through it here). A few of our birds struggled, but for the most part, the majority of our flock didn’t struggle. Luckily, we have hearty birds. Birds meant to withstand colder temperatures. Birds prone to taking shelter instead of wandering around outside.
The same can be said for birds in hotter climates. Selecting a breed that will be able to withstand your area’s temperatures can be crucial to the comfort and vitality of that birds life.
What do you look for when selecting chickens?
I’d love to know! Follow me over on Instagram at The Learning Life or Facebook. Use the hashtag #makingamicrohomestead and join in on the conversation!
Are you struggling with starting your microhomestead? Check out my ebook “Making a Microhomestead – a City Slicker’s Guide to Getting Started” and start your homestead TODAY! Complete with growth guides and all my tips and tricks, it’s the perfect resource to launch you into homesteading.
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