General Chicken Info
|I set this page up because there is so many people getting
into chickens today. There is to much bad info out there so I
hope this will help. I have been raising and selling chickens
for over 30 years and this is just some of the stuff I tell
people when they ask how to get started.
|First, ask yourself what do you want your chickens to do.
Are you wanting to raise birds to eat, just backyard pets for the kids, to sell eggs, just need
a lot of eggs for my family, do you care about the color of the eggs, breeding and selling
chicks and so on. Then you must consider how big your chicken house and pen is. Are you
free ranging, are they in a small pen and coop, a large house with a large fenced yard and so
on. There are a lot of chicken breeds out there, it is vital to know your breeds before you
start. The last thing you want to do is just go buy some birds and then find out you got the
wrong ones. With the cost of feed and housing it is vital to get the wright birds for your
This is just a quick list of birds I recommend, there is a lot of breeds out there, research and
find the best one for your needs.
Cornish: Just wanting to raise birds to eat, they are ready to butcher in 8 to 10 weeks.
Ameraucana or Easter Egger's: great bird for kids to have different colored eggs, they are
hardy and good for first timers. An EE will lay any color egg, brown, green, blue, white and
the birds come in a mix of colors. Pure Ameraucana will only lay a blue tint egg and some
are bred to be pure color birds too.
White Leghorn: I don't care about anything but getting the most egg for the buck and I am
not selling eggs. This breed will give more eggs in less room and feed then any other breed.
Hybrid: Wanting a bird that will give me a lot of large eggs to sell. Hybrids will grow faster,
lay quicker and make a great bird to raise and sell eggs out off. Don't breed hybrids, you
can only get a hybrid out of two pure bred breeders. The better the breeders the better the
production. People who buy farm eggs don't want white eggs, they think farm eggs are
suppose to be colored.
Rhode Island White: The Rhode Islands are the only pure bred bird that is a prolific layer
of large brown eggs. The whites will lay just like the reds but they don't have the attitude or
size that the reds have.
Cochin Bantams: The best pet bantam chicken for kids, you don't get many eggs but they
are great setters and mothers. This is a great breed for just wanting birds to keep in the
yard, hardy and comes in several colors. I have raised several breeds of bantams over the
years and I like this one the best.
If you are wanting to raise chicks to sell then don't get anything that everyone and their dog
has. Look at the ads around, if you see a lot of chicks of a breed and they are selling them
for a dollar or two then why waste your time doing that too. Look for rare breeds that no
one else has and go for them. Then you can sell your chicks for a good price.
Go for quality not quantity.
My rule for a layer chicken is, don't get a hen over 5 1/2 lbs, the bigger the bird the more
room they take up, more they eat, more they poop and as a rule they lay less eggs.
This is a link to a guys site I found several years ago, it is the best site to do your own
research, easy to understand and all on one page. He only list pure breeds on it, no hybrids,
so you have to conceder that when choosing your breeds. For egg production birds only get
a prolific or good egg layer, never a poor layer. You must know your breeds, birds can lay
anywhere from 50 to over 300 eggs a year. If all you want are eggs and you get a hen that
lays 50 eggs a year you will not be happy.
Henderson's Handy Dandy Chicken Chart
I have also listed info on my Chicken page for bird feed and care. On my Chicken Coop
page there is info on housing and how you know how many birds to put in a coop. I never
over crowd by birds, I don't go by the so call standards. I go by what I think is right for the
birds and years of raising them.