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Bushwacker
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello all. I was a little bored today, and decided to supply some information on the different types of chickens out there, and what they offer. If I help just 1 person with this post, then It would be well worth my time.
I think chickens are among the most well designed creatures to ever roam this planet. They eat almost all pesky insects, supply great garden poop, and can even eat small rodents.
Observing hens do their "chicky thing" is one of my favorite things to do when I'm not eating their eggs :thumb:

So here's the list in alphabetical order and catagory of my personal picks. ***Drum Roll***

Best Egg layers based on all breed's average.


Ameraucana



I may be a bit bias towards this because my first two chickens were Ameraucana or as I say "Americana", but the facts back my bias. I also found these to be much more intelligent than the other breeds. :)

Egg info - Light blue, average in size.

Laying Rate - Above average

Leghorn



Egg info - White, above average in size

Laying Rate - Extreamly Above average (probably what you're eating from the store)

Lohmann



Egg info - Medium brown, average in size.

Laying Rate - Extreamly Above average

New Hampshire



Egg info - Brown, above average in size

Laying Rate - Above average

Production Reds



Egg info - Brown, Average in size

Laying Rate - Extreamly Above average (The brown version of Leghorn)

Rhode Island / Red Rhode Island



Egg info - Light-medium Brown, above average

Laying Rate - Extreamly Above average

Meaty birds *based on their speed to mature, broading, adult size and weight.*


Cornish



Mature - moderately early

Adult Size Average +/- 8 lb

Broading Rate - Average

Jersey Giant



Though this breed is slow to mature, It's known to be the biggest breed, so it's size outweights it's timing.
Mature - very slow

Adult Size Average +/- 10 lbs

Broading Rate - Average

Marans



Mature - Average

Adult Size Average +/- 6.5 lbs

Broading Rate - Above Average

Plymouth Rock



Mature - Early

Adult Size Average +/- 8 lbs

Broading Rate - less than average


Easy to maintain and good for beginners


Ameraucana



They do well in cold weather, are very smart to defend against preditors, and are very good about taking care of themselves.

Frizzle



An all around great chicken. Friendly, smart, layer and broader. It's not great at once specific thing, but not below average at anything either. They come in many different colors as well as looks. Mine were fuzzy feathered like silkies, but more others looked fairly normal.

Orpington



Great for all weather conditions, friendly personalities and intelligence. This breed could be good layers or good for their meat. If all else fails, their down (feathers) make great pillow stuffing.

Production Reds



A common breed, highly adaptable, friendly, great egg layer, very intelligent, and does well with other chicken breeds. Quite possibly the best all around chicken in the world.
Silkie



They adapt well, and are fairly intelligent. They seem to do well with other breed. Their name comes from their silk like feathers that give them a sort of afro look. I personally find them to be a funny looking chicken. They come in all types of colors and lay small light brown eggs. They also are extreamly Frequent broaders and will hatch other hens eggs if put up to it.
Wyandotte *also known as Silver Laced Wyandotte*




This breed wasn't my favorite, as it didn't seem to mengle with other breeds of chickens, however it's very friendly moderatly smart and overall good in size and egg laying. It seems to be a very popular chicken due to be average in all features and is commonly sold around the country. It does well in cold weather, and broads frequently. Wyandottes also mature very fast, and lay at an average rate, making them good overall.

______________________________________________________________

Two must known terms for chickens that Survivalist should know.

Brooding - When a Hen wants to start raising chicks. Here's more information

OutCrossing / Line Breeding - A method of breeding chickens with each other so that you don't cause inbreeding mutations. Here's more information



Side notes.
Sussex is a great all around breed I left out due to being hard to get in Amerca. It's primarly a Europeon Chicken.


If you know of any other great breeds, please feel free to mention them. There's around 60-150 breeds of chickens depending on how you judge an "official" breed. Some chickens come in multiple types which makes it hard to get an official number. So I cannot add them all. I'm going to add the best of the chickens in my opinion, and let you sort them out. If you agree, disagree or know more about them, you're more than welcome to speak. I'm no farmer or rancher, just a survivalist.



A good list of chicken breeds are here

And last but not least, here's a list of chicken information suppliers that thankfully supplied the info

www.wikipedia.com
www.emilymjenkins.blogspot.com
www.bayoufeedbarn.com
www.welphatchery.com
www.poultryplanet.info
www.rightpet.com
www.harepathsteadpoultry.co.uk
www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
www.backyardchickens.com/breeds/breed-chart
http://ultimatefowl.wordpress.com/2009/02/11/line-breeding/
www.back-yard-chicken-coop.com
 

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Premium Member
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Orpingtons are the way to go for a "triple" purpose bird. Very high laying production (they even lay in winter don't need extra light), extremely cold hearty, and they are LARGE birds when full grown, while not great for the roaster or fryer, they are amazing for a soup or braising. The triple is their down, while not goose down, their down is amazingly warm, and they produce a lot of feathers.

Now if you're in a humid and warm state I wouldn't recommend them because well they are very very fluffy birds.
 

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Resident Ninja
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Wow... AWESOME THREAD! Never in my life ever owned a chicken but I appreciate all of the information you presented here. I've already bookmarked this thread so I can reference it for your future use later on. If I ever get a small plot of land, I'd definitely like to get a few chickens to be more self-sustaining. :D:
 

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Still here...
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Wow... AWESOME THREAD! Never in my life ever owned a chicken but I appreciate all of the information you presented here. I've already bookmarked this thread so I can reference it for your future use later on. If I ever get a small plot of land, I'd definitely like to get a few chickens to be more self-sustaining. :D:
Look into your local laws. If you're in a house, you might be able to have chickens. I live in a city and can have up to 25! I have no where near that though.
 

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off-grid organic farmer
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We have found that some whites like to fight, and once allowed to free-range they will go up into the trees and refuse to come down. We keep a dozen white leghorn bantams, but we keep them inside and never let them freerange. Good egg producers, crappy mothers.

Ameraucanas are good barn and yard birds they will return home.

Lohmanns can be really good mothers, but it takes 2 to 3 generations to get them into it.
They are safe to freerange.

Rhode Island Reds are extremely domesticated. Gentle and will walk right up to you. Good layers.

Cochins are real heavy, and can fight off a fox, but not a weasel. Good layers.

Australorps are supposed to be the best mothers. But again it takes 2 generations for them to learn.
 

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Well I am biased towards rhode island reds, they are excellent egg layers and will provide a little meat. Mine seem to thrive either free ranging or in a cage (although my cages are much larger than most).

Nevertheless thx for the posting.
 

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Bushwacker
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
We have found that some whites like to fight, and once allowed to free-range they will go up into the trees and refuse to come down. We keep a dozen white leghorn bantams, but we keep them inside and never let them freerange. Good egg producers, crappy mothers.


Rhode Island Reds are extremely domesticated. Gentle and will walk right up to you. Good layers.
True. The leghorns lay eggs like a machine, but if you want chickens, you should get another breed to hatch the eggs for ya. I think that's partially to blame on human's using them for eggs and chicken meat, and likely not properly linebreeding them.

I think Rhode Island reds were the original breed that let to Production Reds. If you compare the two, they are nearly identical in all ways.
 

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Bushwacker
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Consider adding orpingtons. My buff orps are very intelligent and easy keepers.

My frizzle is my favorite, though. Everything she does just seems funny, but I do think she might be a banty.
I updated the list with Orpingtons at your request. Turns out I overlooked that breed. It is indeed a prize winner.
 

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Bushwacker
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow... AWESOME THREAD! Never in my life ever owned a chicken but I appreciate all of the information you presented here. I've already bookmarked this thread so I can reference it for your future use later on. If I ever get a small plot of land, I'd definitely like to get a few chickens to be more self-sustaining. :D:
What are you waiting for? :D:
I'm planning on letting some chickens go wild in the woods. Maybe a rooster and 4 hens. It will let them eat up those ticks that keep finding me on the trails, and I wont have to worry about waking up to find a animal killed all my chickens after SHTF, then not know what to do.
Chickens in the wild will fly up trees at night, and I think they can survive a lot better than pet chickens kept at home.
 

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What are you waiting for? :D:
I'm planning on letting some chickens go wild in the woods. Maybe a rooster and 4 hens. It will let them eat up those ticks that keep finding me on the trails, and I wont have to worry about waking up to find a animal killed all my chickens after SHTF, then not know what to do.
Chickens in the wild will fly up trees at night, and I think they can survive a lot better than pet chickens kept at home.
Chickens wild in the woods will be food for another animal very quickly.

Chickens are ... well they are not equipped to handle an attack by a larger predator, if you read here even where they have some protection losses are about guaranteed depending where you live. With woods a gaze of raccoons will take out a small flock like that within a night, maybe 2. Flying up into a tree doesn't help you when that which looks at you as lunch can also climb or fly up into same said tree.

What you might want to look into are Junglefowl but I would check with the local extension office before releasing any domesticated animal into the wild. You could do more harm than good.
 

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Tell the truth, coward.
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beg to differ -rirs don't lay a lot.

They're always either moulting, or brooding, or farting around having hormone issues. The eggs are delectable however. Big brown pert things.

And you need a wee section on australorps

and also if you know anything about cobbs I would love to hear it.

Thanks for some very useful information.
 

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beg to differ -rirs don't lay a lot.
I have to beg to differ here. I've had White Rocks and Buff Orpingtons in the past and RIR's this year. The Reds lay at least twice as much as the WR's and nearly 3 times as much as the Buffs. I'm getting rid of some of the hens cause we're overrun with eggs.
 

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Bushwacker
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
What you might want to look into are Junglefowl but I would check with the local extension office before releasing any domesticated animal into the wild. You could do more harm than good.
Local extension office? I live in the borderline civilized countryside. There isn't even a local police jurisdiction, nor any that would want to. Just think of the movie Deliverence with a bunch of yokals. I'm the only one in this town that has Dish Cable and Internet. It's a paradise for survival if you can just keep the hellbillys in check


lol

I checked out jungle fowl. Looks like a hybrid chicken. I found two for sale. Kind of pricy. Do you have any, or have experience with these?
 
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