Tag Archives: Eggs

Why Raise Chickens

Raising a Flock of Chickens

Raising Chickens

When faced with listening to a 4am crowing alarm clock every morning, many people wonder, why raise chickens? Well, hopefully by the end of this article you’ll be asking yourself, why not raise chickens? In truth, there are many reasons why raising chickens is beneficial for you and your family, so let me touch on just a few of them.

  1. The first benefit is food production. I don’t know about you, but I love to eat! And what’s better than having fresh nutritious food available in your own backyard?
  2. Besides the many wonderful eggs your family can enjoy, many people choose specific breeds for the nutritious meat they can provide. It’s fairly inexpensive, and you know exactly what did and did NOT go into your chicken, making it safer and healthier for you and your family to enjoy!
  3. Speaking of fresh food in the backyard, did you know that your chickens can actually help you garden? Yep, its true! Chickens are great at preparing your garden bed by eating down the vegetation and fertilizing the soil with their manure. Plus you get the added bonus of healthier, happier chickens and a lower feed cost. Talk about a win-win!
  4. Here’s another win-win, raising chickens instills responsibilty. Whether you tractor, free range, or coop your chickens, they’re going to require some light maintenance. Watering, feeding and collecting eggs are great ways to get your little ones (and the whole family for that matter) involved in caring for livestock, and teaching them work ethic at the same time.
  5. Finally, chickens can make great pets too. Believe it or not, chickens have a personality all their own, and you’ll be surprised how often you’ll catch yourself watching and interacting with these lively creatures. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself smiling when you hear that 4am alarm clock crowing, because it will remind you of the beautiful creatures that await you outside.

History of the Backyard Chicken

The History of the Backyard Chicken

It’s been a long road for the domestic chicken. What were once colorful jungle fowl foraging in the leaf litter of a tropical forest have become laying hens and broilers bred selectively to produce eggs and meat for a huge global market.

Choosing a Chicken Breed

Various Chicken Breeds

Choosing a Chicken Breed

Chickens come in all shapes, color, sizes … and purposes. Did you know that selecting the type of chicken breed to raise in your backyard depends on what you want to get from them? There are basically three groups of chickens to select from according to purpose: laying hens, meat chickens and dual purpose chickens.

Each of these groups of chickens is bred according to a specific use. It is important before choosing a chicken breed to determine what kind of product you want to get from your chickens and raise the variety that can best give you what you need.

A working knowledge about chicken breeds is going to be very helpful in for the beginner. A visit to a chicken raiser in your area to ask him about the different breeds as well as their specific characteristics will really pay off. Most of those who are raising chickens will be very happy to help beginners start raising chickens. If there is no one raising chickens in your area, there is a lot of information which you can get from your local library or the Internet. In fact, if you read through this article you are going to get useful information about choosing a chicken breed.

Best Laying Hens for Your Backyard Flock

Best Laying Hens for Your Backyard Flock

If you’re still a new or future chicken keeper, you’d probably be surprised to know that there are as many different types of chicken breeds as there are different colors of feathers. Basically, there are three kinds of chickens that backyard poultry raisers will want to check out:

There are the best laying hens, the best meat chickens, and dual purpose chickens that excel at both eggs and meat.

For this article, let’s focus on the best laying hens. Imagine being able to just stroll around your backyard and pick up fresh eggs to cook for breakfast. Now that would be the life!

There are many different chicken breeds which you can keep as laying hens. Choosing the best laying hens can sometimes be overwhelming to novice chicken keepers since you are most likely not very familiar with the common chicken breeds that are considered prolific laying hens. So, before you decide to take home the chickens to start raising chickens, here is some information about the best laying hens to help you get started. You will also find benefits and other basic information about each chicken breed.

Here are some of the best laying hens to raise in your backyard, ranked in terms of their productivity as egg producers:

Dual Purpose Chickens

Dual Purpose Chickens, VariousBreeds

Dual Purpose Chickens

Dual Purpose Chickens are the best egg laying hens combined with the best meat chickens. The truth of the matter is that there are plenty of chicken breeds that are good for both purposes.  As the name itself suggests, they have two-fold purpose of being the best laying hens and meat chickens.

Winter egg producers- top 3 winter laying hens

Winter egg producers

The winter is a challenging time for chicken keepers who are raising laying hens. The natural cycle of a hen’s laying season is such that they are at their most productive when the days are longer and slow down production when the days have grown shorter. However, there are some breeds of winter egg producers that are cold hardy and continue to produce eggs  even throughout the winter. The top three winter egg producers are the Orpington, Plymouth Barred Rock and the Rhode Island Red.

Barred Rock Chicken Breed AKA Plymouth Rock

Barred Rock Rooster Picture

Plymouth and Barred Rock Chicken Breed

Plymouth rocks come in a few varieties. The most common is the Barred Rock. Boston is home to the first appearance of the Plymouth Rock Breed in 1849. The Plymouth Rock is a cross of the Cochin, Dorking, Malay, and red jungle fowl, creating a chicken breed with many variations of plumage and leg color. It is believed that the original Barred Rocks disappeared and that modern day Barred Rocks are a re-creation of the original chicken breed.

Orpington Chicken Breed

Orpington Chicken Breed Picture

Orpington Chicken Breed

The Orpington Chicken Breed originated in England when William Cook was the first to breed an American chicken breed, a Mediterranean chicken breed, and an Asian chicken breed. Cook, a resident of Orpington, England, wanted a laying hen, a meat chicken, and for chicken breed for exhibition.