Choosing the Right Chicken Breed for Your Farm
Y'all I am so excited about our topic today! Spring is right around the corner and that means baby chicks have probably started arriving at your local farm stores. Before we had our farm I was very chicken naive. This past year has taught me so much and helped me make better decisions for our farm. I thought today would be the perfect time to share our process of selecting new chicks for our farm.
After months of anticipation, our local hatchery released the list of available chicken breeds. Obviously we wanted one of everything, but we set a limit of 14 new chicks this year. This gives us the oppportunity to grow each year and not have to replace our whole flock at the same time. We went through the list researching egg production, egg color, benefits of each breeds, potential health concerns, temperament, and overall appearance of the breeds before making our final decision.
The easiest choice for us was the Olive Egger. It is no secret that Bellatrix is my favorite. She has an amazing temperament and is honestly our cleverest hen. Bellatrix lays the biggest and best tasting eggs too! Beautiful green eggs with rich yolks. We added two more Olive Eggers to our flock this year.
The next easy choice was the Lavender Orpington. Princess Lay-A is our sweet Lavender girl. She has the fluffiest butt and the sweetest face. She has been an amazingly consistent layer. She provides a light tan sometimes almost blush colored egg. Princess has a very inquisitive personality and loves her treats. We both agreed to keep that breed as we grow our flock, so we added 2 more.
The rest of the breeds we chose are new to us. We added 2 Black Australorps because they are known for a high egg production and mild temperament. Fun fact this breed actually won a World Record for greatest amount of eggs, one chicken laying 364 eggs in 365 days.
We added 2 Black Copper Marans solely for CHOCOLATE eggs! That's right, deep chocolate colored eggs. I can't wait for those beauties. Their average egg production is about 150-200 eggs/year so not nearly as high as the Black Australorps. This breed is also know for its great temperament, which is important for us since we love to hug our chickens.
The last two breeds we added were because of how beautiful they are. We added 2 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes and 4 Splash Laced Red Wyandottes (I get to pick them up tomorrow). Since majority of the chickens we got this year are one solid color we thought it would be fun to bring in some fun feather patterns.
When it comes to picking out chickens for your farm or homestead, there is no "right" breed. I advise you to do some research. Know if you want meat or eggs, or maybe both. We haven't ventured into the meat birds yet so for us we look at egg production/color, health concerns, and temperament to help narrow our search. Honestly, at the end of the day if a certain breed makes you smile, go for it!
If you have specific questions about raising chicks or how to prepare, we would be happy to help answer any questions you have. You can leave a comment below or feel free to reach out via email here.
Jordan had the great idea to give Baxter a spotlight on the blog.
Our spunky and curious farm dog loves to explore the woods around our farm and every week he brings home several new treasures. This week he found whole deer leg and a beer can. He is very proud of his finds and I have gained a new chore on the farm- clean up all the treasures around the yard. I included the picture of him enjoying a farm fresh egg because it is just cute and I thought y'all would enjoy it too.
How can I pray for you this week?
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