Whether you are rural or urban backyard chickens are becoming more and more popular. They are a fun pet to have with children, and can be a great tool to teach them responsibility. You don’t need as much space as you would think, and some can be as friendly and loving as dogs. Not only will you get delicious fresh eggs daily, but if you find the right breed you could find a great companion. We have had many breeds over the years, here are a couple of our favorites.
We have had Buff Orpington’s in our flock for a while, and they are beautiful golden feather birds. They are on the larger side and will definitely catch your eye and can come in a range of colors. They are very calm and not as flighty as other breeds, because of this we have found them easier to tame. Orpington’s are good layers and will give you large light brown eggs.
Marans are another bird that can come in many colors. Personally we have the Cuckoo Marans, which is a black and white speckled chicken. They are on the larger size, and are a fun bird to watch strut around the yard. We have found them to be on the quieter side, which is a plus if your yard is on the smaller side. They will be less likely to annoy your neighbors, but if they do you can always make it up to them with a basket full of eggs. Marans produce large dark brown eggs, we refer to them as chocolate eggs they are that dark. They are more docile by nature and if handled from a young age can be very content while being handled.
Silkies catch the attention of everyone that comes to visit our little homestead. They are unique in appearance, looking fluffier and have a little ball of feathers on the top of their heads. Being on the smaller side makes them the perfect size for children to hold. You can also get Silkies in a few different colors and varieties. Egg production is a lot lower than the other birds mentioned. Along with the benefit of their size they are also very friendly and easy to train.
These birds are a very pretty, they are white with a few black streaks on the tail and around the head. They are a newer breed, and are harder to find than some. Delaware’s are not broody at all, they are not the breed for you if you want them to hatch eggs. They are good layers and will produce large brown eggs. Being a calmer bird they can be handled very easily, and trained to enjoy it if stared from a young age. We are very excited to be adding some to our flock this year.
No matter what breed or breeds that you decide to start with, the most important thing is to have fun. Take the time to hold and tame your chicks and by the time they are grown you will a loving new part of the family.