If I would have known that my rabbit and chicken page would have the most posts, I would have separated them, and until Weebly decides that we can split posts, this will have to do.
So I’ve decided to write about chicken breeds. But only ones I’ve owned and have personal experience with. So this won’t be your typical list and it won’t have histories or any of that good stuff, but it will be honest. Now I know that not everyone will experience the same things with the same breeds, as I’m sure the line and breeding come into play as well. But here’s what I’ve got for ya, and I will update this as necessary.
Growing up we’ve had several different breeds, some of which we just guessed or made up breeds for. I’m much more educated now. But one of the last flicks we had consistented of Black Australorps and Barred Plymouth Rocks. So when I started my own flock, I wanted Australorps, but I couldn’t find any. I settled for Barred Plymouth Rocks.
Ancona are beautiful black speckled bird. She lays a smallish white egg about 4 times a week. She's not the friendliest bird, but she is a nice addition to my flock.
My Ancona pullet. Can’t wait until she matures. (All grown up!)
Andalusian are a beautiful bird. I actually wasn’t sure about them initially so when the opportunity came to do an order from Murray McMurray hatchery, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to test the waters and ordered 4 birds. One being an Andalusian. She had yet to start laying, but her comb has grown so I expect one soon. She’s a lovely blue laced colour and has filled out nicely. She is slightly flighty, but if you catch her and put her in your lap, she will lay down and make herself at home. She is a medium sized bird. I will update later on in the Spring after she starts laying. She lays about 2 eggs per week that are decent size and almost white in colour.
Camilla, my beautiful Andalusian, above. Below is her egg
Barred Plymouth Rock or Barred Rock, as barred is the most common variety of the Plymouth Rock breed. I bought 6 chicks and 3 ended up being boys (cockerels) They’re a medium sized breed. My girls are now 3 1/2 years old and have never once gone broody. My original boys were kind, and so is the one I have now. I picked up a rooster (cock) from somewhere else and he attacked me every chance he got. I just thought maybe it was because I took him fe his home, so I got rid of him and kept one of his sons, and he was a turd, too. The one I have now used to jump on my shoulder. I thought it was cute until he started grabbing my earrings. The hens seem indifferent to you, neither skittish nor overly friendly. They lay a decent sized light brown coloured egg. I’ve not eaten one, but they are a dual purpose breed.
Barred Rock rooster just finishing up his molt, and one of my girls.
Black Copper Marans They’re French. And they’re beautiful. They’re definitely one of my favourite breeds. They are black with copper colouring around their necks and lightly feathered legs. They are a dual purpose breed. I love my BCMs. The roosters are always sweet and top of the pecking order without serious injuries. The hens I have, only two have become broody (some are 3 years old) and are great moms. They lay a lovely dark brown to chocolate coloured egg and are some of my best layers. They tend to moult fast and ugly.
This is one of my older hens.
Marans eggs are rated on a scale of 4-9. This one is about a 5. The higher the number, the darker the egg.
Blue Laced Red Wyandotte It took me a while to get one, but unfortunately it ended up being a cockerel. I may try again next year. He’s maturing nicely and although not flighty, does seem quite weary of me. Hopefully he stays kind enough to stay in my flock. They have rose combs, making them great for cold climates. *I did end up ordering two pullets this year. They are nice looking bird. But this boy, oh my, he gets some worked up. He quite annoying, actually.
Buff Orpington I was always told they’re the most calm, friendly birds. This has not been the case for me. I originally hatched 6. One was a rooster. After being tortured by a couple Easter Egger Roosters (that I rehomed) the rooster decided to start grabbing pant legs. And the hens want nothing to do with you. I rehomed that rooster and hatched 2 more. These two were lovely, one followed me around, but it may have been due to the hens hating him and continually being chased off. The remaining rooster lost an eye due to an injury that came from one of my BCMs roosters. Other than that, he’s fine, and highly entertaining. I also lost all but one hen. So I wouldn’t say they’re the hardiest bird. They are decent layers of light brown coloured eggs and the roosters are a nice size of you decide to raise them for meat also. Orpingtons come in a range of colours, but Buff is the only one I’ve owned so far. I’ve only had one hen go broody so far, so I can’t say they’re a broody breed, and they’re definitely ones for ugly moults.
Here’s my guy, all pretty looking after a light moult.
Chantecler mix Chanteclers are a breed developed in Canada. They’re were designed to have a small comb which makes them more winter hardy. I have two girls that I was told were Chantecler mixes. I’m not sure what they’re mixed with. But I’m wondering if they’re not leghorns. They’ve got huge combs. They’re very curious but slightly flighty. They’re sisters but one lays a darker egg. They’re always into something and are my absolute best layers. They lay a very large egg and have never been broody. They’re almost 3 years old now.
This is Salt. She’s the troublemaker.
Cochin another breed I got from the hatchery. Although my China did not make it, as she never seemed to grow well, my new girl is doing wonderfully and has a similar friendly personality. They come in two sizes, standard and bantam. I ordered the standard but she’s not very big. I’m not sure if it’s just her, or what. I ordered blue, which apparently isn’t a guarantee, so I think mine is more of a splash variety. She’s very calm and relaxed. Being heavily feathered on her feet, they get dirty quickly, especially with my horribly muddy run. I may order another one just to see what I get.
As you can see by her interest, she's pretty friendly.
Lakenvelder is another breed I had shipped from the hatchery. She lays 3-4 eggs per week and the eggs are small and almost white in colour. So for now, I can tell you they are a small flighty breed. She tends to try and kill her self on a regular basis. I’ve had to “rescue” her in more than one occasion from something “scary” and she tries to get away by throwing herself against the walls and such. I’m glad I only bought one. I saw a picture in a book I was reading (Gail Damerow’s The Chicken Health Handbook) and I had to have one. They are a pretty bird. **I lost Charlotte late last year, and I ordered another one this year. This one escapes daily and can't get back in. And acts like I'm trying to kill her when I let her back in. I probably won't order another, as beautiful as she may be.
This is Charlotte, my Lakenvelder pullet. She’s a bit dirty here, as it’s been pretty muddy lately.
Rosecomb Brown Leghorn are beautiful! They are the same as the Brown Leghorns, just that they have a rosecomb. Which is very nice for our climate here. NO frostbite! She's curious but slightly skittish, very similar to the White Leghorn.
This picture really doesn't do her justice. She's so much prettier in person.
White Leghorn are a Mediterranean breed, like the Andalusian. They are closely feathered and have large combs. They are slightly flighty, but curious. They are a chattier breed. They lay a nice sized white egg and are egg laying machines! They started laying 2 months before my hatchery chicks of the same age! I noticed only minor moulting.
This pretty girl is a young Leghorn pullet. And here she is all grown up!
Leghorns are amazing layers and lay a nice large white egg.
Rhode Island Red are a nice hardy breed. They are indifferent to you. They are decent layers of light brown eggs. I’ve never had one go broody. I’ve not had a rooster, so I can’t comment on personality there. I’ve never noticed which one would moult, but I’d alway see a lot of feathers when they do. So maybe they just all moulted at the same time?
Silver Laced Wyandotte is a great breed for Canada with their small peacombs. They are decent layers of small to medium sized brown eggs. I bought two of these as pullets and had to sell one because I was so tired of breaking the broodies. If one wasn’t broody, it was the other. And then one day I came home and they were in neighboring nests. The one I sold had hatched eggs for my sister in law. She was a very dedicated sitter, not even leaving to use the bathroom. Which was not a good thing. But she was great with the chicks. The other hen that I kept, has on a couple occasions, raised foster chicks and did a wonderful job. Though she does seem to want to get rid of them early, so I know only to use her when the weather is warmer. Wyandottes come in several different varieties. She doesn’t seem to moult heavy.
This is my SL Wyandotte. She is very poorly marked, but she’s a great mom.
True Whiting Blue Very pretty, they were actually bred to have nice feathers for fly tying. The one I got is very similarly marked as the brown leghorn. She's slightly skittish but not as bad as some Mediterranean breeds. She should start laying shortly, and her egg should be blue!
My Whiting sure is a pretty girl
Easter Eggers/Mixed Breeds Mixed breeds are beautiful. They're just a cross between 2 or more different breeds. Easter Eggers are a hybrid, usually a mix of a blue egg-laying breed, like Ameraucanas, with another breed. They can lay any colour egg, including blue, green, brown, pink or cream. A lot of EE's have small, flatish combs called peacombs.
First picture is Chloe. She was also a hatchery chick. She was an Easter Egger. I lost her before we could find out what colour egg she layed. The second picture is Pita. (Rita’s twin) I bough her as an egg, was told she’s an EE as well. Pita and Rita both lay brown eggs, they moult fast and horribly and are super inquisitive. Third picture you’ll see a strange fuzzy looking bird. That’s my frizzled rooster. He’s a Chantecler mix. I had one from the same breeder before, and that one was mixed with an Ameraucana. He’s was super tiny and had a nice little peacomb. This guy here is actually battling frostbite as we speak, due to the size of his comb (this is an older picture) It’s been unseasonably cold.