You’ve got your coop. You’ve got your feed. Now it’s time to spread your wings and fly with these great backyard chicken breeds for beginners!
Picking out your flock is an exciting step in poultry parenthood. It’s understandable that most backyard coop enthusiasts are eager to jump in faster than a chicken after a mealworm. Hold the excited pecking! From temperament to egg production, there’s a lot to consider prior to acquiring your first flock. Discover the world of backyard chickens with Star Milling Co.’s handy guide to gathering your flock.
What to Look for in Backyard Breeds
Before choosing the perfect feathered friend for you, there are a few characteristic to keep in mind. What are your goals and interests when it comes to backyard chickens? What kind of climate and environment are the birds going to be kept in? Will you be the sole caretaker or will younger members of the family want to try their hand at junior poultry wrangling?
These questions can determine which chickens will make the best addition to your yard. Ideally, beginners should seek out a breed that is hearty and well adapted to moderate hot and cold temperatures. If you live in area with extreme climates, further research may be in order to determine which chickens fare best in your neck of the woods. Popular breeds typically have robust health and are easy for beginners to care for.
You’ll also want to scope out egg production. Whether you’re a hobbyist or looking to start your own farmer’s market stand, it’s important to know typical laying patterns beforehand.
Lastly, pick a breed with a mellow, easy going temperament. Although most chickens don’t love being picked up, many “people friendly” breeds can come to enjoy the occasional cuddle from their poultry parents. Not only are social breeds more fun, but their trusting, relaxed nature makes them less of a task to wrangle if need be.
One last note — pick a breed that is quiet for the sake of your neighbors!
Top 3 Breeds for Beginners
Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk a little about the perfect breeds for beginners. The below recommendations are ideal for people with little experience who are looking for backyard chickens which are easy to manage, require little maintenance and most importantly… lay lots of eggs!
These colorful birds are the fluffiest, friendliest backyard friends around. Orpingtons are a popular choice for first time owners due to their docile nature and hardy dexterity. They come in a variety of beautiful colors from brilliant blue and lavender plumage to orange, black, and white shades. With Orpingtons, you’ll enjoy the traditional farmer’s market brown eggs, of which they are quite prolific at laying. Typical egg counts average 200 eggs per chicken, per year.
Think Little House on the Prairie with this classic Americana breed. These barred beauties are quite curious and brave. They love the free range through the yard, pecking at bugs and investigating their new home. Where many chickens can be skittish, Plymouth Rocks charm their families with their inquisitive nature. They’re also fantastic egg layers and do well in both winter and summer climes.
Want to enjoy colorful eggs from Spring to Fall? Easter Eggers lay a variety of teal, baby blue, opal, and green eggs, hence their comical name. Their fluffy leg plumes keep them warm in adverse temperatures and make for chicken Instagram worthy pictures of your pantalooned flock out enjoying the sun. They’re social and bond well with their owners in addition to being great explorers. Many Easter Eggers are even proficient hunters, catching small prey from worms to mice!
Ready start preparing for your first flock? Star Milling has everything poultry owners need from rich, holistic chicken feed and scratch to knowledgeable chicken lovers to help you out along the way. Enjoy the backyard chicken coop journey!