With so many choices it can be hard to determine what breeds of chicken would be best for your own home flock. Since chickens range from the exotic-looking to the traditional there are many choices, depending on your needs. Here are a few questions you should think about:
* Are you primarily looking for chickens that will be good egg layers? Do you have a preference about what color the eggs are?
* Are you hoping to raise birds for meat?
* Do you want chickens as pets, being more interested in their color, feather pattern, and size than in egg or meat production?
* How many birds do you hope to keep?
By thinking about the answers to all of these questions in advance, you will have a better idea of what types of birds to look for. When doing research, most commercial poultry producers have online catalogues that feature important information about each breed, including their temperament, suitability for egg laying, adult size, and even what color eggs they typically produce. By having an idea of what characteristics are important to you before you buy, you have a greater chance of being happy with your selection later on.
If you are new to keeping chickens, there are many resources available to learn more, including books, videos, and personal resources. Speak to friends or neighbors who may keep a home flock. Research any chicken clubs or groups that may be active in your area, and many experienced members are happy to educate new owners. You can even contact your local extension service farm supply, or agricultural school to see if they area aware of any classes or resources available. Finally, reputable commercial poultry suppliers can also provide basic care information for beginners.
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing information different chicken breeds that have made Sheep Pasture home. We will let you know when we share a breed that currently lives or will be living there over the next few weeks so that you can take a look and see them for yourself next time you visit!