If you happen to know a ‘crazy chicken lady’, ask her which chickens she likes the best, she may say she loves them all, and that’s the nature of chicken keeping. Chickens are much like any animal many chicken keepers have their favorites, and for different reasons. Realistically there is a ton of great breeds. However we have had really good luck with a few different ones, favorites if you will. We free-range so we like birds to be smart and have an overall good survivors instinct. For the average or new chicken keeper that wants ideas on where to start what breeds are good, here you go. Here is our picks for best chicken breeds we use for egg-laying but are adaptable, smart and are good at surviving. These qualities have proven valuable both on an urban homestead as well as for the free-range country flock.
This breed is the top of the list (for me at least). If you want only a handful of chickens for a backyard flock or a larger country flock, this is a great breed. Dominique’s have the best personalities, and make good pet chickens. They are smart and have a good survivor instinct. They lay eggs regularly, laying 4-5 medium to large brown eggs a week. Did I mention they are also great foragers? This was one of our first breeds way back on our urban homestead. They have made both great city and country chickens!
2. Silver Speckled Hamburg
I have to admit I thought I did not like this breed as an urban homesteader. The Silver Speckled Hamburg proves to be a chicken on a ‘different feather’. They seem to like to hide where they lay their eggs. They are still pretty flighty and are definitely on the small size for a chicken. However, these ladies are great egg-layers, laying 4-5 small-medium size eggs a week. As a free-range chicken, these are the best, super-smart and amazing survivor instinct. That may not always be needed for city chickens but it’s super handy for chickens in the country!
3. White Rock
The smarts on these ones is what I love the most. We have a white rock rooster, and he is amazingly smart, and a gentleman to boot! The hens lay an impressive large brown egg 5+ days a week. White rocks are a versatile chicken, used for both egg and meat production. That fact makes these chickens a very handy bird to have in your flock!
4. Barred Rock
Barred rocks are considered a dual purpose bird. These chickens generally have a friendly personality, which makes them wonderful pets for those who just want a few. They have great egg production, laying a medium brown egg 4-5 days a week on average. Barred Rocks are a great addition to any flock, and are super popular choices for both the backyard or barnyard chicken keeper.
5. Easter Egger
Easter Eggers are probably the most exciting for the chicken keeper who really wants a rainbow of egg colors. Easter Eggers can lay blue, green and even shade of a slightly pinkish egg. They are active and great foragers. Easter Eggers have a good personality and make great mothers. They can be very quick and a bit flighty which makes them great survivors. Nothing is better than a variety of colors filling your farm-fresh egg carton!
For the urban or country homesteader chickens are usually a must. Chickens being just about one of the easiest farm animals to keep. Making sure you have friendly, hardy and good egg-layers, makes keeping chickens not only practical but a joy as well. Many breeds can be good for different reasons. As far as the best chicken breeds, these 5 breeds have always proven winners across the board at friendliness, hardiness, survival instincts with a good egg production. Many people keep chickens but not everyone gets to be a “crazy chicken person”, that only happens when you enjoy being around your chickens too♡♡♡
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Beth is a mother of 5 living on a handful of acres in an old farmhouse in central Kansas. Beth has a background in the military and health and fitness however her passions come from her homestead life. Beth is an enthusiastic homeschooling mom, avid organic gardener, chicken & goat wrangler, who is obsessed with herbs and natural remedies and maintaining an all-around Do-It-Yourself lifestyle. Beth loves to share all she has learned about and sustainable living. While striving for a healthy, natural life, family-centered life.