Different Types of Chickens
So you are thinking about adding another chicken to your flock. There are all kinds of chicken breeds. The first step of course is to determine whether the bird will be a pet or a producer, meaning an egg layer or bread for meat.
If you want an egg laying chickens the top breeds to consider are Ancona, Andalusian, Catalina, Hamburg, Holland, Lakenvelder, Leghorn, Minorca, and Redcap. These breeds lay white eggs and their dispositions vary from nervous to wild, noisy or shy.
If you are partial to brown eggs, you might consider Australorp, Java, Naked Neck Turkin, Plymouth Rock, Delaware, Dominique, Rhode Island, Sussex, or Wyandotte breeds. These breeds often have good dispositions and are comparatively mild mannered while also being good producers.
If you’re primarily interested in growing chickens for meat, you ideally want a breed that grows quickly, putting on weight in the first 4-5 months of life. The cost of keeping them longer offsets their value as meat producers. The disposition of these chickens is usually less important since they will not be around long. Some of the most popular meat producing breeds are Cornish and Cornish Cross hens.
Perhaps you are interested in both egg layers and meat producers. There are breeds that can service both purposes. For example the Brahma, Buckeye, Catalina, Araucana, Australorp, Barnevelder, or quite popular.
If egg or meat production is not a priority, or if you simply want them as pets, then birds such as the Cochin, Phoenix, and Showgirls are fancy and more attractive.
Regardless of your purpose, you will want to do a bit more in-depth research than we can cover here. Some birds do better than others in flocks. Some are heartier, some require less space, some require more.
My Pet Chicken provides a very useful guide to help you with your selection. They’ll step you through several criteria, such as size, egg laying rate, egg color, disposition, and more.