The best chicken breed for your personality November 8, 2013

People are always asking us which is the best chicken breed–which breed should they get? Of course, we have to explain that it all depends on what you’re looking for in a chicken! We often point them toward our “Chicken Chooser” Breed Selection Tool, an online “quiz” where you can input your criteria, and then receive a list of birds that  would work for your situation.

And for those who are expecting civilization to come to an end soon, we send them to our blog post about how to choose the best chicken breed for the zombie apocalypse.

But when you compile your list of breeds that would work for your criteria, how do you choose the best chicken breed for your personality?

Polish Frizzle - best chicken breed for you?

This silver-laced Polish Frizzle is striking, but it certainly isn’t the best chicken breed for everyone!

The best chicken breed on your list may be the prettiest, or the best layer, or the most cold hardy, for example, depending on your personality.

For that reason, we’ve made this short list. If you’ve looked at the online tool and need more help choosing between breeds, this post could help you!

Best chicken breed for your personality

You’re utilitarian and efficient

If you want the best chicken breed and you have a mostly practical outlook on life, you may want to consider these birds: Rhode Island Red, Sex link (Stars/Golden Buffs/etc.), Leghorn, Australorp, Plymouth Rock.

Cold weather chicken in the snow

Poor Prissy, my Rhode Island Red, sometimes comes outside and only afterwards realizes she doesn’t want to be out in the snow! Here she is trying to perch on an old chair so she doesn’t have to walk in it, anymore.

These are some of the most common, easy-to-find breeds—and they’re popular for good reason! They lay well and tend to be hardy in a wide variety of climates across the country. They’re also less likely to go broody than some breeds, meaning there is little “down” time. Plus, these breeds tolerate confinement well so they’re a good choice for small urban yards. These breeds are also chosen for those who may want to sell eggs, because they produce efficiently.

Chances are good that if a lot of these breeds are appealing to you, you’re someone who doesn’t like to take chances, or who wants to make the most of what they have—both good qualities to have in a chicken AND and human!

 

You’re assertive and practical 

If you want the best chicken breed to address a specific need, you may want to consider these breeds: Chantecler, Buckeye, Fayoumi, Hamburg, Brahma, Andalusian, Spitzhauben, Orpington (buff).

Hamburg2

This silver spangled hamburg is heat tolerant and lays large numbers of small white eggs

Birds in this category are often chosen for hardiness in a more extreme climate. Some are quite cold hardy (Chantecler, Buckeye, Brahma), while others tolerate hot climates (Fayoumi, Hamburg, Andalusian, Spitzhauben).

Chances are good that if a lot of these breeds appeal to you, you pay attention to detail more often than others. You may be someone knows exactly what you need, and you make choices to assure you get it.

 

You’re dependable and reliable

If you want the best chicken breed and you’re someone who has an appreciation for the “good old days” and history, then you may want to consider these classic breeds: Welsummer, Speckled Sussex, Faverolles, Dorking, Dominique, Delaware, New Hampshire.

Winter layer - Welsummer hen

This Welsummer is a good winter layer

Birds in this category are chosen for a variety of reasons, but often because they offer a little bit of everything: They’re beautiful and unusual, but lay well. They go broody and will raise chicks, but aren’t stubborn about it. They forage well, but will also tolerate confinement. These are older, classic breeds that are well-rounded and time-tested. While these breeds will do well in a small urban plot, they’ll also make the most of a larger suburban yard.

Chances are good that if these breeds in this category appeal to you, you’re someone who likes to grow heirloom veggies or flowers, and save seeds.

 

You dance to your own beat of your own drum

Silkie, Polish, Frizzle, Turken, Easter Egger, Sultan, Sumatra, SeramaCrevecoeur, various bantams

silkie

This white silkie looks more like a kitten than a chicken!

You gravitate toward the most unusual-looking breeds, and are less interested in purely practical poultry. These breeds may go broody a lot, meaning they won’t lay well year-round… or they lay may lay very small eggs, and seldom. (Easter Eggers are the exception: they tend to lay a fair number of large eggs, although they’re not good winter layers in northern areas.) Regardless, birds in this category are chosen for their value as show or pleasure birds (fur-like or curly feathers, small size, large crests,  beards, naked necks, blue/green eggs, etc.). Even if you don’t show birds officially, you probably enjoy having birds that don’t look much like stereotypical chickens to show off to your friends and neighbors!

Chances are good that if these are the breeds that most appeal to you, you’re conscious of appearances and presentation—whether it’s because you’re extremely fashionable, or because you bend over backwards to sport your own personal style, regardless of what others are doing.

 

You appreciate the sophisticated and rare

Marans, Cream Legbar, Penedesenca, Ameraucana, Araucana, Barnevelder, CochinOrpington (rare colors), Sussex (rare colors)

DSC_8899

This black copper marans hen lays chocolate brown eggs

Breeds in this category are often harder to locate, so it’s most likely that you’ll get (or have) these breeds if you’ve dedicated some effort not only to learning about all sorts of chicken breeds in general, but also because you’ve dedicated significant effort into acquiring the specific rare breeds you want. This category has a lot in common with the beat-of-your-own-drum category above because these birds often have a lot of show value, but these breeds tend to be a little more practical to keep in a small flock. They lay fair numbers of eggs, but have show or pleasure qualities as well. For instance, they may lay dark chocolate eggs, or blue eggs. Or you may like to get the rare, hard-to-find colors of common breeds, like Orpingtons–which also come in plumages like “lavender”–or Sussex which can be found in plumages like “coronation.” In order to get these breeds, you have to be educated enough about chicken breeds to be aware of them… and committed enough to seek them out.

Chances are good that if breeds in this category appeal to you, you may home incubate, as some breeds in this category are available only as hatching eggs. You may consider yourself a chicken nerd or a chicken addict!

If you have breeds in every category, you may also consider yourself a chicken addict!

Me with the chickens.

Chicken addict with flock! (Photo courtesy of the Hot Tomato Pin Up Academy.)

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Tell us, do we have you pegged, or have we got it all wrong?

16 Comments
Bonnie Scott November 8th, 2013

I have French Copper Marans, Polish, Silkie and Welsummer’s..I love my birds and you pretty much hit the nail right on the head..lol

Denise Clark November 8th, 2013

I have several different breeds of chickens and love every one of them. My dream is to grow to have almost every breed possible some day. I am a chicken junky lol

Deb Reher November 8th, 2013

I too have a bunch of different kinds. Pretty comes in all shapes and sizes 🙂

terry and jeff November 8th, 2013

My girls are dominiques, silver laced wyandottes, black copper marans and blue ameraucanas. We love them all 🙂

Crystal Gieck November 9th, 2013

Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Speckled Sussex, Partridge Plymouth Rock, and New Hampshires here in suburban Florida!! Chicken Chic for sure!! Best pets ever!!

Ruth November 9th, 2013

You have us nailed! We have Austrolorps, Golden Buff/Red Star and Barred Plymouth Rocks… and we are all about utilitarian and efficient. Hahaha. My husband wanted a Silkie, though, just for the laughs… and I kinda wish we got a few, too! 😀

Gail November 9th, 2013

I’m a cross between “Assertive & Practical” and “Dependable & Reliable”.
I have Salmon Faverolles and Light Brahma’s and crossed my faverolle hens with a brahma roo. So now some have the 5 toes like the faverolles which I’m referring to as faverahma’s. And the others have 4 toes like their dad, which I’m referring to as Brahmerolles. But they all have the feathery ‘Hobbit’ feet, beard muffs, but the light brahma markings. Although the little hens are starting to get some pale salmon/pink in their feathers.

simone November 9th, 2013

I love black and white bird love frizzles . yes, i want the pretty.not for eggs not for show my pets. eggs a a plu sweetness a must grand kids and school thay go..bantom cohans a good starters .i dont like the big birds. thanks simone

Yizhen November 11th, 2013

I only have 2 Golden Buff hens, since there’s an “egg ranch” nearby that stuffs its chickens in cages but is not half as bad as factory farms, and they sell Golden Buffs cheap. I like how reliable and sweet my hens are, but I must admit I’m a bit bored of such a common breed and I’ll get more variety in the future ^_^

curiositykt November 14th, 2013

What about wyandottes! I suspect they fall under the dependable category, as they are a very sturdy little bird, even in the middle of a blizzard. Unlike my easter egger who is afraid of snow and isn’t terribly adaptable, the wyandottes just keep on foraging!

Lissa November 14th, 2013

You’re right–wyandottes would fall under dependable category, a definite classic breed! (And so pretty!) With their rose combs they tend to do well in cold weather areas, too.

Stevee Salazar November 14th, 2013

Totally and absolutely 100% correct. I am a chicken addict and proud to say so! I love all of my 60+ flock equally. Even my not-so-people-friendly ones that sleep in my persimmon tree at night instead of our coop. Or my 3 roosters that sometime try to bully my 4 year old daughter when she goes in the coop, or my older hens that have aged out of laying… they are all special to me. I think its hilarious how they are all scared of my family’s 2 new baby bunnies. Is that even normal?! They bring us back down to earth in this hectic life.

DANA May 29th, 2014

I bought 5 Buff Orpingtons. I received them on April 8th. I got 4 hens and 1 rooster. What treasures they are. They were shy at first, but soon learned I wouldn’t hurt them. At 4 weeks old, I took them from their indoor brooder box (very large) and put them outside into their coop and run. They love it. At 5 weeks old I started letting them out to free range in my large yard. They love that even more, but still go into the coop at dusk and sleep in the coop. During the day the rascals follow me around and hop on my feet and jump onto my lap. Especially the rooster. (Named Ollie) I’m confined to a motorized wheelchair, which doesn’t bother them at all. When I roll around the yard, they follow me, checking everything out. What fun. I can’t wait till they begin laying. I’ll probably let them hatch out a few more chicks.

Tracey San April 15th, 2015

Well, this is my first year getting chickens. I started with 8 and I happen to have picked chickens in each category. I will consider myself a future chicken addict! What a fun article…thanks so much.

JWebb November 26th, 2017

What if you want snuggly lap chickens?

Cricket tupper December 10th, 2017

I choose my bantams for their personality ! I like gentleness and friendliness. Seramas are wonderful that way – I have 5 roosters all bunking in the same coop – they figured out who’s boss and alls well.

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