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Good layers and good-natured as well, the Ameraucana breed is one of only three breeds that lays blue eggs. This is a good choice for those who want something simple and easy to manage.
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Ancona are some of the best layers, producing 5-7 eggs a week, though they have a tendency to be wiler than most and do enjoy a good fly once in a while, making them a bit harder to keep fenced in.
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Strong egg layers but flighty birds, Andalusians are a rather active breed and can run very fast. They also tolerate cold climates very well. They also make for good show birds.
| ||Appenzeller Spitzhauben |
The Appenzeller Spitzhauben thrives in cold weather as it was bred in Switzerland. They are known to have a very distinct personality and are enjoyable to watch as they climb trees and search endlessly for bugs.
| ||Araucana |
Thoguh they have high mortality rates in teh egg, the Araucana breed is a good dual purpose chicken with strong egg producing qualities and enough meat for a meal. No other birds look like the Araucana does.
| ||Australorp |
The Australorp is a hardy dual-purpose breed, capable of laying 5 eggs a week once they reach the age of 5 months. These are a very each breed to handle at any skill level, making them great for beginners.
| ||Barnevelder |
A triple threat, the Barnevelder is great for egg laying, meat production, and even has a following as a show bird. A large bird, they are known to be calm and easy to handle, even consdiered shy by some.
| ||Belgian Bearded d'Uccle Bantam |
The Belgian Bearded d-Uccle Bantam functions as a decent layer and makes for a good meat bird, as well as being unique enough to be popular as a show bird. They're very tame and even ride on your shoulder.
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The Brahma can do everything, from lay eggs to become a filling dinner to win awards at a breed show. This is one of the largest breeds in the world and is an ideal chicken for newcomers as they're easy to manage.
| ||Campine |
Campines, despite theri small size, make good egg layers, though their primary use is as a show favorite. They love the summer months but don't to welol in winter, though they don't mind confinement.
| ||Catalana |
The Catalana breed loves heat and thrives in it. It functions as a dual purpose bird capable of producing plenty of eggs and meat. They are, however, shy to the point of wanting to avoid humans.
| ||Chantecler |
The Chantecler is a native breed from Canada, making them great in the cold but poor in the heat. They're good layers and hardy enough to be good fryers as well. They don't enjoy confinement much.
| ||Crevecoeur |
Though once known for being a great dual purpose chicken, the Crevecoeur is now best suited as a show bird as it is considered endangered. Despite this, they are calm adn easy to handle.
| ||Cubalaya |
Used in Cuba as dual purpose birds but mostly as ornamental in the US, the Cubalaya can do it all. They do great in heat and humidity and make a great choice for first-time chicken owners.
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The Havana Brown is a smart, playful, and above all quiet cat that needs human affection to live a happy life. They can adapt to most environments but need attention to thrive.
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The Dominique breed is consdiered a dual purpose bird, but it excels in egg laying over meat production. They do great in both hot and cold climates and also make good pets.
| ||Dorking |
Dorkings are best known for their qualities as meat procuers, though they are capable of laying 140 eggs a year. They can withstand cold weather without any trouble, making them great in the winter.
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Easter Eggers are the most-loved breed in the US as they can produce eggs in colors such as green, blue, and even pink. The APA still doesn't recognize them as a breed however.
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A chicken bred in France, the Faverolles is a dual purpose bird and succeeds as such. Their finely packed feathers allow them to withstand cold climates well and are consdierd the most docile breed in the world.
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Dubbed the "everlayer", Hamburgs lay consistently throughout their whole lives and live pretty long. They are a hardy bird and can withstand cold climates without any trouble.
| ||Holland |
The holland is a dual purpose breed that is bred specifically to lay brown eggs and have yellow skin, as those are preferred here in the US. While not great for teh meat industry, they're excellent for the backyard.
| ||Houdan |
The Houdan is loved as a meat bird, loved as an egg-producing bird as they have amazing longevity, and loved as a show bird because of theri unique feathering style. They can do it all!
| ||Java |
While a dual purpose breed, the Java is best when used for meat production as they grow big and they grow fast. They enjoy warm weather, but will need a well-insulated coup in the winter months.
| ||Jersey Giant |
The Jersey Giant is the largest breed of chicken, though because of their huge size it takes them too long to mature to be commercially viable. Regardless, they make excellent chickens on even small farms.
| ||La Fleche |
The La Fleche breed is a dual purpose bird with its meat production quality being the main reason for breeding them. They are consiered a very wild breed and like to have space to roam and forage on their own.
| ||Lakenvelder |
Lakenvelders are best when they're laying eggs, though they do have delicious white meat, albeit not very much of it. They can easily survive in both hot and cold climates and are considered very intelligent.
| ||Langshan |
Langshans do great as egg layers and make great food birds as well. First time owners are often surrpised with how friendly they are dispute their large size. That can withstand any weather climate.
| ||Leghorn |
The Leghorn is a master of egg laying, producing upwards of 280 eggs a year. Their ability to be a good meat procution chicken has been overlooked as a result of this.
| ||Marans |
Marans lay three eggs a week and produce eggs with a very rich dark brown color. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, even made Marans eggs the character's favorite. They also produce delicious meat.
| ||Minorca |
Though Minorcas used to have mythical-like egg laying abilities, the current breed has slowed down production just a bit, however not enough to make them anything less than one of the strongest laying breeds.
| ||Naked Neck |
The Naked Neck breed has no feathers around the neck, hence the name. However, they're excellent dual purpose birds and are very resilient to most diseases, making them a great choice for beginners.
| ||New Hampshire Red |
Consistent with eggs and heavy with meat, the New Hampshire Red is truely a utility bird. They're consdiered very tame and friendly with little or no aggressive tendencies when kept with their own breed.
| ||Orpington |
Orpingtons can do it all, whether it be laying 200 eggs a year, offering a lot of meat when matured, or being easy to handle and show. These are just a good chicken for all occasion.
| ||Penedesenca |
The Penedesenca is unique in that no other breed can produce eggs as dark as they can. They also make great meat birds, but their unrecognized status makes them difficult to act as show birds.
| ||Plymouth Rock |
Plymouth Rocks may just be the most popular breed in the US due to theri excellent egg laying and hearty frames that make for a good meal. They're also easy to tame and non-aggresive. What's not to like?
| ||Polish |
The Polish breed is best known for their magnificent V-shaped crest, making them great as show birds. They also have a decent egg laying ability, though this isn't as reliable as other breeds.
| ||Redcap |
Redcaps are best at laying eggs, so that's what their primary purpose should be. They're considered endangered, so meat production isn't an option, and they hate confinement, so showing isn't either.
| ||Rhode Island Red |
The Rhode Island Red can be used for anything. They're prized for their 220 eggs a year production, but are eharty meat birds and popular in shows. There's nothing this chicken can't do.
| ||Russian Orloff |
Big, strong, and capable of dealing with the harshest winters, the Russian Orloff is a great layer and a great fryer. However, they are considered very endangered, so make sure to breed them frequently.
| ||Star |
Stars are very special, working as egg layers, meat producers, and excellent show birds. Their best talent may be as a sex link for breeding purposes. If you want specific characteristics in other breeds, use a Star.
| ||Sussex |
The Sussex breed is magnificent as egg layers, able to keep egg production high even through the winter months. They also have quite a following as show birds because of theri easy-going temperament.
| ||Welsummer |
Welsummers are great layers and have a pleasant attitude about everything. When choosing eggs to incubate and breed from, select the lighter-colored eggs as these indicate better laying abilities.
| || White-Faced Black Spanish |
The White-FacedBlack Spanish breed is known for its iconic look with very white faces due to their unnusually long white earlobes. They make great egg layers, but their temperament is all up to debate.
| ||Wyandotte |
The Wyandotte looks deceptively large, though that's mostly caused by the feathers. They are great egg layers and considered very friendly and easy to care for, making them good for beginners.