chickens on the farm

How To Choose The Best Chickens For Your Farm

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Are you hoping to add some chickens to your daily homestead life? If so, you’re going to need to learn how to choose the best chickens as well. While it may seem like heading to the store and just picking at random is fine, there are a few other details that go into the process than that. 

The good news? I’m going to give you some of the simple tips that can turn out to be a huge help. Adding chickens to your daily chores is a great way to slowly build up your small farm with ease. 

choosing chickens on the farm

How do I choose a chicken breed?

When it comes to choosing a chicken to raise, you need to understand that there are many different types of chicken breeds to consider. 

There are chicken breeds to raise for meat and chicken breed to raise for eggs. (We’ll dive into that a little bit further down in the post) 

One of the big factors to choosing a certain breed of chicken is that you have enough space for it to roam and grow. The last thing that you want to do is find out that you don’t have enough space for your newly purchased chickens to grow and thrive. 

If you have a small area or a small chicken coop, the best type of chicken for a limited area is going to be a bantam chicken. They’ll still produce eggs for eating but can do so in a smaller space.

Many people who raise backyard chickens actually choose this type of chicken breed as well due to their size. 

What are the best laying chickens?

Some people raise chickens for meat and eating while others raise them for egg consumption only. If you’re wanting to have chickens on your farm or in your backyard for eggs only, here are some of the top laying hens for you to consider:

  • Rhose Island Reds
  • Sussex
  • Wyandotte

All of these breeds of chickens produce great tasting eggs and are good for farm living and backyard raising as well. Just make certain that you have the space needed to give each chicken room to roam.

How many years will chickens lay eggs?

In the first couple years of their life, they’ll lay the most eggs. As they start to age, their laying will die down but you’ll still get a few here and there. Some chickens can lay multiple eggs in a day but for the most, you’ll find that chickens, on average, will lay one egg per day. 

What kind of chickens do you raise for meat?

If you’re raising chickens to process and consume later, it’s important to know what chickens are best for meat. When it comes to understanding the different breeds, you’ll find that the top ones for the best meat are:

  • Leghorn
  • Houdan

They have meat that is going to be the most flavorful and tender for when the chickens grow and are ready to be processed.

chickens on the farm

Is raising meat chickens worth it?

From our experience, yes, it’s worth it. I love knowing that I’m the one taking care of the chickens and growing them to feed our family. I also find that they just taste so good when we’re the ones taking care of them as well.

While buying meat at the store is fine, there’s the risk of it being injected with hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and more. For me and my family, it’s just not something that I’m interested in. 

It’s also a process that can help to teach your child about the animal life cycle and in the end, save you money from having to buy that sometimes expensive meat from the store. 

Can you eat any breed of chicken?

You actually can but like I mentioned above, there are certain chicken breeds that do produce a better quality of meat. Also, the age of the chicken will matter in regards to the taste of the meat, too. The older the chicken, the less flavorful and tough the meat is going to be. 

How To Choose The Best Chickens For Your Farm

Now that you know how to choose the best chickens for your farm or backyard area, it’s time to decide what you’re going to buy!

Starting out with a couple of chickens for farm fresh eggs is a simple and easy way to dip your toes in to understand the process and the work required.

If you decide that you do want to buy chickens for eating, make certain that you also plan ahead and find local places that can help you “dress” the chicken when the time comes for that. (unless you’re going to process and dress them on your own, which you can absolutely do!) 

How long do free-range chickens live?

Chickens will live anywhere from about 7 years up to 15 years, depending on their condition and quality of life. Free range chickens can live quite a while as long as there aren’t any other outside predators (racoons, dogs, etc.) that threaten to make their lives shorter. 

Now that you know a bit about how to choose chickens for raising on the farm or backyard, it’s time to get started and make your choice! 

Do you want to raise chickens for laying eggs or for processing and consuming later on down the road? 

how to choose the best chickens for farm living

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