There are many different chicken breeds, some are bred solely for their egg laying abilities while others are bred for dual purposes, for both their eggs and as table meat. The most popular commercial egg laying farms tend to use the Rhode Island Red or the Longhorn, these breeds of chickens lay white and brown eggs in reasonable numbers and are the eggs most commonly seen in supermarkets.
Other popular chicken breeds include the Bantam Chickens. These are small birds and many of the standard breeds such as Plymouth Rock and Wyandotte, have a small chicken variety which is also referred to as a bantam. Bamtams are a very popular choice of chicken to have as a pet as they are suitable for most backyards, they are calm birds which are relatively hardy, the hens produce small sized eggs. Bantams are also used as show birds as they have many different variations of both colours and feather patterns.
Maran chickens are a relatively hardy breed which is a good forager, docile and active, they adapt well to rough ground and are ideal free range chickens. Marans are small birds which are bred as a dual purpose bird, they lay approximately one hundred and fifty dark coloured eggs per year, they also have a reasonable meat quality. Marans are also used as show birds, there are nine variations in colourings within this breed of chicken.
Other breeds of chickens which are used for dual purpose is the Dorking. This breed produces white eggs although it has red earlobes and has white skin colour beneath the feathers. Dorkings are very gentle birds, within the breed there are three recognized varieties, White, Silver-grey and Coloured.
Barnevelder chickens: are among the chicken breeds which are cross bred. They have gained in popularity due to their egg laying abilities, on average a Barnvelder chicken will lay just under two hundred large brown eggs each year. Barnvelder chickens are quite a large bird, many are bred for dual purpose, meat and eggs. There are also bantam varieties with different colourings and feather patterns which are used as show birds.
Rhode Island Reds: This is the star of most barnyards. This hen is famous for laying a large amount of eggs, as they are able to produce over almost three hundred eggs per year. Another great thing about this bird is that it easily makes a great pet.
Light Sussex: A breed that is very similar to the Rhode Island Red and at over two hundred fifty eggs lay per year they are also top egg producers. You will find many of this type chicken at state fairs and beauty contests.
Buff Orpington: These hens are known more for their fluffy sort of cuteness. They are a bit moody and can’t lay very many eggs, but due to their looks many people love having them around.
Welsummer: If you have a garden you definitely need this chicken. They love wandering through the garden picking at worms and such as they go. It is a great way of keeping the bugs off of your vegetation. They lay a decent amount of eggs each year and are a cross breed of the Barnevelder and the Rhode Island Red.
Black Rock: Another big egg laying breed that is a hybrid of the Rhode Island Red and the Plymouth Rock. These hens are able to put out three hundred twenty eggs per year. These birds make a great pet and are able to provide a lot of entertainment with their offbeat and goofy behavior.
Speckled Hens: These hens come from the French Maran. These birds are very hyper when interacting with the other birds in your barnyard and love to strut around ruffling their feathers. They eat a lot of food for their size and also love being in the garden. This bird is a large producer of brown eggs.
Japanese Bantam: Their large plumage makes this small bird a great show bird. This noble and intelligent bird is not a good egg layer, but as cute as they are it won’t matter.
Polish Bantam: These birds are comical looking with the puffball crest that they sport. They are an all around good bird with a tame attitude and their great laying skills. The only problem people ever have with this bird is that they tend to have parasites.
Araucana: This is a popular bird, but some people have a great bit of difficulty finding them. The oddity of this bird is that it has fluffy ear tufts another distinction of this bird is that it has no butt or tail. A lot of owners buy these birds just because of all these distinctions.