There are many chicken varieties, all with their own individual characteristics, feather colourings and different sizes. Most chickens are friendly and relatively easy to keep.
Chicken varieties of average sizes are quite happy to live in a yard or garden as they are unable to fly and not overly agile. All varieties prefer to have shelter from the wind and rain as well as somewhere to sleep and rest.
All chickens need to be kept safe from predators such as foxes, skunks and owls especially at night where they should be kept in a chicken shed in order to keep them safe.
Some chicken varieties lay more eggs than others and depending on the breed will produce eggs of different sizes and colours. Other chickens are bred for dual purposes, meaning that they are kept for their eggs and for their use as table meat.
For those who are new to keeping chickens Rhode Island Reds, Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks are ideal beginners birds. These are all quite friendly birds which lay a reasonable amount of eggs and are happy to be left to roam and scratch around in a yard or garden.
There are seven different chicken varieties of Plymouth Rocks, they are docile birds and make a good farm chicken. The Plymouth Rock chicken continues to lay eggs throughout the winter months, although the amount of eggs does decrease slightly.
Rhode Island Reds are tough, hardy birds which are able to withstand illness. They are prolific egg layers and are also utility birds, raised for their meat, they are excellent foragers when free range as well as being raised as show birds.
The Silkie chicken varieties are commonly bred as pets due to their delightful appearance and friendly temperament. They make good mothers but will only lay several clutches of eggs before attempting to hatch them.
Egg production is poor due to their broodiness and as they have dark meat they are not often raised for their meat. Slikies originate from China where they are still raised for their meat.
New Hampshire chicken varieties are mainly raised for their plump meat rather than egg production. They are deep chestnut brown in colour and a competitive, aggressive bird.