A lengthy list of chicken breeds can be chosen from. A lot of people just make their choice based on appearance, but being aware of the reason why you are raising these chickens is certainly the first place to begin when choosing the breed that is most appropriate.
People raise chickens and roosters in their backyard for a number of reasons. The most common reason, however, is the supply of fresh eggs as well as meat for the family. Another reason may be the control of insects and weeds.
Chicken waste also acts as a fertilizer, and many people also raise chicken for prizes at the local chicken show.
Chicken and roosters have amiable personalities; however a few roosters can be very mean. Knowing your goal will also enable you to decide how to set up the flock.
If you are only keeping the chicken for their meat and eggs, then you do not necessarily need to have a rooster. You only need a chicken rooster when you want fertile eggs for breeding.
If you do keep a rooster, then you need to make sure that the chicken hen rooster ratio is in line. Normally, one rooster per ten to twelve hens is sufficient. If you do not take care of this ratio, it may spell disaster as the roosters will fight among themselves.
Basically, chicken are categorized as layers, novelty, meat bird and dual purpose. New Hampshire Red and Cornish are considered to be good quality meat producers. Rhode Island Red, Anacona and Leghorn are good egg layers, and Buttercup, Silky and Brahma are show birds.
If your purpose is to keep a small flock in the backyard, then the best option for you will probably be a dual purpose one. Dorking, Wyandotte, Plymouth Rock and Dominique are a few quality dual purpose breeds. You could also consider having endangered breeds and help save them from extinction.
You could have a flock of at least 50 and keep roosters as well and sell the eggs.
Another deciding factor can be the climate of your area. Ask other chicken farmers around to find out which breed is most successful given the weather conditions in your area.
Remember, raising backyard chickens is an enjoyable adventure regardless of the breed you choose, so make sure you get the most out of the experience!