BREED CHARACTERISTICS

Chickens are excellent gardeners, pets, entertainment, and produce eggs for a healthy breakfast.  We aren't ashamed of becoming chicken addicts.  Each breed has it's own qualities and picking out a favorite can be quite a challenge. 

Decide what characteristics matter most to you and balance it with the number of hens you can have and the number of eggs your family consumes:  Egg Production, Egg Color, Personality, Beautiful Feathers, Unique, price, or  Auto Sexing to avoid emotional surprise of a roo.

 

DO YOU WANT ALL THE SAME BREED, OR A VARIETY?

Pet Chickens: Having variety allows for a colorful egg basket, being able to name each chick/ hen as they are easy to tell apart, and makes it easier to identify who is laying and who is not. This is perfect for those having backyard chickens.


Breeders: Some families prefer to have all the same breed as they come upon a breed favorite.   If you plan to have a rooster and reproduce your own chicks, it is good to have all the same breed to maintain breed purity.   Some breeders will choose to raise Marans (dark Chocolate eggs) and a blue egg layer.  This allows them to raise 3 different breeds: Marans, Blue Egg Layer, and Olive Egger.  Another example is raising silkies, polish, and frizzle cochins. Resulting in 6 different breed combinations.

Dual Purpose Chickens:  Breed rotation is a popular flock cycling technique.  This is done by starting with a flock of all one breed.  Then, every six months choose another breed.  This allows the farmer to know how old the hens are based on the breed.   This is most common in those that want to consume hens once their feed/egg production cost ratio is higher when the hen reaches 2 1/2 - 3 years of age.

WHEN EGG COLOR MATTERS

Eggs Colors Named.jpg

4H OR SHOW QUALITY CHICKENS

Verify the breed  you get meets the standards for the  specific competition you want to enter.  Several gorgeous rare breeds are not yet recognized by APA (American Poultry Association), however, can be shown in exhibits and 4H clubs.  Inspect the chicken to ensure it meets the standards for his/her breed.

WHEN LOOKS MATTER

Irresistible chicken feather designs an colors fuels the enjoyment of watching your flock.  Some of the feather designs include barred, cuckoo, laced, partridge, splash, and solid. 

Barnevelder    

Blue Partridge Brahma   

Isabel Brahma

Breeder's Choice Rare Breed 

Coronation Sussex    

Isabel Orpington 

Lavender Orpington      

Speckled Sussex     

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte 

WHEN PERSONALITY MATTERS

While most chickens adapt to their environment, these girls are known for friendliness

Barred Plymouth Rock

Isabel Orpington

Lavender Orpington

Silkie

Easter Egger

Brahma

Salmon Faverolle

WHEN EMOTIONS MATTER

Reduce the risk of falling in love with Henrietta and needing to find a home for Handsome Henry.

55 Flowery Hen      

Bielefelder     

Cream Legbar   

WHEN UNIQUENESS MATTERS

When you want more than the girl from next door, these breeds exceed expectations.  There are several breeds that will stop your friends and neighbors in their tracks to admire these girls based on the unique look or rarity.   These breeds are usually 3x the investment of a common layer breed.  Typically, those that live in the city and are restricted to only 6-8 chickens like to add a couple rare breeds as family pets.  Their is added enjoyment when you own a unique breed different then the neighborhood's girls.

Ayam Cemani   

Breeder's Choice Rare Breed   

Frizzle  

Polish  

Serenity Cross 

Silkie   

 WHEN EGG PRODUCTION MATTERS

Girls that produce 5-6 eggs a week

American Bresse    

Barred Plymouth Rock    

Bielefelder      

Rhode Island     

Speckled Sussex      

Swedish Flower Hen     

ONCE EGG PRODUCTION SLOWS, WILL YOU HARVEST OR KEEP AS A PET?

If your plan is to harvest the chicken, you will want to ensure the breeds you choose are heavy breeds that are considered dual purpose.  Those choosing this life cycle usually skip the  rare breeds and focus on more common dual purpose layers.


This is often a difficult decision for families that live in the city and only have 6-8 hens.  It is easy to grow fond of chickens regardless how many you own, however, when you have a small flock a deeper bond often forms.  Often families would rather keep their beloved chicken as a pet rather than harvest.  City ordinates may not allow for additional hens which then limits egg production as the girls get older.

It is a very personal choice.  Those that decide to harvest  want to bypass the cruelty in factory farming.  Through harvesting their chickens locally it  helps ensure they are not contributing funding the factory farms by purchasing chicken at the grocery store.

WHEN MONEY MATTERS

If you are looking to save money, these are the girls for you. 

Barred Plymouth Rock   

Buff Orpington  

Easter Egger 

Rhode Island    

Serenity Cross   

Speckled Sussex    

Wyandotte

REDUCING FOOD COST PER EGG

If you make the commitment to raise your own flock, it's logical to ensure their eggs nutrient quality is superior to supermarket eggs.  Diet directly impacts the nutrient quality of the eggs consumed and the frequency of laying.  From birth to 10 weeks chicks average 1 pound of our organic chicken cereal a week.  We choose to save money through sprouting our organic sprouting mix   After 10 weeks of age, chickens consume approximately 1/3 pound of feed a day and will need extra calcium in their diet (free choice oyster shells). By reducing feed cost, the ratio of feed cost versus egg production is extended.  Commercial pellet feed quality and pricing results in the cost of feed compared to eggs produced is not profitable once the hen reaches 2- 2.5 years of age.

Graph is based on finding commercial organic pellet feed for $.58/ pound versus our feeding our sprouts for sprouting mix for  less than $.27/ pound ($40 for 50lb bag that makes 150lbs of sprouts). Buy in bulk or grow to fodder stage to save more.

BREED COMPARISON CHART

 

Auto- Sexing

GIfts 4-5 extra large white eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5 - 6  Months

High Egg Production
Meat Consumption

Gifts 5-6  large off-white eggs a week
Point of lay: 4-5 months

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
Exotic Meat Consumption

Gifts  medium latte eggs in a cycle of 30 days online / 60 days offline
Point of lay: 6-7 months

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
Kid Friendly Favorite

Gifts 3-4  large brown eggs a week
Point of lay 6-7 months

High Egg Production
Economy Priced Breed

Gifts 5-6 large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5 - 5 months

Autosexing
Excellent Forager

Gifts 5-6 extra-large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5 - 5 months

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
Kid Friendly Favorite

Gifts 3-4 large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
High Egg Production

Gifts 5-6 large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5 - 6 months

Autosexing
Colored Eggs

Gifts 3-4 medium sky blue eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

Colored Eggs
Kid Friendly Favorite

Gifts 3-4 large aqua blue eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months
While we breed for gorgeous aqua blue egg, it is possible for offspring to lay a mystery egg color.

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
Unique

Gifts 2-3 small mystery color eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

3-4 Eggs/ Week

Gifts 3-4 large green (often with speckles) eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

Colored Eggs
APA Show Quality

Gifts 3-4 large dark chocolate eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

Colored Eggs
Excellent Forager

Gifts 3-4 large olive green eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
Kid Friendly Favorite

Gifts 3-4 large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

APA Show Quality
Unique

Gifts 3-4 medium white eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

High Egg Production
Excellent Forager

Gifts 5-6 extra-large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5 - 5 months

3-4 Eggs/ Week

Gifts 3-4 medium pink tinted tan eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

Uniqueness
Economy Priced Breed

Gifts 3-6 medium to extra-large mystery color eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5- 7 months

APA Show Quality
Kid Friendly Favorite

Gifts 2-3 small white eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

APA Show Quality
High Egg Production

Gifts 5-6 large brown eggs a week
Point of lay: 4.5 - 5 months

Uniqueness

Gifts 3-4 large tan eggs a week
Point of lay: 6 -7 months

4H & Exhibit Show Quality
Kid Friendly Favorite

Gifts 3-4 large brown speckled eggs a week
Point of lay: 6-7 months

 

Strasburg, CO 80136, USA

Text us at 303-359-9484

©2018 by Serenity Sprouts
Local Farming through permaculture routes.
Every life (plant, animal, human) has a purpose that counts.