A comprehensive description of many of the most popular breeds.
As Gail Damerow wrote in her book, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens , " The "BEST" Breed for you depends on your reasons for having chickens - for meat or eggs or both, for a touch of beauty in your yard... etc
One notable concern we all have is climate tolerance. Here are some facts regarding differences between Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons.
Use Eggs, Meat Eggs,Meat
Eggshell color Brown Brown
Egg size Lg.-XLg. Lg.-XLg.
Hen size Heavy Heavy
Eggs Layed 220 250
Climate Cold-Hardy Cold-Hardy
Broody Yes No
Special Meat quality Meat quality
Characteristics Calm and docile Active yet docile
* Chart Info from "CHICK DAY" by Jenna Woginrich, page 114.
BREED ORPINGTON RHODE ISLAND
The adult Ameracaunas are cold-hardy, Gentle and calm personality, milder in noise levels,
and lay the famous blue, green and pink Easter eggs. (They're very tasty too!)
According to the book, CHICKENS, by Derek Hall (Chartwell Books, Inc.),
Australorps are "Hardy and docile, they are smaller and neater than the Orpingtons from which it derived.
The Australorps isn't a good flier, even though it is quite active and likes to range free, so fencing does not need to be too high to contain the bird."
"It is prized for both its egg-laying (light-brown eggs are laid) and its meat qualities. Males weight around 8.5 lbs ...with females weighing it at 6.5 lbs...
"Although the Australorp is one of the best of the dual-purpose chickens, the breed's egg-laying abilities first brought it to the attention of the international community.
In 1922-23, six hens set a world record by laying 1,857 eggs at an average of just over 309 eggs per hen over a 365-day consecutive period - and this at a time before the regime of intensive laying techniques and artificial lighting, so often in use today, had become established.
"Today, given the right conditions, a hen will on average lay about 250 eggs per year.
"The Australorp is a friendly bird and makes a good pet for children..."
For more info, you can go to the website of this book................