Are you looking for the best breeds of chicken? Perhaps you may be wanting to start your own chicken coop or wanting to add some more chickens in your backyard. If so, then good for you because you are in the right place. We have listed to you the top 20 chicken breeds for your backyard or coop. These breeds were chosen based on their behavior, egg size, laying frequency, and color, as well as other important characteristics.
Best Chicken Breeds for Backyard Coop
First on our list is the Silkie chicken which is adorable and friendly. Its fluffy feathers and unique appearance make it a popular chicken breed. A silkie lays about 2 to 3 eggs each year. These are usually cream in color and range from small to medium sized eggs. Silkie chickens can vary in color which includes white, black, blue, grey, splash, partridge, and buff. Though Silkies may look weak and fragile, they are actually quite strong and can even withstand heat.
When you want to take care of Silkies, you need to take into account some important reminders. First, Silkies cannot fly. They don’t have that kind of defense mechanism making them vulnerable to some predators. Second, Silkies are not waterproof due to their feather structure. It might not be a good idea to take care of them when you live in a region that always has a wet climate. This, however, can be remedied by building an enclosed chicken coop where you can put the Silkies.
Second on our list is the Orpington chicken breed, which is popular among both farm owners and casual animal caretakers. Orpingtons are known for their rounded and cute appearance. This makes them adorable especially for kids. Furthermore, Orpingtons are actually patient, sweet, and docile, making them good with kids.
Orpingtons also vary in color. Some are black or white, while others are blue. They lay light brown eggs ranging from medium to large in size. They can lay eggs once every other day. Because Orpingtons have a fluffy plumage, they can withstand cold temperatures. When young, they like to fluff their wings. But this behavior fades when they reach maturity.
Third on our list of the top chicken breeds is the Marans, a general breed that includes Cuckoos, Blue Copper, and Black Copper Marans. All these breeds of chickens are known to have a good behavior – patient, sweet, and docile. They are also smart and can be easily taken care of. They are also known for their stunning appearance with different parts of their body having different colors. They have feathered legs, copper gold neck feathers, blue feathers, and a large red comb and wattle.
Marans are also known to lay dark chocolate-colored eggs that can range from medium to large in size. They lay about 3 eggs every year. Although they do not tolerate well with heat, they can do so in cold.
Fourth on our list is the Australorp which is basically just an Australian version of the Orpington. They both share many of the same qualities. Australorps vary in plumage color which includes white, black, or blue. They are well known for laying several eggs per week that in fact, they are listed as one of hens with the largest number of eggs laid in only one week. On the average, they can lay about 5 large eggs each week.
In terms of behavior, Australorps are very friendly, sweet, and docile. Though some of them can be quite shy. They can resist both hot and cold temperatures, which is very much expected from an Animal that originated from Australia.
The Barnevelder is actually one of the most popular breeds of chicken in Australia. They are quite known for their attractive appearance as well as their high egg yield. They have a unique plumage but a quirky and somewhat playful personality. Barnevelders can easily tolerate confinement. They are also cold-resistant. If you want this chicken breed, you might not get it from your local Chicken supply store. However, the breed has become increasingly popular over the years that you might find some chicken breeders selling this breed.
Barred Plymouth Rock
Barred Plymouth rocks are one of the sweetest and quirkiest birds you can ever see. They are also very intelligent and friendly that they make great friends to children. They have a striking color – black and white spots. They can lay light brown eggs which are large in size. On the average, you can expect a Barred Plymouth Rock to lay about four to five eggs each week. This chicken breed is also resistant to both heat and cold. They can also tolerate well with confinement.
Ameraucanas are pure breeds. They are known for their unique appearance – a beard and a fluffy cheek muff. Because of this look, they are popular among chicken breeders. Ameraucanas can lay about 3 to 4 medium sized eggs per week which are usually blue in color. But before having the ability to lay eggs, it can take a few months later than other breeds of chicken for an Amaraucana to start egg laying.
Next on our list are Easter Eggers which are known for their ability to lay colorful eggs. The most common colors of egg they lay are green and blue. They can also lay pink, tan, and purple-colored eggs. They lay about 4 eggs every weak.
Easter Eggers are also called Americanas, not to confuse with Ameraucanas. Just like their eggs, Easter Eggers also come in a variety of colors which include white, black, blue, orange, brown, and blonde. They have a small peacomb which makes them resistant to cold. But at the same time, they are also heat resistant.
Crested Cream Legbar
Our top 9 for the best chicken breeds is the Crested Cream Legbar. They are, however, a rare breed. Many chicken breeders want to own one because of its bright blue green eyes. Each week, they can lay about 4 to 5 medium-sized eggs.
Crested Lerbars are known for their sweet and friendly personality. But behind all that, they are inquisitive and keen. They can spot and avoid predators when they go on a free range.
Another attribute that makes Crested Legbars popular among chicken breeders is that while young, one can easily distinguish if the chicken is a male or a female. If you want to own one, you would be lucky if your local hatchery offers some. Or you can ask some local breeders if they have this chicken breed for sale.
You might be wondering why this chicken breed has such a name. The reason is that ISA Brown is actually a copyrighted name. ISA Brown is a breed developed by a French company in 1978. Their goal was to produce a chicken that gives high amount of eggs. Ever since then, ISA Browns became popular among chicken breeders, both professional and casual. Even normal citizens started having their own backyard chicken coops where they keep ISA Browns for their daily egg supply.
Next on our list is the Welsummer, which is yet another popular breed of chicken. Welsummers are known for being sweet, calm, reliable, and steady. But apart from all those good innate characteristics, they are also beautiful and stunning. Welsummers have layers of brown feathers. They also lay beautiful eggs that are reddish brown in color with dark brown speckles.
Wyandottes are considered to be one of the most beautiful chickens out there. They have a gorgeous feather pattern. Their plumage is usually silver or gold-laced. But they can also be black, blue, or partridge. Wyandottes are usually kind and friendly to humans. But at times, they can be quite aloof. In the spectrum of aggressiveness and being bossy, Wyandottes belong to one of the top ones.
Wyandottes are capable of laying about 4 medium to large-sized eggs every week. They are quite heavy in terms of weight. Hence, they are not that flighty and quick to move. Wyandottes have full plumage and rose comb, making them suited for cold climates. But in high temperature areas, extra measures must be taken so that they could keep their cool.
New Hampshire Red
Next up is the New Hampshire Red. They are known for being great mothers. Apart from producing delicious eggs, they also make for great caretakers for their chicks. The New Hampshire Red is a breed developed by farmers from New Hampshire during the 1900s. They wanted to improve the living conditions of the Rhode Islands so they invented a breed of chicken that they could call as their own. They made this breed which can grow fast and can lay eggs early and in larger amounts.
Cochins belong to the category of one of the cutest chickens and birds in general. They are so rounded and fluffy that people often mistake them for not having feet. Cochins have a good reputation for being very docile, friendly, peaceful, and easy to handle. On the downside, Cochins do not lay much eggs. In a week, they average about 2 medium sized eggs only. Cochins can also come in colors such as red, brown, black, white, blue, gold laced, and mottled.
Frizzles are known for their unique look. Their furthers that curl outwards instead of lying flat are the eye catchers that easily catch the attention of any person that sees them. They look like a normal chicken that got its feathers blow dried.
Despite of their unique look, frizzles have a warm temperament. They can make for great addition to your chicken coop and can easily bond with the other chickens there.
Next, we have the Speckled Sussex. This chicken breed has a stunning appearance because of its speckled feathers when it matures. They look like glistening rainbow under the sun. Though very pretty, the Speckled Sussex is mild mannered. It is also curious and can follow you around when you walk in your chicken coop.
The Speckled Sussex can lay about four eggs a week. These eggs are usually light brown in color. They are more likely to lay eggs during the cold weather.
The Polish breed is another chicken with a unique appearance. One might mistake this one for an umbrella bird because of its pom-poms or afro-like feathers on its head. Just like Frizzles, Cochins, and Silkies, Polish chickens are usually sought by breeders due to their looks. In terms of laying eggs, they are not very dependable. The frequency with which they lay eggs is very much varied. But they win in terms of personality because Polish chickens are known for being sweet, kind, and tamed. They can go well with kids.
The feathers on their heads can be trimmed or pulled back in order to improve their eyesight. Otherwise, they can get easily startled and fly often. Polish chickens also come in different colors including silver laced, gold laced, black, blue, and buff. They do well with both hot and cold climates. But experts do not recommend to take care of them in overly wet environments.
Mille Fleur d’Uccle
Mille Fleur is a French term that means thousand flowers. This chicken was probably given its name due to the hundreds of petal-like dots that appear on their feathers. Overall, the Mille Fleur d’Uccle is very much gorgeous looking. In terms of egg laying though, they are not very dependable. They lay only a few small eggs every week.
Because of its size, the Mille Fleur d’Uccle can do well with heat. Moreover, their small size makes them excellent flyers so do take into account the area where you will keep this breed of chicken (if you want one) so that it won’t fly over a wall and go out of your backyard or coop.
Araucanas are yet another eye-catching chickens because of their distinctive feather patterns. They stand out when placed in an area with other breeds of chicken. Their personality is just as vibrant as their appearance. They sure know how to leave an impression on people. They can lay a couple of blue colored eggs per week. Hence, you might want to consider having one in your Chicken coop.
Last but definitely not the least on our list of the top 20 chicken breeds is the Brahma. They are known as the King of Chickens. They can be easily distinguished because of their fluffy appearance with a black colored feather on its neck and head and white feathers on its body. They also have fluffy feathers on their feet, looking as if they were wearing those trendy jeans back in the 1990s.
Brahmas can lay about 3 to 4 medium to large eggs per week. These eggs are colored light brown. Despite being called King of Chickens, Brahmas are not bossy at all. In fact, they have a calm disposition and are friendly towards people. They can stand well in both cold and hot temperatures. But them too are not recommended to be taken in overly wet conditions because of their feathery feet.
And that’s it for the top 20 Chicken Breeds for your 2022 chicken coop or backyard. We hope that you have learned all the necessary things for each breed of chicken. Now, it is up to you to decide which breeds to choose and the ones to be kept in your coop or backyard. Regardless of which chicken you pick, remember to take good care of your chickens and enjoy the delicious eggs they give to you.