Four Excellent Chicken Breeds For Preppers

   02.28.18

Four Excellent Chicken Breeds For Preppers

The local farm supply stores are getting their spring chicks in. So you drive down to the store, ask about some chicks, and chances are the employee will ask if you are looking for a certain type. While at the same time you should be walked over to an enclosure where the chicks are kept.

Some stores use a vertical rack, with different chicks in each drawer. Other places may use a livestock watering tub with all the chicks mixed in together.

While looking at the chicks, the reader may scratch their head and wonder which ones would be best to get?

We are going to look at two breeds that will sometimes go broody, and two breeds that rarely go broody. So here are four chicken breeds that should serve most people well.

Buff Orpington

Flock of Buff Orpingtons
Flock of Buff Orpingtons.

Well rounded dual purpose chicken. Dual purpose means it would be good for butchering, and is good for egg production. Buffs seem to be pretty constant in size. This helps is someone wants a flock for butchering when egg production goes down.

Will sometimes go broody, which means the hens may sit on their eggs to hatch them out.

Good foragers. Meaning, when given the chance they will dig through leaves, pine straw, whatever is available to find food.

Roosters can be aggressive. I have had two Buff Orpington roosters, and both of them were very protective of the flock. Hens can be docile and easy to handle.

Australorp

Australorp and Barred Rock
Australorp and Barred Rock looking for a snack.

Probably one of the best chicken breeds on the market. In the early 1900s a small group of Australorps set a world record for egg laying.

Will sometimes grow broody. Over the past two years, one of my Australorps hatched out a batch of chicks every year. They are protective and excellent mothers.

Hens have always been docile. I have never had an Australorp peck my hand, even when she was sitting on chicks.

Dual purpose, but slightly smaller than other breeds for butchering.

Slightly smaller than the Bugg Orpington.

Barred Rock

Very old heritage breed that was developed off the Dominicker. The Dominicker was developed off the chicken breeds brought to the United States by settlers from England. So we can say the Barred Rock is a descendant from the first chickens brought to the new world.

Good dual purpose chicken breed. Meaning, it will do well for butchering and for egg laying. So far, the Australorp is the best egg laying chicken we have talked about.

The Barred Rock, when handled from a chick can be docile. I have ha several Barred Rocks that woul let me walk up to them and pick them up without it making a single sound.

Sometimes the Barred Rocks will gorge themselves on food. I have seen my Bared Rocks gorge themselves so bad, they can barely run. Thius means the Barred Rock does not have a very good feed:egg ratio.

Rarely goes broody. This is a breed that will not waste time sitting on eggs.

Slightly larger than the Australorp.

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red Chicken

Chances are everyone’s granny had a few Rhode Island Reds in her chicken flock. These are a good dual purpose all around chicken breed. However, my Rhode Island Reds seem to vary in size quit a bit. One Rhode Island Red may be good size, while another one may be much smaller.

Rhode Island reds can be aggressive when laying eggs. I had one reach around the side of a laying box and peck my hand. Another one left a hole in my hand when I tried to look under her while she was laying. If you see Rhode Island Red in a laying box, leave it alone.

Unlike the Barred Rock, I have never been able to walk up to a Rhode Island Red and pick one up.

Rarely goes broody. Egg production is what I would call average. Comparable to the Barred Rock and Buff, but not as good as the Australorp.

Comparable in size to the Australorp.

Final Thoughts

If all someone wants is egg production, and nothing else, it will be difficult to beat the White Leghorn. This is an egg producing machine that has an excellent feed:egg ratio. However, the White Leghorn is rather small, so it would not be that good for butchering.

Of my chicken flock of 35 hens, those four breeds make up the majority. Over the years I have tried a number of chickens, such as the Silver Laced Wyandotte, Jersey Giant, and the Speckled Sussex.  For some reason I keep going back to those four.

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Founder and owner of www.survivalistboards.com My blog - www.survivalboards.com Hobbies include fishing, hiking, hunting, blogging, sharing his politically incorrect opinion, video blogging on youtube, survivalism and spending time with his family.

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