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Three of the Best Chicken Breeds to Raise on a Homestead

Often times, the discussion of sustainable living leads to animal husbandry. And one of the most common animals suggested is the chicken. It makes sense. Small, relatively simple, and provides you with a healthy supply of protein (as eggs or meat). But have you ever considered what kind of chicken?

Like with any animal, chickens come in a wide variety of breeds. Some are better for others, so how do you pick which one to invest in for your own home farm? To help guide and provide context, we’ve found three of the most popular chicken breeds.

Cornish Chickens

You’ll likely have heard of this breed before, they’re one of the most well-known chicken varieties to common citizens. Weighing in around 8-10 lbs each, they have exceptionally flavorful meat, making them a common choice for the poultry meat industry. 

Not to say they aren’t good egg chickens, either. On average, they can produce 150 to 170 eggs a year.

They’re fairly docile for a chicken and can adapt to both warm and cold climates. Just make sure proper shelter is provided.

There are two varieties of Cornish, the Cornish Game and the Jubilee. Game are smaller, averaging 8.5 lb in roosters and 5.5 in hens. Jubilee are larger in size, but thinner.

One warning for Cornish, however, is their legs. Set wider apart than other chickens, they are more prone to support problems as they get older and/or heavier. 

Jersey Giant Chickens

As the name implies, this breed is one of the biggest chickens in  existence. Weighing in as high as 15 lbs each. Not only that, but they produce plenty of eggs, as many as 150-200 a year, making them fantastic as both a meat and an egg chicken.

Best of all is their demeanor. Jersey Giants are one of the most calm and friendly chicken breeds there are. This makes them an attractive alternative to raising the infamously unwelcoming Turkey.

The main catch, of course, is the size. Big chickens need big space, and plenty of food. Feeding and housing a pen of Jersey Giants will be a bigger investment than other varieties. But most folks consider it worthwhile.

Brahma Chicken

While the others have been “great for meat, good for eggs,” the Brahma chicken is somewhat of the opposite. Only somewhat, though, they’re still very tall.

Brahma chickens, while only weighing 10 lbs on average, can reach up to 30 inches tall (2.5 ft). Their meat is commonly claimed to be flavorful, as well. These aspects combine to make a pretty good meat chicken.

Where they excel is in the eggs, however. This breed can provide up to 300 eggs a year, almost double that of some other varieties.

And like the previous breeds, it’s a fairly docile variety, making them easy to handle and tend to.

There are numerous other chicken varieties out there. If these three don’t fit your fancy, then look a little deeper, you might find one that suits your exact needs.

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