Top 7 Pet Chicken Breeds for your Microflock
- Plymouth Rock - The Barred Plymouth Rock is an heirloom favorite. They produce nearly as well as the Rhode Island Red, and have a similar, friendly personality, but their back-and-white striped plumage is far more striking than the plain red of the RIRs. Also consider other plumages of Plymouth Rock, such as the Partridge or Silver Penciled.
- Sussex - The Speckled Sussex is another heirloom favorite. These extraordinarily friendly birds are a particular favorite of My Pet Chicken employees, who seem to have had more than their fair share of exceptionally affectionate speckled hens. Joyce had Lenore, for example, and I myself had Hildy. Speckled Sussex are great foragers with beautiful plumage, and in addition to being generally calm, friendly birds, they're fabulous layers, too--and even lay well in winter.
- Faverolles - Salmon Faverolles have beautiful plumage, mostly white with white laced salmon feathers on their heads and backs. They also have fancy feathering, including feathered legs and beards. They lay very well, and also forage well. Since they tend to be submissive and fall at the bottom of the pecking order, they don't always do well in a small mixed flock. But if you want a small flock of an unusual and beautiful chicken breed, you couldn't do much better than keeping a flock of Faverolles.
- Dominique - The Dominique is an American heirtage breed with plumage similar to the Barred Plymouth Rock, but the Dominique's small comb means they are less susceptible to frostbite. They are good layers of brown eggs. They also tend to be more economical to feed than many backyard breeds, not only because of their relatively small size, but also because they forage extremely well. Our Dominiqies in particular seem to be customer favorites---we must have a particuarly friendly line, based on feedback from our customers, at least!
- Welsummer - Welsummers are lovely hens, with warm brown plumage with a hint of flame coloring around their necks. They're friendly and wonderful foragers, but the really unusual and interesting thing about them is that they lay a productive number of beautiful dark brown, terracotta eggs. Not only that, their eggs are often speckled. Wellie eggs are a standout in the egg carton, and fun to show off to family and friends.
- Wyandotte - Wyandottes with laced feathers have an absolutely stunning appearance. Each feather is trimmed in a contrasting color, making it look as if they're dressed in dragon scales. They're calm around people, and are very good layers of brown eggs. What's more, they're also quite cold hardy, and continue to lay relatively well during the winter.
- Hamburg - The Hamburg lays prolific quantities of small white eggs. This breed may not be the best choice for everyone: like leghorns, Hamburgs are not known for friendliness, and they tend to need a lot of space. They are also good flyers, so they can be hard to keep contained! Nonetheless, if you do have room, Hamburgs can make a beautiful addition to your backyard flock, because they eat little, forage extremely well, and lay plenty. If you were considering Leghorns, you might want to consider Hamburgs instead.