DEAR NEW FARM:
My husband and I are going to get some chickens. We eat all-organic
and want some healthy eggs. We love animals and love farming
but have never raised chickens and know very little about
them. I am reading everything I can. The biggest question
I have is this: What is the best breed for us? I have read
so much about so many different breeds that I am quite unsure
and a little confused. The main thing we want is a good egg
layer—although I realize, at the end of that road, the
chicken will have to be eaten—so I guess I want a dual-purpose
chicken. The thought of killing the chickens at the end makes
me sad, however. The main thing I am looking for is a breed
that is friendly and will be good with my children. I have
four boys who are thrilled about entering the chicken business.
So most definitely, we want a breed without cannibalistic
We asked our friend and local farmer Brian Moyer for his
help with this one. Here’s what Brian had to say:
Usually, any dual purpose or "heavy" breed will
have a good disposition for your children if you stick with
having hens only. Roosters are not nice in any breed and can
be aggressive, and you don't need them for egg production.
Unless you plan to eat the roosters, order hens only.
Heritage breeds such as Java and Buckeyes are always nice
dual-purpose breeds to have, and you are helping to preserve
them. You can check with the American Livestock Breed Conservancy
to find breeds and breeders.
Green Haven Farm
us with comments, suggestions and questions.