What Breed of Chicken Is Right For Your Homestead?

Chickens

What Breed of Chicken Is Right For Your Homestead?

Buckeye Rooster
Buckeye Rooster

American Livestock Conservancy description of the Buckeye

There is a saying “Different strokes for different folks.” The type of chicken that works for us, may not be the type that you want. Some questions to ask yourself before deciding what breed of chicken is right for your homestead.

Years ago, my family raised Kraienköppe chickens which are a game type chicken that is endangered of extinction. They are very flighty, excellent at self preservation, good egg layers, with smaller carcasses.

Kraienkoppe Hen and babies
Kraienkoppe Hen and babies

Feathersite description of the Kraienkoppe

Feathersite is a good place to read about different breeds of poultry.

Young Kraeinkoppe Rooster
Young Kraeinkoppe Rooster

The downside to the Kraienköppe was that since it is a flighty bird, they are very hard to catch when you need to catch one. Being game birds, they are also a bit aggressive. They used to kick our tom turkey’s butt!

Krainkoppe Rooster
Krainkoppe Rooster

Article: How to cook homegrown poultry

After having Kraienköppe chickens, we decided to change breeds to something less flighty and therefore easier to handle. My mom wanted to get Rhode Island Reds. Dad wanted chickens from a different heritage breed.

The biggest differences between the buckeye and Rhode Island Red is that the buckeye is a better meat bird, and the Rhode Island Red is the better egg producer. That said, both are good birds. In my father’s experience, the Buckeye is a little calmer. The Buckeye was almost extinct at the beginning of the 19th century. However, Rhode Island Red was second most popular in the world. Unfortunately, over time the breed has been hybridized and now there may be more Buckeyes that pure Rhode Island Reds.

It’s an excellent idea to really research your breeds before selecting what type of chicken you get. If you ever have any questions about a breed, feel free to contact us. George is a poultry specialist and can rattle off lots of positives and negatives about many breeds, including their history.

As a side note, I apologize for no Rhode Island Red pictures. I wasn’t able to find any free. The pictures posted here are genuinely our birds. Unfortunately, we haven’t had Rhode Islands in years so I don’t have any pictures of them.

Until Next Time,

Emily

Did you know that Homesteading Edu has a complete course on chickens?

Sandhill Preservation sells many rare breeds of poultry

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