Here are 10 timeless chicken breeds for the farm.
The Araucana trait of laying blue or greenish eggs persisted and now breeders are attempting to standardize the physical makeup of the population and gain them recognition as a breed. Some of the Araucanas were rumpless and possessed some interesting ear tufts. At some time in the future, these fowls will likely be developed into an interesting breed with both economic and ornamental attributes.
Brahmas thrive best on dry, well-drained soils and moist, cool climates. The feathering of their shanks and toes is a negative where the ground is damp and muddy. They also stand confinement extremely well – having calm and docile personalities. It was popularly known as the least susceptible chicken to cold and exposure.
Cochin chickens are great eaters, and indiscriminate in their preferences. This, combined with their unmatched profuseness of feathering, make them an ideal choice for colder climates and gives them the ability to eat enough to produce both animal heat and eggs during the heart of winter. Cochins are noted for extremely gentle dispositions.
Leghorns are active chickens. They are always willing to work, hunting and scratching, giving no prejudice to flower beds or dunghill; if there is scratching to be done, Leghorns are the chickens for the job. On range they are splendid foragers and small eaters. The breed is prolific, highly fertile, and hardy. Leghorn chickens lay very large numbers of white eggs.
New Hampshire Red
They possess a deep, broad body, grow feathers very rapidly, are prone to go broody and make good mothers. Their color is a medium to light red and often fades in the sunshine. The comb is single and medium to large in size; in the females it often lops over a bit. These medium sized meat chickens have fair egg laying ability and are competitive and aggressive.
Old English Game
Old English Games are very hardy, extremely active and very noisy. The mature cocks should be dubbed with a characteristic cut. This is in keeping with their heritage. Old English hens usually show broodiness but are so small and aggressive that they are not always the best choice as mothers. Old English are capable of considerable flight and may revert to a feral state in some areas.
Orpingtons are heavily but loosely feathered. Their feathering allows them to endure cold temperatures better than some other breeds. They exist only in solid colors, are at home on free range or in relatively confined situations, and are docile. Hens exhibit broodiness and generally make good mothers. Chicks are not very aggressive and are often the underdogs when several breeds are brooded together.
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is perhaps the world’s best-known fowl. It is the most successful dual-purpose bird, and remains an excellent farm chicken. The Rhode Island Red is known for its hardiness and its ability to handle marginal conditions while still producing eggs. Most hens are peaceful and can become broody except within the strains that have been heavily selected for egg production.
Rhode Island White
The Rhode Island White is a moderately-sized, completely white bird. They have long, broad, and deep bodies which are carried horizontally, giving them an oblong and brick-like appearance overall. Their breasts are deep, full, and well rounded. Their heads are fairly deep and are inclined to be flat on top rather than round.
Wyandottes are a good, medium-weight fowl for small family flocks kept under rugged conditions. Their attractive “curvy” shape, generally good disposition and many attractive color patterns make them a good choice for fanciers as well as farmers. Common faults include narrow backs, undersized individuals and relatively poor hatches.
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