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Chicken Breeds: Which chicken breed is right for me?

If you are trying to decide which chicken breed is the ‘Best’ Breed for you depends on your reasons for having chickens – for meat or eggs or both, for a touch of beauty in your yard, for show, or strictly for fun. Chickens come in all combinations of laying ability, growth rate, size, shape and colour. You should have no trouble finding the ‘perfect’ chicken – one that’s both picture-pretty and ideally suited to your purpose.

This Chicken breed is the Light Sussex

Light Sussex bantam female - Pure-bred poultry can epitomise breeding perfection.

Whether you keep purebreds or hybrids depends in good part on whether you wish to incubate your flock’s eggs. Purebreds will breed true, meaning their chicks would resemble the parents. Hybrids won’t breed ‘true’ - they result from matings between different breeds (or highly specialised strains within a single breed), the only way to get more chickens exactly like them is to reproduce the cross they came from.

While hybrids can be more efficient than purebreds at egg or meat production, they may also require expensive high quality feed to retain a high output. By contrast, many purebred will thrive on forage and table scraps as supplements to commercial rations. They may also enjoy a longer 'productive' life.

The decision of whether to keep purebreds or hybrids may depend on whether you intend to show or have an interest in conservation. Most shows require entries to conform to their breed descriptions in the Standard, meaning the birds must be pure-bred.

If you are interested in finding out more about chicken breeds and poultry breeds you should consider subscribing to The Poultry Journal.

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Poultry Photos and Books

Poultry PhotosThe Poultry Photos website is an excellent collection of photos of most poultry breeds photographed by the renowned poultry photographer, the late Arthur Rice. Prints and montages of these poultry breeds are available, along with poultry books by Ian Kay and others.

Poultry Mad

Poultry MadPoultry Mad offers an extensive range of Exhibition and Rare Breeds of Poultry and quality built, housing for poultry and waterfowl which is available ready assembled or flat - packed.

Blue Laced & Friends Forum

Blue Laced & Friends ForumGot a poultry keeping question? Want to join a friendly and popular online poultry community? Then join the Blue Laced & Friends web forum. Easy to use and full of informative posts from poultry keepers of all levels of experience- this is the place to come for quick and friendly poultry advice. It's free to join.

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