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Which Chicken Breed is Right for You?

There are hundreds of different chicken breeds worldwide, and each breed comes with its own benefits. The task of finding the perfect breed can seem daunting, so we’ve compiled a list of the best breeds for new backyard chicken owners.

orpinton chicken breed

First Step to the Finest Flock

The first step to finding the right chicken breed is deciding why you want chickens. Are you trying to get a lot of farm-fresh eggs? Raising chickens for meat? Or, are you wanting chickens for show? Below, you will find a list of great chicken breeds for each category.

You can purchase these breeds and many more through Rural King. See our entire list of chicken breeds: 2018 Chicken Breed List & Townline Chicken Hatchery Breeds. Contact or visit your local Rural King for more information on when these breeds will be available in your area.

Egg Laying Breeds

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red

  • 275-300Eggs/Year
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Xtra Large


leghorn chicken breed

  • 325+ Eggs/Year
  • Egg Color: White
  • Egg Size: Extra Large


cuckoo maran hen

  • 200 Eggs/Year
  • Egg Color: Dark Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium

Meat Breeds

Cornish Cross

Cornish Cross

  • Average Weight: 8-10lbs.
  • Weeks to Maturity: 8-9 weeks

Red Broiler

freedom ranger

  • Average Weight: 6 – 7.5lbs.
  • Weeks to Maturity: 11-12

Dual Purpose Breed



  • Average Weight: 7-8lbs.
  • Great Egg Layer: 4 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Brown


Orpinton chicken breed

  • Average Weight: 7-9lbs.
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Large
  • 3 Eggs/week

Plymouth Rock (Barred Rock)

Plymouth Rock Chicken

  • Average Weight: 7-8lbs.
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Large
  • 4 Eggs/week

Quiet & Family Friendly Chicken Breeds


Australorp chicken

  • Very Calm and Friendly
  • Average Weight 7-8lbs.
  • 5 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Large


  • Very Weather Hardy, Sweet, and Quiet
  • Colorful Eggs!
  • Average Size: 6-7lbs.
  • 3 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Blue
  • Egg Size Medium


Silkie chicken breed

  • Incredibly Sweet and Soft (A Favorite Among Children!)
  • Broody: Great Chicken Mommas. They will hatch and care for other breeds’ chicks
  • Average Weight: 3-4lbs.
  • 3 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Cream or Tinted
  • Egg Size: Small

Show Chicken Breeds

Showing chickens is very rewarding and a great way to involve kids in clubs like 4-H. Judges follow the APA Standard of Perfection book when judging each breed. If you are planning to show chickens, you should get a copy from their website.


Cochin rooster chicken breed

  • Peaceful, Friendly, and Easy to Handle
  • Soft and Colorful Feathers
  • Average Weight: 8+lbs.
  • 2 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium
  • Class: Asiatic


Brahma Chicken breed

  • Quiet and Tame
  • Vibrant Color
  • Average Weight: 8+
  • 3 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Medium
  • Class: Asiatic



  • Calm, Heritage Breed: This breed has been around for hundreds of years!
  • Average weight: 6-7lbs.
  • 3 Eggs/week
  • Egg Color: Brown
  • Egg Size: Large
  • Class: American

Once you know which breed you want for your backyard, make sure you’re ready to bring the birds home. Take a look at our Getting Started With Backyard Chickens post to figure out everything you’ll need for your feathered friends.

Keep following us for more #RKChickDays info. If you have any chicken questions, write them in the comments section. We just might write a special Chick Days post for you!