Just like dogs, there are a plethora of magical, wondrous chicken breeds out there to light up your life and bring a flurry of new feathers to your garden. Let's take a look at some of the best chicken breeds so that you can align your spirit animal to match your looks.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the color of your backyard. Who doesn’t want a brood of rambunctious chooks to complement the landscape? When autumn comes around, you might not even be able to find your group of Welsummer chooks – whose feathers are black, red, and brown. If you're afraid of chickens taking over in the apocalypse, you'll want to have these on your side, as they are known for being really smart. They aren't the best at laying eggs, but they'll look great as trophy birds!
New Hampshire Red Chicken
The New Hampshire Red will fit into your lifestyle quite nicely if you like to take things slow and chill. This breed of chicken is particularly docile and calm, and might not even lift an eyebrow if the neighborhood cat comes running through. They're friendly, too, so it won't take long to warm up to your neighbors, and any rogue hedgehogs in the garden.
A Delaware chook might look a little intimidating and remind you of an angry farmhouse hen, but they’re actually the complete opposite. Bear in mind, though, that if you come looking for them, they might avoid an awkward conversation as they don’t like too much human contact. They can also be a little bit jittery, too, so you might want to keep the cat inside where they’ll be reduced to a mere temptation. Fun fact: they’re great at laying eggs.
Plymouth Rock Chicken
Ever seen a zebra in your backyard? The next chicken breed on the list could very well be mistaken for one – if zebras were a fraction of their normal size. If you live in a little bubble of serenity and don't like the idea of being disturbed too much, the Plymouth Rock will fit in like a glove. They are docile and friendly, and some of the best egg-layers around. They can also take those harsh winter months without complaining, which is always nice.
Perhaps the most difficult thing about the next chicken breed is their name – and how the heck to say it. Besides this, they are some of the friendliest, quiet and calm hens you can ever hope to have – and they have a great track record when it comes to the number of eggs that they can pump out. This weirdly-named hen can help you out with breeding even more – they're great at being mothers.
If you’re someone who lives in high fashion for most of the week, even if you have nowhere to go, then you might want to get an Ameraucana to boost your street cred. This chicken breed is regal, elegant – and they also know a thing or two about laying eggs. They have a fun nickname, the 'easter egger,' so if you have a special affinity to colorful easter eggs that can be traced back to your childhood, you're going to like the eggs that they produce. From white to brown, green, blue, and even pink, this is the magic genie of backyard chickens.
Sussex loves to be in the company of people, but not so much other chooks. This means that they'll make a great pet and a great pillow on the couch for your weekend Netflix binge – but they might get a bit gruff if you introduce any more of them into the mix. They love the winter, so you don't have to worry about them out there – but they don't get broody often. They're better left alone, to be honest – which means they could end up watching that Netflix special themselves.
Love the idea of being able to have all the big brown eggs you can eat, without the expensive supermarket price tag? Then invest in the chicken breed Wyandotte. However, those big brown eggs come with a bit of a catch – because Wyandotte’s are so fluffy, it can be hard to clean them properly. In layman’s terms, this means that they’re high maintenance, and will take up more of your time than you might like. So, if your retirement plan included taking care of your chooks on the daily, then go for these great egg layers.
Buff Orpington Chicken
Sometimes, you’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons based on what you’re looking for in your chicken breed. For example, if you want your chooks to be friendly but don’t mind if they can’t put out as many eggs as some of their counterparts, you might be happy to settle with some Buff Orpington’s. They are so friendly and docile, in fact, that they can end up being the butt end of the joke if you've got more aggressive breeds in the mix. This is why it's probably best just to have them. The good news? They're excellent natural gardeners, and they love the winter.
Rhode Island Red Chicken
The last chicken breed on our list almost needs no introduction, as they are known as one of the most robust, aggressive chicken breeds. So, if you want to set up a cockfighting ring in your backyard, by all means. However, they are great at the egg-laying business, and they are also great at withstanding those harsh winter months. Again, you've got to weigh up the pros and cons and decide what you really want out of your chooks.
So, there you have it – ten of the best chicken breeds in the business. Bear in mind that a lot of them are dual purpose, too, which means that you can raise them to eat, or to lay eggs for you to eat. Find the one that looks most like you, adopt it, and tell it that it’s now your spirit animal. Oh, and enjoy some of those eggs that it lays, as well.