Types of Chickens 0 32

Types of chickens
Types of chickens
Three different types of chickens

There are literally hundreds of types of chickens in existence. However, fewer than half of these breeds are uncommon today. The types of chickens are generally grouped into a few categories, which makes choosing breeds a little easier.

Egg-laying breeds

While egg-laying breeds of chickens produce good eggs, they don’t make good meat birds. These chickens won’t sit on their own eggs. You can choose chickens that lay specific colors of eggs. For instance, if you want a lot of white eggs, consider Anconas, Leghorns, or Hamburgs. If you want an abundance of brown eggs, choose an Amber Link breed, Isa Brown, Maran, or Golden Comet chicken. For novelty colored eggs, consider Ameraucana or Easter Egger breeds.

Dual-purpose breeds

If you want chickens that produce a lot of eggs and are also meaty, dual-purpose chicken breeds fit the bill. They don’t lay the same amount of eggs as laying breeds, but the eggs taste the same. However, these types of chickens can have smaller breasts and take a long time to grow. Good dual-purpose breeds include Orpingtons, Brahmas, Plymouth Rocks, and Barnevelders.

Meat breeds

While many meat breeds are actually hybrids, there are some purebreds such as the Cornish hen. Meat breeds generally have larger breasts and a bigger frame, and they grow fairly quickly. In the 50s and 60s, breeders began to create hybrid strains of chickens that were specifically made for meat. Pretty much all chickens sold in grocery stores are hybrids. Some of these meat breeds include Freedom Rangers and Jersey Giants.

Show breeds

Some people like to keep chickens for ornamental purposes, and show breeds generally have unusual feathers or bright colors. They don’t lay a lot of eggs and they aren’t good for their meat, but they can make wonderful pets. Some of these breeds are Cochins, Polish chickens, and Old English Games. They may not make great meals or eggs, but they are great to raise and show them to keep the breeds alive.

Bantam breeds

These little chickens are miniature versions of big chickens, or just small chickens that never had a larger version (true Bantams). Mostly show chickens or simply pets, Bantams generally weigh from 2 to 5 pounds. They do lay eggs that can be eaten and taste just like other chicken eggs; the eggs are simply small. Bantams don’t make good meat birds, but they make great pets. Some Bantam breeds are Sebrights, Silkies, Antwerp Belgians, and Mille Fleurs.

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How Many Chickens are there in the World? 0 27

How many chickens are there in the world?
How many chickens are there in the world?
How many chickens are there in the world?

Have you ever wondered just how many chickens there are in the world, or even within your own country? If you guessed a couple million, you’re not even close! One billion chickens? Still cold. The truth is that the verified chicken population from across the world totals to more than double our human population, specifically 15,853,900,900 chickens (nearly sixteen billion chickens), according to a 2002 estimate. However, that was just the verified chicken population. Numbers estimated in 2009 have put the number of chickens in the world to fifty billion chickens, with more than nine billion of them within the United States of America.

Considering that the estimate was conducted in 2009, it would be very likely that in 2017, the chicken population has risen even further. With many unreported chickens walking around the world, who knows how many there truly are?

You may be wondering, why are there so many chickens in the world? First off, we must consider the simplicity and ease of a female chicken (hen) in reproduction. All a hen must do is mate with a rooster to get an egg fertilized, where the egg will lay and if properly taken care of, will hatch into a baby chicken. So the process is uncomplicated.

Additionally, there has been a continually increasing demand for chicken as a food, encouraging chicken factories. Did you know that it is estimated that more than 1.25 billion chicken wings were eaten during the 2012 Super Bowl? In 1950, it was expected that the average American would consume 20 pounds of chicken per year, but in 2015, it was estimated that over 89 pounds of chicken was consumed. It is not a secret that we as humans are coming to enjoy and eat chicken more, and as expected, the chicken population has continued to rise substantially. 

There will truly never be a way to count the exact amount of chickens in the world, due to their broad diversity and the fact that there may be small farms and even chickens as pets! The number will forever be rising, as chicken farming as remained as one of the most lucrative industries to accommodate for our human needs and chicken as a staple food across the world. If you have wondered why chickens are getting cheaper as a whole, it’s because the amount of chickens has simply risen. The rising chicken population is simply indicative of what the concept of supply and demand can do for an industry.

“Chickens For Sale!”: Where to Buy Chickens 0 16

Chicken in a back yard
Chickens for sale
“Chickens for sale!”… where to buy chickens

Before you look at the sources from where you can buy the chickens, it’s important to understand that they are a number of species of the chickens. Just like any other farm varieties, the various species of chickens are also bred for very specific purpose as well. If you are extremely new to buying chickens and rearing them, the following tips are for you.

Buying chickens from a breeder and online hatchery

Of course, the first place to look for buying chickens would be a chicken breeder. Always buy from a reputable breeder. You can always get the reference for a local chicken breeder from those that own chickens in your area. Check out several breeders and look at their livestock before making a decisoin. Always take note of their livestock and look at the living conditions of the chickens. If you notice that the chickens are looking unhealthy, never buy from that breeder, even if their livestock is cheaper than the rest of the other breeders in that area.

Remember that there are a number of hatcheries that are also operating online. Even then you would first need to know the breed of chicken that you require. Find a hatchery that is reputable. There are several hatcheries that operate and you can always ask for references from the local chicken owners. Look at their websites carefully before making any purchases.

Check out their stock before you purchase the chicks online. Hatcheries won’t ship the chicks in the winter months as it becomes extremely cold for them. For this reason, the deliveries for the spring batch are booked well in advance. To ensure that you get your delivery, make sure to book for the spring batch well in advance.

When you have booked for the chicks online, you won’t get the deliveries personally. The deliveries will be made to your local post office and you’ll have to go and pick them up. Remember that these chicks will be quite thirsty and hungry, so ensure that you pick them up the very same day.

Before you buy the chickens online or from a reputed chicken breeder, here are a few steps that you should take first:

Prepare the living quarters. You will need to get the coop ready that can house the chickens and also house them once they are grown up. The ideal housing should have enough space for them for roosting and also provide protection to them from the outside predators. It’s important that the housing also has easy enough access for cleaning the area. Line the area with plenty of hay, dried leaves and keep enough feed and water for them to be well fed and looked after.

Buy the right kind of chicken feed for the breed that you have bought. Some feed is fortified with extra calcium to ensure that the chicken’s lay good and healthy eggs, while others ensure that the chickens increase their body mass considerably for chickens are meant for slaughtering.