The Best Backyard Chicken Breeds

I often get asked the question, “what are the best backyard chicken breeds?” from friends looking to buy chickens. We at Get Down Farm are in the process of re-starting our backyard flock after taking a few years off to start chicken farm. It’s fun and exciting to be reminded of the quirks of laying hens once again.

Best Backyard Chicken Breed

Here are the main things to consider when choosing a the best backyard chicken breeds.

  • How much space do you have?

    Square Feet in Coop per BirdBreed SizeBreed
    4LargeAustralorp, Brahma, Barred/Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, Cochin, Delaware, Wyandotte, Orpington
    3MediumRed Sex Link/Golden Comet, Leghorn, Welsummer
    2SmallBantams, Silkie
    Be sure to consider your local laws around chicken keeping.<p>
  • Identify the the purpose of your flock.

    Is it for egg production? Then choose the medium breeds for their superior egg laying production and feed conversion. Is it for looks or fun? If you want a rainbow colored dozen, choose an “Easter Egger” or Araucana to give you blue-green eggs, a Leghorn for white eggs and most other breeds for brown eggs. Bantams give your flock a cute addition but lay small eggs infrequently.

  • Roosters or hens? 

    Unless you live in the country or have great neighbors and city laws, we recommend only choosing hens to start. Roosters can be great protectors of a flock but can also become aggressive to people. Not mention they crow at all hours!

Here are our top 5 picks for the best backyard breeds.

  1. Barred or Plymouth Rock

    Docile, classic, hearty/large breed, frequent brown egg layer – the Barred Rock is one of our friendliest birds Barred Rock Chicken on Farm

  2. Wyandotte

    Brown or silver laced breeds, hearty/large breed, beautiful, brown egg layerSliver Laced Wyandotte Chicken

  3. Sex link (brown or black) or Golden Comet    

    Very friendly, medium sized, prolific brown egg layersSex Link Chicken

  4. Araucana

    Easter Egger, medium sized, lower on the pecking order, less frequent blue-green egg layer Araucana Chicken

  5. Leghorn

    Docile but skittish, medium sized, prolific, white egg layerLeghorn Chicken