Here in Melbourne, it seems backyard chooks are becoming quite the trend. These, as you probably realise are some of my current brood. The big red and white one is Rosie, and she is the boss! She and her sister Dottie are leghorne x buff orpington. They have a great character and are quite a gentle chook. They lay beautiful large creamy coloured eggs.
With many people becoming more self sufficient and wanting to grow their own fruit and veggies, keeping chickens is just a natural progression. Today's post is about ......you guessed it poultry.
I've been looking at different breeds over the last couple of weeks as i am wanting to expand our little roost as much as is possible! I have made a decision that from now on I am going to concentrate on pure breeds. So i thought I would take the opportunity to discuss some of the breeds which are of interest to me.
These girls are Light Suffolks they are big birds which lay large creamy/white eggs.
There are as I can see about 4 reasons for keeping chickens:
As pets-chickens are real little characters. They are personable birds which will follow family members around and interact with each other and you they are also very sociable. They are pretty and great to watch and each has their individual personality. Ideal birds to keep as pets are Pekin Bantams, Silkies and other smaller breeds. These breeds are not big layers, but do produce eggs, and hours of entertainment, and of course they will provide you with free chook poo!
For eggs- home grown eggs are wayyy superior to bought eggs. They are richer, larger and more yellow in colour and the taste is just sublime. When you bake with home grown eggs you can see the yellow in the final result, once you use home grown eggs you just won't want to go back. So if its eggs you are after then you need to have good layers. As a general rule most of the good layers are larger breeds although some smaller breeds are good layers too.
Eggs come in all colours and sizes too. Our Leghorn chooks lay cream eggs and our Araucana x's lay beautiful blue/green coloured eggs.
For the table-there are breeds which are also good for the dinner table. Our chooks have a happy and content life, are able to wander and flap around, enjoy the sunshine and the rain and have a safe place to roost at the end of the day. If i was able to do it (which i cant) I would happily grow and eat my own poultry. However for those who have the room and the incentive, good breeds to raise for this purpose include, Rhode Island Reds & Plymouth Rock Hens amongst others.