Getting your first backyard chicken is a big step, one of life's key milestones rivaled only by losing your virginity and getting your first car. So you better go in prepared. With spring around the corner, fuzzy chicks are showing up at pet and feed stores, waiting for someone to take them to their new backyard homes. With amazing names like Black Austrolorps and Buff Orpingtons, how do you know what kind to get?
At Apartment Therapy's Re-nest blog, Portland gardener Willi Galloway lays down the science on the best backyard chicken breeds and what you can expect from each one. Like she says, there's more to having chickens than fresh eggs. They also make for cheap garden help.
Gathering eggs is the biggest benefit to keeping chickens, but the birds also contribute to the garden. They produce tons of manure that you can compost and they gobble up weeds and slugs if you toss them into their run. If you’re thinking about getting chickens, consider a breed that not only lays lots of eggs, but makes a great pet as well.
Check out the article to see which breed works best for your property. And be forewarned! Chickens love to sample your garden's offerings, so keep your veggies protected.
Photo: Toronto Chicken