There are hundreds of different breeds of chickens throughout the world.
In the United States the primary chicken breeds are the Ameraucana, American GameBuckeye, Blue Hen of Delaware, California Gray, Delaware, Dominique, Holland Iowa Blue, JavaJersey Giant, Lamona, McGraw, New Hampshire, Plymouth Rock (or Barred Rock, Rock), Rhode Island Red, Rhode Island White, Winnebago, and the Wyandotte.
Within the last 30 years many hybrid chicken breeds have been developed through genetic alterations. Tyson, a large producer and packager of chicken meat, currently harvest chickens that are from a genetically altered breed known as the Cobb-500.
That’s a good question. Just like some breeds of cow are better for milk and some are better for meat, some chickens are better at laying eggs and some are better at putting lots of meat on their bones. Here is a chart where you can read about chickens and some of their different purposes. The ones for eating are called “meat birds” while some are better egg layers or “dual purpose” birds.
Personally, I have six chickens for laying eggs. Two are Ameraucanas, two are Barred Rocks (essentially the Plymouth Rock breed on the chart), and two are Rhode Island Reds. According to the chart, they are all “dual purpose” birds, but I don’t plan on eating them, just their eggs 🙂 The Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks are better at laying eggs, but the Ameraucanas are a very pretty golden color and add variety to the flock.
P.S. I’m holding a Rhode Island Red in my profile picture.
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