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What kind of chickens should I get?

By: Catie Leary on Sept. 10, 2011, 8:33 a.m.
Chickens wandering around their coop.

Photo: Olivier Duval/flickr

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Getting started

You've decided to take the plunge and raise your own chickens. What's next? In addition to building a chicken coop and mulling over the egg-eating options — scrambled or over-easy? — you need to consider what kind of chicken breed is right for you.

There are many different breeds of chicken recognized by the American Poultry Association, and each breed has unique qualities. Your decisions should be based on what you want (and don’t want) from a chicken. Are you hoping for steady egg production? Meat production? Both? Do you get a kick out of multi-colored eggs? Do you need a chicken guaranteed to thrive in your climate without overheating or getting frostbite? Or maybe you just want a friendly companion with gorgeous plumage?

Whatever your preference, there is a breed that will fit your needs and wants.