Spring is approaching, and many owners of a personal farmstead are already thinking about buying young chickens. How to choose the breed of chicken? First, you need to decide for yourself what you are going to do. Either you will raise laying hens, or you just need eggs. If you need only eggs from chickens, then you can buy egg crosses.
These are such breeds as Loman Brown, Highsex Brown, Rodomite. These birds are recommended to buy for novice poultry farmers who do not yet have experience. These chickens have a cheaper cost than purebred birds, but lose their productivity over time. Therefore, the livestock will need to be changed every two years. The old chickens will have to be slaughtered. But they will only be good for soup, and that meat will be too tough and not everyone can handle it.
In order not to mess with chickens, you need to buy chickens of five or six months of age. Hens lay eggs without a rooster. A rooster is needed only if you decide to have offspring of your laying hens.
The most popular chickens among poultry farmers are egg White Leghorn. Birds are quite unpretentious, able to take root well in almost any more or less normal conditions. They produce about two hundred eggs a year. With the first snow, molting usually begins, and the hens take a month-long break from egg-laying.
In winter, if you prepare additional lighting and heating of the chicken coop, and also add various mineral feedings to the chicken diet,then the chickens will also be well laid. And, of course, there are also some disadvantages in this breed. Chickens do not like noise very much and if they get scared, they can even temporarily stop laying eggs.
Experienced poultry breeders recommend keeping colored-plumaged crosses, such as Loman Brown, Highsex Brown, and Rhodonite, at home. These chickens are considered more calm and tame, do not run into the neighboring yard, but at the same time they have no worse egg-laying than White Leghorns. It all depends on a balanced diet.
How to choose young chickens
When buying chickens, be sure to ask the seller if the bird is vaccinated or not. If not, you’ll have to do it yourself.
Take a closer look at the chicken, pick it up. The plumage in the lower abdomen should be clean. Inspect the cloaca. If there are feathers stuck together from dirt around it, it means that the bird has some kind of intestinal infection. If the chicken’s scallop has a pale or bluish color, then this also indicates that the bird is unhealthy. The color of the scallop should be dark pink or red. The same goes for chicken earrings.