This article will discuss everything you need to know about low-maintenance chicken breeds. Keep reading to learn more.
Chickens are fun, entertaining, and quirky creatures that make a great addition to any backyard. They provide us with fresh eggs and meat.
As with owning any other livestock, adding backyard chickens to your setup is a challenge that should be well-thought-out, especially if you are a beginner.
With hundreds of chicken breeds in the poultry world, choosing the right breed is one of the most important parts of raising chickens.
Each breed is unique regarding lifestyle requirements, egg-laying, and temperament.
If you are a beginner or looking for a low-maintenance chicken breed to add to your flock, you have come to the right place.
First on our list of the best low-maintenance chicken breeds is the Brahma chicken. This adorable chicken breed is good for both meat and egg production.
The breed is prized for its vigor, good egg-laying performance during winter, and size.
Despite their large sizes, Brahmas are sweet and docile chickens. Because of their size and docile nature, they are sometimes referred to as gentle giants.
They are fluffy because of the dense and thick plumage covering their bodies. A mature Brahma chicken weighs between 10 and 12 pounds. Roosters are slightly heavier than hens.
Because of their immense weight, they will hardly fly over low fences. This makes them easy to contain. While they like to forage, they can do well in confinement too.
They are hardy chickens that will not require a lot of your time. A Brahma hen can lay up to 200 eggs per year. They start laying eggs at seven months old.
The Delaware chicken is great for backyard chicken keepers looking for a low-maintenance chicken breed. It is also great for beginners.
The breed was originally developed in Delaware in the early 1940s as a broiler chicken. Today, white-feathered Delaware chickens are considered excellent dual-purpose birds.
This hardy breed will withstand almost all climates. They will do well both in confinement and when allowed to free-range.
They can adapt to small backyard spaces and thrive despite being confined. If you are looking for a friendly and docile chicken, this is one of the breeds to consider.
Because of their docile and friendly temperament, they can be added to a flock comprising different chicken breeds.
Since they can be victims of bullying, you should only keep them alongside other friendly chicken breeds.
Brahmas are hardy chickens with fewer health issues. However, like other chicken breeds, they are prone to parasites like mites and lice.
A Brahma hen can lay 200 to 230 eggs per year. They lay large-sized brown eggs. They also provide high-quality meat with a full-grown chicken weighing between 6 and 10 pounds.
Buff Orpingtons originated from Kent, England. However, the breed eventually became a favorite for many chicken keepers in the United States of America.
It is a hardy, medium-sized chicken that will do well in hot and cold climates. The breed is known for its fluffed-out feathers, which give it a buff appearance.
Buff Orpingtons have red wattles and combs. They are dual-purpose chickens that can be bred for meat and egg production.
Under good care and proper nutrition, a Buff Orpington hen will lay 3 to 5 eggs a week. This translates to 200 to 280 eggs per year. They normally lay medium to large brown eggs.
These adorable chickens are calm, gentle, and extremely friendly. If you plan to raise a pet chicken, this is one of the breeds to consider.
While they enjoy free-ranging, they are easy-going birds that will adapt to any backyard chicken space.
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red is a dual-purpose chicken breed developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the late 1800s.
It is a crossbreed between an Italian Leghorn variety and a Malay chicken with Asian origins.
Rhode Island Reds are large-sized chickens with reddish-brown to deep feathers. They have yellow legs and feet and strikingly red wattles and combs.
Their tails are mostly black. Their large bodies make them excellent for meat production.
While they are dual-purpose chickens, they are excellent egg producers that can lay 5 to 6 eggs per week. This translates to anywhere between 250 and 300 eggs per year. They lay medium, brown eggs.
The Rhode Island Red is a weather-hardy and low-maintenance chicken breed that can withstand colder climates. This makes the breed a great option for beginners. They are also friendly and docile birds.
The Easter Egger is one of the most popular chicken breeds and a favorite for many backyard chicken keepers. They are medium-sized dual-purpose hybrid chickens.
You can raise them for both meat and egg production. These beautiful birds come in a variety of colors and do not have a standard appearance.
Some Easter Egger chickens have tails, while others are rump-less. They have yellow to slate blue or green legs.
Some birds have a variety of facial features, such as beards or muffs, while others do not have any defining facial features.
Easter Eggers do have a standard temperament. Some chickens can be friendly, while others can be a bit flighty and aggressive.
Generally, every Easter Egger is unique in its way when it comes to personality and temperament. However, what makes the m stand out in the poultry world is their egg production ability.
A hen can lay four to five eggs a week. This translates to about 200 to 250 eggs per year. They lay medium to large-sized eggs in various colors.
Their eggs can be blue, green, aqua, olive, or pink. If you are looking for a low-maintenance chicken breed that will ensure you have plenty of colorful eggs throughout the year, look no further.
The Sussex is a kind-natured and low-maintenance chicken breed that originated in England. The breed was originally raised as a meat chicken.
However, as other large larger chicken breeds became more popular, the Sissex grew to become a dual-purpose chicken.
The breed comes in a wide variety of colors. The most common variety in the USA is the speckled and light-colored breed. All Sussex varieties are considered low-maintenance chickens.
They are tolerant of both cold and hot climates. However, they do better in colder climates.
They are good foragers and ideal to be free-range birds. If you have a larger backyard or garden, you can allow them to roam around freely as they forage on bugs, insects, and worms.
Hens lay 4 to 5 eggs a week, which translates to 170 to 200 eggs per year.
Last on our list of the best low-maintenance chicken breeds is the “Australorp.” It is a medium-sized breed with dark black plumage and hoes of purple and green.
This dual-purpose chicken breed originated in Australia and gained international popularity thanks to its egg-laying ability.
Under good care and proper nutrition, your Australorp hen can lay 5 to 6 medium brown eggs. This translates to about 320 eggs per year.
Australorp chickens tend to have a gentle and docile temperament. They are great with kids and can be a great addition to any backyard flock.
They are low-maintenance and hardy chickens that will do well in both hot and cold climates. However, they will need a place to go to during the hottest months of the year.
Things To Consider Before Buying Chickens
In addition to the breed of chicken, here are a few other things you need to consider before buying chickens.
Your backyard chickens will need plenty of food full of the necessary nutrients to live a happy and more productive life. A handful of grains will not contain their nutritional requirements.
They are omnivores animals that can feed on insects and worms in the garden. Therefore, you should allow your birds to free range if possible.
Chickens need plenty of clean water. The water should be checked daily to ensure that it is clean and safe to drink.
When constructing your coop, you should consider the number of your chickens. Your birds will need a coop space of at least four square feet per chicken.
Chickens that are kept in tight spaces can get aggressive and even develop unwanted habits like cannibalism.
The other things you will need to consider are healthy, cleanliness, and boredom.
Keeping chickens in your backyard can be an exciting and rewarding project. However, one of the main things to consider before purchasing chickens is breed. Some chicken breeds lay more eggs than others.
Some breeds are also easy to maintain than others. If you are looking for a low-maintenance breed, you can choose one from our list above.