Below are your more common chicken breeds that are either/or good layers or meat birds and easily sourced from breeders or farm supply stores.
Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red chicken (below) is a common breed used in back yard chicken keeping as they are good pets and egg layers.They are large, reddish-brown chooks and the roosters are very handsome.
They produce about 200 darkish-brown, tasty eggs per year. We have one in our backyard called Matilda. This breed comes highly recommended.
Rhode Island Red Chicken
A black, very hardy and longer living chicken (below) that is an Australian breed. They are very placid and intelligent creatures.
They lay around 250 pale brown, very yummy eggs per-year. Australorps are the best all purpose hen for eggs, meat, offspring and entertainment in your back yard. For those of you that are into breeding for meat and self-sufficiency, their flesh is white and tender and are best to eat before 9 months of age.
A white, very hardy and longer living chicken that can sometimes be a little noisy and broody. The leghorn is still a good layer but very flighty.
Leghorns can be cheeky by getting into your vege patch and flying over the fence. Their eggs are white. Leghorns produce around 195 eggs per year.
White Leghorn Chicken
Isa’s lay more eggs than any other chook, mind you, the Rhode Island Red and Australorp are a very close second. The healthy Isa will produce easily 260 eggs per year.
We have two Isa’s in our back yard. They are very friendly, inquisitive and intelligent chickens. Highly recommended as both a pet and for eggs production.
Isa Brown Chicken
Bantams are miniature chickens, (below) some being miniature versions of common breeds and other’s are totally different. Most bantams are good mothers, good pets and very good foragers.
They produce fewer and smaller eggs than the other breeds – about 150 per year, but are well fleshed for their size and good eating.
Are you looking for something more exotic with a touch of class? Below are all beautiful birds but don’t lay as much as the more common varieties above.
Redneck Lavender and Silver Wyandotte
A very ornamental bird for any back yard (below). They do not lay as many eggs as your more common varieties but make up for it with their idiosyncratic and entertaining demeanor.
Alot of people are starting to keep these birds for their pet qualities as well as their egg-laying ability. Such a pretty chook to have foraging around in your garden. Take note – the wyandotte is not a bird that would make good eating. Just incase you were wondering
Silky bantams are excellent mothers (below). They produce tiny and coffee-coloured eggs but only about 80 per year as they go broody often. They are ornamental birds with soft fluffy feathers and a fluffy topknot.
Their skin is a purply-black colour and do not make an appetising chicken to eat.
A pretty, lovable and friendly bird (below). They lay very light brown eggs and have pure white bodies and lacy black and white necks. They are also an excellent meat bird and keep tender until about 9 months old. They are good mothers and lay about 120 eggs per year.