Selecting Your Breed

A little research on breeds ahead of heading to Wilco for your chicks will make the decision process a little easier. With hundreds of different breeds to choose from, there’s a lot to consider. Are you interested in the look and color of the bird? How about the egg colors they lay?

Consider the average number and color of the eggs produced, the breed’s temperament, noisiness, and the ability to be confined. Confinement and noise come into play for small backyards with surrounding neighbors.

Explore the Breed Catalog
two different breeds of chickens

Laying Breeds

row of eggs under a hen

Popular laying breeds include:

    • Plymouth Rocks
    • Rhode Island Reds
    • Novogen Red Sex Link Pullets
    • Australorps

Meat Breeds

group of white chickens outside

Meat chicken breeds, also known as “broilers,” include commercial breeds such as the Cornish Cross. Meat breeds mature quickly and are usually ready for processing or butcher between 8 to 10 weeks of age. If your meat chickens don’t get butchered, they can become too heavy and suffer from health problems.

According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, a heritage chicken is one “hatched from a heritage egg sired by an American Poultry Association Standard breed established prior to the mid-20th century, is slow growing, naturally mated and with a long productive outdoor life. Some recognized Heritage Breeds include the Barred Rock, Freedom Ranger, and Americaunas.

Raising Layers & Meat Breeds

chickens outside with small barn hutch buildings in back

Raising layers and meat breeds may require separate housing quarters to manage the space needs and temperament of the chickens.  If you’ll be having a rooster in your broiler flock, make sure to keep it away from your egg-laying hens to avoid fertilization of eggs.

So How Do I Pick the Breed for Me?

closeup of chicken's face

The hundreds of different breeds can make anyone’s head spin. Take some time to learn about the different and common breeds with our comprehensive Breed Catalog and enjoy the process of researching these friendly pets.

Breed Catalog