On the Farm

Build a coop and add one of these five breeds worth cluck­ing about.

Country Woman - - CONTENTS - BY LORI VANOVER

Pick the per­fect chicken.

Silkie

WEIGHT: 32 oz. EGGS: MEDIUM TEM­PER­A­MENT: DOCILE

Known for downy soft feath­ers, black eyes and slate blue skin, this ban­tam breed makes a great pet. The plumage, which comes bearded or non­bearded in black, blue, par­tridge, buff, white or gray, looks and feels like silky, fluffy fur. The hens are small, so they’re easy to pick up. You’ll want to pet them of­ten.

Cochin

WEIGHT: 8.5 lbs. EGGS: LARGE TEM­PER­A­MENT: HUGGABLE

If you’re look­ing for big, plush chick­ens that re­sem­ble teddy bears, check out Cochins.

Their thick feath­ers come in many col­ors, in­clud­ing black, buff, blue, white, par­tridge and barred. These hens are friendly and eas­ily tamed, and they of­ten act broody, pro­tect­ing their eggs. Cochins are big enough to hatch duck or tur­key eggs.

Amer­au­cana

WEIGHT: 5.5 lbs. EGGS: LARGE TEM­PER­A­MENT: GEN­TLE

Folks love these hens for their col­ored eggs. Amer­au­canas’ fluffy faces are bearded and muffed, adding to their beauty. They were de­vel­oped as a cold-hardy breed. Va­ri­eties in­clude black, blue, sil­ver, wheaten, white and laven­der, mak­ing their plumage as pretty as their eggs.

Pol­ish

WEIGHT: 4.5 lbs. EGGS: MEDIUM TEM­PER­A­MENT: CALM

Sur­pris­ingly not from Poland, this flashy breed likely orig­i­nated in Spain. How­ever, the feathered caps worn by Pol­ish sol­diers may have in­spired the name—the small birds have crests on their heads. They are usu­ally placid, but hav­ing ob­scured vi­sion may make them ner­vous. Be mind­ful not to sur­prise or star­tle them.

Wyan­dotte

WEIGHT: 6.5 lbs. EGGS: LARGE TEM­PER­A­MENT: FRIENDLY

Orig­i­nally called Amer­i­can Se­brights, these medium-size birds are pop­u­lar for their va­ri­ety of eye-catch­ing pat­terns and col­ors, such as black, par­tridge, white, buff, Columbian, golden laced, blue, sil­ver laced and sil­ver-pen­ciled. The hens are good moth­ers and pro­lific egg lay­ers, mak­ing them a valu­able ad­di­tion to any fam­ily’s flock.

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