I don’t really know what possessed me to get baby goats. I just knew I wanted to get in on the dairy goat business. How cool is it that you can wake up in the morning and go get your eggs and milk? Heck, if I could somehow make my own bread I’d never have to go to the grocery store before a snowstorm ever again!
Anyways, back to the goats. Finding baby dairy goats for a reasonable price, especially a doe, is difficult. I finally found a reasonably priced trio and man, I was so excited! I had no idea what I was in for though. How could I?
Well, baby goats are something else entirely. They’re rambunctious toddlers with Pica. They. Eat. Everything. Except the food you want them to eat. Newspaper and dust filters? Yum! Water and grain? Gross! Never!
But I mean, just look at those cute faces? Could you stay mad?
I sure can’t. Even when they’re chewing on my fingers or knocking the milk bottle out of my hand, they’re still cute as buttons.
When you think of chickens, what do you think of? Most people think of the commercial white hen, known as a Leghorn, with a floppy red comb and yellow beak. In reality, however, there are thirty-nine varieties of chickens that are recognized. These breeds range from the fluffy Silkie, to the ginormous Brahma. They come in hundreds of colors and each bird seems to have its own personality.
This can be a little overwhelming for anyone looking to get into chickens, so lets dive in to some simpler classification. Choosing the right chicken breed for you depends on why you want chickens in the first place.
EGG LAYERS: all chicken breeds lay eggs. The hen takes approximately 24 hours to lay one egg. However, some breeds lay more eggs than the others. Usually bantams and oriental breeds lay less than commercial laying hens. Commercial hens include Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, and Plymouth Rocks. These breeds produce up to 300 eggs a year and are found at most hatcheries (such as Meyer and Cackle, they both have websites to order from) at a very reasonable price. If you’re looking to wake up in the morning and make your breakfast from delicious fresh eggs then look no further than these breeds!
MEAT CHICKENS: Some people like to take it a step further and raise their chickens for eatin’! Any chicken is a good meat chicken if they’re old enough, but a few breeds stand out as meat birds. The most prevalent meat bird is the Cornish Cross. These chickens are ready to process at 7 weeks old and grow at a significantly faster rate than other breeds. They make an excellent table bird and are super healthy compared to store-bought meat.
COMPANIONS: Have you ever wanted to cuddle a chicken? Is your son or daughter young and you want to teach them all about farming? I recommend buying a sweet-tempered chicken like the following breeds. These breeds are usually the most tame and don’t get very big. They’re also adorable, so that is a huge plus! Silkies, in particular, stand out in my mind. They’re beautiful, with large, floofy hair that feels like satin. They’re usually sweet as pie and make awesome mothers. Another breed is the Cochin, a very stocky breed. They’re extremely docile and also make awesome moms. These birds are usually a little bit more on the expensive side, but they make amazing pets.