An illustrated guide to rooster varieties. A look at the breeds your grandparents raised, still best for a small farmstead flock
Chart of hen and rooster breeds, egg production and other characteristics.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
These American Classics are the hen and rooster varieties your grandparents raised years ago. This same set of hens and roosters are dependable and your best bet for a small homesteading flock. Breeds covered include the Barred Plymouth Rock, Jersey Giant, Brahma, New Hampshire Red, Minorca and more. See the illustrated chart of hens and roosters in the image gallery.
|Breed||Primary Use||Egg Color||Mature Weight||Other Characteristics|
|Eggs Meat||Brown White||Hen Cock|
|Rhode Island Red||x x||x||6-1/2 9||Most productive layer
of dual-purpose breeds
|New Hampshire Red||x x||x||6-1/2 8||Matures earlier, lays less
than Rhode Island Red
|Plymouth Rock||x x||x||7-1/2 9-1/2||Good winter egg production
if kept warm
|Dominique||x x||x||5 7||Hardy, good forager|
|Wyandotte||x x||x||6-1/2 8-1/2||Cold-tolerant|
|Jersey Giant||x||x||10 13||Matures slowly, disease-
|Brahmas||x||x||9-1/2 12||Good setting hens|
|Black Australorp||x x||x||6-1/2 8-1/2||Active but tolerant of
|Lakenvelder||x x||x||4 5||Small but meaty, nonsetter|
|Orpington||x x||x||8 10||Quiet, gentle, good setter,
|Ancona||x||x||4-1/2 6||Good forager, "camouflage"
|Leghorn||x||x||4-1/2 6||Champion egg layer; many
|Minorca||x||x||7-1/2 9||Excellent forager, nonsetter,
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