START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

A Cool Tool for Choosing Backyard Chicken Breeds

A Cool Tool for Choosing Backyard Chicken Breeds

As more people seek fresh, more healthful food and a sense of self-sufficiency, interest in keeping backyard chickens is growing.

Chickens are the perfect “gateway” livestock, often showing would-be homesteaders that they have what it takes to raise their own food. You’ll save money on your grocery bill by keeping chickens, and if you raise them naturally on pasture, the eggs from your hens will be much better for you than the typical eggs available at the store.

Keeping chickens is not a lot of work—in fact, it’s tons of fun! However, there are hundreds of chicken breeds to choose from, and some folks need a little advice getting started. To help people choose the best chicken breeds for their needs, Mother Earth News provides readers with information in their magazine (with articles such as Best Chicken Breeds for Backyard Flocks) and, for the more digitally inclined, even created a cool app called Pickin’ Chicken.

The Pickin’ Chicken app—which works on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch—allows you to pick and choose the qualities you want in your flock, such as egg size, egg color, lay rate, growth rate and temperament. The app is easy to use and comes with lots of resources. If you’re interested in keeping rare heritage chickens, the app helps you by noting which breeds are heritage and endangered. The app was also recently updated and now includes even more breeds, pictures and information. To find out more about how the app works and its recent update, see Pickin’ Chickens Expanded and Improved.

If you’ve been considering getting a small flock, take the leap! Start doing a little research now, get everything you need set up, and bring a few chicks into your life. You’ll be glad you did.

Photo by Fotolia/Aliaksei Hintau

Read more: Nature & Wildlife, Pets, , , , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
2:36AM PDT on Apr 30, 2013


5:06AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Love my chickens! And the eggs!

4:37AM PDT on Apr 15, 2013

Great article. Thanks for sharing,

6:56AM PDT on Apr 6, 2013

For a good egg producer I like the Silkies

3:11PM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

I´d prefer Sussex, Rhode Island Red, Leghorn and German Sperber.

3:25PM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

I'd like to keep Wyandottes. Docile, good layers and very pretty as well!

7:15AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

4:00AM PDT on Apr 2, 2013

thanks :)

12:27PM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Thanks...;) Chickens are the next Adventure on my list! My problem... I'll probably start collecting feathers (Recycle, Recycle) and making feather pillows or something like that, lol....;)

2:13PM PDT on Aug 20, 2012


add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Of course they can detect cancer (and other medical conditions, such as an imminent epileptic seizur…

*sigh* This article is very "light" on the writing end. You don't actually make your point...or …

Thanks for sharing

I'm perfecting my howl also.


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!