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


Aud Nordby
Aud n4 years ago


Joy S.
Joy s4 years ago

Love my chickens! And the eggs!

Laura Saxon
.4 years ago

Great article. Thanks for sharing,

Berty Jardine
Berty Jardine4 years ago

For a good egg producer I like the Silkies

Irene S.
Irene S4 years ago

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

Rosemary H.
Rosemary H.4 years ago

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

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Gvapo T.
Gvapo T4 years ago

thanks :)

Jana Switzer
Jana Switzer5 years ago

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....;)

Aditya Narayan
Aditya n5 years ago