Lets say SHTF, what are the breeds of chickens you should focus on? In my opinion, some of the better chicken breeds for survivalist are the Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Speckled Sussex and Australorp.
Rhode Island Red
Cock / Roster average weight: 8.5 lbs
Hen average weight: 6.5 lbs
Dual purpose for egg production and butchering
Egg production: around 200 eggs a year
My grandparents kept Rhode Island Reds back in the 1960s and early 1970s. Dad told me Rhode Island Reds are good at foraging and finding their own food.
Early 2012 my wife and I bought 4 Rhode Island Reds for our flock. Out of all the chickens we have, the RIR are the most friendly and affectionate. When I open the door to the coop, the RIRs walk up the ladder to greet me. I can pick up my RIRs as easily as I can pick up the family cat.
From time to time my wife and I will let a couple of the chickens out of the coop. The Rhode Island Reds go to work scratching through the leaves looking for something to eat.
Its official, my wife and I got our first dozen eggs. The eggs are rather small, but they will get larger as the chicken matures. My aunt calls the first eggs a chicken lays “pullet eggs”.
The first egg was laid on July 14, 2012
The 12th eggs was laid on July 22, 2012.
The chickens went from laying one egg every other day, to laying 3 eggs in one day. For the past 3 days, the chickens have been laying 3 eggs a day.
It took around 4 months and 3 weeks before the first egg was laid. After the chickens starting laying, the rate of laying has picked up dramatically. Hopefully the rate of laying will continue to pick up over the next few weeks. As of right now, I think only 3 of my 13 hens are laying. When all of the hens start laying, I am hoping to get anywhere from 6 – 10 eggs a day.
My wife and I have 13 chickens:
2 Black Jersey Giants
1 Speckled Sussex
2 Barred Rocks (aka Plymouth Rocks)
2 Silver Laced Wyandotte
4 Rhode Island Reds
From now on, my family and I do not have to buy our eggs from the grocery store. During a long term SHTF survival situation, my family will have a source of protein and a source of fresh food.
Chickens have been a vital food source to humans for thousands of years. There is no need to change now.