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Which chicken?

Which chicken should you keep? There are hundreds of different races to choose from. If you want to produce both meat and eggs, itโ€™s best to choose two different races. Split your chicken house into two different areas.

If you are new to chicken farming it may be best to just buy chicken from your neighbor. Those chicken will already be well adapted to your environment and will have fewer problems.

Photo by The masked Guy: https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-and-black-hen-beside-chicken-chicks-754308/

Here’s a list of chicken breeds and the pro’s & con’s:

As a small-scale farmer in arid Southern Africa looking for chicken breeds that excel in both egg and meat production, here are six top breeds to consider, along with their respective pros and cons:

Rhode Island Red:

  • Pros:
    • Excellent egg layers, producing brown eggs.
    • Good meat quality with flavorful meat.
    • Hardy and can tolerate hot and dry climates.
    • Friendly and easy to handle.
  • Cons:
    • Can be occasionally broody (want to sit on eggs to hatch them), which may reduce egg production.
    • More aggressive behavior compared to other breeds.


  • Pros:
    • Good egg layers, known for producing large white eggs.
    • High meat quality and rapid growth rate.
    • Calm and docile temperament, making them easy to manage.
  • Cons:
    • Less tolerant of extreme heat compared to some other breeds.
    • May require additional shade and cooling in arid regions.

Plymouth Rock:

  • Pros:
    • Decent egg production, laying brown eggs.
    • Dual-purpose breed with good meat quality.
    • Can adapt well to various climates, including arid regions.
  • Cons:
    • Not as broody as some other breeds, which can be a pro or con depending on your needs.


  • Pros:
    • Excellent egg layers, known for their high egg production.
    • Good meat quality and efficient feed conversion.
    • Tolerant of heat and cold, making them suitable for various climates.
  • Cons:
    • May need more space to roam and exercise.


  • Pros:
    • Good egg production, laying brown eggs.
    • Considered one of the best-tasting meat breeds.
    • Docile and friendly, making them easy to handle.
  • Cons:
    • Slower to mature than some other breeds, so meat production may take longer.


  • Pros:
    • Excellent egg layers, capable of producing a large number of eggs per year.
    • High growth rate and good meat quality.
    • Resilient and can thrive in harsh conditions, including arid areas.
  • Cons:
    • May require more supplemental feed to reach their full potential.

Each of these chicken breeds has its strengths and can be suitable for small-scale farmers in arid Southern Africa. Consider factors like climate, available resources, and your specific farming goals when choosing the best breed for your farm. Proper care, nutrition, and management will help you maximize their productivity and ensure healthy and happy chickens on your farm!

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