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Backyard Chickens: New Mobile App Helps You Choose The Best Breed

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief


Tags: poultry, farms, mobile devices,

GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.ChicknPickn appGRIT blogger Michelle Hernandez is so passionate about backyard chickens that she and a team of really smart folks have created a breed selection iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad app in conjunction the folks at Mother Earth News. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of this backyard chicken breed picking app and found it so engaging that I've spent way too much time playing with it on my iPhone -- and I already have a large laying flock! The new Pickin' Chicken app was put together with expert breed advice from the American Livestock Breeds Association and the APA, so you know the information is eggscelent.

The new Pickin Chickens iPhone/iPad app from Mother Earth News describes 75 chicken breeds with pictures and helps you select the breeds that are just right for you.  

Would you like brown egg layers that are also good for meat production? Pickin' Chicken offers 25 choices to select from. If you’re looking for an excellent layer in that group, the selector can narrow the field to seven choices. After you’ve seen the options, you can select either “heritage” or “endangered” breeds from the list by tapping a button.  

One touch of your screen will take you to a more detailed description of each breed or hybrid. Descriptions include free-range foraging ability, purpose (eggs, meat or both), egg size, growth rate, mothering ability, place of origin, conservation status and more.  Chicken Picking app 

In “eggspert” mode, the Pickin' Chicken app can help you select chicken breeds by even more specific traits, so if you want calm birds that are good foragers but can thrive in smaller spaces, too, the app will guide you to the right breeds. Select purpose, group (standard or bantam), egg size, egg color, lay rate, growth rate, temperament, climate and other traits that you want, and the app will show you which breeds are the best match. If you’re not looking for specific characteristics, you can simply browse pictures of the 75 breeds in the alphabetical listing.  

After you’ve selected the chickens you want each year, the app provides information on caring for them, a glossary of poultry terms and links to other useful resources. Pickin' Chicken features 250 photos of 75 breeds and hybrids. Breed descriptions include information on bantams when available. 

Whether you’re planning to buy chicks for the first time or just want to try new breeds of this fascinating bird, the new Mother Earth News Pickin' Chicken app can help make breed selection a breeze. Go to www.MotherEarthNews.com/PickinChicken for more information and to download the app for your iPad or iPhone. The app is designed for iPhones, so it’s small format, but you can increase the size for an iPad. 

Don't have an iPhone or an iPad? Check out similar information in our Perfect Chickens article here on GRIT.com or at the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.


Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .