We spent a lot of time trying to figure out who's advice to take when choosing our chickens. In the end it is a very individualized answer. Major things to consider are:
Do you want Meat birds or Egg Layers?
There are specific breeds "meat birds" such as Cornish Cross and Rangers (the most common) that will grow fast and at the minimal cost to your homesteading budget. They will not need the Coop and the Roosts that egg layers will need. They can bee brooded to harvest and or free ranged as well depending on your choice.
Egg Layers are a whole different can of worms. They will need their own Coop or sleeping arrangements rather that Meat Birds. They will grow much slower and have different nutritional needs. Then you must think of what eggs and how many, and how to keep care of them over years. They will need pest control and other health care concerns.
How many Eggs do you want?
There are chicken breeds that will lay anywhere from 180 to 350+ eggs per year. You will want to look into specifically he output of the number and size of the eggs that you are looking for. Also you will need to have an area for them to lay their eggs.
Do you want different colored eggs?
Different breeds lay different color and different size eggs. look into the various breeds to get what you desire. For us the color was not a big choice rather than the output and the health of the birds.
What is the Breed's temperament?
If you are in city limits like us then you will want to try to get birds that are of good temperament and character. You can always get a "bad apple" but as a general rule there are breeds that are known for being docile and calmer breeds. This will matter for the future because if they are Broody or get into scuffs with each other then you may have to deal with the wounds and the aftermaths. Rhode Island Reds are a common and have a docile nature. Remember too that the living conditions may also contribute to their attitudes so it may be our chicken breeder faults too.
Are they a noisy Breed?
Again if your in an urban situation vs a rural then you can decide if they are a noisy breed. And then the whole Rooster issue is another level of noise. most cities around our area will not allow roosters within city limits. Remember that there are no guarantees even if they are guaranteed by the seller to be male or female. That's a chance you take. So if a few of ours are males then they're probably gonna end up as fine cooking. A big port of homesteading for us is also to try to accomplish it in an urban situation at this time. So we have to respect our neighbors and the city ordinances.
Are your going to keep them in a chicken coop and chicken run or free range?
If you have the ability to free range that is amazing and our eventual dream but in an urban confinement we have to keep our within a run or structure so you will need to look up the type of breed that is more docile and does not need the larger areas and run spaces vs the free range breeds that do better.
Yes, looks are important too. We are going to have these Girls for a few years at a time and having breeds that we find adorable or nice to look at was important to us. Remember that some of the prettier breeds like Silkies or ornate breeds have their own needs and these should align with your overall goals. Just going in on a breed because it looks good might not be the best for what you want in the end.
Cost is also a big factor. Once we started to get into sourcing the breeds we wanted we went down the breeders costly rabbit-hole and we were on the verge of spending 20-30$ per chick to get the ones we thought would be best. We eventually backed down from that expensive ledge and just went with an assorted bunch of rare breeds from tractor supply company that was near us. Our decision was mainly influenced by the current COVID quarantine and the availability of the higher priced breeders. So we ended up paying $2.99 to $3.99 per chick. Also just starting out you may want to start cheaper and learn the ropes and see if you are going to like it.
Just in case you get in over your head
I thought I would write this as well, but in case you get in over your head and have too many birds, or a rooster or more you need to get rid of and you don't want to harvest them; there are farms or places in your areas that will take them, sometimes for a fee, but there's always someone on Facebook marketplace or craigslist that will take them off your hand.