Different Types of Chickens?

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Due to recent global events, people are starting to think about sustainability more than ever. Self-sufficiency is on the rise, and many are considering ways to start supplying their own food. One excellent way to provide your family with food is by raising chickens. A healthy hen can supply several eggs every week for many years. Additionally, you can harvest the chickens for meat, keeping your family well-fed, regardless of what events transpire in the future.

Barred Rock hen in backyard (Image Credit: Thomas Kriese, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic ) Appearance: The Barred Plymouth Rock is a large chicken with a triangular body. Temperament: Commonly described as being calm and mellow birds, Barred Rock chickens get along with everybody.

Temperament: Hardy animals, the Rhode Island Red is a good bird for inexperienced breeders because they can handle questionable conditions and an imperfect diet. Ryabushki chicken 01 (Image Credit: User:NVO, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported ) Appearance: This medium sized chicken has a brown, rectangular body with some white feathers in the tail. Image Credit: Ton Bangkeaw, Shutterstock Appearance: This medium to large breed has black feathers, although blue and white varieties exist.

Temperament: Shy initially, the Australorp will follow you around the yard and will appreciate edible treats. Temperament: Hardy animals that will thrive in any conditions, the Maran is a docile and relatively quiet breed. Image Credit: Racheal Carpenter, Shutterstock Temperament: They are gentle giants and enjoy a little attention from their humans.

Image Credit: Jolanda de Jong-Jansen, Shutterstock Appearance: The Barnevelder looks slim and agile. Hens have a unique brown feather with double lacing that gives an arrowhead. Temperament: Docile and friendly, the Barnevelder is considered a good breed for children to raise.

Image Credit: Ivdonata, Shutterstock Appearance: The aerodynamic Leghorn has yellow skin and legs. Image Credit: eloneo, Pixabay Appearance: Silkies are very small chickens that are covered from head to toe in soft feathers. Image Credit: Lonny Garris, Shutterstock Appearance: The stocky Welsummer has a large tail and is usually brown in color with a gold looking neck and upper body.

Image Credit: Merrimon Crawford, Shutterstock Appearance: The Wyandotte is a large bird that comes in different color varieties. Temperament: Described as docile and friendly, the Wyandotte is a good choice of backyard bird. Image Credit: Dewi Cahyaningrum, Shutterstock Appearance: The Cochin is a large breed and it looks even larger thanks to fluffy feathers from top to bottom.

Image Credit: Yasser Al-Mulqi, Pixabay Appearance: All Brahma chickens have red eyes and a single pea comb, though they come in a variety of colors. Youll sometimes hear Brahmas called the king of chickens due to their massive size. The extra weight they carry prevents them from flying, so a 2-foot fence is all thats needed to house these chickens.

Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock Appearance: The Jersey Giant definitely earned its name through its massive size. Even larger than the Brahma breed, which is called the king of chickens, Jersey Giants can reach weights of up to 15 pounds! Theyre also very gentle and easy to keep, which is a major reason for their popularity, which has grown to match their large stature.

Unfortunately, if hens go broody, they tend to break many of their eggs due to their large size. Temperament: These birds are considered to be predator savvy, so if you let your chickens free-range, Ameraucanas are probably a good choice. However, theyre slow to mature, so dont expect your Ameraucana hens to start laying right away.

Image Credit: MLARANDA, Pixabay Appearance: If youre looking for chickens that are as beautiful as they are productive, you might want to skip over the Turken. Temperament: Theyre suitable in both cold and hot weather conditions and tend to have calm and friendly personalities. Temperament: These birds tend to have varied personalities, while some can be a bit aggressive, others are incredibly calm and friendly.

Though theyre considered a dual-purpose breed, New Hampshire Reds are generally raised primarily for their meat. Their manure is a good combination of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium that will benefit your plants and save you money. They will eat leftover salad, vegetables, fruit, rice, and nuts, making them great waste disposal.

Many homesteaders love chickens because theyre easier to maintain than other forms of livestock, but they do require daily maintenance and ongoing care. If your birds do not have enough space, they will be prone to attacking one another and they may suffer stress, cannibalism, and pecking. Many hens will not lay eggs during the winter months, but your climate should be one of the first and most important, deciding factors when choosing a chicken breed.

It should also be suitable for your climate and conditions, and because it is going to live in your yard, you will likely want a chicken that is friendly and docile. Whether youre raising chickens for eggs, meat, or just to keep as pets, youll find a breed to suit your needs somewhere on this list. An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan.

An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.

What are the 3 types of chicken?

Chickens. Many different breeds of chickens have been developed for different purposes. For simplicity, you can place them into three general categories: Laying, meat-producing and dual-purpose breeds.

What is the nicest type of chicken?

Jersey Giants..Speckled Sussex..Buff Orpington..Australorp Chicken..Faverolle..Silkies..Cochin Chicken..Wyandotte Chicken.

What are the 6 classes of chickens?

The 6 Classes of Chickens. Standard breeds of chickens are broken down into six (6) different classes. They are known as American, Asiatic, Continental, English, Mediterranean, and All Other Standard Breeds. Let’s explore the different classes and the common traits of these breeds that are a part of them.

How many different species of chickens are there?

Chickens are categorized as pure breeds, hybrids, and bantams. There are more than 500 chicken breeds throughout the world.

There are hundreds of chicken breeds in existence.[1] Domesticated for thousands of years, distinguishable breeds of chicken have been present since the combined factors of geographical isolation and selection for desired characteristics created regional types with distinct physical and behavioral traits passed on to their offspring.

The physical traits used to distinguish chicken breeds are size, plumage color, comb type, skin color, number of toes, amount of feathering, egg color, and place of origin. They are also roughly divided by primary use, whether for eggs, meat, or ornamental purposes, and with some considered to be dual-purpose.

Difference between the sizes of Brahma and Bantam roostersIn the 21st century, chickens are frequently bred according to predetermined breed standards set down by governing organizations. Only some of the known breeds are included in these publications, and only those breeds are eligible to be shown competitively. There are additionally a few hybrid strains which are common in the poultry world, especially in large poultry farms.

These types are first generation crosses of true breeds. Hybrids do not reliably pass on their features to their offspring, but are highly valued for their producing abilities. The Australorp, an Australian breedThe d’Everberg, a Belgian ornamental bantamThe oldest German breed, the Bergische Krher (Historical illustration by Jean Bungartz, 1885)The longtailed Phoenix , a German breed derived from the Japanese Onagadori Large breeds[ edit ] Annaberger Haubenstrupphhner [17] [18] Augsburger [17] [18] Bergische Krher , [17] [18] Bergische Schlotterkmme [17] [18] Bielefelder Kennhuhn [17] [18] Deutsches Lachshuhn , [17] see Faverolles [18] Deutsche Langschan , [17] see German Langshan [18] Deutsches Reichshuhn [17] [18] Deutsche Sperber [17] [18] Dresdner [17] [18] German creeper [17] [18] Hamburger , [17] see Hamburg [18] Kraienkppe ( Twents hoen ) [18] Lakenfelder , [17] see Lakenvelder [18] Nackthalshhner , see Naked-neck [18] Niederrheiner [17] [18] Ostfriesische Mwen , [17] [18] see East Frisian Gull Pflzer Kmpfer [18] Phoenix [18] Ramelsloher [17] [18] Rheinlnder [17] [18] Sachsenhuhn [17] [18] Strupphuhn , see Frizzle [18] Sultanhuhn , see Sultan [18] Sundheimer [17] [18] Thringer Barthuhn [17] [18] Vogtlnder [17] [18] Vorwerkhuhn , [17] see Vorwerk [18] Westflische Totleger , [17] [18] see Westphalian chicken

The Aseel, a fighting breedThe Orloff, an Iranian breedA Cantabrian Pedresa rooster without tail feathersThe Appenzeller, a rare Swiss crested breedThe Sultan, a Turkish breed All chickens lay eggs , have edible meat , and possess a unique appearance. However, distinct breeds are the result of selective breeding to emphasize certain traits. Any breed may be used for general agricultural purposes, and all breeds are shown to some degree.

But each chicken breed is known for a primary use. Many breeds were selected and are used primarily for producing eggs , these are mostly light-weight birds whose hens do not go broody often. Most farms and homesteads use dual-purpose breeds for meat production.

Some breeds are raised mainly for meat: Barred Plymouth Rock, a dual-purpose breedThe generalist breeds used in barnyards worldwide are adaptable utility birds good at producing both meat and eggs. Though some may be slightly better for one of these purposes, they are usually called dual-purpose breeds.

Since the 19th century, poultry fancy , the breeding and competitive exhibition of poultry as a hobby, has grown to be a huge influence on chicken breeds. Many breeds have always been kept for ornamental purposes, and others have been shifted from their original use to become first and foremost exhibition fowl, even if they may retain some inherent utility. Since the sport of cockfighting has been outlawed in the developed world, most breeds first developed for this purpose, called game fowl, are now seen principally in the show ring rather than the cock pit as fighting cocks .

Key U denotes a breed primarily used for exhibition, but which is still used for utility purposes. Most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, sometimes referred to as a miniature . Miniatures are usually one-fifth to one-quarter the size of the standard breed, but they are expected to exhibit all of the standard breed’s characteristics.

A true bantam has no large counterpart, and is naturally small. The true bantams include: Many common strains of crossbred chickens exist, but none breed true or are recognized by poultry breed standards ; thus, though they are extremely common in flocks focusing on high productivity, crossbreeds do not technically meet the definition of a breed .

Most crossbreed strains are sex linked , allowing for easy chick sexing . ^ ( Ekarius 2007 , p. 23) harv error: no target: CITEREFEkarius2007 ( help ) ^ a b ( Ekarius 2007 ) harv error: no target: CITEREFEkarius2007 ( help ) ^ ( Heinrichs 2007 ) ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em Domestic Animal Diversity Information System . Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Grandes volailles Archived 2018-09-23 at the Wayback Machine (in French) Association pour la Promotion des Animaux de Basse-cour Belges. “Large poultry breeds” ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Volailles naines Archived 2018-09-23 at the Wayback Machine (in French) Association pour la Promotion des Animaux de Basse-cour Belges. “Dwarf poultry breeds” ^ “Croatian Hen” .

^ http://www.rfp-europe.org/fileadmin/SITE_ERFP/country_reports/Crotia/CR_Croatia_2009.pdf ^ “Archived copy” (PDF) . Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-25. CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link ) ^ “Biodiversity in the CR/animals genetic resources” .

^ “Czech chicken breeds” . ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Nikkonen, Terhi (2011) Finnish AnGR conservation programme: What and how? MTT Agrifood Research Finland.

^ “Finnish National Animal Genetic Resources Program / Each country’s work / Nordic conservation work / Innehll / Farm Animals / NordGens webbplats – Nordic Genetic Resource Center” . ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao French fowl Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine Fdration franaise des volailles. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w Hhner 2011 Archived 2016-03-05 at the Wayback Machine (in German) Bund Deutscher Rassegeflgelzchter e.V.

Chickens 2011″ ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce Listing of European Poultry Breeds and Colours, 2013 Archived 2013-06-16 at the Wayback Machine , entente-ee.com ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au Zwerghhner 2011 Archived 2016-03-21 at the Wayback Machine (in German) Bund Deutscher Rassegeflgelzchter e.V. ^ ( Percy 2006 , p. 17) ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Atlante delle razze * di polli (in Italian) Accessed January 2012. “Atlas of chicken breeds” ^ “Kosova Long Crowing Rooster” .

^ Tringjyrshet Kosov ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Hoenders en dwerghoenders Archived 2007-07-17 at the Wayback Machine (in Dutch) Nederlandse Bond van Hoender, Dwerghoender, Sier- en Watervogelhouders. ^ a b c d e Breeds reported by Philippines: Chicken . Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

^ a b c d e Feleciano R. Bejar, Manuel J. Baylon, Jaime B. Fabillar, Lagrito Ebert B. Mante, Arturo A. Ultra, Reynaldo R. Aquino, Elvie T. Bejar (2012). Management Practices and Morphological Characterization of Indigenous (Native) Chickens in Samar Province Archived 2014-06-15 at archive.today . Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture: Agriculture & Development Discussion Paper Series No.

^ a b c d Aves Archived 2012-01-21 at the Wayback Machine (in Portuguese) Associao dos Criadores de Bovinos de Raa Barros. “Birds” ^ Banatski goloijan standard Archived 2013-02-01 at the Wayback Machine (in Serbian) Udruzenje za zastitu i odgoj sitnih zivotinja Sremska Mitrovica. ^ Svrljig Kokos Balkan Network for Agrobiodiversity.

^ a b c d Slovenske avtohtone in tradicionalne pasme domaih ivali (2014). Oddelek za zootehniko, UL BF (in Slovenian). “Poultry Breeds -Styrian Chickens Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science” .

^ a b c Strelec, Alenka; Teri, Duan; Malovrh, pela; Holcman, Antonija (2009). “Prireja in fizikalne lastnosti jajc slovenskih tradicionalnih pasem kokoi lahkega tipa” . Acta agriculturae Slovenica (in Slovenian).

“Primerjava proizvodnosti piancev ross 308 in slovensko pozno operjene kokoi v pogojih ekoloke reje” . ^ Agricultural Research Council – The indigenous poultry breeds of SA Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Ganaderia: Catlogo Oficial de Razas de Ganado de Espaa Archived 2012-02-02 at the Wayback Machine (in Spanish) Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. Accessed January 2012 ( click Razas, then Catlogo Oficial de razas).

^ Asociacion Cntabra para la Conservacin y Fomento de la Gallina Pedresa. ^ a b c Breeds reported by Thailand: Chicken . Domestic Animal Diversity Information System of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

^ “Pradu Hang Dam Chiangmai” . Poultry Research and Development Section, Bureau of Animal Husbandry and Genetic Improvement, Department of Livestock Development, Thailand. British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain .

Department of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chicken breeds . Authority control: National libraries

Several of our selections are critically endangered and in need of conservation help (perhaps you will find something that you would like to help conserve).

We have even made a tool to help you find your perfect chicken. Whether you are looking for a superb egg layer, a stunning exhibition bird, or a pet, this article should have something for you.

Choose Your Breed: A-Z All Breeds Select Chicken BreedAltsteirerAmeraucanaAnconaAndalusianAppenzellerAraucanaAustra WhiteAustralorpAyam CemaniBarbu dUccleBarnevelderBasqueBlack Copper MaransBlack Sex LinkBlue Laced Red WyandotteBooted BantamBrabanterBrahmaBredaBresseBrown LeghornBuckeyeBuff OrpingtonCampineCatalanaChanteclerCherry EggerCinnamon QueenCochinColumbian WyandotteCornish CrossCream LegbarCrevecoeurCubalayaCuckoo MaransDelawareDerbyshire RedcapDominiqueDorkingDutch BantamEaster EggerEgyptian FayoumiFaverollesFrizzleGolden CometGolden Laced WyandotteHamburgHoudanIcelandicIowa BlueISA BrownIsbarJaerhonJavaJersey GiantLangshanLavender OrpingtonLight BrahmaMalayMarsh DaisyMinorcaNankinNew HampshireOld English GameOlive EggerOnagadoriOrloffOrpingtonsPekin BantamPhoenixPlymouth RockPolishRed Jungle FowlRed RangerRed Sex LinkRhode Island RedSebrightSeramaShamoSicilian ButtercupSilkieSilver Laced WyandotteSpeckled SussexSultanSumatraSussexSwedish Black HenSwedish Flower HensThuringianTomaruTurkenVorwerkWelsummerWhite Faced Black SpanishWhite LeghornWhite RockWhiting True BlueWyandotteYokohama Their plumage is multi-colored and they also have beards and muffs which give them an unusually fluffy appearance. Fully grown hens weigh around 5lb or so, but if you want smaller they come in bantam size as well.

Their main claim to fame is laying blue eggs . AmeraucanaMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Blue Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any This breed originated in Italy and has the classic shape of a Mediterranean breed. She possesses a beautiful black and white mottled plumage which gets better with age.

They are a hardy chicken that can lay right through the winter producing 4-5 large white eggs a week. With this breed you can expect an active hen that does not tolerate confinement well. They are an early maturing layer that has a good feed conversion ratio.

Their exact origins are unknown, however we do know they are fairly ancient as they were kept by the Romans . They thrive outside as close confinement will make them flighty, nervous and neurotic. AndalusianMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates Meet the Appenzeller Spitzhauben.

The Appenzeller is a small, active chicken that is an excellent forager. The silver, gold and chamois color varieties are the most popular, however this hen remains rare in the US. Expect them to lay around three medium white eggs a week.

Originally from Chile, this breed was found living among the Mapuche Indians. It is thought she is a mix of two older breeds (the Collonca and Quetros). Around 25% of all Araucana chicks will die in the shell because of the tufting gene.

Araucanas are best described as friendly, quiet and good with children. They are decent layers of three medium sized light blue eggs each week. Hens have a tendency to go broody and make good mothers.

Their parents are a black Australorp rooster with a white Leghorn hen. The Australorp gene adds some size to the normally slender Leghorn. They are described as calm, docile and friendly so they do well with children and do not object to being picked up.

The Australorp was created in Australia by crossing Orpingtons with Rhode Island Reds, Minorcas and a few other breeds. This created an egg laying superstar and Australorps are the national bird of Australia. Although initially they will be shy, she will become curious and love to investigate things.

They are a low maintenance chicken that does well with children and novices alike. Black Copper Marans have become enormously popular because of their dark chocolate colored eggs. As the laying season continues the color of the eggs will become lighter however it will still be pretty dark.

The Marans are a combination of several breeds brought together in western France during the early 1900s. Their plumage is an eye catching black (with green iridescence) with copper colored hackles. They are considered a dual purpose breed and will lay around 3 eggs each week.

She is a quiet and gentle hen that is generally fairly tough and healthy. Black Copper MaransMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Chocolate Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any Also known as a Black Star, the black sex link chicken is one of the most popular chickens around. They are a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire rooster with a Barred Rock hen.

When the chicks hatch the males have a white dot on their heads (so are very easy to sex). She is a docile, friendly and active breed that will become attached to their keepers. Black Sex LinkMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The brown Leghorn is one of the Leghorn varieties that does well on a homestead.

Brown Leghorns will give you 3-4 large white eggs each week. Brown LeghornMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Campine is an old noble breed from Belgium. It is believed to have been around in Roman times, however since then they have diminished in popularity and are now considered critically endangered.

Campines produces 3 large white eggs a week. She is inquisitive, intelligent and friendly to a point but does not like to be held. They are tolerant of a wide range of climates but do not do well in very cold areas.

She is a friendly and docile breed suitable for an urban setting. Cherry EggerMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Cinnamon Queen is yet another name for Red Sex Link Chickens. Red Sex Links are named so because you can tell the difference between the male and female at hatching (so there should be no accidental roosters)!

You can expect a friendly, docile breed that is easy to handle. The Cream Legbar was created in the UK back in the 1930s by Professor Punnett. The chicks can be sexed at hatching so there should not be any accidental roosters found in the bunch.

In general they are a friendly and docile breed that is easily handled. They are best known as a friendly breed that is great with kids and enjoys lap time too. Whilst this breed is technically a hybrid, they are highly sought after because of their colored eggs.

They can lay blue, olive, green and even pinkish colored eggs . She is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and climates and is generally low maintenance. Easter EggerMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Rainbow (Other) Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Golden Comet is another hybrid Red Sex Link Chicken.

She was only used for the poultry industry however this lovely lady has become a backyard favorite. Unfortunately as they have been bred to lay eggs they usually have a short life (less than 5 years). She is a hardy little hen and tolerates both hot and cold climates.

They love to free range but will tolerate confinement with sufficient room. Golden CometMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Hamburg chicken has been traced back to fourteenth century Holland where they are thought to have originated. The breed is quite hard to find and is on the Livestock Conservancy watch list.

Her personality is active and somewhat flighty they are very predator savvy and fly well. The ISA Brown was bred from the Institut de Selection Animale. They are also known as a Hubbard ISA and their exact genetic makeup is a closely guarded secret and was patented back in 1978.

ISA Browns were bred as egg laying machines for the poultry industry and they will put out 5-6 large brown eggs each week for the first 18 months or so, then production will drop off a bit. Sadly they have a very short lifespan of 2-3 years all that egg laying is rough on their body. They are affectionate hens and often enjoy a special bond with their humans with lots of lap time and cuddles.

ISA BrownMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any Created in the 1950s by a Catholic priest, the Isbar is a relatively new breed. Expect an intelligent, calm and easy going hen that is friendly to their humans. As they were created in Sweden they are quite cold tolerant with beautiful dense feathering.

They are good foragers and prefer to free range to confinement. IsbarMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Rainbow (Other) Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy The Jaerhon is the only chicken breed that comes from Norway . JaerhonMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy The Langshan first made its appearance in England in the late 1800s when it was imported from China .

It is a large dual purpose chicken with a very upright carriage. Interestingly they are the only hen known to lay a plum colored egg. The hens weigh in at around 6.5lb and are good layers putting out 3 large eggs per week.

Olive Eggers are technically a hybrid and are a fairly new introduction to the chicken scene. Their looks can vary but the hens will lay an olive colored egg. They are winter hardy and love foraging although they will tolerate confinement very well.

This breed is not as fast to mature as the industrial chickens of today, but they are well worth the wait! Hens come in at 7lb and will lay a steady 4-5 light brown eggs. They are also an autosexing breed which means you can tell the boys from the girls as soon as they hatch.

This is a docile, inquisitive and friendly breed that is suitable for kids. There are several color varieties to choose from and they come in standard or bantam size. Plymouth RockMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Red Sex Link is a hybrid breed.

They are friendly, docile and love to be pet and held, making them perfect for kids. You can find Red Sex Links under a variety of names: Golden Comet, Red Star, Bovans Brown and ISA brown to name a few. Red Sex LinkMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The origins of the Swedish Black Hen are uncertain, but what we do know is this breed was found in Sweden.

This is a landrace bird that is a rare fibromelanistic chicken similar to the Ayam Cemani. Also known as the Svart Hona, they love to free range and are excellent foragers. She is a small hen (weighing around 3.5lb) and will lay 3 large eggs each week.

Overall they are a fairly low maintenance breed and can tolerate cold and hot weather. Swedish Black HenMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Swedish Flower hen was relatively unknown until the early 2000s. It is a landrace bird that has evolved for survival in a harsh landscape.

Landrace means there has been no human interference with the breed, so genetic diversity is high. The base plumage colors can be: black, yellow or white, but the overall pattern is mille fleur this gives them a good camouflage against predators. Hens are decent layers and will lay 3-4 medium eggs each week.

There are several different varieties of Leghorn but the white is the most prolific layer . White LeghornMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The White Rock is one of the Plymouth Rock varieties. The hens are usually around 6lb in weight and good layers of large brown eggs (usually 4-5 per week).

They thrive in colder areas because of their dense feathering and are also available as bantams. White RockMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Whiting True Blue Chicken is a relatively new breed of chicken. He created the chickens for two reasons: egg laying and fly tying.

Apparently the hackle feathers of the True Blue are of superb quality for tying fishing flies. The hens are good layers and will give you 4 blue eggs each week. True Blues are docile, curious and friendly towards humans.

They are fast growing hens that are good flyers and love to be active. Their plumage is mixed colors with an occasional beard or single comb making an appearance. Whiting True BlueMain Use: Eggs Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Blue Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Altsteirer is an ancient breed that can be traced back to at least the thirteenth century.

They are constantly alert and love to free range and fly. The hens lay around three large white eggs each week and are not known for being broody. AltsteirerMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any

The Barnevelder was created in Holland specifically to lay a dark brown egg. Hens generally produce 3-4 large brown eggs each week (even through the winter). Once fully grown hens will lay around 5lb (there is a bantam variety too).

As for their personality they are calm and friendly with strong streaks of curiosity and intelligence. They much prefer to be free ranging but will tolerate confinement pretty well as long as they have sufficient room and things to occupy them. BarnevelderMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Chocolate Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Basque hen, also known as the Euskal Oiloa, originally comes from the Basque region of Spain.

As a result Basque hens are hardy and a very thrifty forager. These days it is a rare hen and efforts are being made to preserve this breed in their homeland. They are a remarkably friendly breed, and will not be afraid to jump into your lap to tell you about their day.

BasqueMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates Although the blue lacing on red feathers seems to be the draw right now, this color variety can actually be dated back to the 1900s. The Wyandotte is very well suited for cold climates as they have a rose comb and dense feathering to keep themselves warm through those long winter nights.

Overall she is a peaceful, quiet and dependable breed, that lays 4 large cream/light brown eggs each week. They do well in confinement as long as they have enough room, but prefer to free range when they can. Blue Laced Red WyandotteMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any

They are very tame and do well with children although their size can be a bit intimidating for some kids. You can expect them to lay 3-4 medium brown eggs each week. BrahmaMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Breda is the national bird of the Netherlands.

There is no comb just a red patch of skin and a small tuft The Breda was very popular here in the US prior to the Civil War and then just faded away. Bredas weigh around 5-6lb and will lay 3 large white eggs each week.

They are a shy chicken but are friendly, docile, alert and always curious. BredaMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Buckeye is the only American hen to have a pea comb . They can thrive in cold climates because of their pea comb and tight feathering.

Buckeyes are more suited to free ranging, but should be kept in a safe area as they are not entirely predator savvy. They are a good dual purpose breed, with hens laying 3-4 eggs a week. BuckeyeMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any

She is a cuddly and calm breed that enjoys lap time and being picked up. She is a good layer putting out between 3-5 large light brown eggs per week. The only negative thing to say about them is that they can be annoyingly broody, but if you want to raise chicks the Orpington will oblige.

Buff OrpingtonMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Catalana originated in Spain and unusually for a Mediterranean breed is dual purpose. Hens are good layers putting out 4 large white eggs a week and are rarely broody. Unfortunately this breed has not caught on in the US yet, but they are very popular in Spain and Latin America.

CatalanaMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates They were bred in a Quebec monastery with the intention of producing a good dual purpose chicken that could survive the Canadian winters. Chanteclers have small wattles, a cushion comb and dense feathering. ChanteclerMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Colombian Wyandotte is one of the prettier Wyandotte varieties.

In addition to this she is a good layer and will produce 4-5 large light brown eggs a week. Hens do occasionally go broody and make attentive mothers. They do equally well confined or free ranging but if they are allowed to roam they are great foragers.

They are suitable for an urban environment and come in standard and bantam sizes. Columbian WyandotteMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Cuckoo Marans is one of several varieties of Marans chickens. This French breed was developed over the centuries and an official standard was established in the 1920s.

The hens are very sought after because they lay chocolate colored eggs. They are said to mature fairly quickly and once fully grown a hen will weight 7-8lb. Cuckoo MaransMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Chocolate Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any

The Delaware was created around the 1940s and was destined to become the broiler chicken of the industry. Originally called Indian Rivers they were extremely popular because they laid well and were fast growing. However they were surpassed in growth by the Cornish Cross, which became the broiler hen of the century.

Delawares are calm and curious hens that are personable and intelligent. Available in both standard and bantam sizes this is a good homesteading breed. Hens will lay 4 large brown eggs a week and rarely go broody.

DelawareMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Red Cap is an old English breed. They are an active but shy breed and are well suited for free ranging. They have a stunning rose comb (hence the name Red Cap) and will reach around 6lb.

They were especially popular in the north of England however these days she is critically endangered. The hens are not prolific layers but will give you a respectable 3-4 medium white eggs each week. Derbyshire RedcapMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Dominique hen is considered to be one of Americas oldest breeds.

Their plumage is a black and white staggered barring pattern which helps them hide from predators. Their dense plumage and rose comb makes them a cold hardy breed. They are active, hardy and a fairly low maintenance breed.

DominiqueMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The exact history of the Dorking is unclear but they are thought to have originated from England. They evolved from the Landrace Chicken and remain a slow grower by todays standards. They like to free range but will tolerate confinement fairly well.

They are one of the few hens with red earlobes that produce white eggs. DorkingMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy The Faverolles is an old French breed that is used as a dual purpose bird. They have a happy personality, love to chat with you, are friendly, gentle and docile.

Their plumage is quite dense and they have beards, muffs and feathered feet which gives them an even fluffier appearance. The most popular variety of Faverolles is the salmon color , which is more of a honey brown tone. Hens are good layers of large tinted eggs.

The Faverolles love to free range but tolerate confinement with plenty of space. FaverollesMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Golden Laced Wyandotte is one of Americas premier breeds!

Once fully grown she will reach around 6lb, however if you are restricted with space then bantams are available. They are an independent minded hen and prefer the company of their own breed. Whilst she is friendly enough to humans, she does not enjoy being picked up or cuddled.

Their independent nature and low maintenance requirements makes them ideal for novices and 4H programs. Golden Laced WyandotteMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any Icelandic chickens are a rare gem . They are almost genetically pure which seems to keep them pretty healthy and disease free.

They were left in Iceland by the Vikings who had selected the best utilitarian chickens they could find. As a Landrace Chicken there is no standard and they come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and plumage types. They are extremely hardy to most climates, fly well and very predator savvy.

Given their history this breed will never be cuddly, but they will become friendly and trusting of you if given time. IcelandicMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy Unfortunately the Iowa Blue is a rare breed these days. They were created around the 1900s in Iowa and quickly gained popularity in small farms and homesteads.

Hens are good layers and will give you 3-4 eggs each week. Also the ladies have a tendency towards broodiness and make good mothers. Roosters are known for being great flock defenders and their nickname is hawk fighter!

The breed does best in a free range situation as it is a great forager and alert to danger. You can expect a fairly calm and docile chicken that is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and environments. Iowa BlueMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Java is the second oldest breed in the US behind the Dominique.

They were critically endangered at one time but are slowly making a comeback. They are a dual purpose chicken and will lay 3 large brown eggs a week. This breed loves to range and when allowed they will supplement their diet very well.

Expect a friendly, docile and calm breed that is easily handled. JavaMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any It was originally intended to rival the turkeys place at the table.

As you would expect this is a large chicken that stands around 2 feet tall. Given their size you will need to have larger pens, doors and nest boxes available for them. Also make sure to place perches slightly lower to the floor.

Jersey Giants are calm, gentle and love to forage. They are not known for being broody, but sadly when they do, they often break the eggs with their weight or step on the chicks accidentally. They are suitable for beginners and children although their size can be a bit intimidating!

Jersey GiantMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Lavender Orpington is one of the newer additions to the Orpington family. They are a dual purpose hen but the lavender strain often is an exhibition or show bird too. Hens are notoriously broody and make great mothers and will raise most eggs placed under them.

When they are not broody they will lay 3-4 large tinted eggs each week. Orpingtons are inclined to be lazy and whilst they do forage they will prefer to sit by the feeder. Their weight should be monitored as obese hens can have serious problems with egg laying.

They are gentle, quiet, docile and make great beginner chickens. Lavender OrpingtonMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Light Brahma is a color variation of the Brahma. Brahmas are calm, friendly and quiet, so are well suited for beginners.

The hens are good layers and will produce around 4 brown eggs per week. Light BrahmaMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Marsh Daisy is sadly in need of people to help conserve the breed. She was created in the 1800s in Lancashire (England) and is a beautiful hen well suited to small farms and homesteads.

They are slow to mature but they are very economical since they love to free range and are very active foragers. Hens weigh around 5.5lb and will lay 2-3 medium tinted eggs each week. Marsh DaisyMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Minorca was developed in the late 1700s and comes to us from the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean.

Also known as the Moorish chicken, or the Red faced Black Spanish, they are the largest of the Mediterranean breeds standing tall with a long tail. Notably they have large white earlobes and can have either a single or rose comb. They can still be a bit flighty on occasions but are generally calm and docile.

You can expect excellent foragers that prefer warmer climates. MinorcaMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The New Hampshire breed was created in the State of New Hampshire around 1918 as a dual purpose hen. Unfortunately they have always been overshadowed by the Rhode Island Red which was created around the same time.

They are friendly hens that tend to make good pets and are easy to tame (so are ideal for kids). The hens weigh in at 6.5lb and are good layers of large tinted eggs. New Hampshires come in both standard and bantam sizes, but both are hard to find.

New HampshireMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any To this day the Orpington breed is a favorite of many small farms and backyard poultry enthusiasts. This is a large dual purpose chicken that is a prolific egg layer.

They are large and have copious feathering which comes in several varieties buff is regarded as the favorite. This is a great hen for novices and children and will frequently become lap chickens. OrpingtonsMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Red Ranger is a dual purpose hybrid chicken that was initially made for the meat market.

Hens are good layers of large brown eggs and will usually lay 3-4 each week. She is rarely broody and unlike the Cornish Cross, this breed will live for several years. These hens love to free range and are excellent foragers which can help reduce feed costs.

Red RangerMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any This breed was created in the mid 1800s in Rhode Island their fame is such that it is the state chicken there. They do well in confinement or free range and are a very low maintenance chicken to keep.

Rhode Island Reds are docile and friendly with humans, but can be pushy with other breeds. Rhode Island RedMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Any The Sicilian Buttercup is an unusual looking breed. Also the plumage of the hens and roosters is totally different with the ladies having a spangled appearance.

Originating in Sicily, this breed has the typical slender Mediterranean build. Sicilian ButtercupMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates This variety of Wyandotte is actually the first of its breed. The breeders were looking for a good dual purpose hen since none existed at that time.

Wyandottes were created to thrive in the cold winters of New York and Michigan. Hens will lay 4 large eggs each week and are not known for being broody . Silver Laced WyandotteMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Speckled Sussex is one variety of the very old Sussex breed.

This is a dual purpose chicken that dresses out to a good 7lb for hens. Hens are good layers but they do have a slight tendency towards broodiness. If allowed to free range they are excellent foragers but they do tolerate confinement well.

Speckled SussexMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy They were kept as a dual purpose chicken and in their heyday supplied London with meat for the markets. This is a dual purpose breed that will put out 4-5 large brown eggs a week.

Hens are known for being a bit broody but they do make great mothers. Overall they are a mellow, low maintenance breed that is available in standard or bantam size and is suitable for kids or as a lap chicken. SussexMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 250+ Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy The Turken, also known as the Naked Neck, is a strange looking chicken.

It is thought they originated from Transylvania, which explains their other nicknames: the Transylvanian naked neck or Kaalnek. If they are allowed to range they are good foragers, active and vigorous. TurkenMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Vorwerk was created in Germany around the 1900s.

They are fast to grow and mature and are very suitable for small farms and homesteads. She is winter hardy to most climates and available in both standard and bantam sizes. The hens are decent layers of cream eggs around 3 per week and they lay well throughout the winter.

They do like to be active so free ranging is best for them as they are good foragers. Vorwerks are a calm, docile and friendly hen which makes them good for novices and children. VorwerkMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any Welsummers originated in Holland around the 1920s and remain very popular in Europe.

Here in the US they are gaining popularity as a dual purpose bird that is great for small farms and homesteads. They are decent layers and produce 4-5 large dark brown eggs each week. The Welsummer will tolerate confinement but do best when free ranging as they are excellent foragers.

They are a low maintenance breed that is smart, curious and friendly with humans. WelsummerMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Chocolate Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any It was created to be a dual purpose breed providing for both meat and eggs.

The hens are good layers of light brown eggs, usually around 4 per week. Wyandottes are an aloof chicken, friendly to a point but they do not really enjoy being picked up or held. WyandotteMain Use: Dual Purpose Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any

The Cochin was one of the breeds responsible for the hen fever of the late 1800s. The Cochin is a large bird and is covered head to toe in feathers. CochinMain Use: Pet Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any Depending on which country you live in, the Frizzle may, or may not be a breed.

Just remember that their feathers can be broken easily and the curling affects their ability to fly. They are a sweet and gentle breed that enjoys being with their humans and make very good show or exhibition birds. This chicken is a good little forager who enjoys free ranging.

FrizzleMain Use: Pet Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any They are mainly used for ornamental or show purposes these days, but they do lay fairly well. Just remember that their head feathers can cause problems as they impinge upon the eyesight, so these chickens should be confined or supervised in free ranging.

PolishMain Use: Pet Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any Originating in China, this breed has become one of the most popular chickens of all time. This breed makes for great pets since they love to cuddle, quiet and are very friendly.

The hens are frequently used as broodies since they love to sit on eggs and they make very attentive mothers. Since they cannot fly they are best confined or if left to free range they must be supervised. SilkieMain Use: Pet Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any

Raising this hen is very strictly controlled and only farmers that conform to the specifications are allowed to sell their chickens as Bresse. It is the same breed but cannot be called a Bresse as it would violate trade standards. BresseMain Use: Meat Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any

The Cornish Cross broiler was created by the poultry industry over 50 years ago and still dominates the meat market today. This chicken is a cross between the commercial Cornish hen and a White Plymouth Rock. Cornish CrossMain Use: Meat Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any Although often nicknamed Russians, this breed actually came from Persia.

However they gained popularity in the early 1800s by a Russian count named Orloff-Techesmensky. As you might expect, they are well suited to cold climates and are found in several color varieties. They are a calm and quiet chicken but not overly friendly or docile.

OrloffMain Use: Meat Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Cold Hardy The Barbu DUccle is a delightfully friendly little hen that enjoys being held. She will frequently perch on your shoulder and talk to you needless to say she is a perfect chicken for kids.

I have found them to lay (small cream eggs) fairly consistently through the warmer months shutting down for winter. Barbu dUccleMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any These little chickens are true bantams. They are known as Sablepoot in the UK and can be traced back to the sixteenth century.

They look similar to the Barbu dUccle with feathered feet and vulture hocks. They are good foragers, but really should be kept in a covered area for their own safety. Hens weigh around 27oz and are good summer layers giving you 3 small white eggs each week.

Booted BantamMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any Despite their name the Dutch bantam did not originate in Holland. Hens weigh a slight 14oz and there is plenty of variety with over 25 color variations. The ladies are fair to moderate layers of small white eggs.

When raised from chicks they can be very tame and friendly with a good temperament. Dutch BantamMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Nankin is probably the oldest true bantam. This is a tiny breed weighing only 22-24oz and is unfortunately critically endangered worldwide.

She is a talkative, curious and social bird that likes to be active. They can be found with either a single or rose comb (better for cold climates). These little hens always range together as a flock to improve their chances of survival.

The hens will lay small cream eggs and are exceptional sitters, so much so that they are frequently used on English game farms to raise partridges. NankinMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any As their name suggests, they are a true bantam and there is no standard counterpart.

This bantam breed is gentle and docile but will only lay 2 small white eggs a week. There are several color varieties to choose from and can become great pets (especially for children). Pekin BantamMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Sebright is a very distinctive chicken which was developed in the 1800s in England.

Interestingly the roosters are hen feathered which means there is no plumage difference in the sexes. The chicken has a rose comb and stunning plumage there are two color varieties (gold and silver). Unfortunately there is a high mortality rate for chicks in this breed making them difficult to raise so not a hen for a novice.

SebrightMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Serama owns the title of the smallest chicken in the world . This breed is friendly, gentle, loves human company and is quiet. The Serama hen will lay 3-4 small eggs each week and likes to be broody.

SeramaMain Use: Bantam Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The melanoma means that everything is black: muscles, organs, heart and even the tongue! Because they are black they are highly revered in their homeland where they are considered to have magical properties.

Because of this they are considered poor layers since they only put out around 80 cream colored eggs a year. Ayam CemaniMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Brabanter is another old and distinguished breed. Their name comes from the Brabant area which covers part of Belgium and Holland.

A standard hen weighs between 5-6lb and will lay white eggs in moderate amounts. BrabanterMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Crevecoeur is an ancient French breed that is now critically endangered. They have an all black plumage with a head crest that almost hides the rooster V shaped comb.

They are a medium sized standard chicken with hens weighing around 6.5lb. Hens are moderate layers of medium sized white eggs (roughly 3 each week). They do tolerate confinement fairly well, but enjoy free ranging too.

CrevecoeurMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Cubalaya was developed in Cuba from Filipino poultry. However towards people, the Cubalaya is friendly, curious and remarkably tame. As you would expect they tolerate high heat and humidity well but do not do well in cold climates.

CubalayaMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 175-250 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates This particular breed is thought to have been in existence for around 3000 years! It comes from south western Egypt where it has thrived in the hot climate. As you may imagine they do not do well in confinement, it makes them more nervous and they start to feather pick each other.

If raised from chicks you can get them to be accepting of you, but they are not a very social breed where humans are concerned. They will lay 3 small tinted eggs per week and are not known for being broody. Egyptian FayoumiMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Quarrelsome (Aggressive) Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates

They were once widely kept as dual purpose hens, but nowadays are more ornamental or exhibition birds. Overall this is a docile and sweet chicken that enjoys lap time and is good with kids. HoudanMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The Malay chicken is certainly not for everyone.

This is an unruly chicken prone to picking on other breeds they will even feather pluck their own if confined. They are a game bird (hence the crabby temperament) and were widely used back in the 1900s to create or invigorate other breeds. These days the Malay is considered to be an ornamental or show bird.

The hens are poor layers, so if you get one egg a week you will be lucky. MalayMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Quarrelsome (Aggressive) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Old English Game has remained virtually unchanged for 2000 years! However since cock fighting is now illegal, it is used as a show or exhibition bird.

Old English GameMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Quarrelsome (Aggressive) Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Any This breed is for those who have the time, energy and devotion to care for them. The Onagadori is an ancient breed from Japan where it enjoys a special historical status. These chickens need special accommodations and care and should be kept by themselves to prevent damage to their tails.

OnagadoriMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Phoenix is a German creation that came into being around the 1800s. It is a beautiful breed with a good personality they are alert, docile, gentle and talkative. Today they are mainly used as show breeds and there are several color varieties to choose from.

PhoenixMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Friendly Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Red Jungle fowl is an ancestor of pretty much every chicken we see today. They still roam freely in areas of the Far East from Thailand down to the Indonesian islands.

To this day they remain wary of humans and avoid contact if possible. This breed does not like being handled and if allowed to free range will wander far and wide. The Jungle fowl is a smallish chicken with hens reaching only 2lb.

Red Jungle FowlMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Shamo is an Asian breed and was originally raised as a fighting bird. A chicken like this requires special handling and accommodations. Even the hens can be aggressive with other breeds and roosters will fight and kill other chickens.

This aggressive trait can also be problematic with the chicks they may fight and kill each other. Hens are poor layers giving you perhaps 2 light brown medium sized eggs per week. ShamoMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: Brown Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Quarrelsome (Aggressive) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Sultan is the ultimate in show chickens .

This chicken has it all: V comb, crest, beard and muffs, vulture hocks, feathered feet, a long tail and five toes. Originally they are from Turkey where they were known as the Serai Taook or Sultans fowl. They were allowed to roam the grounds of the palace because they did not scratch up the dirt or grass.

They are a calm, docile and very friendly hen well suited to pet status. They like to be active but should be either confined or supervised whilst free ranging. SultanMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The Sumatra was originally imported from Indonesia where it can still be found today.

The hens weigh around 4lb and are variable layers (strain dependant). Their main use today is as an ornamental breed and they can be found in bantam size also. SumatraMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any The Thuringian comes from the Thuringian Forest area of Germany and has been documented since the mid-1700s.

They are considered to be a dual purpose breed but now they are mainly kept for eggs and exhibition. Hens will lay 3 white eggs each week and rarely go broody if they do, they make good mothers. Overall this is a confident, active, talkative and very friendly chicken that would be ideal for children.

ThuringianMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Bold (Self Assured) Noise Level: Normal Preferred Climate: Any This ancient breed can be traced back about 1500 years! Boys also have long tails that can grow up to 4 feet, so special accommodations are required for this breed. Hens are poor layers producing 2 white eggs each week.

Tomarus are kept mainly for exhibition in the west, but in the Far East there are crowing contests for which these chickens are kept. TomaruMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates The White Faced Black Spanish, also known as Cara Blanca, hails from Spain and is an old breed possibly dating back to the 1500s . The hens are decent layers, producing 3 large white eggs a week.

You can expect a noisy flighty chicken that likes to free range and forage. This breed is rather slow to mature and can take a year to reach adulthood. White Faced Black Spanish are available in standard or bantam size.

White Faced Black SpanishMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: 100-170 Egg Color: White Beginner Friendly: No Temperament: Skittish Noise Level: Loud Preferred Climate: Warm Climates Despite the name, the Yokohama was created in Germany from Japanese parents back in the 1880s. This is a small breed that is bred for their incredibly long tails (they can grow up to 3 feet each year).

They love to free range as they are an active bird that is always alert for danger. Overall they are a low maintenance bird that is easy to handle and can become docile and friendly in time. YokohamaMain Use: Exhibition Yearly Egg Production: <100 Egg Color: Cream Beginner Friendly: Yes Temperament: Docile Noise Level: Quiet Preferred Climate: Any The first rule of chicken keeping is to do your homework.

If you are looking for a chicken that is friendly, docile and calm make sure you do not pick a breed that is known for fighting! Words like shy, aloof and independent all give you clues that this is not a pet chicken. Words like flighty or active are code that you may have them roosting in trees.

If you are looking for chickens for your kids to raise for 4H projects, be aware that some hatcheries carry lines that are not acceptable for 4H (read the small print). Do you have the time and patience to care for a flock during summer and winter? It can be expensive to start raising chickens (coop, secure run, feeders etc.).

If you are a beginner and want to buy from a local source (independent breeder or neighborhood farm) make sure to check them out first. Lastly make sure to check that chickens are allowed where you live. Ignorance of bylaws and regulations is no defence and you may have to part with your chickens.

It is always a good idea to see how close neighbors would feel about having chickens next to their house even if there are no prohibitions.

Around the same time that Orpingtons were being developed as a breed, Australorps were as well. Australians liked the black Orpingtons that were being brought over from England, and valued them for their egg laying ability. With maximum egg production in mind, Australians continued to develop their own distrinct breed. The breed went by many names, struggling to distinguish itself from Orpingtons, and finally settled on Australorp in the 1920s.

They lay a fair number of dark brown eggs, are good winter layers, and have a calm disposition. Poultry breeder Gerd Roth used genetics from a number of breeds including the Cuckoo Malines, Amrock, Wyandotte, and New Hampshire.

Females have a chipmunk strip on their backs, while males are lighter in color and have a yellow spot on their heads. Black Stars are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Rock hen. Often referred to as the King of All Poultry, the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor.

This breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as Hen Fever a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850. They are hardy chickens in winter climates, they cannot fly over low fences (because of their size), and they have calm and docile personalities. She crossed Buff Cochins and Barred Plymouth Rocks to create a large, lazy fowl, and then added some Black-Breasted Red Game birds.

They have pea combs (distinguishing them from Road Island Reds), are cold-weather hardy, and adaptive to a variety of living conditions. He set out to change this and create a practical chicken that would be suited to Canadas climate, and be an excellent dual-purpose bird. They are known to have a calm and friendly disposition, and lay jumbo brown eggs about 4 per week in ideal conditions.

The name Turken arose from the mistaken idea that the bird was a hybrid of a chicken and the domestic turkey. During the late 1800s, William Cook wanted to create a new breed that was dual purpose, but had white skin, which the British preferred for meat. Within 10 years, Orpingtons were a favorite in both England and America, and came in a variety of colors black, white, buff, jubilee, and spangled.

Developed in America in the middle of the 19th century, this breed of chicken is historically the most popular in the United States. The popularity of this duel-purpose breed came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of brown eggs. Rhode Island Reds are a great choice for beginner chicken-keepers, or expert small flock keepers alike!

Developed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the late 1800s, these birds are a hardy, dual purpose breed. The Speckledy is a modern hybrid, resulting from a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Marans hen. Developed in the 1880s, Wyandottes are named after a Native American tribe prevalent in parts of upstate New York and Ontario, Canada.

The Silver Laced Wyandotte was the original color recognized, but since then black, blue, buff, buff Columbian, Columbian, golden laced, partridge, and silver pencilled have been added as recognized color varieties. Geneticists at Cambridge University had the goal of creating a chicken with high egg production and autosexing traits. Autosexing traits are distinct differences between males and females that are visible on the day chicks hatch.

That means you know hens from roosters on day one and dont have to wait 12 weeks to find out, which is pretty handy! Hens lay 160-200 eggs per year that are sky-blue or pale green in color, and they rarely go broody. A relative of Ameraucanas and Araucanas, an Easter Egger is any chicken that possesses the blue egg gene, but doesnt fully meet any breed standard defined by the American Poultry Association.

Easter eggers are a very popular type of chicken, and can be found in just about any feed store that sells chicks. Catholic monk Martin Silverudd had the goal to create autosexing breeds that lay a high volume of unusually colored eggs. They are cold-hardy and good foragers, and are alert to predators but friendly to people, making them great free-range birds.

The exact shade of green in their eggs and also their appearance is highly variable and changes based on the breed of parents. These birds possess all the qualities Silverudd was after: an autosexing breed that produces eggs in commercial quantities. As adults, the males are largely white while the females are decorated with a beautiful spotted pattern the flowers that contribute to the breed name.

Also called Blue Andalusians, they commonly have slate-blue colored plumage, but depending upon genetics, they can also be off-white or even black. Their light body shape and their large pointed combs make them well-suited for warmer climates. These birds were a staple on small farms in the area and were bred as a dual-purpose breed with excellent egg production and good table quality.

Hens lay about 180 200 eggs per year, which are quite large relative to their medium body size. The Gournay is easy to tame and handles confinement well, making them a rare but excellent choice for backyard chicken keeping. The Friesan is an ancient chicken breed, over 1,000 years old, from the isolated region of the northern coast of the Netherlands.

This was conducted in a pub in England, about 1800, the bartender acting as judge, a copper pot as prize, and the roosters competing are said to have been Hamburgs.
The Livestock Conservancy This breed was developed simultaneously in England and the U.S. in the 1850s, with ancestry tracing back to birds in Northern Italy. In the U.S. there are seven recognized varieties: Black, Golden Neck, Mille Fleur, Mottled, Porcelain, Self Blue, and White.

If allowed open space and free ranging, these birds make excellent pets and are friendly to humans. Federfuflge Zwerghuhne in German, Sabelpoot in the Dutch, and Booted Bantam in the UK and Belgium. Almost exclusively an exhibition bird, they can be found in more than 20 color varieties, the most popular of which in the UK is the Lemon Millefleur.

This breed is ideal for homeowners with delicate lawns and gardens because their little legs cant do much damage while digging! Pekin Bantams are of Chinese origin and are alleged to have been looted by British soldiers from the private collection of the Emperor of China. The Dumpy in the name refers to a dwarfing gene that causes them to have very short legs and waddle as they walk.

Seramas are meant to be small, brave chickens with the persona of a fearless warrior or toy soldier. Hens lay a good amount of white eggs, should you want to keep some in your flock as layers. The Basque region of Spain and France has a rich history and culture that has endured thousands of years in the harsh and rugged terrain.

They are found in five color varieties: Beltza (black), Gorria (red), Lepasoila (naked-necked, red-brown), Marraduna (golden cuckoo) and Zilarra (black-tailed white). Basque Chickens are medium-sized, with roosters growing as large as 9 pounds, giving a good amount of meat for the table. Similar to French Champagne, birds must be raised within the legally defined area of the historic region of Bresse, in eastern France.

To maintain the strictest quality standards, the raising and selling of Bresse chickens is rigidly controlled by the French government. Bresse chickens are colored like the French flag red comb, white body, and blue legs. Due to the muscular nature of the breed, young birds could be harvested early to produce a tender and flavorful one-pound bird: the now well-know Cornish Game Hens. They are also ideal to cross with American breeds to produce extremely fast growing market poultry.

The Gournay is easy to tame and handles confinement well, making them a rare but excellent choice for backyard chicken keeping. In the Ixworth, he envisioned the ideal dual-purpose breed that would be an active forager, produce eggs, and make a hearty meal. Lyonnaise are excellent free-range birds, showing good survival skills when it comes to foraging for food and avoiding predators.

Starting with RIRs, breeders were very selective and intensified traits of early maturity, rapid full feathering, and production of large brown eggs. During World War I, Myhill had to leave his flock to free range while he left for military service. While he successfully did so, Black Marias did not gain in popularity, so Myhill had the name changed to Norfolk Grey.

They produce a good roast for the table, and hens lay 150-220 pale brown eggs per year. The breed has red plumage tipped with a blue-black, half-moon shaped spangle and leaden blue colored legs. Hens lay a moderate number of white eggs and are fairly good winter layers.

It is named for a small town in Normandy and translates to broken heart. Although popular in France, the breed hasnt quite caught on in other countries. Native to Turkey, Sultans there are known as Serai Taook, which translates to Fowl of the Sultans Palace. The breed first arrived in England in 1854 when Mrs. Elizabeth Watts, editor of the Poultry Chronicle in London, received the fowls from a friend living in Constantinople. They have a V-shaped comb, crest, beard, muffs, large nostrils, low-carried wings, vulture hocks, feathered shanks, and five toes.

Cochins, along with Brahmas, are responsible for the hen fever that over took poultry keepers in American and England in 1850. They are the pocket pet of the chicken world, with sweet and friendly temperaments and feathers that feel more like hair. The Brussbar is a dual purpose breed, developed by Professor Punnett and Mr. Pease at Cambridge in the first half of the 20th century.

They have a distinctive crele plumage, a copper and gold body color with barring patterns throughout. He wanted a dual-purpose hen laying large white eggs that remained in her egg-laying prime for longer than 2 years. These birds are calm, good winter layers, and given the intent of their creator, should produce lots of eggs in their lifetime!

Since then, the breed continues to be improved and standardized with great attention to detail to resemble the Normande as closely as possible. Birds are very striking in appearance, with iridescent greens and purple in their black body feathers and silver hackles. An ancient breed with ties to the Roman Empire, the Dorking was developed to be a superior table bird.

A folk legend tells the story of a white Plymouth Rock hen emerging from under a building with a clutch of chicks that were colored solid chestnut to striped. The breed is valued for being a large bird, with quality meat, that lays a high volume of dark brown, purplish eggs. The Marsh Daisy is a very rare breed originating in Lancashire, England, and has not made a name for itself in other countries.

Orloffs were previously believed to have originated in Russia, however modern research indicates they first appeared in Persia and were brought to Europe and Asia in the 17th century. This breed free ranged along the isolated rocky shores and is a proven survivor, eating whatever was available, including fish! As a unique trait, roosters wattles turn from red to bright violet when they are agitated and protecting their hens.

They are named after the town Vilafranca del Penedes and were developed from native backyard birds. In the Asturian language, Pita Pinta translates to painted hen. This breed is the only chicken indigenous to the area, and are considered extremely rare. Hailed as an absolute gift for the small poultry enthusiast, these birds have so many great qualities.

Originally created at the University of British Columbia in the 1940s, during the autosexing breed development craze, the Rhodebar involves a cross of Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Barred Rocks. A version of the breed was also created in the U.K. by crossing a Danish strain of Rhode Island Red with Golden Brussbars. This makes them easy to differentiate, so you stand an excellent chance of knowing if youve got future hens or roosters in the bunch.

Twentses (Dutch), also known as Kraienkoppes (German), are a large breed of chicken from an area spanning between Germany and the Netherlands. They are rumored to be the result of Leghorn and Malay crosses and are sporty, ornamental birds that also have good egg production. Hens lay a moderate amount of cream colored eggs that are relatively large in proportion to their body size.

The Campine chicken is originally from northern Belgium, but once it was imported to England in 1899, it was developed in to a much different bird. They about 3,000 years old, descended from Sri Lankan junglefowl that the Pharoah Tutankhamen had procured through the ancient cinnamon trade. Favorelles are extremely docile and quiet, which makes them a popular choice in home flocks as egg layers and pets.

The words la fleche translates to the arrow, which is linked to the part of France where these birds originated in the fifth century. Lakenvelders are sometimes known as Shadows on a Sheet, because in Dutch the name translates to white spread over a black field. They are beautiful birds with blue legs, deep red eyes, and long flowing tails.

Breeders provide special hutches with perches well above the ground where the tails are kept clean and in good condition. The first president of the National German Poultry Association, Mr. Hugo du Roi, is credited with the creation of the breed. As with other things distinctly Japanese, like koi fish and bonsai trees, the Shamo was carefully curated and finely tuned over the centuries.

The first Shamos in the United States were mostly likely smuggled overseas as eggs in the luggage of soldiers returning from World War II. Sicilian Buttercups originated on the island of Sicily, and were imported to the U.S., Britain, and Australia in the early 20th century. Sumatra hens lay an abundant number of white or lightly tinted eggs and are excellent winter layers.

Sumatra chickens are active and alert and are especially good at launching vertically to escape danger. While the breed was developed on the border of Norway and Sweden, these birds have ancestry tracing back to Indonesia. Like their cousins, the rare Ayam Cemani and the more common Silkie, Svart Hnas have fibromelanistic genetic traits, making them entirely black.

Hens are excellent layers of cream colored eggs, which are very large in relation to their small body size. Because they are not a standard breed, they come in a wide variety of colors featuring red, blue, or black, but should all maintain the flower patterning. Black Spanish hens were hugely popular in the 1800s for their ability to lay an abundant amount of large white eggs.

Considering Your Climate

For all of the benefits, though, keeping chickens does have some drawbacks:

List of chicken breeds

There are hundreds of chicken breeds in existence.The physical traits used to distinguish chicken breeds are size, plumage color, comb type, skin color, number of toes, amount of feathering, egg color, and place of origin.In the 21st century, chickens are frequently bred according to predetermined breed standards set down by governing organizations. The first of such standards was the British Poultry Standard, which is still in publication today.

By primary use[edit]

All chickens lay eggs, have edible meat, and possess a unique appearance. However, distinct breeds are the result of selective breeding to emphasize certain traits. Any breed may be used for general agricultural purposes, and all breeds are shown to some degree. But each chicken breed is known for a primary use.

Eggs[edit]

Many breeds were selected and are used primarily for producing eggs, these are mostly light-weight birds whose hens do not go broody often.

Meat[edit]

Most farms and homesteads use dual-purpose breeds for meat production. Some breeds are raised mainly for meat:

Dual-purpose[edit]

The generalist breeds used in barnyards worldwide are adaptable utility birds good at producing both meat and eggs. Though some may be slightly better for one of these purposes, they are usually called

Exhibition[edit]

Since the 19th century, poultry fancy, the breeding and competitive exhibition of poultry as a hobby, has grown to be a huge influence on chicken breeds. Many breeds have always been kept for ornamental purposes, and others have been shifted from their original use to become first and foremost exhibition fowl, even if they may retain some inherent utility. Since the sport of cockfighting has been outlawed in the developed world, most breeds first developed for this purpose, called game fowl, are now seen principally in the show ring rather than the cock pit as fighting cocks.

Bantams[edit]

Most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, sometimes referred to as a

Crossbreeds[edit]

Many common strains of crossbred chickens exist, but none breed true or are recognized by poultry breed standards; thus, though they are extremely common in flocks focusing on high productivity, crossbreeds do not technically meet the definition of a breed. Most crossbreed strains are sex linked, allowing for easy chick sexing.

Ameraucana

Ameraucanas are bred from the Araucana and are delightful to look at.Their plumage is multi-colored and they also have beards and muffs which give them an unusually fluffy appearance.Fully grown hens weigh around 5lb or so, but if you want smaller they come in bantam size as well.As for their personality, they are friendly, intelligent, curious and do well with children.They are quiet enough to keep in an urban setting too.

Ancona

This breed originated in Italy and has the classic shape of a Mediterranean breed.She possesses a beautiful black and white mottled plumage which gets better with age.They are a hardy chicken that can lay right through the winter producing 4-5 large white eggs a week.With this breed you can expect an active hen that does not tolerate confinement well. They are friendly with their humans and can be very talkative.They are an early maturing layer that has a good feed conversion ratio.Standard sized ones will weigh around 6lb, but they do come in bantam size too.

Andalusian

The Andalusian is another Mediterranean breed.Their exact origins are unknown, however we do know they are fairly ancient as they were kept by the Romans.Best described as dignified and poised,You will most commonly find this breed in blue. In fact many people keep Andalusians for their incomplete dominant blue gene and use it toThe hens are a moderately good layer of large white eggs (around three eggs per week).

Appenzeller

Meet the Appenzeller Spitzhauben.She is the national bird of Switzerland and as you may guess, they are very cold hardy!The Appenzeller is a small, active chicken that is an excellent forager.These hens have a very independent personality and are intelligent and always alert. They can be very noisy so urban living would not suit them.The silver, gold and chamois color varieties are the most popular, however this hen remains rare in the US.Expect them to lay around three medium white eggs a week.

Araucana

Originally from Chile, this breed was found living among the Mapuche Indians.It is thought she is a mix of two older breeds (the Collonca and Quetros).The Araucana is definitely different looking. She has no rump and has weird tufts sticking out of their ears. These tufts look kind of whimsical, but the gene that makes these tufts can be deadly to the chicks. Around 25% of all Araucana chicks will die in the shell because of the tufting gene.Araucanas are best described as friendly, quiet and good with children. They prefer to be active but will tolerate confinement.They are decent layers of three medium sized light blue eggs each week.
Hens have a tendency to go broody and make good mothers.They are a small bird weighing around 4-5lb for the standard hen. Whilst bantams exist they are difficult to find.

Austra White

The Austra White is an egg laying superstar.She was bred for egg production and will lay 4+ large eggs each week.Their parents are a black Australorp rooster with a white Leghorn hen.The Australorp gene adds some size to the normally slender Leghorn. Hens can plump out nicely to around 5lb and roosters to around 6lb.They are described as calm, docile and friendly so they do well with children and do not object to being picked up.Their plumage is mostly white with occasional black flecks throughout.

Australorp

The Australorp was created in Australia by crossing Orpingtons with Rhode Island Reds, Minorcas and a few other breeds.This created an egg laying superstar and Australorps are the national bird of Australia.Hens will lay 4-5 light brown medium sized eggs each week, averaging around 250 eggs a year.Although initially they will be shy, she will become curious and love to investigate things.Typically their plumage is black, however other varieties are available.They are a

Black Copper Marans

Black Copper Marans have become enormously popularAs the laying season continues the color of the eggs will become lighter – however it will still be pretty dark.The Marans are a combination of several breeds brought together in western France during the early 1900s. Their plumage is an eye catching black (with green iridescence) with copper colored hackles.They are considered a dual purpose breed and will lay around 3 eggs each week.She is a quiet and gentle hen that is generally fairly tough and healthy. There are both standard sized (hens around 6.5lb) and bantams. However bantams are incredibly rare and hard to find.

Black Sex Link

Also known as a Black Star, the black sex link chicken isThey are technically not a breed, but a hybrid. They are a cross between a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire rooster with a Barred Rock hen. When the chicks hatch the males have a white dot on their heads (so are very easy to sex).They are popular because they are great egg layers of 5 light brown eggs each week.She is a docile, friendly and active breed that will become attached to their keepers.

Brown Leghorn

The brown Leghorn is one of the Leghorn varieties that does well on a homestead.This is an active, independent and intelligent chicken that can fly well.They are best known as resourceful foragers that are cheap to keep.Brown Leghorns will give you 3-4 large white eggs each week. They do not tend to go broody but do make good mothers.Originally from Italy they have the slender Mediterranean build. They can have a single or rose comb and can also have white earlobes.Unfortunately they should avoid urban living as they can be noisy.

Campine

The Campine is an old noble breed from Belgium.It is believed to have been around in Roman times, however since then they have diminished in popularity and are now considered critically endangered.She is a small hen and only weighs around 5lb (bantam varieties are also available). There are two varieties: silver and gold.Campines produces 3 large white eggs a week.They are known as an active breed that loves to forage. She is inquisitive, intelligent and friendly to a point but does not like to be held. They are tolerant of a wide range of climates but do not do well in very cold areas.

Cherry Egger

Despite the name, the Cherry Egger does not lay cherry colored eggs!The name refers to the color of their plumage.They are a hybrid with one parent being the Rhode Island Red and the other a New Hampshire Red.As you might expect with such prolific egg laying parents,She is a friendly and docile breed suitable for an urban setting.They are readily available from many hatcheries.

Cinnamon Queen

The Cinnamon Queen is yet another name for Red Sex Link Chickens.Red Sex Links are named so because you can tell the difference between the male and female at hatching (so there should be no accidental roosters)!They are a hybrid chicken that performs very well at egg laying. She shouldYou can expect a friendly, docile breed that is easy to handle.They are known to be quiet so an urban setting is ok for them.

Cream Legbar

The Cream Legbar was created in the UK back in the 1930s by Professor Punnett. He was trying to create a bird that laid blue eggs and was also auto-sexing.He succeeded with the Legbar.The chicks can be sexed at hatching so there should not be any accidental roosters found in the bunch. They are a good egg layer giving 3-4 medium sized light blue eggs each week.Blue eggs come from the Araucana parentage.Their other genetic makeup comes from the Leghorn and Barred Rock.In general they are a friendly and docile breed that is easily handled.

Easter Egger

The Easter Egger is a cheerful and happy hen.They are best known as a friendly breed that is great with kids and enjoys lap time too.Whilst this breed is technically a hybrid, they are highly sought after because of their colored eggs.She is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and climates and is generally low maintenance.

Golden Comet

The Golden Comet is another hybrid Red Sex Link Chicken.She was only used for the poultry industry however this lovely lady has become a backyard favorite.This breed has a peaceful, calm and gentle personality. They love their humans and children as well as lap time.She is a hardy little hen and tolerates both hot and cold climates. They love to free range but will tolerate confinement with sufficient room.

Hamburg

The Hamburg chicken has been traced back to fourteenth century Holland where they are thought to have originated. They are sometimes known as Moonies because of their plumage.They are a small breed, with hens only weighing 4lb.The breed is quite hard to find and is on the Livestock Conservancy watch list.Her personality is active and somewhat flighty – they are very predator savvy and fly well.

ISA Brown

The ISA Brown was bred from the Institut de Selection Animale.They are also known as a Hubbard ISA and their exact genetic makeup is a closely guarded secret and was patented back in 1978.ISA Browns were bred as egg laying machines for the poultry industry and they will put out 5-6 large brown eggs each week for the first 18 months or so, then production will drop off a bit.Sadly they have a very short lifespan of 2-3 years – all that egg laying is rough on their body.They are affectionate hens and often enjoy a special bond with their humans with lots of lap time and cuddles.

Isbar

Created in the 1950s by a Catholic priest, the Isbar is a relatively new breed. As a result they have not yet admitted to the American Poultry Association.They are small with hens weighing 3-3.5lb. They can be used as a dual purpose chicken butExpect an intelligent, calm and easy going hen that is friendly to their humans.Hens will lay 3-4 green eggs each week – the depth of green can vary from light sage to moss green.As they were created in Sweden they are quite cold tolerant with beautiful dense feathering.They are good foragers and prefer to free range to confinement.Interestingly they are also auto-sexing which means that chicks can be sexed at hatching.

Jaerhon

The Jaerhon isIt was developed in the 1920s from the Landrace birds of Norway (all of whom are now extinct).They are small but prolific layers of white eggs. The hens are not known for broodiness so their mothering skills are unknown.They love to free range and are very predator aware. They are active, love to roam and fly very well. This breed is friendly towards their handlers and are also quiet.The Jaerhon comes in two color varieties: light and dark. Surprisingly there is also a bantam variety.

Langshan

The Langshan first made its appearance in England in the late 1800s when it was imported from China.It is a large dual purpose chicken with a very upright carriage. They are active and prefer to range but they do take to confinement well enough.Interestingly they are the only hen known to lay a plum colored egg.The hens weigh in at around 6.5lb and are good layers putting out 3 large eggs per week.Overall they are calm, docile and friendly to their humans.

Olive Egger

Olive Eggers are technically a hybrid and are a fairly new introduction to the chicken scene.They are the result of crossing a dark brown egg layer with a blue egg layer (for example an Ameraucana hen with a Welsummer rooster).Their looks can vary but the hens will lay an olive colored egg.They can be used as dual purpose (hens weigh around 5-6lb) but they are usually kept more for eggs. They are winter hardy and love foraging although they will tolerate confinement very well.This is a friendly and docile hen that does well with children.

Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock is one of the most dependable breeds around today. She has been going strong since the 1800sThis breed is not as fast to mature as the industrial chickens of today, but they are well worth the wait!Hens come in at 7lb and will lay a steady 4-5 light brown eggs.They are also an autosexing breed which means you can tell the boys from the girls as soon as they hatch.This is a docile, inquisitive and friendly breed that is suitable for kids. There are several color varieties to choose from and they come in standard or bantam size.

Red Sex Link

The Red Sex Link is a hybrid breed.As a hybrid they have been selected for egg laying which means they lay very well.Most of them make delightful backyard hens. They are friendly, docile and love to be pet and held, making them perfect for kids. Occasionally you can get aggressive strains but it is unusual.Sadly these chickens have a short lifespan (not much more than 3 years at best).You can find Red Sex Links under a variety of names: Golden Comet, Red Star, Bovans Brown and ISA brown to name a few.

Swedish Black Hen

The origins of the Swedish Black Hen are uncertain, but what we do know is this breed was found in Sweden.This is a landrace bird that is a rare fibromelanistic chicken similar to the Ayam Cemani.Also known as the Svart Hona, they love to free range and are excellent foragers. They enjoy their humans and will often hop into your lap for a treat.She is a small hen (weighing around 3.5lb) and will lay 3 large eggs each week.Overall they are a fairly low maintenance breed and can tolerate cold and hot weather.

Swedish Flower Hens

The Swedish Flower hen was relatively unknown until the early 2000s. It is a landrace bird that has evolved for survival in a harsh landscape.Landrace means there has been no human interference with the breed, so genetic diversity is high.Because of their genetic diversity they can be crested (or not). The base plumage colors can be: black, yellow or white, but the overall pattern is mille fleur – this gives them a good camouflage against predators.Hens are decent layers and will lay 3-4 medium eggs each week.They are a confident and independent hen but are friendly with their humans.

White Leghorn

White Leghorn are a color variety of the Leghorn – an ancient breed from Italy.Being from the Mediterranean they have the typical sleek and slender body.They are an independent breed that is best described as noisy and flighty. They are certainly not lap chickens.There are several different varieties of Leghorn butThe Leghorn prefers a warmer climate but can tolerate cool climates.

White Rock

The White Rock is one of the Plymouth Rock varieties.Created in the US as a dual purpose breed the Rocks are enduring success story. The White Rock has been a favorite with the broiler industry for many years.The hens are usually around 6lb in weight and good layers of large brown eggs (usually 4-5 per week).They thrive in colder areas because of their dense feathering and are also available as bantams.

Whiting True Blue

The Whiting True Blue Chicken is a relatively new breed of chicken. It was created by Dr. Tom Whiting of Colorado in the late 1900s.He created the chickens for two reasons: egg laying and fly tying.Apparently the hackle feathers of the True Blue are of superb quality for tying fishing flies.The hens are good layers and will give you 4 blue eggs each week.True Blues are docile, curious and friendly towards humans. They are fast growing hens that are good flyers and love to be active. Their plumage is mixed colors with an occasional beard or single comb making an appearance.

Altsteirer

The Altsteirer is an ancient breed that can be traced back to at least the thirteenth century. They are also known as the Styrian as it was found in the Styrian region of Austria.This is a very hardy and active dual purpose breed. They are constantly alert and love to free range and fly. Expect a friendly breed, but not lap chickens.She will mature early and will weigh around 5.5lb.The hens lay around three large white eggs each week and are not known for being broody.There are two main varieties: white and partridge but there are other varieties too. All varieties are very rare.

Barnevelder

The Barnevelder was created in Holland specifically to lay a dark brown egg. Hens generally produce 3-4 large brown eggs each week (even through the winter).They are a mix of several different breeds and are considered to be a dual purpose breed.Once fully grown hens will lay around 5lb (there is a bantam variety too).As for their personality they are calm and friendly with strong streaks of curiosity and intelligence.They much prefer to be free ranging but will tolerate confinement pretty well as long as they have sufficient room and things to occupy them.

Basque

The Basque hen, also known as the Euskal Oiloa, originally comes from the Basque region of Spain.This is a mountainous area where it is hard to survive. As a resultThere are five varieties with the Marraduna being the most common in the US.These days it is a rare hen and efforts are being made to preserve this breed in their homeland. They are a remarkably friendly breed, and will not be afraid to jump into your lap to tell you about their day.Hens will lay around 3 large brown eggs each week and will even lay during the winter.

Blue Laced Red Wyandotte

This is another member of the Wyandotte family that is currently popular. Although the blue lacing on red feathers seems to be the draw right now, this color variety can actually be dated back to the 1900s.The Wyandotte is very well suited for cold climates as they have a rose comb and dense feathering to keep themselves warm through those long winter nights.She is a large dual purpose hen and will weigh around 6lb.Overall she is a peaceful, quiet and dependable breed, that lays 4 large cream/light brown eggs each week. Although they are docile they will not tolerate other breeds picking on them.They do well in confinement as long as they have enough room, but prefer to free range when they can.

Brahma

Welcome toBrahmas can be huge with boys weighing up to 10lb and hens weighing 8lb!Their personality is quiet, calm, docile and friendly. They are very tame and do well with children although their size can be a bit intimidating for some kids.You can expect them to lay 3-4 medium brown eggs each week. And whilst they are not known for being broody, they do make good mothers.The Brahma is available in both standard and bantam sizes.

Breda

The Breda is the national bird of the Netherlands.She is a striking breed and is truly without comparison in the poultry world.Their head is shaped a bit like a crows’ head, with a large beak and cavernous nostrils. There is no comb just a red patch of skin and a small tuftThe Breda was very popular here in the US prior to the Civil War and then just faded away. They are slowly making a come-back but are considered endangered even in Holland.Bredas weigh around 5-6lb and will lay 3 large white eggs each week. They are a

Buckeye

The Buckeye is theThey can thrive in cold climates because of their pea comb and tight feathering.Buckeyes are more suited to free ranging, but should be kept in a safe area as they are not entirely predator savvy.They are a good dual purpose breed, with hens laying 3-4 eggs a week.She is an active breed and said to be great mousers. They are peaceful and friendly with their humans.

Buff Orpington

Welcome to theThe Buff is loved all over the world and returns this love right back. She is a cuddly and calm breed that enjoys lap time and being picked up.Buff Orpingtons are large chickens that weight around 8lb. She is a good layer putting out between 3-5 large light brown eggs per week.The only negative thing to say about them is that they can be annoyingly broody, but if you want to raise chicks the Orpington will oblige.Finally, they do need to be monitored for obesity as they are heavy feeders.

Catalana

The Catalana originated in Spain and unusually for a Mediterranean breed is dual purpose.Hens are good layers putting out 4 large white eggs a week and are rarely broody.Unfortunately this breed has not caught on in the US yet, butShe is known as an active and independent breed that loves to forage. They can be noisy so an urban environment is not for them. You will also notice she flys well and roosts high.They come in two sizes: standard and bantam.

Chantecler

The Chantecler is Canadas first chicken breed.They were bred in a Quebec monastery with the intention of producing a good dual purpose chicken that could survive the Canadian winters.She tolerates the cold very well but does not like the heat so much.Chanteclers have small wattles, a cushion comb and dense feathering. They come in two colors: white and partridge.Overall they are a friendly and personable breed that is calm and gentle.

Columbian Wyandotte

The Colombian Wyandotte is one of the prettier Wyandotte varieties.They are large birds and can weigh between 6-9lb.In addition to this she is a good layer and will produce 4-5 large light brown eggs a week.Hens do occasionally go broody and make attentive mothers.Personality wise they are quiet, calm and docile. However they do not enjoy being picked up or held. They do equally well confined or free ranging but if they are allowed to roam they are great foragers.They are suitable for an urban environment and come in standard and bantam sizes.

Cuckoo Marans

The Cuckoo Marans is one of several varieties of Marans chickens.This French breed was developed over the centuries and an official standard was established in the 1920s.TheHowever they are not the most prolific layers, giving around 3 large per week.This is a winter hardy chicken and a good forager. They are said to mature fairly quickly and once fully grown a hen will weight 7-8lb. They will tolerate confinement but prefer to free range.

Delaware

The Delaware was created around the 1940s and wasOriginally called Indian Rivers they were extremely popular because they laid well and were fast growing. However they were surpassed in growth by the Cornish Cross, which became the broiler hen of the century.Delawares are calm and curious hens that are personable and intelligent.This sweet breed will be quite talkative too.Available in both standard and bantam sizes this is a good homesteading breed. Hens will lay 4 large brown eggs a week and rarely go broody.

Derbyshire Redcap

The Red Cap is an old English breed. It is also known as a Coral cap.They are an active but shy breed and are well suited for free ranging.Derbyshire Redcaps are relatively pure since there has been little cross breeding with this breed. They have a stunning rose comb (hence the name Red Cap) and will reach around 6lb.They were especially popular in the north of England however these days she is critically endangered.The hens are not prolific layers but will give you a respectable 3-4 medium white eggs each week.

Dominique

The Dominique hen isThey are also known as Pilgrim fowl as they are thought to have descended from the original breeds brought by the pilgrims.She is a small hen and will only weigh around 5lb.Their plumage is a black and white staggered barring pattern which helps them hide from predators. Their dense plumage and rose comb makes them a cold hardy breed.In general they are a calm, docile and friendly breed. They are active, hardy and a fairly low maintenance breed.Occasionally they will go broody and they make great mothers.

Dorking

The exact history of the Dorking is unclear but they are thought to have originated from England. You may occasionally findThey evolved from the Landrace Chicken and remain a slow grower by today’s standards.Hens will grow to around 6lb and Roosters will get heavier.You should expect a shy and gentle chicken. They like to free range but will tolerate confinement fairly well.They are one of the few hens with red earlobes that produce white eggs. They are attentive and devoted mothers and are quite broody.

Faverolles

The Faverolles is an old French breed that is used as a dual purpose bird.They have a happy personality, love to chat with you, are friendly, gentle and docile.Their plumage is quite dense and they have beards, muffs and feathered feet which gives them an even fluffier appearance.Hens are good layers of large tinted eggs. They do occasionally go broody and make good mothers.The Faverolles love to free range but tolerate confinement with plenty of space.

Golden Laced Wyandotte

The Golden Laced Wyandotte is one of Americas’ premier breeds!She is cold hardy, productive and low maintenance.Once fully grown she will reach around 6lb, however if you are restricted with space then bantams are available.They are an independent minded hen and prefer the company of their own breed. Whilst she is friendly enough to humans, she does not enjoy being picked up or cuddled.Their independent nature and low maintenance requirements

Icelandic

They were left in Iceland by the Vikings who had selected the best utilitarian chickens they could find. As a Landrace Chicken there is no standard and they come in a wide variety of colors, patterns and plumage types.As you would expect, they are great foragers and can virtually feed themselves. They are extremely hardy to most climates, fly well and very predator savvy.Given their history this breed will never be cuddly, but they will become friendly and trusting of you if given time.Hens will only weigh around 3lb.

Iowa Blue

Unfortunately the Iowa BlueThey were created around the 1900s in Iowa and quickly gained popularity in small farms and homesteads.This is a large breed that will weigh between 5-6lb. Hens are good layers and will give you 3-4 eggs each week. Also the ladies have a tendency towards broodiness and make good mothers.Roosters are known for being great flock defenders and their nickname is hawk fighter!The breed does best in a free range situation as it is a great forager and alert to danger.You can expect a fairly calm and docile chicken that is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and environments.

Java

The Java is the second oldest breed in the US behind the Dominique. Despite their name they were developed in the US sometime around the mid-1800s.They were critically endangered at one time but are slowly making a comeback.She is very well suited to small farms and homesteads.They are a dual purpose chicken and will lay 3 large brown eggs a week.This breed loves to range and when allowed they will supplement their diet very well. You can find them in three varieties (black, white and mottled).Expect a friendly, docile and calm breed that is easily handled.

Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant was created in New Jersey back in the 1800s.It was originally intended to rival the turkey’s place at the table.As you would expect this is a large chicken that stands around 2 feet tall. Males will weigh 13-15lb and hens around 11lb.Given their size you will need to have larger pens, doors and nest boxes available for them. Also make sure to place perches slightly lower to the floor.Jersey Giants are calm, gentle and love to forage. This is a good thing as they are expensive to feed so letting them roam will reduce their feed bill slightly. They are not known for being broody, but sadly when they do, they often break the eggs with their weight or step on the chicks accidentally.They are suitable for beginners and children – although their size can be a bit intimidating!

Lavender Orpington

The Lavender Orpington is one of the newer additions to the Orpington family.They were first bred in the 1990s and have really taken off in popularity.The Lavender color is due to a recessive diluting gene that dilutes black to a pale grey/pearl grey or lavender.Orpingtons are large fluffy hens that look enormous. They are a dual purpose hen but the lavender strain often is an exhibition or show bird too.Hens are notoriously broody and make great mothers and will raise most eggs placed under them. When they are not broody they will lay 3-4 large tinted eggs each week.Orpingtons are inclined to be lazy and whilst they do forage they will prefer to sit by the feeder. Their weight should be monitored as obese hens can have serious problems with egg laying.They are gentle, quiet, docile and make great beginner chickens.

Light Brahma

The Light Brahma is a color variation of the Brahma.They have a light colored plumage and are quite large. However despite their appearance they are a gentle giant!Brahmas are calm, friendly and quiet, so are well suited for beginners.The hens are good layers and will produce around 4 brown eggs per week.

Marsh Daisy

The Marsh Daisy is sadly in need of people to help conserve the breed.She was created in the 1800s in Lancashire (England) and is a beautiful henThe name Marsh Daisy may come from their oversized rose comb which is said to look like a Marsh Daisy.They are slow to mature but they are very economical since they love to free range and are very active foragers.Although they cannot really be described as friendly, they are pretty calm yet aloof.Hens weigh around 5.5lb and will lay 2-3 medium tinted eggs each week. They are occasionally broody and make good mothers.They come in five color varieties but some are very rare and hard to find.

Minorca

The Minorca was developed in the late 1700s and comes to us from the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean.Also known as the Moorish chicken, or the Red faced Black Spanish, they are the largest of the Mediterranean breeds standing tall with a long tail.Notably they have large white earlobes and can have either a single or rose comb.Hens have a good temperament and really enjoy their humans. They can still be a bit flighty on occasions but are generally calm and docile.You can expect excellent foragers that prefer warmer climates.

New Hampshire

The New Hampshire breed was created in the State of New Hampshire around 1918 as a dual purpose hen.Unfortunately they have always been overshadowed by the Rhode Island Red which was created around the same time.They are friendly hens that tend to make good pets and are easy to tame (so are ideal for kids). However they can be food aggressive with other breeds, so be careful when mixing with other breeds.The hens weigh in at 6.5lb and are good layers of large tinted eggs. They also have a broody tendency and make great mothers.New Hampshires come in both standard and bantam sizes, but both are hard to find.

Orpingtons

To this dayThis is a large dual purpose chicken that is a prolific egg layer.She will make a great attentive mother too.They are large and have copious feathering which comes in several varieties – buff is regarded as the favorite.Orpingtons are docile, gentle and calm. They are quiet too so urban living could be for them.This is a great hen for novices and children and will frequently become lap chickens.

Red Ranger

The Red Ranger is a dual purpose hybrid chicken that was initially made for the meat market.Hens are good layers of large brown eggs and will usually lay 3-4 each week.She is rarely broody and unlike the Cornish Cross, this breed will live for several years.These hens love to free range and are excellent foragers which can help reduce feed costs.

Rhode Island Red

Next to the Orpington, this isThis breed was created in the mid 1800s in Rhode Island – their fame is such that it is the state chicken there.They are excellent layers and are rarely broody. They do well in confinement or free range and are a very low maintenance chicken to keep.Rhode Island Reds are docile and friendly with humans, but can be pushy with other breeds. They can be quite noisy too so urban living really would not suit them.

Sicilian Buttercup

The Sicilian Buttercup is an unusual looking breed.Their comb is shaped more like a crown and itOriginating in Sicily, this breed has the typical slender Mediterranean build. Although it can be used as a dual purpose hen, it is not very meaty. They tolerate heat very well but do not tolerate confinement at all as they are an active and restless chicken.Egg laying is considered to be low to moderate with 2-3 large white eggs per week. The hens are not broody by nature.Buttercups have a very good feed conversion ratio which makes them fairly inexpensive to feed.

Silver Laced Wyandotte

This variety of Wyandotte is actually the first of its breed.The breeders were looking for a good dual purpose hen since none existed at that time.Wyandottes were created to thrive in the cold winters of New York and Michigan.Hens will lay 4 large eggs each week and are not known for being broody. Their personality is a little distant although they are friendly enough with humans.This variety too is available in standard and bantam sizes.

Speckled Sussex

The Speckled Sussex is one variety of the very old Sussex breed. This breed has been around since the Roman invasion of Britain.This is a dual purpose chicken that dresses out to a good 7lb for hens.Hens are good layers but they do have a slight tendency towards broodiness.Personality-wise they are a calm, docile and friendly bird. They do well with children and can become tame enough to sit in your lap. They are quite cold hardy but do not enjoy the heat so much. If allowed to free range they are excellent foragers but they do tolerate confinement well.They are available in both standard and bantam sizes.

Sussex

The Sussex is an ancient English hen and has been around for centuries.They were kept as a dual purpose chicken and in their heyday supplied London with meat for the markets.This is a dual purpose breed that will put out 4-5 large brown eggs a week. Hens are known for being a bit broody but they do make great mothers.They do well in confinement but excel when allowed to free range and this will reflect in the feed bill (they are excellent scavengers).Overall they are a mellow, low maintenance breed that is available in standard or bantam size and is suitable for kids or as a lap chicken.

Turken (Naked Neck)

The Turken, also known as the Naked Neck, is a strange looking chicken.They have no neck or hackle feathers and sparse feathering around their vent.It is thought they originated from Transylvania, which explains their other nicknames: the Transylvanian naked neck or Kaalnek.They like to forage and roam, but they will tolerate confinement. If they are allowed to range they are good foragers, active and vigorous. They are generally a placid and calm hen.This breed does better in warmer areas but will be hardy enough in cold areas with some protection.

Vorwerk

The Vorwerk was created in Germany around the 1900s. Its purpose was as a dual breed breed.It is a handsome chicken with black and buff plumage. A hen weighs around the 5lb mark with roosters around 7lb. They are fast to grow and mature and areThe hens are decent layers of cream eggs – around 3 per week and they lay well throughout the winter. They do like to be active so free ranging is best for them as they are good foragers.Vorwerks are a calm, docile and friendly hen which makes them good for novices and children.

Welsummer

Welsummers originated in Holland around the 1920s and remain very popular in Europe.Here in the US they are gaining popularity as a dual purpose birdThey are decent layers and produce 4-5 large dark brown eggs each week. The darkness of their eggs can rival some Marans.The Welsummer will tolerate confinement but do best when free ranging as they are excellent foragers.They are a low maintenance breed that is smart, curious and friendly with humans. They can be a bit raucous so urban living is not really for them.

Wyandotte

The Wyandotte chicken came into being in the late 1800s. It was created to be a dual purpose breed providing for both meat and eggs.There is a wide range of varieties to the Wyandottes which we have mentioned here.They are a large breed with hens weighing around 6lb and roosters around 8lb. The hens are good layers of light brown eggs, usually around 4 per week.Wyandottes are an aloof chicken, friendly to a point but they do not really enjoy being picked up or held.They are good for novices as they are low maintenance.

Cochin

The Cochin was one of the breeds responsible for the hen fever of the late 1800s.They were new and novel and were crossed with just about every breed known, giving us the richness of breeds that we see today. The Cochin is a large bird and is covered head to toe in feathers. They are slow moving so need to be kept safe from predators.Their personality is friendly, calm and docile. They love to be lap chickens and adore children.On the egg laying side, hens are not the best performers. However they do have a tendency towards broodiness so make great moms.There are also Bantams available.

Frizzle

Depending on which country you live in, the Frizzle may, or may not be a breed.Here in the US they are not considered a breed but a feather variation of whichever breed they are hatched from (Polish and Cochins are quite prone to frizzles). Just remember that their feathers can be broken easily and the curling affects their ability to fly.Their feathers curl up and away from the body, looking like a bad hair-do!You can have your Frizzle in standard or bantam size.They are a sweet and gentle breed that enjoys being with their humans and make very good show or exhibition birds.This chicken is a good little forager who enjoys free ranging.Egg laying will vary on the breed, but expect an average of 3 white eggs each week.

Polish

The Polish has an unmistakable appearance – the girls have pom pom hairdos and the boys look like bad hair days!You may have heard this breed referred to as a Tophat or Paduan.They are gentle, quiet, friendly and are well suited for children. They are mainly used for ornamental or show purposes these days, but they do lay fairly well. Hens can lay 3-4 large eggs each week.Just remember that their head feathers can cause problems as they impinge upon the eyesight, so these chickens should be confined or supervised in free ranging.

Silkie

The Silkie is a much loved breed all over the world. Originating in China, this breed has becomeThey are best known for their furry rather than feathered look. Kids just love to touch them as they also feel furry.This breed makes for great pets since they love to cuddle, quiet and are very friendly. The hens are frequently used as broodies since they love to sit on eggs and they make very attentive mothers.Since they cannot fly they are best confined or if left to free range they must be supervised.Silkies come in a variety of colors and some have beards.

Bresse

The Breese chicken originated in France andRaising this hen is very strictly controlled and only farmers that conform to the specifications are allowed to sell their chickens as Bresse.The American Bresse has been around for a few years now. It is the same breed but cannot be called a Bresse as it would violate trade standards.This chicken breed is primarily a meat breed however hens do lay a moderate amount of cream colored eggs each year.There are some color variations, but the most well-known color is white. They can be flighty and aloof with people.

Cornish Cross

The Cornish Cross broiler was created by the poultry industry over 50 years ago andThis chicken is a cross between the commercial Cornish hen and a White Plymouth Rock.Their growth rate is phenomenal so unfortunately they do not live much beyond six months.Generally they are docile and calm. They do not forage but would rather hang out by the feeder. On the rare occasion that a hen lives to produce eggs, they will lay 2-3 small light brown eggs each week.

Orloff

Although often nicknamed Russians, this breed actually came from Persia.However they gained popularity in the early 1800s by a Russian count named Orloff-Techesmensky.They are more of a meat bird since the eggs are small and few in number.As you might expect, they are well suited to cold climates and are found in several color varieties.They are a calm and quiet chicken but not overly friendly or docile.In the US they are rare and do not have a place in the American Poultry Association. Worldwide they are in need of conservation.

Barbu d’Uccle

Meet the first true bantam in this guide.She originates from Belgium and is a popular choice for those without much space.The Barbu D’Uccle is a delightfully friendly little hen that enjoys being held. She will frequently perch on your shoulder and talk to you – needless to say she is a perfect chicken for kids.They come in a variety of colors with mille fleur being the most desirable. They have beards, muffs, vulture hocks and feathered feet, so an all round profusion of feathers!The hens have a mixed reputation as layers. I have found them to lay (small cream eggs) fairly consistently through the warmer months shutting down for winter.

Booted Bantam

These little chickens are true bantams.They are known as Sablepoot in the UK and can be traced back to the sixteenth century.These hens are very friendly and calm and do well with children. They are good foragers, but really should be kept in a covered area for their own safety.Hens weigh around 27oz and are good summer layers giving you 3 small white eggs each week.

Dutch Bantam

Despite their name the Dutch bantam did not originate in Holland.They are a true bantam and have no large counterpart.Hens weigh a slight 14oz and there is plenty of variety with over 25 color variations.The ladies are fair to moderate layers of small white eggs. They also make great broodies and are wonderful mothers.When raised from chicks they can be very tame and friendly with a good temperament.The breed is not particularly winter hardy, nor do they enjoy too much heat. They should have plenty of room as they are active and like to fly.

Nankin

The NankinRecords go back to the 1500s but the Nankin was known long before then.This is a tiny breed weighing only 22-24oz and is unfortunately critically endangered worldwide.She is a talkative, curious and social bird that likes to be active. They can be found with either a single or rose comb (better for cold climates). These little hens always range together as a flock to improve their chances of survival.The hens will lay small cream eggs and are exceptional sitters, so much so that they are frequently used on English game farms to raise partridges.

Pekin Bantam

The Pekin bantam is a British breed that is known elsewhere as a Cochin bantam. As their name suggests, they are a true bantam and there is no standard counterpart.They are well feathered, but despite all that feathering they really do not tolerate winters too well.This bantam breed is gentle and docile but will only lay 2 small white eggs a week.There are several color varieties to choose from and can become great pets (especially for children).

Sebright

The Sebright is a very distinctive chicken which was developed in the 1800s in England.They are a true bantam and the oldest English bantam.Interestingly the roosters are hen feathered which means there is no plumage difference in the sexes. The chicken has a rose comb and stunning plumage – there are two color varieties (gold and silver).The hen will weigh in around 20oz and is a poor layer.Unfortunately there is a high mortality rate for chicks in this breed making them difficult to raise – so not a hen for a novice.These little birds are friendly, active and very social. Roosters are not known for aggression at all.

Serama

The Serama owns the title ofAlthough they are small in stature they have a big personality.This breed is friendly, gentle, loves human company and is quiet. They should be kept in confinement for their safety.The Serama hen will lay 3-4 small eggs each week and likes to be broody.

Ayam Cemani

This all black melanistic chicken originated in the Indonesian Islands.The melanoma means that everything is black: muscles, organs, heart and even the tongue!Because they are black they are highly revered in their homeland whereThey are standard sized hens and weigh around 3.5-4.5lb.The hens are cyclic egg layers which means they go through a cycle of laying eggs then stop for a while before resuming.Because of this they are considered poor layers since they only put out around 80 cream colored eggs a year.

Brabanter

The Brabanter is another old and distinguished breed.Their name comes from the Brabant area which covers part of Belgium and Holland.There are both standard and bantam sizes available, but both are rare these days.A standard hen weighs between 5-6lb and will lay white eggs in moderate amounts.She is a shy chicken, but can be friendly. Roosters are highly strung.

Crevecoeur

The Crevecoeur is an ancient French breed that is now critically endangered.It was originally a dual purpose breed and can still be used as such, but today it is mainly an ornamental breed.They have an all black plumage with a head crest that almost hides the rooster V shaped comb. They are a medium sized standard chicken with hens weighing around 6.5lb.Hens are moderate layers of medium sized white eggs (roughly 3 each week).Their personality is calm, docile and active. They do tolerate confinement fairly well, but enjoy free ranging too.

Cubalaya

The Cubalaya was developed in Cuba from Filipino poultry.It has a pea comb and a very distinctive lobster tail.They were used for cock fighting in their homeland as roosters are known for being aggressive. However towards people, the Cubalaya is friendly, curious and remarkably tame.In the USAs you would expect they tolerate high heat and humidity well but do not do well in cold climates.The Cubalaya is not a large hen at only around 4lb.

Egyptian Fayoumi

This particular breed is thought to have been in existence for around 3000 years! It comes from south western Egypt where it has thrived in the hot climate.They are tough, independent, noisy and can fly very well.As you may imagine they do not do well in confinement, it makes them more nervous and they start to feather pick each other.If raised from chicks you can get them to be accepting of you, but they are not a very social breed where humans are concerned.The Fayoumi is a small chicken that will only weigh 3.5lb.They will lay 3 small tinted eggs per week and are not known for being broody.

Houdan

The Houdan is a very old breed that came from France.They are considered unusual because they have a crest, beard and five toes. Their comb is also unusual as it is a V shape. They were once widely kept as dual purpose hens, but nowadays are more ornamental or exhibition birds.Do not expect many eggs with this breed as they will only give 2-3 small eggs a week. They are non-setters, but older hens can have a tendency towards broodiness.Overall this is a docile and sweet chicken that enjoys lap time and is good with kids.

Malay

This is an unruly chicken prone to picking on other breeds – they will even feather pluck their own if confined.They are a game bird (hence the crabby temperament) and were widely used back in the 1900s to create or invigorate other breeds.These days the Malay is considered to be an ornamental or show bird. The hens are poor layers, so if you get one egg a week you will be lucky.As they originate from Indonesian they are tolerant of heat, not so much the cold though!

Old English Game

The Old English Game has remained virtually unchanged for 2000 years!Unfortunately it was introduced to Britain by the Romans for cock fighting. However since cock fighting is now illegal, it is used as a show or exhibition bird.This breed cannot be kept with other fowl as it will fight them – even the hens will fight.Roosters should be separated out at six months or they will fight to the death.Surprisingly though, they can be friendly and talkative with their humans.

Onagadori

This breed is for those who have the time, energy and devotion to care for them.The Onagadori is an ancient breed from Japan where it enjoys a special historical status.They are friendly, calm, docile and are primarily used for shows.Onagadori literally means long tail in Japanese, and they are kept for these tails. The longest tail ever recorded was a stunning 88 feet.These chickens need special accommodations and care and should be kept by themselves to prevent damage to their tails.

Phoenix

The Phoenix is a German creation that came into being around the 1800s.They are a cross between several Japanese long tailed breeds and several German breeds.InterestinglyIt is a beautiful breed with a good personality – they are alert, docile, gentle and talkative. They are known to be friendly and can become good pets.Today they are mainly used as show breeds and there are several color varieties to choose from.

Red Jungle Fowl

Meet the breed that started it all.The Red Jungle fowl is an ancestor of pretty much every chicken we see today.They were captured and semi-domesticated around 8000 years ago by humans. They still roam freely in areas of the Far East from Thailand down to the Indonesian islands. To this day they remain wary of humans and avoid contact if possible.This breed does not like being handled and if allowed to free range will wander far and wide.The Jungle fowl is a smallish chicken with hens reaching only 2¼lb.

Shamo

The Shamo is an Asian breed and was originally raised as a fighting bird. They are a tall chicken with muscular thighs and body, a small pea comb and very small or non-existent wattles.This chicken is actually a strain of the Asian Asil (Aseel). There are four varieties of Shamo with the heaviest rooster weighing around 12lb.A chicken like this requires special handling and accommodations.Even the hens can be aggressive with other breeds and roosters will fight and kill other chickens. This aggressive trait can also be problematic with the chicks – they may fight and kill each other.Hens are poor layers giving you perhaps 2 light brown medium sized eggs per week.These birds

Sultan

The Sultan isThis chicken has it all: V comb, crest, beard and muffs, vulture hocks, feathered feet, a long tail and five toes.Originally they are from Turkey where they were known as the Serai Taook or Sultans fowl. They were allowed to roam the grounds of the palace because they did not scratch up the dirt or grass.They are a calm, docile and very friendly hen well suited to pet status. They like to be active but should be either confined or supervised whilst free ranging.Unfortunately they are critically endangered according to the Livestock Conservancy.

Sumatra

The Sumatra was originally imported from Indonesia where it can still be found today.They were originally used as a fighting bird and although the males can be aggressive during the mating season, it is rare to find them fighting to the death. Out of mating season they are relatively calm.This is not a breed that tolerates confinement. They are active, restless and fly well. They can be easily handled by their humans.The hens weigh around 4lb and are variable layers (strain dependant).Their main use today is as an ornamental breed and they can be found in bantam size also.

Thuringian

The Thuringian comes from the Thuringian Forest area of Germany and has been documented since the mid-1700s.This is a rare chicken although their popularity seems to be increasing.They are considered to be a dual purpose breed but now they are mainly kept for eggs and exhibition. Hens will lay 3 white eggs each week and rarely go broody – if they do, they make good mothers.There are several color varieties to choose from and they are all bearded with muffs.Overall this is a confident, active, talkative and very friendly chicken that would be ideal for children.

Tomaru

This ancient breed can be traced back about 1500 years!The breed we see today was developed in Japan and is considered an historical artifact in Japan.They belong to the long crowing family and roosters can hold their crow for up to 25 seconds.Hens are poor layers producing 2 white eggs each week.Personality wise they are known for being gentle and talkative. Their plumage is all black with a green sheen in the light.Tomarus are kept mainly for exhibition in the west, but in the Far East there are crowing contests for which these chickens are kept.

White Faced Black Spanish

The White Faced Black Spanish, also known as Cara Blanca, hails from Spain and is an old breed possibly dating back to the 1500s.Sadly these days she is critically endangered.This breed is mainly kept for eggs and ornamental purposes. They certainlyThey are independent and do not like to be picked up or held. You can expect a noisy flighty chicken that likes to free range and forage.This breed is rather slow to mature and can take a year to reach adulthood.White Faced Black Spanish are available in standard or bantam size.

Yokohama

Despite the name, the Yokohama was created in Germany from Japanese parents back in the 1880s. Today it is critically endangered and in need of support.It is bred for exhibition, show and ornamental uses only.This is a small breed that isThey love to free range as they are an active bird that is always alert for danger.Overall they are a low maintenance bird that is easy to handle and can become docile and friendly in time.

Breeds of Chickens

Check out the many chicken breeds available for your backyard flock!

Australorp

Around the same time that Orpingtons were being developed as a breed, Australorps were as well. Australians liked the black Orpingtons that were being brought over from England, and valued them for their egg laying ability. With maximum egg production in mind, Australians continued to develop their own distrinct breed. The breed went by many names, struggling to distinguish itself from Orpingtons, and finally settled on Australorp in the 1920s.These birds are known for their excellent egg production. You’ll easily get 250 light brown eggs per year. The record holding hen laid 364 eggs in a 365 day period, without assistance of artificial lighting!

Barnvelder

Barnvelders are named after the Dutch town of Barnveld. They are a medium sized, dual-purpose bird. They are hardy and make good foragers. They lay a fair number of dark brown eggs, are good winter layers, and have a calm disposition.The original and most well-known variety of this breed is the Double-laced pattern. They have beautiful plumage, with each feather having copper, black, and metallic green coloring. They make an excellent addition to a backyard flock, and are quite the conversation piece!

Bielefelder

The Bielefelder is a modern breed, developed in the early 1970s in Bielefeld, Germany. Poultry breeder Gerd Roth used genetics from a number of breeds including the Cuckoo Malines, Amrock, Wyandotte, and New Hampshire. The Bielefelder managed to retain the best qualities of all these breeds. Consider this breed another example of extraordinary German engineering. They check off all the boxes on your “perfect chicken” wish list.This dual-purpose breed is autosexing so males and females can be identified immediately upon hatching. Females have a chipmunk strip on their backs, while males are lighter in color and have a yellow spot on their heads. They mature to have a complex feather pattern which is best described as cuckoo red partridge.Birds are very friendly and seek human interaction. They have a large frame that holds plenty of meat. Roosters can weigh 10 – 12 pounds! Their size and camouflaging feather pattern makes them perfect for free-range conditions.Hens can produce upwards of 230 large eggs per year. Their eggs are a unique shade of brown with pink undertones that you won’t find anywhere else.

Black Star / Red Star

Red Stars and Black Stars are hybrids that have been bred to have their color at hatching linked to the sex of the chicken (pullet or cockerel). This makes chick sexing an easier process, and you as the purchaser are less likely to be surprised! Ever had a pullet start to crow one day? Not with these birds!They’ve also been developed to be extremely good egg layers. Don’t be surprised if you see 300 eggs in a year! Egg color and size will vary, depending on the cross-breeding.Black Stars are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Barred Rock hen. Red Star’s are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and either a White Rock, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Rhode Island White or Delaware hen.

Brahma

Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”, the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. By 1901, birds were documented to have reached the incredible weights of 18 pounds! This breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as “Hen Fever” – a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850.Brahmas are an excellent addition to a backyard flock. They are hardy chickens in winter climates, they cannot fly over low fences (because of their size), and they have calm and docile personalities. The best part, they lay the majority of their eggs October thru May! That means while the rest of your girls may slow or even quit production for the winter, your Brahmans will keep the egg cartons full of large, medium brown eggs.One thing to keep in mind, Brahmas are not ideal for hot climates. Their anatomy makes them susceptible to overheating. So, if you keep Brahmas, make sure to keep them cool in summer!

Buckeye

The Buckeye breed was created by Mrs. Nettie Metcalf in Ohio in the late 19th century. In fact, the Buckeye is the only American breed of chicken developed solely by a woman. She crossed Buff Cochins and Barred Plymouth Rocks to create a large, lazy fowl, and then added some Black-Breasted Red Game birds.Buckeyes are a dual-purpose breed of chicken with a lustrous red color. They have pea combs (distinguishing them from Road Island Reds), are cold-weather hardy, and adaptive to a variety of living conditions. These active, friendly birds are well-known for their abilities to hunt and catch mice!

Chantecler

In 1907, a monk, Brother Wilfrid Châtelain, noticed that no breeds of chicken had yet been established in Canada. All the birds were from Europe or America. He set out to change this and create a practical chicken that would be suited to Canada’s climate, and be an excellent dual-purpose bird. By 1918, he debuted the Chantecler.Chanteclers are large birds with white plumage that lays tight against the body. They have exceptionally small cushion combs and wattles, which attributes to them being one of the most hardy breeds. They are fairly tame, but do not thrive in confinement, so consider this breed for free ranging. They lay about 200 brown eggs annually.

Delaware

Delawares were developed in 1940, in Delaware, by George Ellis. The were originally known as “Indian Rivers.” The breed originated from crosses of Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens. Although originally intended as a meat bird, Delawares make an excellent dual purpose bird. They are known to have a calm and friendly disposition, and lay jumbo brown eggs – about 4 per week in ideal conditions. Plus, let’s not forget to mention their beautiful plumage!

Java

The Java is the 2nd oldest chicken breed developed in America, going back to 1835. Its ancestors come from the island of Java in the Far East. Javas are an excellent breed for free-ranging homesteads and are known for their egg production and table qualities. Javas come in white, black, mottled, and auburn. The Black Java is known for the brilliant beetle-green sheen of its feathers.

Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant chicken was developed between 1870 and 1890 in New Jersey. You can probably guess that these birds are pretty big! Roosters weight in at 13 pounds, and hens can easily grow up to 10 pounds! They are the largest purebred chicken breed.They are known to be fairly good layers compared to other large breeds, and are good winter layers. Expect about 260 large brown eggs per year.

Maran

Marans originated in western France and were imported in the 1930s. There are 9 recognized colors: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaten, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian. If you find Marans chicks at a feed store, they will most likely be the Black Copper or Cuckoo variety. Hens are active and enjoy free ranging, and also have friendly, outgoing personalities.Marans are renowned for their dark chocolate brown eggs. If you’re looking for unique eggs, these are quite the conversation peace! You’ll get about 150-200 each year in your nesting boxes.

Naked Neck

The Naked Neck is a breed of chicken that is naturally devoid of feathers on its neck and vent. The breed is also called the Transylvanian Naked Neck, as well as the Turken. The name “Turken” arose from the mistaken idea that the bird was a hybrid of a chicken and the domestic turkey.They make for a good dual-purpose utility chicken. They only have about half the feathers of other chickens, so they are easier to pluck if raised for meat. They also lay a respectable number of eggs. They are very good foragers and are immune to most diseases, plus they are pretty fun to look at!

Orpington

Orpington chickens were developed in the town of Orpington, England of all places! During the late 1800s, William Cook wanted to create a new breed that was dual purpose, but had white skin, which the British preferred for meat. Within 10 years, Orpingtons were a favorite in both England and America, and came in a variety of colors – black, white, buff, jubilee, and spangled.Orpingtons lay about 200 eggs per year. If you’re thinking about adding some to your flock, we suggest the Buff Orpington. They are known for being very docile – they make great pets!

Plymouth Rock

Developed in America in the middle of the 19th century, this breed of chicken is historically the most popular in the United States. Up until WWII, no other breed was kept as extensively as the Plymouth Rock. The original birds were all of the Barred variety – with black and white stripped plumage – and other color varieties were developed later. The popularity of this duel-purpose breed came from its qualities as an outstanding farm chicken: hardiness, docility, broodiness, and excellent production of brown eggs. This chicken is usually what comes to mind when you think of the chickens Grandma used to keep!

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Reds are a great choice for beginner chicken-keepers, or expert small flock keepers alike! Developed in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the late 1800s, these birds are a hardy, dual purpose breed. They are very low maintenance, and can tolerate less than favorable conditions. Hens lay about 5 – 7 eggs per week.

Speckledy aka Speckled Ranger

Are you ready for your new favorite breed? The Speckledy is a modern hybrid, resulting from a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Marans hen.They are elegant in build, with feathering that resembles a Cuckoo Marans. The feathers are silky, soft to the touch, and quite abundant and fluffy. They have pale bay eyes, pale legs, a medium-sized single comb, and small earlobes and wattles.They are a docile, easy to tame, and easy to handle bird. They are good foragers and well suited to a free-range environment.Speckledys are very good layers. Hens will lay 250-270 chestnut brown eggs per year, which are often speckled. Their eggshells are particularly strong and the yolks are a deep yellow. They may produce less than some other hybrids, but they will keep your egg cartons full!

Sussex

This breed has ancient connections going all the way back to 43 A.D., when the Romans invaded Britain. They grew a reputation of being the finest poultry in Britain, and reached America in 1912. They are a dual-purpose breed and will put on fat very easily, so be careful in feeding them too many treats! If they become too overweight, you will see a decline in egg production. Sussex chickens are a wonderful breed for a small farm or homestead, being active and all-around an excellent breed for meat and eggs. Hens lay an average of 250 light brown eggs each year, and come in three recognized color varieties: Speckled, Red, and Light.

Welsummer

Welsummers are a Dutch breed of domestic chicken, developed in the 1920s. It is a light, friendly, and intelligent breed, with rustic-red and orange color. Hens lay large eggs, that are a dark, terracotta brown, and often speckled. Roosters are considered to have the “classic rooster” look, and often used in media.

Wyandotte

Developed in the 1880s, Wyandottes are named after a Native American tribe prevalent in parts of upstate New York and Ontario, Canada. They are thought to be developed from the Dark Brahma and Spangled Hamburgs.The Silver Laced Wyandotte was the original color recognized, but since then black, blue, buff, buff Columbian, Columbian, golden laced, partridge, and silver pencilled have been added as recognized color varieties.Wyandottes are friendly, calm, and cold hardy. Hens lay on average 200 light brown eggs per year. They make excellent setters and mothers.

Araucana

Araucanas originated in Chile. It is speculated that this breed was developed prior to Old World contact, which would make them the only breed of chicken native to the Americas.Araucanas are very rare in the United States. They are rumpless, meaning they have no tail feathers, and have ear tufts. They do not have beards or muffs (like an Ameraucana). Their rarity is likely due to the fact that the gene for ear tufts is a lethal gene. Offspring with 2 copies of the gene will not survive to hatch. When breeding Araucanas, 50% of chicks will have one copy of the gene (and ear tufts), 25% will have zero copies (and no tufts), and 25% will have two copies of the gene (and not survive).So, if you have an Araucana in your flock, consider yourself a very lucky chicken keeper!

Ameraucana

Ameraucanas were developed in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. They are descended from Araucanas brought from Chile. Ameracaunas lay pale blue eggs. So, if you’re looking to brighten up your egg basket, they make a great choice! They have a pea comb, white skin, slate or black legs, muffs and beards. Color varieties include black, blue, buff, silver, wheaten, or white.Hens can be fairly broody, and will lay about 250 blue eggs per year.Please be advised!!! Ameraucanas are only available through reputable breeders!!! You won’t be finding this breed at your local feed store. You may find Americanas, which is actually a hybrid, not this true breed.

Cream Legbar

The Cream Legbar was developed in Britain in the 1930s. Geneticists at Cambridge University had the goal of creating a chicken with high egg production and autosexing traits. Autosexing traits are distinct differences between males and females that are visible on the day chicks hatch. That means you know hens from roosters on day one and don’t have to wait 12 weeks to find out, which is pretty handy!Female chicks have a dark brown stripe. Male chicks have a less distinct, lighter brown stripe.Legbar plumage is cream and silver grey. Both hens and roosters have a small crest that slopes back and well away from their eyes. Birds are medium sized, active foragers, and do best in free-range conditions. Hens lay 160-200 eggs per year that are sky-blue or pale green in color, and they rarely go broody.While this breed has existed for almost a century and is a favorite world-wide, it is only recently that Legbars have been brought to the U.S.

Easter Egger

A relative of Ameraucanas and Araucanas, an Easter Egger is any chicken that possesses the blue egg gene, but doesn’t fully meet any breed standard defined by the American Poultry Association. This means that they are a hybrid, not a true breed of chicken. They can be any mix of breeds, with one parent carrying the blue egg gene.What makes EE’s great is that they can lay a rainbow of egg colors! Hens can lay any hue of blue or brown, or combination of the two (check out Olive Eggers!). Please note that each hen will only lay one egg color in her lifetime. They are also bred to lay lots of eggs! You’ll get somewhere in the range of 280 eggs per year.Easter eggers are a very popular type of chicken, and can be found in just about any feed store that sells chicks. They may be labeled as Americana, but remember we already talked about how they are not true Ameraucanas. EE’s are a great addition to any backyard flock!

Isbar

The Isbar (pronounced “ice-bar”) is a rare breed that was developed in the 1950s in Sweden. Catholic monk Martin Silverudd had the goal to create autosexing breeds that lay a high volume of unusually colored eggs. Those 3 qualities all in one bird? That’s a tall order!His greatest achievement was the Isbar. It is beautiful, practical, and unique. Isbars are the only single-combed breed to lay green eggs. They are cold-hardy and good foragers, and are alert to predators but friendly to people, making them great free-range birds. Hens lay about 200 eggs per year that are varying shades of green, and sometimes speckled brown. Isbar eggs are quite the conversation piece, even a work of art!Roosters have deep blue body feathers and shimmering metallic hackles. Hens are equally beautiful with their blue feathers. Splash patterns are also common in the breed, adding variety to their appearance.

Olive Egger

Olive Eggers are a hybrid chicken that are the result of crossing a bird hatched from a Dark Brown Egg and a bird hatched from a Blue Egg.Olive Eggers can be a really fun breed to raise! The exact shade of green in their eggs and also their appearance is highly variable and changes based on the breed of parents. Try experimenting with a combination of different breeds! These birds are hardy, curious, and active and are a great addition to any backyard flock!

Whiting True Blue

The Whiting True Blue is not a heritage breed, but a modern breed developed by poultry geneticist Dr. Tom Whiting. His goal in creating this breed was a production bird that lays a consistent blue egg. Their plumage will vary across a myriad of colors, but is most commonly “chipmunk” or grey. If you’re a fan of a blue egg basket, this breed may be for you!

55 Flowery Hen

Another creation of Father Martin Silverudd! Developed in 1955 in Sweden, the 55 Flower Hen is actually Silverudd’s first and most successful invented breed. These birds possess all the qualities Silverudd was after: an autosexing breed that produces eggs in commercial quantities. Hens lay large and round shaped cream-colored eggs.As a day-old chick, the males are easy to distinguish by the blonde down on the backs of their heads. As adults, the males are largely white while the females are decorated with a beautiful spotted pattern – the ‘flowers’ that contribute to the breed name.

Ancona

Ancona chickens originated in Italy and are named after the capitol of the Marche region. Anconas were developed in to their present form in England in the 19th century. They were bred to have very consistent plumage. About 1 out of every 3 beetle black feathers has a V-shaped white tip on the end.Hens are good layers of white eggs and lay about 220 per year. This breed is typical in personality of Mediterranean breeds: rustic, lively, hardy, and ranging.

Andalusian

Andalusian chickens are indigenous to Spain. Also called Blue Andalusians, they commonly have slate-blue colored plumage, but depending upon genetics, they can also be off-white or even black. Like other Mediterranean breeds, they have white earlobes. Their light body shape and their large pointed combs make them well-suited for warmer climates. Andalusians are very active foragers, so think twice if you keep your poultry in a coop and run. They do not do well in confinement, and thrive in a free-range environment. Hens lay about 165 white eggs per year.

Brakel

The Brakel’s history dates back to 1416. They were developed in the Flanders region spanning across northern France, Belgium, and Holland. These birds were a staple on small farms in the area and were bred as a dual-purpose breed with excellent egg production and good table quality. Hens lay about 180 – 200 eggs per year, which are quite large relative to their medium body size.Brakels are a hardy and active breed. They are good fliers, alert for predators, and excellent foragers. This makes them well adapted for free-ranging flocks.After both World Wars, the Brakel’s population declined drastically. In the 1960s, the breed was all but extinct. In 1971, recovery efforts began. The only remaining birds were 2 hens, 2 roosters, and a dozen eggs. Remarkably from this small group, the breed was revived!The Brakel is very similar to the Campine. In fact, the two were considered the same breed until 1884, when they were distinguished as separate breeds. They are either silver of gold in color, with solid colored necks and banded body feathers. They have a tall, bright red comb.

Cinnamon Queen

The Cinnamon Queen is a modern day production breed that lays brown eggs. They are a cross between a Rhode Island Red rooster and a Rhode Island White hen. At hatching, cockerels are a different color than the pullets so you can be sure of what you are getting—no surprise roosters! They are also known as Golden Comets.Cinnamon Queens were developed specifically for their prolific egg laying ability. Pullets will lay 250-300 eggs per year and start much sooner than heritage breeds. These girls are a perfect fit if you’re looking to start a small egg farm or just want a ton of eggs!

Gournay

“Le Poule de Gournay,” or the Gournay chicken, is from the upper Normandy region of France. It has ancient ancestry that may date back to the age of Vikings.These birds weigh 4 – 7 pounds and have a round body and small head. Their feathers are evenly mottled black and white. They have orange eyes and a thick beak, and a well-developed breast with delicate and flavorful meat.Hens are sweet but will go broody. They lay around 3 white, extra-large eggs per week. The Gournay is easy to tame and handles confinement well, making them a rare but excellent choice for backyard chicken keeping.The Gournay, like many traditional European breeds, suffered during World War I and II. They nearly went extinct, but with the help of local enthusiasts in the early 2000s, there are now around 15,000 of these birds in France.

Friesan

The Friesan is an ancient chicken breed, over 1,000 years old, from the isolated region of the northern coast of the Netherlands. These birds are small in size, and have more flying ability than larger chickens. They appear in many color varieties including gold, silver, and chamois penciled in their native region, but in limited varieties in the United States.The breed has been kept fairly wild. Young birds are quick to feather and quick to mature. They are flighty, not docile, but do not go broody often.Hens are productive layers of small white eggs. They’ll produce about 150-180 eggs per year.

Hamburg

“History has it that the first chicken show was a contest to settle the dispute of whose rooster was most magnificent. This was conducted in a pub in England, about 1800, the bartender acting as judge, a copper pot as prize, and the roosters competing are said to have been Hamburgs.”Hamburgs were found in Holland in the 14th century, but their origins are unclear. These birds are popular for their egg production. They only lay about 200 eggs per year, but they consistently lay for years longer than other breeds.These birds make an excellent addition to a backyard flock with room to forage. They are robust, active, and spirited, and are light eaters. Not to mention they have beautiful plumage! The silver spangled variety is the flashiest (pictured).

Holland

In 1934, white eggs brought premium prices at market because it was believed that they had a better, more delicate flavor. Most of America’s eggs were produced by small farms at the time. Small farmers prefer dual-purpose chickens because they provide a source of meat as well as eggs. Because dual-purpose chicken breeds tend to lay brown eggs and white egg-laying breeds available at the time were light-weight and not well fleshed, this prompted Rutgers Breeding Farms to set about producing a dual-purpose breed that would lay white eggs. Thus, the Holland was created.Hollands are great backyard chickens! They are calm, good foragers, and the hens will raise their own offspring. They are also great table birds and lay plenty of large eggs. You can also enjoy that they are helping to conserve what is likely the rarest living breed of American chicken!

Leghorn

Is it pronounced “Leghorn” or “Leghern” ? Either way, these birds are great! This breed was developed simultaneously in England and the U.S. in the 1850s, with ancestry tracing back to birds in Northern Italy. Leghorns are very active birds – scratching and foraging the day away. They are hardy and easy breeders, but are mostly known for their egg production. You could easily get 280 eggs in a year, even up to 300! Many of the white eggs you see in grocery stores are produced by this breed of chicken.

Minorca

Minorcas are a Mediterranean breed of domestic chicken, and are in fact the largest fowl from this region. They have a greenish-black glossy plumage, and very large, bright red combs and wattles. These help with dissipating heat. They also have very large, almond shaped, white earlobes, common to other Mediterranean fowl.Minorcas are not broody, but excellent layers of large, white eggs. They are very hardy and rugged, taking well to free range conditions.

Barbu D’uccle

The Barbu D’uccle is a Belgian bantam breed. They were developed in the town of Uccle on the outskirts of Brussels. These chickens have a beard and muff and full hackle feathers around their neck. Hens weigh about 20 ounces. In the U.S. there are seven recognized varieties: Black, Golden Neck, Mille Fleur, Mottled, Porcelain, Self Blue, and White. The Mille Fleur is a popular variety, translating to a “Thousand Flowers.”These birds have sweet, friendly personalities and are known for their mysterious, quirky expressions. Hens lay tiny, cream colored eggs. They are a must have for bantam enthusiasts or anyone with limited space that wants a pet chicken!

Belgian Antwerp D’anvers

One of the oldest true bantam breeds, the Belgian Antwerp d‘Anvers has been around since the 1600s. They have upright bodies, round breast jutting forward, and arching tail. They have a profuse beard of feathers that cover the earlobes, and a small rose comb. Roosters weigh around 24 ounces and hens around 21 ounces.These birds can be found in numerous color variations. In Belgium, there are 29 recognized colors. If allowed open space and free ranging, these birds make excellent pets and are friendly to humans.

Booted Bantam

The Booted Bantam goes by many names. “Federfuflge Zwerghuhne” in German, “Sabelpoot” in the Dutch, and “Booted Bantam” in the UK and Belgium. They are known for extravagant feathering on their feet and legs. Hens weigh around 22 ounces and roosters around 27 ounces. Almost exclusively an exhibition bird, they can be found in more than 20 color varieties, the most popular of which in the UK is the Lemon Millefleur.They are friendly and calm when kept as pets. They are good foragers, and hens will readily go broody. Booted Bantams are very similar to Barbu d’Uccles.

Chabo

The Chabo, also known as the Japanese bantam, is the largest true bantam breed. Their hefty, upright tails reach well over the birds’ heads. They come in many different colors and also in frizzle and silkie varieties. Rooster weigh a little over one pound, while hens weight just under a pound. Hens lay cream colored eggs.Chabos have unusually short legs. This breed is ideal for homeowners with delicate lawns and gardens because their little legs can’t do much damage while digging!

Dutch Bantam

Originating in the Netherlands, the Dutch Bantam is a true bantam breed. They are one of the smallest bantams, only weighing in at about 15 ounces. They can fly rather well because they are small but have large wings.Dutch Bantams are especially hardy and good layers for their size. Hens lay about 160 cream colored eggs per year, although they are small. They have friendly temperaments and make great family pets!

Nankin

The Nankin is one of the oldest bantam breeds. This breed was used in developing many other bantam breeds, such as the Sebright. They have rich, chestnut colored bodies, a black tail, and black flight feathers. Roosters weigh about 24 ounces and females about 22 ounces.Nankins are calm and have a likeable personality. They are unusual in that they stick very close together in a group and rarely venture away from the flock. This may be due to their small size—safety in numbers! Hens are known to be particularly broody and love hatching eggs, often sitting on other hens’ eggs in addition to their own.

Pekin Bantam

Pekin Bantams are of Chinese origin and are alleged to have been looted by British soldiers from the private collection of the Emperor of China. They are round birds and have so many feathers that you practically can’t see their feet and legs!Roosters weigh around 23 ounces and hens weigh around 20 ounces. There is some debate over whether Pekins are a true bantam breed or are just miniature Cochins. Pekins come in a variety of colors. They are docile birds, and with some handing, can make great pets! While hens don’t produce many eggs, they are broody and make good mothers (egg adoption anyone?).

Rosecomb Bantam

The Rosecomb Bantam is a true bantam breed, meaning it does not have a larger counterpart. It is one of the oldest bantam breeds, developed in England during the 14th century. Roosters weigh about 26 ounces and hens weigh about 22 ounces.They are kept mainly for exhibition and are generally bred for their appearance. Officially recognized colors include black, white, and blue. Unofficially, there are many more feather varieties. They have a very large comb and earlobes for their body size. They stand tall, alert, and proud, and have an “aristocratic” way about them. Hens lay one tiny cream-colored egg each week.They are docile in nature, but not at all friendly. In fact, these birds are high maintenance, and only recommended for serious poultry connoisseurs. They are not the best fit for casual poultry

Scots Dumpy

Scots Dumpies are an ancient Scottish breed of chicken. Evidence suggests they existed 700 years ago. The “Dumpy” in the name refers to a dwarfing gene that causes them to have very short legs and waddle as they walk.Because of their shorter legs, the Scots Dumpy can’t scratch up your landscaping! They are also excellent egg producers, broody, and good mothers. They are docile and the roosters make very timely alarm clocks! While all roosters will crow, the Scots Dumpy rooster is more inclined to crow at their first sign of dawn.

Sebright

Named after creator Sir John Sebright in about 1800, the Sebright is one of England’s oldest bantam breeds. They are a true bantam, meaning there is no standard version of the breed. They are small even for a bantam—males weigh about 22 ounces.Sebrights are considered an ornamental breed. They do not lay many eggs but have beautifully laced plumage in silver of gold. Males are “hen feathered” and do not have the typical feathering of a rooster in the tail, saddle, and hackles. Sebrights make good pets because they are active and easily tamed.

Serama

The Serama is a bantam breed of chicken originating in Malaysia within the last 50 years. The breed is named for the word “Rama,” the title of the Kings of Thailand. Small chickens have always been popular in the area as pets, and are sometimes called pygmy chickens.Seramas are meant to be small, brave chickens with the persona of a fearless warrior or toy soldier. They have an upright posture and vertical tail feathers, giving their body a V-shape. They are extremely small in size. Roosters and hens alike will weigh about 1/2 pound to 1 pound.

Barbezieux

The Barbezieux originated in France during the Middle Ages. These birds are impressive in the coop and on the table!Adult birds weigh 9 to 12 pounds, and roosters can grow up to 2 feet tall. They are considered the tallest chicken in Europe. They have iridescent, beetle black feathers, and an oversized comb and wattles. They have white skin and blue legs.Hens lay a good amount of white eggs, should you want to keep some in your flock as layers. Their meat is ultra-premium. Some foodies claim it’s even better than the famous Bresse! Barbezieux meat is firm and has a very distinct flavor, with notes of wild game. The roasted skin is golden and has a light wheat scent.

Basque Chicken

The Basque region of Spain and France has a rich history and culture that has endured thousands of years in the harsh and rugged terrain. The Basque people view themselves as independent and apart from the countries where they reside. Just like the people of the region, native chickens thrive under conditions that their less hardy cousins would struggle with.The legs, feet, and skin of these birds are yellow. They have a bright red single comb and narrow, pointed red earlobes. They are found in five color varieties: Beltza (black), Gorria (red), Lepasoila (naked-necked, red-brown), Marraduna (golden cuckoo) and Zilarra (black-tailed white).This breed has recently become a favorite of homesteaders in the United States and Canada. They are ideal for free ranging, given their hardy ancestry and excellent foraging skills.Basque Chickens are medium-sized, with roosters growing as large as 9 pounds, giving a good amount of meat for the table. Hens lay about 200 – 220 large brown eggs per year. Their best quality, however, is their winning personality. They are very friendly and enjoy human company, allowing themselves to be picked up without a fuss.

Bresse

The Bresse is hailed as the best tasting chicken in the world. Similar to French Champagne, birds must be raised within the legally defined area of the historic region of Bresse, in eastern France. To maintain the strictest quality standards, the raising and selling of Bresse chickens is rigidly controlled by the French government. There are rules about how much land they must have access to, what they must be fed, and how they must be processed. There are only about 200 breeders that producing 1.2 million birds annually.When you purchase a Bresse chicken it will have a leg band to prove authenticity. It will also cost you over $20 per pound!Bresse chickens are colored like the French flag – red comb, white body, and blue legs.

Cornish

The Cornish was an epic fail in terms of serving its original purpose. Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert of England developed the breed, originally naming it the “Indian Game.” He intended to combine the power of an Aseel gamebird with the speed of an English gamebird. What he got was a bird with neither of those qualities.Cornishes were (misleadingly) marketing in the 1800s as an excellent all around bird, despite being “nearly the worst domestic fowls for ordinary use.” In the early 1900s, breeders renamed it the “Cornish” and found two niche markets. Due to the muscular nature of the breed, young birds could be harvested early to produce a tender and flavorful one-pound bird: the now well-know “Cornish Game Hens.” They are also ideal to cross with American breeds to produce extremely fast growing market poultry.

Gallina di Saluzzo

The Gallina di Saluzzo, Italian for “the white hen of Saluzzo,” is from the Piedmont in Italy. It is a rustic breed and was once widespread throughout the region. Small family farms are common in the area, and the animals traditionally raised there were intended for family consumption. With the increase of intensive and commercial agriculture, this breed almost disappeared completely, along with other pasture-raised breeds in the area. Recovery efforts began in 1999 to revive the breed because of it’s historical significance to the region.The Gallina di Saluzzo is a dual-purpose breed. While hens lay about 180 white eggs per year, this breed really shines on the dinner table. Due to extensive breeding and very specific feeding techniques, the quality of their meat is exceptional.They are a classic looking chicken: all white feathers with a red comb and wattles, a yellow beak, and yellow feet. They weigh about 4 – 6 pounds, making them a medium to small-sized bird.

Gournay

“Le Poule de Gournay,” or the Gournay chicken, is from the upper Normandy region of France. It has ancient ancestry that may date back to the age of Vikings.These birds weigh 4 – 7 pounds and have a round body and small head. Their feathers are evenly mottled black and white. They have orange eyes and a thick beak, and a well-developed breast with delicate and flavorful meat.Hens are sweet but will go broody. They lay around 3 white, extra-large eggs per week. The Gournay is easy to tame and handles confinement well, making them a rare but excellent choice for backyard chicken keeping.The Gournay, like many traditional European breeds, suffered during World War I and II. They nearly went extinct, but with the help of local enthusiasts in the early 2000s, there are now around 15,000 of these birds in France.

Ixworth

The Ixworth was created in the 1930s England, by Reginald Appleyard. Appleyard is better known for developing the Silver Appleyard Duck. In the Ixworth, he envisioned the ideal dual-purpose breed that would be an active forager, produce eggs, and make a hearty meal.Both hens and roosters have a stocky body, pure white feathers, white skin, and pea comb. While they are better designed for the table, hens also lay a decent number of tinted eggs.

Lyonnaise

The Lyonnaise breed was developed in Lyon, France in the 1950s, by Etienne Tamburini. However, it took almost 20 years before they were recognized as a distinct and official breed.There is both a standard and bantam variety, and both can either be flat-feathered or frizzled. Birds have beetle black feathers and grey legs. They have a crest that sweeps to the back of the head, like a well-coiffed hairdo.Lyonnaise are excellent free-range birds, showing good survival skills when it comes to foraging for food and avoiding predators. They are also friendly towards humans, docile, and quiet.They are a medium sized bird, known for producing excellent white meat. Hens are good layers of medium-sized white eggs, laying about 3 per week.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire chickens have only been around since the 1930s and are closely related to the classic Rhode Island Red (RIR). Starting with RIRs, breeders were very selective and intensified traits of early maturity, rapid full feathering, and production of large brown eggs. These birds are a rich chestnut color, slightly lighter in shade than RIRs.New Hampshires are a dual-purpose breed, but are intended more for the table than for egg production. They prefer to free range and are known to be competitive with the rest of the flock.

Norfolk Grey

The Norfolk Grey is a utility breed developed in England in 1910, by Frederick Myhill. Originally, the breed was called “Black Maria”.During World War I, Myhill had to leave his flock to free range while he left for military service. When he returned home, he discovered that his birds had cross bred with other breeds, and he had to start over again. While he successfully did so, Black Marias did not gain in popularity, so Myhill had the name changed to Norfolk Grey. This breed all but died out in the 1970s. A private flock of only 4 birds was able to revive it!Norfolk Greys are a heavy breed, but not as large as other birds in that category. They have a single comb, black eyes, slate legs, with black body feathers and silver striped hackles.This breed does well free ranging. Roosters weigh 7 – 8 pounds and hens weigh 5 – 6 pounds. They produce a good roast for the table, and hens lay 150-220 pale brown eggs per year.

RedCap

The RedCap is an egg-laying breed from England named after their very large rose comb. It is one of the older English breeds, but exact time is unclear. The RedCap was bred so much for utility that they are lacking in appeal. Their coloring, wild temperament, and generally unrefined quality led them to fall out of favor by 1900.The breed has red plumage tipped with a blue-black, half-moon shaped spangle and leaden blue colored legs.During the early to mid-1800’s the Redcap chicken was considered one of the most profitable fowls a farmer could have. They have delicate meat, and even though they have red earlobes, can lay 150-200 white eggs.

Red Shaver

The Red Shaver is a sex-linked breed from Canada. Female chicks are a reddish-brown color with white underfeathers, while male chicks are white with a few red markings on the feathers. They are a dual purpose breed with a reputation for being quiet and calm. Hens lay up to 300 large brown eggs per year! Because they are Canadian, they are very well adapted to cold.

Vorwerk

The Vorwerk was developed in 1900 by Oskar Vorwerk in Hamburg, Germany. His goal was to create a medium-sized, dual-purpose breed with the same feather pattern as the Lakenvelder.Vorwerks are hardy, adaptable, alert, and active. They mature quickly, are pretty good at flying for a chicken! This makes them great candidates for free range flocks.Birds are typically 4 – 8 pounds and hens lay about 170 large cream eggs per year. They are a golden buff color, with solid black head, neck, and tail. They are often confused with Golden Lakenvelders, but are a separate breed. This is perhaps the reason why Vorwerks never gained popularity, therefore they are rare outside of Europe.

Appenzeller

The Appenzeller originated in Switzerland and comes in 2 varieties. The Spitzhauben—named for a women’s hat—has a V-comb and feather crest. The Barthuhner (“bearded hen”) has a rose comb and no crest. Color varieties include black, golden spangled, and silver spangled.This breed is mainly ornamental, but hens do lay a respectable number of white eggs. These birds prefer to range rather than be cooped because they are active and good foragers. Appenzellers are also small bodied enough that they are able to roost up in trees.

Brabanter

The Brabanter is a Dutch breed of chicken originating between Belgium and the Netherlands. They appear in paintings from as far back as the 17th century. The Brabanter is a small bird with a V-shaped comb and a crest similar to the Appenzeller.Hens lay a moderate number of white eggs and are fairly good winter layers. Brabanters are a calm and intelligent breed that are better-suited for colder climates. The small comb and wattles of the Brabanter make them less susceptible to frostbite.

Crevecoeur

The Crevecoeur is one of the oldest breeds in France. It is named for a small town in Normandy and translates to “broken heart.” Although popular in France, the breed hasn’t quite caught on in other countries.Crevecoeur chickens are solid black and have a distinctive V-shaped comb. They are quiet and have peaceful temperaments. They are primarily a meat bird and only lay a moderate amount of white eggs (about 120 per year).

Houdan

Houdan chickens were developed in France. They are descended from the ancient 5-toed fowl that were once common in France and Belgium. Houdans are historically held in high esteem for both meat and production qualities.Houdans have both crests and beards, and are black with mottled white plumage. They also have five toes on each foot. They are moderately hardy but in the right climates can rival Leghorns in egg production. Good looks and good use—this bird has it all!

Polish

The Polish is immediately recognizable by the crest of feathers that almost covers its entire head. The breed’s origins are unclear, but it was standardized in the Netherlands. They arrived in America in 1830 and became fairly widespread.Polishes were originally bred as productive egg layers of white eggs. Nowadays they are considered more of an ornamental breed. They are vulnerable to aerial predators because their crests can obscure their vision. These are shy and skittish birds, so they won’t be cuddling with your kiddos.

Sultan

Native to Turkey, Sultans there are known as “Serai Taook,” which translates to “Fowl of the Sultan’s Palace.” The breed first arrived in England in 1854 when Mrs. Elizabeth Watts, editor of the Poultry Chronicle in London, received the fowls from a friend living in Constantinople.If you’re looking for a unique bird, Sultans are for you! They have a V-shaped comb, crest, beard, muffs, large nostrils, low-carried wings, vulture hocks, feathered shanks, and five toes. Their feathers a pure white and their legs are slate blue.Sultans have happy personalities. Hens lay large white eggs from March through September. They also make a good table bird. Their personality and dual-purpose nature make them a great bird for backyard flocks!

Cochin

Cochins, along with Brahmas, are responsible for the “hen fever” that over took poultry keepers in American and England in 1850. No doubt they are helping fuel the newest obsession with backyard chicken keeping! Cochins were developed in China. They are very large in size (up to 10 pounds), have an abundance of feathers, and are calm in disposition. Like Brahmas, they are very hardy in cold climates.Cochins are known for being very broody, so much so that roosters will occasionally brood chicks! So, if you’re looking to hatch your own chicks, consider a Cochin hen to raise them! They are even considered the best choice for hatching and raising ducks and turkeys!Cochins are bred in several color patterns: Buff, Partridge, White, Black, Silver Laced, Golden Laced, Blue, Brown, and Barred.

Frizzle

A Frizzle in the U.S. is not a breed of chicken, but rather a type of chicken, describing curly plumage. Frizzles are most commonly found in Polish, Cochin, Plymouth Rock, Japanese, and Silkies, but other breeds can possess the Frizzle gene. The feathers curl out and away from the body, giving the birds a unique appearance.Because of the structure of their feathers, Frizzles cannot trap heat against their body, so they do not thrive in cold climates. They also cannot fly at all, and may have trouble reaching high roosts.

Malay

The Malay chicken is an ancient landrace breed. It is supposed to have descended from the great Malay fowls of India. These birds are extremely tall. They can reach heights of up to 30 inches! They are said to be able to eat grain off the dining table!Malays are not suited for egg or meat production. But they have been useful in crossing with other breeds and revitalizing threatened breeds. Many developed breeds of chicken have Malay ancestry mixed in.Malays have a unique appearance, aside from height. The expression of a Malay is snarky and cruel. The crow of the rooster is more like a roar! They are very hardy and impressive birds.

Old English Game

The Old English Game breed is one of the oldest breeds of fowl, having been introduced to England by Romans in the 1st century! Although their origins were in the fighting ring, today they are raised for their exotic appearance and only for show. They have compact, muscular bodies with feathers that are hard, glossy, and sit tight along the body. They are known to have fearless eyes and an indomitable spirit.Old English Games come in a variety of colors. Both hens and roosters have large and distinctive tail feathers. Hens make excellent brooders, although they can be overly aggressive as mothers. They can tolerate extreme climates, are good foragers, and do well in free range situations. But watch out! Their excellent stamina and flying capabilities make them crafty escape artists. Many Old English Games live as long as 15 years or more.

Silkie

Silkies are an ancient breed originating in the Far East, most likely China. They were first documented by Marco Polo himself around the year 1300. He encountered a travel with “a furry chicken.” Silkies are arguably the most popular and beloved of all ornamental breeds. They are the pocket pet of the chicken world, with sweet and friendly temperaments and feathers that feel more like hair. Because they are so tame, they are easily bullied by other birds. They are very broody and devoted mothers to anything that hatches from an egg – they’ll even adopt other chicks!Silkies have black skin and black bones, a walnut-shaped comb, and turquoise earlobes. Their fuzzy feathers come in a variety of colors, but because of the feather structure, silkies cannot fly and are not water proof. If they get wet, they need to be dried off with a towel before they catch a chill.

Altsteirer

The Altsteirer is an ancient breed that may be thousands of years old, but the first record of its existence is from the 13th century. It originated in the Styria region of Austria and Slovenia and is one of the first identified breeds in Europe. Several of this breed’s physical characteristics also appear in chickens around Europe, suggesting that it was used to develop other breeds.The Altsteirer is a dual purpose breed of medium size. Hens lay 180 – 200 large white eggs per year and rarely go broody. Birds can weigh 4 – 8 pounds, and their round body makes a nice meal for the table.They are found in a variety of colors, including partridge, white, cuckoo, and black-breasted red. This breed is rare and is considered endangered. If you are looking for an easy to care for and very unique breed, this may be the one for you. You could play a part in restoring the population!

Brussbar

The Brussbar is a dual purpose breed, developed by Professor Punnett and Mr. Pease at Cambridge in the first half of the 20th century. They were looking to create an autosexing breed with the characteristics of a Light Sussex, the most popular breed at the time. Brown Sussex and Barred Rocks were used initially to create the autosexing plumage with utility strains of Light Sussex added to improve productivity. The breed was officially standardized in 1952.Birds are large and well-built, similar to a Sussex. They have a distinctive crele plumage, a copper and gold body color with barring patterns throughout. Originally, the Brussbar came in both a gold and silver variety, though now only the gold variety can be found. Brussbars never caught on in popularity and the breed barely survived the 1960s. Only one farm was keeping this breed alive! They remain very rare today.

California Grey

Developed in California in the 1930s by James Dryden, professor of poultry science. He wanted a dual-purpose hen laying large white eggs that remained in her egg-laying prime for longer than 2 years. He crossed a Barred Plymouth Rock rooster with a White Leghorn hen, which resulted in a naturally autosexing breed with grey barred plumage.Birds are between 4 – 6 pounds, which makes them too large to appeal to commercial egg producers. They were also never recognized by the American Poultry Association. This means they never enjoyed popularity and today are a rare find.If you manage to have this breed in your flock, you’re a lucky one! These birds are calm, good winter layers, and given the intent of their creator, should produce lots of eggs in their lifetime!

Catalana

Catalanas were developed near Barcelona in the district of Catalonia, Spain. It was introduced to the rest of the world at the 1902 World’s Fair held in Madrid. They are a hardy, dual-purpose breed, with the style, alertness, and forage abilities typical of Mediterranean breeds. They lay large white eggs and rarely are broody. Catalanas are noted for being very heat tolerant.

Dampierre

Ever wonder what happens when a breed goes extinct? The Normande chicken in France did just that. It died out more than a century ago in the late 1800s. This breed closely resembled its cousin, the Gournay. It had the same black and white mottled coloring, but it also had a feather crest on its head.So is it just gone forever? Sort of. The exact Normande hasn’t returned, but instead has been re-created by poultry enthusiasts. This new breed, resembling the old breed, is known as the Dampierre. It was created in France in 1996 using Gournay and Crevecouer genetics. Since then, the breed continues to be improved and standardized with great attention to detail to resemble the Normande as closely as possible.Dampierres are dual-purpose, with fine white meat and delicate bones. Hens lay a productive number of large white eggs and are willing to go broody.This breed is only just beginning to make an appearance in the U.S. They are hard to come by and very expensive. If you manage to get your hands on these birds, you must be dedicated to advancing the breed by only raising birds that meet the breed standard.

Deathlayer

The Deathlayer (Totleger, in its native German) is over 400 years old and was once commonly found on German farms. Their popularity declined over the centuries, and now they are considered rare. Why the name Deathlayer? One theory is that it’s because hens will lay an egg a day up until the day they die!Birds are very striking in appearance, with iridescent greens and purple in their black body feathers and silver hackles. They have cushion combs and large dark eyes.The hens are super productive, laying medium-sized white eggs. They are very active birds and should be kept free range. They prefer to sleep in trees if given the option.

Dorking

The history of the Dorking is similar to that of the Sussex. An ancient breed with ties to the Roman Empire, the Dorking was developed to be a superior table bird. As a backyard poultry keeper, this breed would make an excellent dual-purpose bird! Hens make excellent winter layers, and are exceptional mothers. They welcome chicks from other hens and tend to look after chicks far longer than other hens.

Iowa Blue

The Iowa Blue was developed in the early 1900’s near Decorah, Iowa. A folk legend tells the story of a white Plymouth Rock hen emerging from under a building with a clutch of chicks that were colored solid chestnut to striped. Old-timers tell the tale that the chicks were sired by a pheasant.Iowa Blues are a practical, dual-purpose, homesteader chicken. They are fairly docile but excellent foragers. Hens have good mothering instincts and roosters are brave protectors of their flock. This breed almost went extinct in the 1980s and are still very rare. Fortunately, they are making a comeback thanks to some dedicated breeders and poultry keepers.

Langshan

Langshans originated in China near the Yangtszekiang River and made its way to England in 1872. The breed is valued for being a large bird, with quality meat, that lays a high volume of dark brown, purplish eggs.Langshans are hearty birds and good foragers. They have tight feathering and can fly better than most other chickens. Hens are not dependable sitters but make excellent mothers once the chicks have hatched.

Marsh Daisy

The Marsh Daisy is a very rare breed originating in Lancashire, England, and has not made a name for itself in other countries. It’s a bird with a fancy name and a practical nature. These birds are slow to mature, but once grown, are very hardy and excellent foragers. They flourish in free range environments. Hens lay about 200 cream colored eggs each year.The Marsh Daisy chicken may be one of the rarest chicken breeds worldwide. It never achieved popularity abroad, was never recognized by the American Poultry Association and is little known or seen outside the UK.

Norwegian Jaehorn

The Jaehorn is the only breed of domestic chicken indigenous to Norway. They were developed in 1920 near the town of Stavenger. They have only recently made their way to North America and are still a rare find in the U.S.They come in two colors: dark brown and light brown. Hens can lay an impressive 215 white eggs per year. Jaehorns are small, hardy, and active birds. They are great flyers due to their size. So be aware, your chickens may fly the coop!

Orloff

Orloffs were previously believed to have originated in Russia, however modern research indicates they first appeared in Persia and were brought to Europe and Asia in the 17th century. The breed became popular through promoter Count Alexei Grigoryevich Orlov in the 19th century.Orloffs are tall and well adapted to the cold. They are tight feathered, head and neck are very densely feathered, and they have tiny combs, earlobes, and wattles. The hens lay a good amount of light brown eggs and are relatively calm.

Orust

The Orust is a landrace breed from the west coast of Sweden. This breed free ranged along the isolated rocky shores and is a proven survivor, eating whatever was available, including fish!They have black and white mottled feathers, and their legs can sometimes have the same pattern. As a unique trait, roosters’ wattles turn from red to bright violet when they are agitated and protecting their hens.This breed is extremely rare. In 2013 there were only 463 birds on record!

Pavlovskaya

Pavlovskayas are Russia’s most ancient chicken breed. They were used in developing newer breeds like the Polish and the Brabanter. This breed nearly went extinct. In the 1990s, the total population consisted only of 2 roosters, and one of them was infertile! Very careful breeding programs rehabilitated the breed, however it is still super rare and virtually unknown outside of Russia.This breed is well adapted to its native climate of extreme cold. These tiny birds are only 3 – 4 pounds. They have a v-shaped comb accompanied by a crest, beard, muffs, and completely feathered legs and toes.They have a pleasant personality being curious, lively, and trustful. The hens only lay about 70-90 white eggs per year. The meat is light and gamey.

Penedesenca

The Penedesenca originated in the region of Catalonia, in Spain. They are named after the town Vilafranca del Penedes and were developed from native backyard birds.This breed is known for the very dark brown eggs that the hens produce. They are said to be the darkest brown of any breed. They come is a few color varieties: Black, Crele, Partridge, and Wheaten. They have white earlobes, red wattles, and an unusual carnation comb.This breed is extremely rare. In fact, they almost went extinct! In the 1980s, some breeders dedicated themselves to reviving the Penedesenca.

Pita Pinta Asturiana

Pita what??? Asturias is a principality in north-western Spain. In the Asturian language, Pita Pinta translates to “painted hen.” This breed is the only chicken indigenous to the area, and are considered extremely rare.Pita Pintas are compact birds with yellow skin, yellow beaks, red earlobes, and orange eyes. Plummage varieties include Pinta Negra (black mottled), Pinta Roxa (mottled brown), Blanca (white), and Abedul (black). Hens are reliable layers of eggs the color of burnt cream. These birds are tough and responsive to their environment.

Rhodebar

The Rhodebar is a breed that we wish wasn’t quite so rare! Hailed as “an absolute gift for the small poultry enthusiast”, these birds have so many great qualities.Originally created at the University of British Columbia in the 1940s, during the autosexing breed development craze, the Rhodebar involves a cross of Rhode Island Reds and Plymouth Barred Rocks. A version of the breed was also created in the U.K. by crossing a Danish strain of Rhode Island Red with Golden Brussbars.Rhodebars are autosexing, meaning males and females have different coloring at the time of hatch. Males are yellow, and females have dark stripes of barring down their backs. This makes them easy to differentiate, so you stand an excellent chance of knowing if you’ve got future hens or roosters in the bunch.This is a dual-purpose breed. Hens are great layers of brown tinted eggs. You can expect about 180-200 eggs per year. Birds weigh between 6 – 9 pounds and dress out nicely for the table.Because the Rhodebar was developed just before the dawn of commercial hybrid breeds, it only enjoyed brief popularity, and is now very rare. Those who continue to breed and raise Rhodebars are very devoted to maintaining the exceptional qualities of this breed.

Thuringian

Thuringians were developed in 19th century Germany, in the Thuringian Forest. They were intended to be a dual-purpose breed, but are now seen mainly at poultry shows. They are very rare!They have a distinctive beard, muffs, and a very small comb. This makes them well-suited for cold climates, and gives them a cute, chubby-cheeked appearance.They are friendly, tame, and make good pets. It is said that different color varieties each have different personalities. They are confidant and like to explore, preferring to free range rather than be confined to a coop. Hens lay about 160 eggs per year. They do not go broody often, but when they do, they are very defensive mothers.

Twentse

Twentses (Dutch), also known as Kraienkoppes (German), are a large breed of chicken from an area spanning between Germany and the Netherlands. They are rumored to be the result of Leghorn and Malay crosses and are sporty, ornamental birds that also have good egg production. Hens lay about 200 off-white eggs per year.They have small wattles, earlobes, and walnut comb—all bright red in color. This rare breed is an excellent forager in both free range and confined conditions.

Ayam Cemani

The Ayam Cemani is a unique breed with a striking in appearance. Originating from the island of Java, they have black plumage, black skin, black muscles, black bones, even black organs! They have a gene that causes hyperpigmentation (Fibromelanosis). While their blood is still red, it is very dark. Due to their exotic appearance, in Asia their meat is considered to have mystic powers.They are friendly birds, hardy, low maintenance, and easy to handle. Hens lay a moderate amount of cream colored eggs that are relatively large in proportion to their body size.Consider yourself lucky if you can find a bird of this breed! They are extremely rare and can be expensive.

Campine

The Campine chicken is originally from northern Belgium, but once it was imported to England in 1899, it was developed in to a much different bird.Something that makes Campines unique is that oftentimes, especially in Europe, roosters will be “hen feathered.” This means that they don’t develop the long sickle feathers, pointed hackle feathers, or pointed saddle feathers. Rather, their plumage resembles that of a hen.Campines come in two color varieties: Silver and Golden. They are fair layers of white eggs, but mostly for show. This bird is considered a delicate, active breed. A fun addition for your backyard collection!

Cubalaya

The Cubalaya is the only breed developed in Cuba. It is descended from Sumatra and Malay birds brought to Cuba from the Philippines. They were selectively bred to be impressive in appearance, with a courageous expression. Roosters have flowing hackle feathers and a “lobster tail” – a downward angled tail with lavish feathering. Their look is truly unique to the breed.These birds are very tame, with a friendly and curious disposition. They very heat tolerant, for those of you with long hot summers! The hens are reliable layers, lay small eggs and are good brooders.

Egyptian Fayoumi

Fayoumis are an ancient Egyptian breed. They about 3,000 years old, descended from Sri Lankan junglefowl that the Pharoah Tutankhamen had procured through the ancient cinnamon trade.They look somewhat like a roadrunner, with upright tails and forward jutting necks. They are a very hardy breed, and not surprisingly well-suited for hot climates. They are such excellent foragers and can pretty much fend for themselves. They are fat to mature, and hens are good layers of off-white colored eggs.

Favorelles

The Favorelles is a French breed of chicken. They are considered a heavy breed, and have a beard, muffs, feathered feet, and 5 toes per foot. They are also known for their round shape. Favorelles are extremely docile and quiet, which makes them a popular choice in home flocks as egg layers and pets. At the same time, their gentleness can cause them to be picked on by other birds, so watch out for bullies! A well cared for hen will lay about 4 pinkish colored eggs per week.

La Fleche

La Flèche is a rare, French dual-purpose breed. The words “la fleche” translates to “the arrow,” which is linked to the part of France where these birds originated in the fifth century.These birds are known for their very distinct V-shaped comb. They have tightly arranged black plumage and white earlobes. Hens lay large white eggs from March thru October.

Lakenvelder

Lakenvelders are sometimes known as “Shadows on a Sheet,” because in Dutch the name translates to white spread over a black field. They are beautiful birds with blue legs, deep red eyes, and long flowing tails. They have single combs and you will see that even the females’ combs stand tall.Lakenvelders are known not just for their beauty, but also their egg laying abilities. They lay about 175 porcelain white eggs per year. They are great foragers and very active, but they are wary. These birds will not cuddle with your kids!

Onagadori

Meaning “long-tailed chicken” in Japanese, Onagadoris are designated as a Special Natural Monument by the Japanese government. It has taken centuries breeding to create what the breed has become today. Breeders provide special hutches with perches well above the ground where the tails are kept clean and in good condition. Their tails do not molt, but grow continuously, allowing them to reach lengths of 12 to 27 feet long.

Phoenix

The Phoenix chicken is a German creation from the long-tailed fowls of Japan. The first president of the National German Poultry Association, Mr. Hugo du Roi, is credited with the creation of the breed. His intent was to reinvigorate the small population of long-tailed fowl in Europe. Some say the name “Phoenix” was given to the resultant chickens to acknowledge the seeming “rise from the ashes” of their soon lost parents.The Phoenix chicken is an alert breed with a pheasant-like appearance. They are fair layers that can go broody. The chicks are hardy, but require extra protein when their tails are growing (try Ace Hi Quick Gro or Kelley’s Quick Gain). The breed thrives when it can roam at large with plenty of freedom.

Shamo

Ever seen a chicken like this before?! The Shamo originated in Thailand and made its way to Japan in the 1600s. As with other things distinctly Japanese, like koi fish and bonsai trees, the Shamo was carefully curated and finely tuned over the centuries. Different regions of Japan favor different colors and sizes. These birds are so revered in Japan that they were officially placed under protection of the law in 1941.The first Shamos in the United States were mostly likely smuggled overseas as eggs in the luggage of soldiers returning from World War II. The breed took up favor in the southern United States, but as of 2015 they’ve all but disappeared from the country.Shamos are an exhibition breed and aren’t good for much else besides their impressive looks. Hens are devoted mothers but poor layers. Their meat is too tough to eat.They are all tall chicken with an upright stature. They can reach almost 3 feet tall and can range from 4 – 13 pounds! Shamos are intelligent and friendly towards humans, with a confidence that makes them treat us as their equal.

Sicilian Buttercup

Sicilian Buttercups originated on the island of Sicily, and were imported to the U.S., Britain, and Australia in the early 20th century. They are named for their very unique comb. It is a cup-shaped crown with a complete circle of medium sized regular points. No other breed will have this type of comb!These birds are active foragers, preferring to free range. They lay a modest number of small eggs—about 180 in a year. This breed is friendly, making them a great pet!

Sumatra

This breed was shaped by its wild origins on the isles of Sumatra, Java, and Borneo in Indonesia. Their rich green sheen and royal appearance belies their feral heritage.Sumatra hens lay an abundant number of white or lightly tinted eggs and are excellent winter layers. They are also among the best and broodiest of mothers. Both adults and chicks are hardy and easy to raise. Sumatra chickens are active and alert and are especially good at launching vertically to escape danger.

Swedish Black Hen

Swedish Black Hens, translated from Svart Höna in their native Swedish, are an ultra-rare and exotic breed. While the breed was developed on the border of Norway and Sweden, these birds have ancestry tracing back to Indonesia.Like their cousins, the rare Ayam Cemani and the more common Silkie, Svart Hönas have fibromelanistic genetic traits, making them entirely black. While they look similar to the Ayam Cemani, they have a more refined and less gamey appearance.Svart Hönas are small and sleek, with birds weighing 5 – 8 pounds. They thrive in free-range flocks. Their flying abilities are above average, and if given the chance will choose to roost high off the ground. Hens are excellent layers of cream colored eggs, which are very large in relation to their small body size. Roosters are very alert and excellent protectors of the flock.They are very friendly and seek out human interaction and affection. Sounds like a really cool breed to have in your flock!

Swedish Flower Hen (Blommehöna)

Originally a landrace breed, Swedish Flower Hens were not intentionally developed. Rather, they were created by nature as a result of the pairing of the strongest and hardiest birds over the last 500 years. They are the largest of the Swedish breeds and can weigh up to 8 pounds! They are named after their unique and striking feather pattern. Because they are not a standard breed, they come in a wide variety of colors featuring red, blue, or black, but should all maintain the flower patterning.These birds have so many great qualities! Being native to Sweden, they are extremely hardy and well adapted for cold. They are confident in nature, but not aggressive. They enjoy human interaction, but maintain enough independence and street smarts to be kept free-ranging. Hens are great layers of extra-large eggs that can range from cream to pale brown in color.This breed is quite rare, but is becoming the talk of the town among poultry enthusiasts! They should become more readily available in the future.

White Faced Black Spanish

The Black Spanish is a regal bird that holds itself with the posture of aristocrats. This ancient breed is lustrous green-black, with a distinguishing white face and enormous white earlobes.Black Spanish hens were hugely popular in the 1800s for their ability to lay an abundant amount of large white eggs. They ultimately lost favor with farmers because they are fairly delicate birds, and hardier breeds came along.