24 Different Types of Chicken Breeds

Different Types of Chicken Breeds
Photo by Brooke Cagle

Understanding the different types of chicken breeds available to you is essential. So that you can choose the right one that will suit your needs, the right breed of chicken will lay the correct type of eggs and be easy to maintain.

Also, certain types of chicken breeds are sometimes better at certain things like meat production or egg-laying.

So, this should be taken into consideration when choosing which type of chicken to raise. This article takes an in-depth look at five popular breeds of chickens often chosen by backyard chicken farmers.

Along with the pros and cons of each one, you can decide which one will work best for you!

Plymouth Rock 

Plymouth Rock is a dual-purpose breed…They are known to produce good egg layers and provide delicious beef.

These birds also boast hardiness, friendliness, and ease of care. Their appearance alone makes them stand out among other different types of chicken breeds.

Although some people may not consider their topless appearance beautiful, as their name implies, Plymouth Rocks originally came from Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

It was first developed in the early 1800s by Mr. William E. Atwell. Who was trying to create an all-purpose bird with many different qualities?

However, something with good egg production, a fair amount of dark meat, docile nature, and high productivity. It wasn’t until 1854 that they were recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA).

Silkie  

Silkies are an exciting chicken breed because they’re one of a few breeds with no tail feathers. The bare skin under their tails can be a sensitive area, so extra care should be taken when handling them. Silkies also have very soft feathers and short legs, so they make excellent pets and show chickens.

Nevertheless, they come in many different colors and patterns; only White Silkies are accepted in poultry shows. Silkie is my favorite type of chicken breed because its plumage is adorable!

They stand out from other chicken breeds as they look like fluffy balls on top of small bodies. I’ve never seen any other type as smooth as them. Their plumage is also very soft to touch!

Welsummer   

The Welsummer is a dual-purpose chicken breed, a category that means it has been specifically bred to efficiently produce meat and eggs.

This breed was developed in Europe and is known as a dual-purpose because it was intended to be good at both. The Welsummer’s heritage dates back to 1840 when it was imported from Belgium by American poultry farmers. 

Though, some people have complained that due to its efficiency at producing eggs, chickens that are classed as Welsummers don’t lay many eggs.

However, if you look at different types of chicken breeds, that’s been classed as a bantam (more minor than average). They will all do the same thing – just lay smaller eggs.

Brahma 

The Brahma is a breed of large chicken originating in America, where it is called Cochin. They were bred from Chinese and Malay stock imported to Boston by William Reed about 1870. Originally known as Shanghai chickens because they were imported from Shanghai, China.

Moreover, there are three accepted varieties of chicken breeds: Black, White, and Blue. They were used extensively for crossbreeding with other breeds to produce hybrids.

Modern Brahma chickens are significant; roosters weigh 10-15 pounds (4-6 kg) and hens about half that size. 

Nonetheless, their legs tend to be set far back on their bodies, giving them a characteristic humped appearance. That lends itself well to egg production since less energy is spent moving around, and more can be devoted to egg-laying.

Barnevelder 

Known as Black Indies or Dutch Barnvelders, Barnevelder chickens are giant, productive dual-purpose birds. They’re named after a city in Holland, but it’s unclear why.

Their plumage is black and white; their earlobes are red (some say they should be white). And their tails can be either slate blue or white with a black tip.

Also, what sets them apart from other different types of chicken breeds is their beak. Barnevelder chickens have an unusually long bill that resembles a parrot’s.

This helps them scour into manure to find seeds, making them popular with sustainable farmers. Who wants to feed backyard birds organically.

Australorp 

The Australorp is a medium-sized bird, with males weighing between 7.5 and 10 pounds. And females weigh around 5.5 to 8 pounds when they mature.

They are also usually just a bit larger than Rhode Island Reds in size. The hens have brown plumage, while roosters have black and white coloration on their face and maroon, black, or blue feathers.

In other words, both males and females lay brown eggs. Australorp chickens can sometimes be aggressive toward other chickens but make great pets because they are affectionate and curious about their surroundings.

They thrive on social interaction but can live peacefully with different types of chicken breeds if you get them when they’re chicks instead of adults.

Naked Neck 

The naked neck chicken breed is a true bantam, meaning it doesn’t grow as large as some of its cousins. They are reaching only six pounds in full adulthood.

While these birds are better known for their unique plumage, their unique physiology makes them stand out from other fowl. Skin Color: The skin on naked neck chickens can range from pink to dark red, but all have pure white feathers. 

In contrast, the color variation has led many to believe that there are different types of chicken breeds subspecies in existence.

But no studies have confirmed differences between naked necks found around North America or Europe. Feather Colors: NN (bare neck) chickens possess a wide variety of feather colors, Including buff, blue, cinnamon, light tan, black or brown, with faint or distinct barring patterns.

Orpington 

The Orpington is a delightful dual-purpose bird of different types of chicken breeds. To produce large brown eggs that are exceptionally good when served hard-boiled and buttered. The Orpington is an ancient breed with possible origins tracing back to Rome. 

Moreover, according to some historians, its name originates from Orpington in Kent, England, where they were likely first raised. Chickens have been recorded as early as 1858 from Orpington, so it’s safe to say it’s been around for over a century.

New Hampshire Red 

The New Hampshire Red is a chicken breed with bright red feathers. They are one of eight standard types of chicken breeds approved by The American Poultry Association (APA).

The new Hampshire red was first created in 1882. But are believed to have been derived from Asian stock brought to America in 1873. 

In addition, the original breeding flock was founded by Colonel Samuel B. Parsons and resided on his land in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.

In 1896 it was admitted into APA’s American Standard of Perfection and continued to be a popular choice for backyard poultry enthusiasts.

Frizzle 

The Frizzle is a breed of different chicken breeds originating in England in 1947. They have an unusual feather structure, which causes them to frizz or fluff out their feathers.

This also exposes their lighter-colored underlayer, which makes them susceptible to heatstroke. If they are exposed to temperatures over 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius).

However, It is said that only frizzles survive heatstroke. However, no studies have been conducted yet to test that claim. Frizzles are best kept indoors during extreme weather conditions and are not well suited for free-range systems.

Since predators may take advantage of their lack of everyday plumage protection, they lay brown eggs with cream-colored speckles and may be prone to broodiness.

Wyandotte 

Wyandotte chickens are a small breed of different chicken breeds originating from New York. They were created by crossing Silver Penciled Hamburgs and White Plymouth Rocks, both species originally from America. The name is derived from that town in New York where they were first bred. 

On the other hand, Wyandottes (also known as Wheaten) are different rare types of chicken breeds. But one that makes an excellent pet, being very calm and easy to care for. Despite their small size, Wyandottes lay large brown eggs at a reasonable rate!

Minorca 

The Minorca chicken breed is an elegant, medium-sized bird. Originally from Spain, they are known to be very friendly and have a good layer of brown eggs.

They were first imported into England in 1845 by William Cooksley. He had heard about them while traveling in Barcelona and convinced a Spanish military officer to send four chickens to him in London.

Also, Minorca is a famous show bird and a great egg producer of different types of chicken breeds. The hens lay around 180 light brown eggs per year with remarkable consistency. Depending on genetics, their comb has five points with colors ranging from red to black.

Faverolles 

They were named after a French village in northern France called Faverolles. These hens are known for their sexy black and white flecked feathers and docile temperaments. Able to produce large eggs with an average weight of 68 grams (2.4 ounces).

Meanwhile, Faverolles is the perfect breed for those who want an egg-laying machine for different types of chicken breeds. That also produces meat with dark, rich color.

Named after a region in China, this breed has declined since its introduction to the United States. Due to its susceptibility to fowl typhoid and other diseases.

Sebright 

The Sebright chicken is a bantam variety of chicken bred in England in 1810 by Sir John Saunders Sebright. Since then, it has been commonly used as a show bird due to its high feather quality and large size.

The Sebright has a pea comb, five toes on each foot, and comes in standard, bantam, and mammoth size varieties.

Therefore, the legs are light brown, and the eyes are red. They have either blue or red skin coloration with silver or black shanks and earlobes of different types of chicken breeds.

Araucana 

These birds are docile and make great pets. They’re excellent egg layers and mature quickly, reaching full size in about five months.

Due to their calm nature, they’re a good choice if you have kids or want to incorporate chickens into your flock.

Nevertheless, the eggs these chickens lay are pretty unique for different types of chicken breeds. They’re light blue-green and turn a cream color when cooked.

Other species commonly grow beards (these don’t). And some even grow a dorsal crest that looks similar to an emperor penguin’s back feathers!

Cochin 

Also known as a Chinese Silkie, Cochin chickens are relatively new to American poultry. Native to China, these birds tend to be very docile and fluffy.

They have crests on their heads and feathers that cover their feet. This makes them look like they’re wearing boots! While Cochin hens are excellent mothers and good at protecting their eggs from predators, they tend to be flighty if you try to catch them.

However, they also can’t fly well—they’re more likely to jump than fly when startled by an unfamiliar noise or activity. When in doubt about which type of chicken breed is right for you. Consider your desired location and purpose before deciding on a breed.

Sussex 

The Sussex chicken breed originated in England and is a dual-purpose, heritage breed. This means that it has good size and produces white eggs

It has a black tail, legs, beak, and earlobes with other color variations depending on its plumage. However, the Sussex chicken breed is one different type of chicken breed of great economic importance, developed mainly as meat birds.

Leghorn 

The Leghorn breed is one of more than 400 different types of chicken breeds. All chickens are descendants of Red Jungle Fowl that adapted to living on farms in Europe and Asia thousands of years ago.

The Leghorn, however, has no heritage outside domestic chickens and originated in Italy. However, due to its many advantages over other chicken breeds, it spread throughout Italy by 1830 and quickly became popular with American farmers.

If you’re thinking about getting some chickens for your backyard or small farm, you might want to consider Leghorns if you’re looking for a good egg layer or meat bird without many additional needs or desires from a chicken breed.

Polish Chicken

Polish chickens are pretty popular in Europe and Australia but less common in North America. The breed is a dual-purpose bird that produces white eggs and is raised primarily for meat.

Polish chickens are hardy and adaptable, making them an ideal choice if you keep backyard chickens or raise smaller numbers of birds in your yard or on your homestead. 

More so, the breed is relatively new to North America; these birds were introduced from Poland after World War II by immigrants. Who wanted to bring their traditional farming lifestyle with them.

Backyard farmers still prefer Polish chickens for their hardiness; these different types of chicken breeds will thrive in just about any living situation, whether you live in an urban area with lots of trees or on a farm surrounded by open fields and expansive skies.

Rhode Island Red 

If you’re looking for a good egg layer and don’t mind a large chicken breed, look no further than Rhode Island Red. On average, they lay between 180 to 240 eggs per year. Their brown skin will fade to a black color as they get older and are known to grow up to nine pounds. 

In addition, these different types of chicken breeds are easygoing and docile with their owners. I am making them great for first-time chicken owners or families with children.

They have red combs on their heads ranging from dark red to pink, adding character and being easily identifiable from other breeds.

Belgian d’Uccle 

This breed is primarily a meat bird, although it will lay eggs. It is dual-purpose, which means it can be raised for its eggs and meat. This breed is mainly known for its sweet disposition, making it an excellent choice.

If you’re raising chickens for pets and eating them, these different types of chicken breeds also have a very calm nature and do not easily take to flying up or making noise when you approach. This can make them easy to handle even when they are full grown.

Maran Chickens 

The Maran chicken breed is a British purebred chicken known for its black skin and reddish-brown feathers. They are also known as Large Blacks, although they aren’t much more significant than other chickens on average.

Although there has been a lot of debate about whether or not Marans should be considered a part of the bantam or standard category, their bodies are generally medium in size with long legs and wings.

Nonetheless, these different chicken breeds have a calm temperament and tend to be pretty quiet. They are excellent pets if you prefer to keep your livestock more low-key.

Easter Egger 

Easter Egger chickens are crosses between Ameraucana and Leghorn. A popular backyard chicken breed, they lay blue-green eggs with brown spots. They’re great as pets because they’re friendly but will still make good meat chickens at 3-4 months old.

This is to say, Easter Eggers should be kept cool in hot weather because their feathered feet can get too warm and cause discomfort.

If you live in a warmer climate, consider housing these different types of chicken breeds indoors during summer. Otherwise, invest in some fans to help keep your flock cool.

ISA Brown 

ISA Brown chickens are very active and intelligent; they’re also known to be aggressive. The Brown chickens originated in France and were established to be different dual-purpose types of chicken breeds. They are efficient at egg-laying and meat production, Like most breeds.

Notably, ISA Browns are well-known for their distinctive looks—particularly the red feathers around their necks.

The name ISA comes from Isabelle Sauvagette Abbotts (or Sauvagette Abbotts Isabelle). Who developed these browns in America and introduced them into England in 1920.

Conclusion

With so many different types of chicken breeds, how do you know which one is right for you?. Consider a breed’s size, temperament, and hardiness if you live in an area that gets extremely cold or hot. Same birds may be better suited to your environment than others.

Also, if you’re trying to save money, choose a breed that tends to be inexpensive and feed it cheaply; conversely.

If you want high-quality eggs (and are willing to pay more), look into heritage or show-breed chickens. Whatever your reason for choosing a chicken breed.

Check out The Happy Chickens Guide’s chart of chicken breeds here and learn about different types of chicken breeds!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three main categories of chicken breeds?

All chickens fall into one of three categories: Broilers, Layers, and Dual Purpose. Dual Purpose chickens are farm animals that will lay eggs and produce meat (i.e., you can eat them).

What are hybrid chickens?

Hybrid chickens result from a crossbreeding program designed to produce specific traits. The most common different types of chicken breeds of mixed chicken are called an F1 Hybrid.

What is the most popular chicken?

The best breed for first-time chicken owners is a no-brainer: The Barred Rock. These docile birds lay large brown eggs, have a calm temperament, and are one of few breeds that can be housed together in large groups.

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