13 Rarest Chicken Breeds in the World

Rarest Chicken Breeds
Photo by Brooke Cagle

Chicken breeds come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. But they’re not all created equal when it comes to rarity. 

Furthermore, there are breeds of chickens that are so rare. That only a few people have ever laid eyes on them or gotten to hold one in their hands.

Therefore, If you’re the kind of person who likes to collect chicken-related curiosities or if you just like poultry.

Here are some of the rarest chicken breeds from around the world that you need to know about.

Rarest Chicken Breeds

Dorking

They originate from Dorking, England. Dorkings are rarely seen around today, which means it’s part of the rarest chicken breeds. Their popularity has decreased with the industrialization of poultry farming and crossbreeding.

Fortunately, a few breeders are still selling Dorkings across Canada and other parts of America. These beautiful birds have white feathers and black tips, with a rose comb that changes color depending on their age. When they are adults, they reach an average height of 15 inches at maturity.

More so, the hens lay brown eggs at an average weight of 60 grams. Each week until late autumn, when egg production slows down significantly.

Therefore, it is recommended that you only incubate eight eggs at a time because these chickens are susceptible to infections. And overcrowding can exacerbate health problems among them.

Marans

This rarest chicken breed can also be known as The Egg Chickens. Marans were developed in France in 1900.

However, these hens can lay around 300 eggs a year, making them one of the best layers you can find. Their black and white plumage is prized for its unique coloring, making them stand out among the rarest chicken breeds. 

In addition to laying high-quality eggs, Marans are naturally friendly and calm. Then one of their favorite pastimes is eating garden snails!

Blue Cochin Bantam Pullet

Native to Indonesia, The Blue Cochin Bantam Pullet is rare among other rarest chicken breeds. They are small, weighing only between 2 and 4 pounds, with colorful bright red and green feathers.

These birds are also quite friendly; they follow their owner around and make excellent pets! They can be so friendly that some owners report them sleeping on their beds at night.

While these chickens do lay eggs, you shouldn’t expect a lot of eggs from them. It’s common for them to lay one egg every two months.

Furness Rooster

Found only on English farms in Cumbria, Furness roosters are named for their country of origin. Despite its name, it’s not an actual rooster. 

Instead, it’s an old breed once thought extinct, though it has begun to make a comeback. The bird is distinguished by its blocky tail and face, light red comb, and deep-red feathers throughout its body. The Livestock Conservancy is currently developing it.

However, if you think you have one of these birds at home and want to keep it that way. Contact Rare Breed Survival Trust instead of your local poultry breeder or farmer.

They will help you take care of your new pet and ensure his species doesn’t become extinct for good!

Asian Red Fowl

You might not have heard of Asian Red Fowl before, but you’re going to wish you had, especially if you’re a big chicken lover.

According to the Livestock Conservancy, these birds are native to Asia. And they were used as ornamental symbols during China’s Tang Dynasty between 618 and 907 AD. 

Today, it’s said that fewer than 30 pure Asian Red Fowl exist in the world. They are kept at Shanghai Zoo as part of a zoo conservation program.

And do not breed quickly or well outside their native habitat. However, the fowl is also listed on The Livestock Conservancy’s Watch List because of its limited numbers. However, it has been exported from Japan and is familiar enough there.

Cross Breed Rooster

The Cross Breed Rooster originated from England and is a rare breed of chicken. It has a long body and red feathers on its wings and tail.

However, this bird is one of few known rarest chicken breeds that completely lacks any sort of comb or earlobes. While it does lay eggs, its primary purpose is as an ornamental breed.

Cream Brabanter Hens

They have origins in The Netherlands, where a single man developed their unique characteristics through selective breeding.

The Cream Brabanter was recognized as an official rarest chicken breed by The American Poultry Association (APA) in 1981. In its native country, it is infrequent and is protected by law.

Also, It’s not just super rare; it’s super pretty, too, with creamy white feathers and a rich brown tail. This isn’t your typical chicken!

Barbu d’Uccle (Belgian breed)

The Barbu d’Uccle is a chicken from Belgium and dates back as far as 1840. The word barbu translates from French to mean bearded, but it has nothing to do with facial hair.

These chickens are named for the unique feathers on their face. Also, their comb, earlobes, and wattles all have long feathers growing right off of them!

Because they’re such rare breeds, no specific color varieties are recognized. They can come in any color or combination of colors. You will also see many who have feathered legs like turkeys or pheasants.

Blue Arpington

The Blue Orpington chicken breed originated in England. They are one of three chickens created by crossbreeding other chicken breeds for blue coloring. They are scarce because blue coloration is not a natural trait and is challenging to breed. 

Chicks from hens that lay eggs often die at birth or soon after. It was then making them an even more rare bird!

Therefore, If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on some chicks, it will take eight to ten weeks before they start laying eggs.

Also, the average rooster stands at around nine inches tall. At the same time, their hens are usually smaller and come about seven inches tall.

Dong Tao

The Dong Tao is one of the rarest chicken breeds originating from China. These chickens are characterized by their blue-grey colored feathers and massive size, with males reaching approximately 6kilograms at maturity.

Fortunately, This breed is unique because it has 28 tail feathers instead of 26 or 27, as found on most domestic chickens. This kind of the rarest chicken breed is also notable for its slow growth rate and late sexual maturity. 

Therefore, Dong Tao chickens have been observed being kept by farmers and used in cockfighting competitions until they are around two years old or older.

La Fleche

This Belgian breed, nicknamed The Arrow for its slender body and long legs, looks like it was engineered for speed. And indeed, La Fleche hens can sprint up to 24 miles per hour. It weighed only 5-7 pounds on average and stood just 14 inches tall.

However, La Fleches is one of the record’s smallest and rarest chicken breeds. The average hen is about 7 inches shorter than a Rhode Island Red. 

But they have huge feet that help them keep their balance while running fast. Thanks to their high metabolism rate, these chickens can reach full maturity within seven months of hatching. They lay medium-sized brown eggs and thrive in both confinement and free-range environments.

Breda

This bird originated in Germany and was developed by a Dutch breeder. The Bredas are medium-sized and have bronze feathers, black tails, beaks, legs, and feet. The Bredas will lay about 140 brown eggs per year.

Although not only is it an endangered chicken breed, but it’s also considered critically endangered by conservationists. That is due to its low egg production and hatch rate. 

There are only 200 of these chickens left in existence. If you’re looking for one of these unique birds, you’ll probably need to look abroad. There aren’t any breeders or farms in North America. 

Onagadori

This species of chicken is a bantam that originates from Japan. And it belongs to an ancient breed that was traditionally used for cockfighting.

However, It has been listed as critically endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species. That is by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2006.

Although its population is small, there are currently more than 1000 known Onagadori chickens spread across several farms located in Japan.

Also, the birds reach maturity between four and five months old. Then, they lay eggs around twice per year, with their productivity increasing as they get older. A male Onagadori chicken can grow up to 1 meter long while females reach 0.9 meters on average.

Conclusion

Whether it’s for fighting, showing, or keeping as pets, chickens are a popular choice of livestock. It’s not surprising then that there are so many different types of the rarest chicken breeds around, which are from huge Bantams to tiny Silkies. 

Although most people will only ever come across some of these breeds at an exhibition or fair, you might be surprised to find out just how wide exotic varieties of chicken there are!

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