two backyard chickens looking at each other on green grass
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Chicken Breeds: Types of Chickens from A-Z (Complete List)

Howdy, y’all!

As a homesteader, let me tell you that diving into the world of chicken breeds is like flipping through a novel filled with fascinating tales and vibrant characters. Each breed has its unique story, whether about the number of eggs it lays or its striking appearance.

Imagine starting your day with a basket of colorful eggs: pure white from Leghorns, rich brown from Rhode Island Reds, and the unexpected but delightful blue from Ameraucanas. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss out on!

But the charm of these breeds goes beyond just egg color. Some chickens are perfect for meat production, while others are known for their nurturing nature, making them ideal mothers in your backyard flock. Understanding these traits is essential for any poultry enthusiast, as it helps create a happy, diverse, and thriving flock.

I’m excited to share these chicken breeds with you so you know which ones are right for your livestock. As a special treat, I’ve ended the article with some of my favorite unique breeds that will catch the eye of family and friends. So, buckle up and get ready to explore the captivating world of chicken breeds with me!

Chicken Breeds from A-Z

1. Ancona

an Ancona chicken on green grass

Colors: Black & White

Egg color: White

Egg quantity: 220 annually

Origin: Italy

Ancona chickens are known for their striking black and white speckled plumage, making them a visually appealing addition to any flock. Not only are they beautiful to look at, but they are also excellent layers of white eggs.

Originating from Italy, Anconas are energetic, active birds that do well in free range environments, meaning they don’t thrive in confinement. With their unique appearance and productive nature, Ancona chickens are a popular choice for those looking to add beauty and utility to their poultry collection.

2. Appenzeller Spitzhauben

Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken breen

Colors: Black & White

Egg color: White

Egg quantity: 100-150 annually

Origin: Switzerland

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben chicken breed is as striking as its name suggests. Originating from Switzerland, these chickens are easily recognizable by their black and white coloring and distinctive feathered crest on their heads.

Not just a pretty face, Appenzeller Spitzhaubens are known for their white eggs and active nature. They thrive in free-range environments and are good foragers.

3. Australorp

Australorp chicken breed

Colors: Blue, Black, White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 300+ annually

Origin: Australia

Australorps from Australia are a top pick for folks who love raising chickens because of their amazing ability to lay 300+ eggs annually. These birds can do it all—they’re excellent at laying eggs and providing good meat!

Their shiny black feathers and bright red combs stand out beautifully in any group of chickens. They consistently lay light brown eggs, making them perfect for anyone looking to get regular egg production.

Australorps have a relaxed nature and can handle different weather conditions well, making them suitable for beginners and those living in more harsh climates like Canada. Thanks to their strong skills in finding food on their own and being good moms to their chicks, Australorps are an adaptable breed with a dual purpose and worth considering whether you’re interested in egg or meat production.

4. Barnvelder

Barnvelder chicken breed

Colors: Blue, Silver

Egg color: Dark Brown

Egg quantity: 175-200 annually

Origin: Netherlands

The Barnvelder chicken breed is known for laying large brown eggs, making them a favorite among poultry lovers. The Barnvelders are also loved for being friendly and good at laying eggs regularly.

If you are looking for a chicken breed that will add beauty to your flock and consistently provide delicious dark brown eggs, the Barnvelder is an excellent choice!

5. Bielefelder Kennhuhn

Bielefelder Kennhuhn chicken breed

Colors: Brown, Orange, White, Gray

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 230 annually

Origin: Germany

Bielefelder chickens come from Germany and are lovely to be around. They’re great for people who want chickens because they are dual-purpose, meaning you can use them for eggs and meat.

They stand out because of how well they lay eggs, and their calm nature makes it easy to get along. These birds are not just good at producing lots of eggs; their friendly ways mean you’ll enjoy having them as part of your flock, too!

Thanks to their toughness, Bielefelders can do well in different places, so handling and looking after them is pretty straightforward. Their combination of being hardy yet sociable puts them in a league of their own regarding chicken breeds.

6. Brabanter

Colors: Black, Gold, Blue, Silver, White

Egg color: White

Egg quantity: 200 annually

Origin: Netherlands

Brabanter chickens are a unique and beautiful breed originating from the Netherlands. Known for their striking appearance and various color variations, they are eye-catching and great egg layers.

With an average annual production of 200 white eggs, Brabanters are a practical choice for those looking to have both aesthetically pleasing and productive chickens in their flock. Their friendly demeanor adds to their appeal, making them a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts seeking a balance between beauty and utility in their chickens!

7. Brahma

brahma chicken breed

Colors: Light, Dark, Buff

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 130-150 annually

Origin: United States

Brahmas, with their large size and kind temperament, are known as the gentle giants in the world of chickens. These impressive birds were imported from Shanghai to the United States in the 1840s, and their peaceful nature makes them perfect for those new to raising chickens.

A unique characteristic of Brahmas is their feathered legs and feet. Even though they’re large, these birds are easygoing and friendly, so they’ll fit right into any group of chickens. Their size isn’t just for show; it makes them good meat providers, too!

8. Bresse

bresse chicken breed

Colors: White

Egg color: Cream

Egg quantity: 250 annually

Origin: France

Bresse chickens are renowned for their exquisite taste and are highly prized in the culinary world. Originating from France, these chickens are known for their white plumage and blue legs, which set them apart from other breeds.

With an average annual production of 250, Bresse chickens are excellent egg layers valued for their tender and flavorful meat. Raised in a specific region of France under strict guidelines, they are considered a gourmet delicacy sought after by chefs and food enthusiasts worldwide.

9. Buckeye

Colors: Red & Black

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 200 annually

Origin: United States

Buckeye chickens adapt and tough it out in different weather conditions. They come from Ohio and are great because you can raise them for meat and eggs. These birds do well when roaming freely, thanks to their knack for finding food independently.

With eye-catching mahogany feathers and a unique pea comb, Buckeyes stand out in any group of chickens. Their robust build and friendly nature make them favorites among people who keep chickens in their backyards or those who breed them on a small scale.

10. Chantecler

Colors: White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 220 annually

Origin: Canada

Chantecler chickens hold a special spot as Canada’s favorite when thriving in cold weather.

These birds were first bred in the early 1900s. They were specifically designed to handle the chill well, making them a top pick among Canadian poultry lovers. They’re known for being great at laying brown eggs and providing meat, making them versatile.

Chanteclers are steady egg layers. Their strong build and ability to find food easily make them preferred for backyard flocks in colder places. These standout features and ability to withstand freezing temperatures have made them beloved by chicken breeders across Canada!

11. Delaware

deleware chicken breed

Colors: White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 280 annually

Origin: United States

Delaware chickens are famous for being good at laying eggs. They’re among the best for egg production, which is why people who love raising birds often choose them.

With these chickens in your backyard flock, you can always expect a lot of eggs. Delaware hens stand out because they lay eggs regularly, and many of them make them perfect if you need lots of quality eggs for yourself or if you’re considering selling some on a small scale. Not to mention, the eggs they lay are large!

So, for anyone looking to keep their egg basket full without fail, this breed is one to consider adding to your poultry collection!

12. Dutch Bantam

Colors: Blue, Black, White, Lavender, Wheaten

Egg color: White

Egg quantity: 160 annually

Origin: Netherlands

Dutch Bantam chickens are known for their small size and beautiful colors. Despite their petite stature, they are fantastic layers of white eggs, averaging around 160 annually.

Originating from the Netherlands, Dutch Bantams bring a touch of elegance to any flock with unique color variations like blue, black, white, lavender, and wheaten. These true bantams’ charming appearance and moderate egg production make them popular among poultry enthusiasts looking for diversity in their backyard coops.

13. Japanese Bantam (Chabo)

japanese bantam chicken breed

Colors: Black, White, Wheaten

Egg color: Cream or Tinted

Egg quantity: 70-150 annually

Origin: Japan

Japanese Bantam chickens, also known as Chabo, are a delightful addition to any flock with their charming appearance and friendly demeanor. Originating from Japan, these small-sized chickens come in various colors, such as black, white, and wheaten.

While they may not lay eggs in large quantities compared to other breeds, Japanese Bantams make up for it with their unique personalities and ornamental value. Their fluffy feathers and short legs add a touch of whimsy to any backyard or farm setting.

14. Java

Colors: Black & White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 150-180 annually

Origin: United States

Java chickens are a striking breed known for their black and white plumage. Originating in the United States, Javas are dual-purpose birds valued for their egg-laying abilities and meat quality. They typically lay around 150 to 180 brown eggs annually, making them a practical choice for those seeking a balance between eggs and meat production.

Their distinctive appearance, hardiness, and adaptability have endeared Javas to chicken breeders, especially those in Canada, who appreciate their versatility in various climates and management systems.

15. Leghorn

Colors: White, Red, Brown, Black, Buff, Silver, Gold

Egg color: White

Egg quantity: 280 annually

Origin: Italy

Leghorns, a chicken breed from Italy, are famous for being top-notch egg layers. These chickens have won the hearts of farmers and backyard chicken keepers because they lay lots of eggs well.

Leghorns stand out because of their ability to produce many eggs and their toughness; they can handle different weather conditions without any trouble. This quality makes them an excellent choice for anyone interested in poultry to add to their coop or flock.

With their unique look and impressive ability to lay white eggs, it’s no surprise that Leghorns play an important role among various chicken breeds in egg production.

16. Maran

maran chicken breed

Colors: Black, Black Copper, Wheaten and White

Egg color: Dark brown

Egg quantity: 150-200 annually

Origin: France

Marans are famous for their stunning brown eggs, which make any egg collection look amazing because of their deep color. These birds aren’t just loved for how many eggs they lay but because they’re also great for getting meat from them.

They come from France and have a unique look that often includes feathers on their legs. With a calm nature and an excellent ability to find food, Marans fit perfectly into any backyard flock.

Marans have a unique appearance and outstanding egg production, making them ideal for anyone wanting to add beauty and usefulness to their poultry group.

17. Naked Neck

Colors: Black, White, Buff, Red

Egg color: Light Brown

Egg quantity: 100 annually

Origin: Romania

As its name suggests, the Naked Neck chicken breed is known for its unique trait of having a naked neck without feathers. This distinct feature sets them apart from other breeds and makes them easily recognizable in any flock.

Originating from Romania, Naked Neck chickens are eye-catching and valued for their ability to withstand various climates despite their lack of feathers. Their light brown eggs may not be as numerous as some breeds, but their resilience and distinctive appearance make them a prized addition to any backyard chicken setup.

18. Old English Game

Colors: Wheaten, Black, White

Egg color: Cream/Tinted

Egg quantity: 40 annually

Origin: England

Old English Game chickens are a historic breed beloved for their striking appearance and spirited nature. With their origins in England, these birds come in various colors, including Wheaten, Black, and White, each adding a touch of beauty to any flock.

With an average of 40 eggs annually, they are not the most prolific egg layers. However, their charming cream/tinted eggs are a delightful addition to any basket.

Known for their feisty demeanor and compact size, Old English Game chickens bring character and flair to any poultry collection, making them a favorite among enthusiasts looking for unique breeds with personality.

19. Orpington

Colors: Blue, Black, White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 175-200 annually

Origin: England

Orpington chickens are famous for looking fluffy, being super friendly, and laying many brown eggs. Their soft feathers make your flock look lovely and keep the eggbasket full. These chickens are easy to get along with in any backyard coop because they’re great moms.

For anyone who loves raising chickens for both how they look and the steady supply of eggs they provide, Orpingtons are a top pick as a valuable addition to your poultry family!

20. Phoenix

Colors: Silver, Gold, Red

Egg color: Cream/Tinted

Egg quantity: 80-120 annually

Origin: Japan, Germany

Phoenix chickens are a striking breed known for their long, flowing tail feathers, resembling a majestic bird in flight. Originating from Japan and Germany due to cross-breeding with long-tail Japanese birds, these elegant birds come in eye-catching colors like Silver, Gold, and Red, adding a touch of glamour to any backyard flock.

With an average of 80-120 cream/tinted eggs annually, Phoenix chickens offer a good balance between beauty and productivity. Their graceful appearance and moderate egg-laying capacity make them a prized addition to any poultry setup for those seeking aesthetics and utility in their feathered companions.

21. Plymouth Rock

Colors: Blue, Black, White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 210 annually

Origin: United States

The Plymouth Rock, a standout among chicken breeds, is celebrated as the quintessential American bird. These chickens are valued for their versatility in producing meat and brown eggs, making them a common sight in backyards nationwide.

As excellent foragers, they fit nicely into sustainable farming practices. Their friendly nature and important place in poultry history have cemented their popularity with breeders and fans of these birds alike.

22. Rhode Island Red

Colors: Red & Black

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 200-300 annually

Origin: United States

The Rhode Island Red chicken breed is a favorite among many because they’re great at laying eggs and have a pleasant, easygoing nature. It comes from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, and people love it for being tough and able to handle different kinds of weather well.

These hybrid chickens can lay up to 300 brown eggs yearly and start giving you eggs when they’re about six months old. They’re perfect if you want to keep chickens in your backyard or raise them on a small scale for their eggs because they lay them regularly and are pretty relaxed birds.

Besides being great at laying eggs, Rhode Island Reds are known for their toughness. They don’t mind the cold much, which means they can live happily in places that get chilly. Plus, they don’t get sick easily compared to other types of chickens, making them a dependable choice if you want to raise chickens.

23. Serama

Colors: Chocolate, Blue, Black, White, Gray, Wheaten

Egg color: Cream

Egg quantity: 180-200 annually

Origin: Malaysia

Serama chickens are the smallest chicken breed in the world and originated in Malaysia. Despite their tiny size, they pack a lot of personality and are often called “pocket chickens” due to their small stature. These chickens come in various colors, such as Chocolate, Blue, Black, White, Gray, and Wheaten, adding a vibrant touch to any flock.

Serama chickens are known for their friendly and sociable nature, making them great pets for chicken enthusiasts looking for companionship!

24. Sussex

Colors: Red, White, Silver

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 200-250 annually

Origin: United Kingdom

Sussex chickens come from the Sussex area in England and are loved for their friendly nature and how well they do at laying eggs and being raised for meat. These egg and meat birds are great because they can lay around 250 light brown eggs yearly, starting when they’re about five to six months old. So, if you’re looking for a chicken that is good at egg production, Sussex might be the way to go.

In addition to being fantastic egg layers, these chickens also bring a lot to the table regarding meat production. They produce high-quality meat that tastes delicious, so you get more bang for your buck if you raise them not just for their brown eggs but also for eating.

People love having Sussex chickens in their backyard flocks because they’re easygoing and look pretty. Whether you’re looking to boost your flock with birds that produce lots of eggs or want tasty meat from your backyard, this breed has you covered on both fronts while adding charm with its pleasant temperament.

25. Wyandotte

Colors: Red, Blue, Black, White

Egg color: Brown

Egg quantity: 210 annually

Origin: United States

The Wyandotte chicken breed, which originated in the United States, is famous for its eye-catching looks and tough personality. Because it can handle cold weather well, it’s perfect for cold places.

With feathers that come in a variety of colors, Wyandottes catch the eye of many who raise chickens in their backyards. Their good looks are just one reason people love them!

Beyond being pretty to look at, these chickens are strong survivors. They’ve got great immune systems and don’t mind lousy weather much. For folks living where it’s often cold, Wyandottes could be just what they need.

In addition to all this toughness and beauty, there is another plus: these birds can fend for themselves quite a bit by finding food around them, which helps save on feeding costs (check out my articles on what can chickens eat and what can chickens NOT eat for more!)

When we talk about laying eggs, boy, do they deliver! Your flock should produce about 200 brown eggs yearly, making them pleasant to look at and valuable if you enjoy fresh eggs.

Unique and Eye-Catching Chicken Breeds

To make any backyard flock look more charming, many unique chicken breeds are worth mentioning. These breeds aren’t just lovely to look at; they also have some cool features and traits that set them apart!

26. Ameraucana

Colors: Wheaten, Blue, Black, White, Silver

Egg color: Blue

Egg quantity: 250 annually

Origin: United States

Ameraucana chickens stand out because they lay beautiful blue eggs, making your egg collection look colorful. These birds are perfect for anyone’s backyard flock since they’re not just about the blue eggs; their friendly nature and ability to adapt easily make them even more special.

Ameraucanas are a true breed, so you can count on getting those lovely blue eggs regularly. With their calm temperament and impressive egg production that adds a pop of color, it’s no wonder these chickens are popular among folks who love raising chickens!

27. Araucana

Colors: Black, White

Egg color: Blue

Egg quantity: 160-190 annually

Origin: Chile

The Araucana chicken, a unique breed from South America, stands out because it has tufts and no tail, so people call it rumpless. This bird can lay blue eggs, adding color to your egg collection.

Due to their unique looks, these chickens are quite the sight in the poultry world. Even though they’re not big birds, Araucanas are tough and do well in many different weather conditions, whether harsh winters or hot summers. Araucanas are an interesting choice for anyone looking to add something new to their backyard flock.

28. Cream Legbar

Colors: Cream, Silver, Gold

Egg color: Blue, Green

Egg quantity: 180 annually

Origin: United Kingdom

Cream Legbars are an exciting type of chicken known for some cool features. From the get-go, you can tell if they’re boys or girls because they look different when they hatch as baby chicks. Males will have a lighter brown color with a small bleached spot on the tops of their heads, whereas females will display distinct dark stripes along their backs. They also have this neat crest on their heads that makes them stand out.

These chickens come from Britain and are famous for laying blue eggs, which adds something special to any group of chickens. Because it’s easy to spot the males from the females early on, people who raise chickens find Cream Legbars helpful, especially when they’re just starting to raise chickens.

29. Silkies

Colors: Black, Blue, Buff, Gray, Partridge, Splash, White

Egg color: Cream

Egg quantity: 100-120 annually

Origin: China

Silkies are not your standard breed; they’ll catch your eye in a flock with their unique fluffy feathers. These remarkable birds have soft feathers that feel more like fur because most chickens don’t have the usual feather structure.

It’s thought that Silkies came from China. People love them for being so gentle, which makes them great pets. Even though they’re on the smaller side, Silkies are known as good mothers who often look after other chicks in the coop besides their own. Their distinctive looks make them stand out and charm anyone who sees them.

30. Polish

Colors: Gold, Silver, White, Blue, Black, Buff

Egg color: White

Egg quantity: 150-200 annually

Origin: Netherlands

Polish chickens will catch your eye with those fancy feathers on their heads. This breed isn’t just for show, though; they’re also good at laying white eggs, which means they’re not only pretty but valuable too.

With a friendly temperament, these birds make great companions and add flair to any backyard flock. Their poofy crest is the cherry on top of their ornamental look, making them a hit among folks who want both beauty and practicality in their coop.

Final Thoughts on Chicken Breeds

Thanks for reading my complete list of chicken breeds! I hope you found it informative and helpful in choosing the perfect breed for your flock.

As you familiarize yourself with different chicken breeds, you’ll find yourself in a world full of diversity, with each breed showing off its unique features. Each breed has exciting qualities, like how many eggs they can lay, if they’re suitable for meat and eggs, or how pretty they are.

From the well-known Rhode Island Red to the eye-catching Polish, these chickens have something special for anyone wanting to add more birds to their backyard flock. With breeds from all over the globe, I hope this article has highlighted how extraordinary and versatile chickens can be!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common chicken breed?

The most common chicken breed can change depending on where and why you raise chickens. But, among the top picks for many people are Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns, and Sussex chickens. These breeds have become favorites for their docile nature and high egg production, among other charming characteristics.

What is the nicest breed of chicken?

When discussing the friendliest breed of chicken, a few names come to mind. Orpingtons are at the top because they’re gentle and calm, perfect for families with kids. Then you have Silkies, who are not only super cute with their fluffy looks but also very sweet-natured. Brahmas can’t be left out either; they’re big softies that make excellent pets, too. All these breeds share a friendly and sociable temperament, making them fantastic choices to add to your flock!

What are the 3 basic types of chicken?

There are three main kinds of chickens out there:

  1. Meat-producing: Chickens raised for meat production; these birds are all about giving us good quality meat.
  2. Egg-producing: These chickens are champs at laying lots of eggs.
  3. Dual-purpose breeds: These chicken breeds can do a bit of both. They’re good for getting meat and great at popping out eggs!

Each chicken breed has unique traits that make them perfect for different needs regarding egg production and raising chickens for meat!

What are the best laying chickens?

Some breeds shine when discussing the top egg-laying breeds. The Rhode Island Red is a favorite among many (including myself!) because of its steady supply of eggs and toughness. Leghorns are great, too; they’re known for laying lots of white eggs. Sussex chickens don’t fall behind either, as they reliably produce many brown eggs. Hobbyists with backyard coops and big-time egg farmers prefer these breeds due to their impressive ability to lay plenty of eggs.

-Jen

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Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to replace or be construed as professional health advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or veterinarian before implementing or altering the diet of your backyard animals. The author assumes no responsibility for any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions, preparations, or procedures discussed on this blog. If you are reading this for the purpose of making major financial or life decisions, please consult a professional before doing so. By reading and using my website, you are agreeing to my terms and conditions. Thanks y’all!

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