Chicken Breeds

Covering the uniqueness and differences of chicken breeds.

  1. Silkies: All you need to know!

    Learn about silkies!
  2. Heritage Breed Profile: Silver Grey Dorkings

    Another example of a beautiful Heritage Breed with a great temperament is the Silver Grey Dorking. Historical accounts suggest that these birds date back to 54 BC at which time they were introduced in Britain by the Romans. From that day forward, this breed has been present in England and is a bird renowned for not only its demeanor but also its delicious meat. Silver Gray Dorkings, which are thought to be among the oldest known breeds of domestic poultry, have been categorized as an...
  3. Small, Bold, and Mighty: The Malaysian Serama

    With their puffed out chests and small stature, the parts of the Malaysian Serama come together to create a specimen that is both bold and proud in appearance. Although they are small, being a bantam breed, the Serama certainly appears mighty. This breed, also referred to as the Malay Ayam Serama, has been around for approximately 50 years although they were nearly wiped out due to exposure to bird flu a decade ago. It is thought that this bird is the result of a cross between Japanese and...
  4. Slow to Grow Jersey Giants

    In the 1880's, two brothers from New Jersey decided to put their heads together for the creation of a large breed of chicken that would sell well at meat markets. John and Thomas Black undertook this mission armed with breeds such as the Black Java, Black Langshan, and Dark Brahma. Also rumored to be thrown into the mix were Cornish and Black Orphingtons. The results was initially dubbed the Jersey Black Giant, although competitors who copied the breeding referred to birds as Macy Giants and...
  5. The Barred Plymouth Rock

    One of the most highly regarded breeds of chicken you will see today is the Barred Plymouth Rock, which is named for its feather pattern which includes alternating bars of black and white. Not only is this breed a dual-purpose breed that is good for both meat production as well as year around egg-production, but they are also a Heritage Breed dating back to the 1800's. In addition to being dual-purpose, they are also hearty birds that thrive in many different environments and their placid...
  6. Understanding Heritage Breeds

    From time to time you may hear of certain chicken breeds being referred to as a Heritage Breed. What exactly does that mean? How does a breed come to be deemed a Heritage Breed? For quite some time chickens have been on the menu in America, be it in the form of eggs or the meat of the bird itself. When explorers arrived in this country, they brought with them chickens. As time passed, those chickens were bred and new breeds arose from their lineage. The progression of breeding has led to a...
  7. 5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Breed

    When it comes time to decide on which type(s) of chicken you would like in your flock, narrowing it down can be quite difficult. With so many beautiful breeds with great personalities, choosing just one breed (or several breeds) is not the simplest thing to do. It is easy to determine the basic qualities you want in a chicken but beyond that the line starts to blur. If you find yourself browsing chicken breeds and accumulating a ridiculously long list, here are a few things to consider to...
  8. The Lakenvelder Chicken

    The Lakenvelder breed of chicken is a Dutch breed that came to be in Germany, having been historically tied to the town of Lakenvelt. They first appeared in poultry shows in West Hanover around the year 1835 but were written about by a Dutch painter dating back as far as 1727. This painter, named Van Gink, wrote that the birds were in fact found in the town of Lakenvelt. By the 1860\'s the breed had become popular in Westfalen before moving on to England and America in the early 1900\'s. The...
  9. Independent Chickens: The Appenzeller Spithauben

    The national chicken breed of Switzerland is an unusual looking specimen referred to as the Appenzeller Spithauben. Although not much history is available on the bird, it is said to have originated in the Swiss Alps, possibly out of a cross of breeds such as the Crvecoeur, Brabanter, and La Flche. They were initially bred in the 15th century with the purpose of being able to survive the harsh elements present in the mountainous terrain they knew to be thier home. It was in this area that...
  10. Critically Endangered: The Barred Holland

    It may seem odd to consider the possibility of a chicken breed going extinct, but it has happened in the past and could very well happen again. In fact, according to the Livestock Conservancy, the Holland chicken is number five on the list of the Top 5 Endangered Livestock Breeds. While it is hard fathom a chicken breed going extinct due to the plentiful nature of chickens, it all comes down to breeding. Chickens with desirable traits are bred while those that do not have as many of that...
  11. Silkie Chickens

    One of the most popular ornamental breeds of chickens is the Silkie. This breed is named for its plumage, which is much fluffier than that of a regular chicken. It is soft in addition to being fluffy and is renowned for feeling similar to silk, hence their name. In addition to their silky plumage, they have some other unusual aspects to their appearance. One such example is that they have five toes on each foot as opposed the lesser number of toes that are more common amongst other chicken...
  12. White-Faced Black Spanish

    An interesting chicken I recently discovered and wish to someday add to my flock is the White-Faced Black Spanish (WFBS). They are extremely unique to look at, having a white face and low-hanging white earlobes. This look does take one or two molts to appear, but when it does, it is very captivating and stands in stark contrast with the rest of their bodily color and black feathers. As a result of having a white face, they are sometimes known as the "Clown Chicken" since their faces look...
  13. Five of the Top Egg Laying Breeds

    The reason most people start raising chickens is for eggs and meat. By raising your own chickens, you can keep track of what they are fed and closely monitor their health, ensuring the eggs they produce (and that you consume) will always be up to your own personal standards, which is more than we can say for a lot of grocery store eggs. Plus, there is no comparison in taste between a home-raised egg and a store-bought egg. The differences in color, quality, and taste are astounding. Those...
  14. Japanese Bantams

    One of my favorite chickens of all time was a Japanese Bantam hen. In a way, she was everything I wanted to be-feisty, self-assured, and independent. She was also rather beautiful to look at, I must say, standing out against all of the other chickens nearby. When I saw her, I knew immediately she would be coming home with me. This little hen was also one of the best mothers I have seen to date. She was an occasional free ranger during the day and disappeared one day, so naturally we assumed...
  15. Beautiful & Black: The Ayam Cemani

    Our nature as human beings is to want for that which is interesting to us. For some that means wanting to have chickens while for others that means wanting to have specific chickens, rare chickens, exotic chickens. It is much like seeing someone with a fancy pair of shoes and wanting some for yourself; if you see a fancy chicken, you just might want to add one to your flock. Possibly one of the most interesting chickens in the world is an all-black chicken that originated in Java, Indonesia....
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