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48 Different Types of Chickens

Chickens have been a part of almost all cultures around the world, especially their eggs. Read this article and see different breeds of chicken you may not know of.

Group of native chicken in a plastic fence.

I have a small flock of hens that give me enough eggs for my house and a couple of neighbors. They are easy to keep, and every breed, like people, seems to have a different personality. I have two silver Wyandotte’s and a golden one, too. I also have two Ameraucana that give me green eggs and two Rhode Island Reds.

They all lay eggs at different rates have different temperaments, and some are chirpy, while others quietly go through their day. So, even though my flock is of four or five different breeds, it never occurred to me that there are almost 50 breeds of chicken in the world.

1. Altsteirer aka Styrian Chickens

Styrian Chickens with black and red feathers.

Hailing from the Styria region of Austria, the Altsteirer chicken is an ancient breed. They are medium in size, with a broad breast. Their most distinguishing feature is their bright white earlobes. In addition, Styrian chickens have a small crest, yellow to whitish-colored legs, and a round plump body. They lay about 150 light ivory eggs per year.

2. Ameraucana Chickens

Ash colored Ameraucana Chickens with dried leaves.

One of a few chickens that produce a blue-green egg, the Ameraucana chicken, has other peculiarities besides the color of its eggs. The Ameraucana has eight recognized colors: black, blue, blue, wheaten, reddish-brown, buff, and silver, solid white, and wheaten. Even though they are hybrids, an Ameraucana hen will produce 200 eggs per year.

3. Amrock Chickens

Amrock Chickens with gray stripes behind a grass.

Another dual-purpose chicken, the Amrock chicken, comes from the same bloodlines as the barred Plymouth Rock and is raised mainly in Europe. They are prolific egg layers, producing up to 240 eggs per year. There is a standard and bantam breed of this bird, and bantam chickens are more suitable for people with less space to keep a flock.

4. Araucana Chickens

colorful Araucana Chickens walking in a grass.

Native to Chile, South America, the Araucana chicken is one of the original blue egg layers. The origins of the Araucana chicken can be traced back to 1520, making it one of the oldest documented breeds of chicken and lay between 170 and 200 eggs per year. Available in a rainbow of colors, their most distinguishing feature is a pea comb.

5. Asil Chickens

Asil Chickens with no feathers on the neck.

The Asil or Aseel chicken, an ancient breed of chicken, hails from India. It is kept initially as fighting chickens. You cannot keep them with other birds because they are literally the strongest birds in the world, and they can be aggressive. They only lay a few eggs per year and are not good birds as egg producers.

6. Australorp Chickens

black Australorp Chickens walking in a hay.

I had a black Australorp, and she had a personality, unlike all the other hens. She greeted me and followed me like a dog around the yard. They are better egg layers than Orpington’s and have a milder disposition. They are better around children than many other breeds and lay about 265 eggs a year, but hold the record at 364!

7. Ayam Cemani Chickens

Ayam Cemani Chickens black chicken.

With origins in India, the Ayam Cemani chickens have black beaks, combs, and eyes and look rather ominous at first sight. The Ayam Cemani is rare and was documented by the Dutch in the 1920s. They are raised for meat and eggs; however, they are not prolific egg layers and produce only 60 to 120 eggs annually.

8. Ayam Kampong Chickens

Ayam Kampong Chicken, yellow leg with no comb.

Found mainly in Malaysia and Indonesia, the Ayam Kampong is the result of cross-breeding the indigenous fowl of the region with jungle fowl and birds brought in by European settlers. They are a dual-purpose chicken that only lays around 100 eggs per year.

9. Barnevelder Chickens

Barnevelder Chicken with nice feather pattern and small comb.

Barnevelder chickens have feathers tinged with iridescent green. However, it’s not only their plumage that makes them desirable. Barnevelder will lay an average of 200 light chocolate-colored eggs annually and are docile chickens with pleasant personalities.

10. Bielefelder Kennhuhn Chickens

Bielefelder Kennhuhn Chicken in the forest.

A relatively new breed and the result of German engineering, Bielefelder Kennhuhn chickens are a cross of Amrock, Wyandotte, Cuckoo Malines, and the New Hampshire chicken. The result is a self-sexing chicken that will give you 200 to 230 large brown eggs per year and do it without the attitude some breeds of chicken have.

11. Booted Bantam Chickens

Booted Bantam with feathers down the legs.

Aren’t they adorable? The feathers that cover the feet of Booted Bantam chickens give them a festive air. Although they are small, they are not good chickens for beginners, cute as they are. However, they are good laying hens and will produce 150 to 180 eggs annually.

12. Brahma Chicken

Brahma white chicken with feathers down to the feet.

The Brahma is not a backyard breed unless you have a massive backyard, as a Brahma rooster can weigh up to 18 pounds! They have feathered feet and legs, and their origins are still up for discussion. A dual-purpose chicken, a Brahma hen, will lay an average of 150 eggs annually.

13. Burmese Chickens

Burmese rooster with small comb above a cage.

Native to Myanmar (formerly Burma), the Burmese chicken, although not extinct, is scarce. The Burmese chicken is a relatively small chicken with bright yellow legs covered by white plumage. Although they are not a popular breed for homes or production, they are showy, which appeals to some. They lay an average of three eggs per week.

14. Cochin Chickens

Cochin hen with black feathers.

Cochins are huge and were developed by the Chinese. The idea was to create a chicken that would multiply quickly and produce large eggs. It seems they’ve met their mark as these birds grow in about 12 weeks. That’s fast, and they also produce between 150 and 180 huge eggs.

15. Dong Tao Chickens

Dong Tao rooster eating and has a large legs.

Okay, these avians aren’t far removed from dinosaurs and have a face only a mother could love. However, they have beautiful plumage of gold, red, dark blue, and shades of magenta. A full-grown Dong Tao can be profitable and will tip the scales at about 16 pounds. The average production of eggs per year is about 60.

16. Feral Chickens

flock of Feral chicken, with 6 hens and 1 rooster.

Most of today’s domestic birds came from the wild and were feral at one time. However, this was so long ago that no one could put a date on it, like goats, the first domesticated animal. So a feral chicken today is nothing more than someone’s domestic bird that has been allowed to free-range, and it decides it likes the idea of life on the road.

17. Frizzle Chickens

Frizzle chicken with curly gray feathers.

Frizzles are not a breed. Instead, they are a variant developed through breeding. Some Frizzles are Japanese Bantams, others Barred Rocks, and others Polish Chickens or Cochins. The frizzling is due to a dominant gene that is not complete. Silkies with this condition are called Sizzles.

18. Ga Noi Chickens aka Transylvania Chickens aka Naked Neck Chickens

Transylvania Chickens of different ages.

These birds are huge and somewhat intimidating. They are not attractive either, are slow growers, are not big egg producers, and lay only 25 to 40 eggs annually. Their large size makes them excellent meat birds. However, it can take a Ga Noi chicken eight months to reach full size.

19. Partridge Cochin aka Green Legged Chickens

Green Legged Chicken with nice comb.

An old Polish breed, the Green-legged Partridge, has legs that are green in color, thus the name, and in the 1930s, it was raised by 30 percent of Poland. They lay on average 140 to 180 eggs annually, and interestingly, their eggs have less cholesterol than other eggs.

20. Hyline Brown Chickens

Hyline Brown Chicken with orange feathers.

Another of the hybrid chickens, the Hyline, was developed in Australia. They are a hybrid (dual-purpose) chicken and grow to full size by 16 to 20 weeks. Although they are a hybrid, they are better laying hens than meat chickens.

21. Indian Game Chickens

Indian Game Chicken with small comb and a spur.

Another multi-purpose chicken, Indian game hens, aka Cornish hen in the United States, have been used for cock fighting and meat and eggs. Hens will produce about 180 eggs annually. Their coloring ranges from tawny gold to solid black, and they have thick orange-colored legs and feet.

22. ISA Brown Chickens

Flock of chicken looking for foods.

Prolific egg layers, ISA Brown Chickens, produce about 300 eggs per year. So, if your goal is to have enough eggs for you and your friends and family, this is the chicken for you. They are medium-sized chickens, are copper-colored, and raised exclusively for egg production.

23. Japanese Bantam Chickens

Japanese Bantam with large comb and black feather tail.

All bantams are compact birds, and the Japanese version is no different. Raised for eggs and meat, they produce 80 to 160 cream-colored or white eggs. They are not hardy birds and are not suggested for first-time growers. They can be fliers, so a good coop is in order when raising Bantams.

24. Jersey Giant Chickens

Jersey Giant Chicken with dark blue feathers.

Developed in New Jersey for commercial use, the Jersey Giant is genuinely a large chicken. They are good-natured, which is fortunate because they weigh up to eight pounds. They produce from 150 to 200 extra-large eggs annually. Jersey Giants can be black, white, and occasionally blue.

25. Kuroiler Chickens

Kuroiler hen with small comb and a grass.A hybrid chicken of India, the Kuroiler chicken will lay about 150 medium brown eggs annually. They are resistant to disease and can live quite well on household waste, making them inexpensive to feed. They are fast-growing and suitable for all climates, and there are many colored varieties of this breed of chicken.

26. Cream Legbar Chickens

A sitting Cream Legbar in the ground.

Large birds, Cream Legbar, are one of the blue egg layers. They are small chickens but produce about 230 medium-sized, light blue eggs per year. They are used predominately as egg layers. Legbar chickens have good dispositions and are suitable as free rangers, as they are great foragers.

27. Leghorn Chickens

White Leghorn chicken with small comb.

White Leghorns (leggerns) lay large white eggs almost every day of the year. When you buy white eggs at the grocer, they likely come from a Leghorn. They are hearty chickens that are intelligent and very active. The White Leghorn chicken lays about four eggs per week, which will yield you about 200 eggs annually.

28. Lohmann Brown Chickens

Lohmann Brown chicken in a garden with grasses.

Like the Hyline chickens, the Lohman Brown is a hybrid that can produce up to 300 eggs annually. They are ginger-colored with cream-colored feathers on their wings and tails. Although they are bred to convert feed at a higher rate than other birds, they still need a diet high enough in protein for egg production and to maintain their health.

29. Malines Chickens

Malines Chicken with ash stripes feather.

Easy to mistake as a Barred Rock or a Maran, Maline chickens are raised primarily for meat. This breed of chicken, a product of Belgium, dates back to the 1800s and is a huge bird that can reach 12 pounds when fully grown. Gentle, with feathered legs and feet, they are the perfect birds for the small farm, and although they prefer free-ranging, who doesn’t, they can be cooped. Malines will have 140 to 160 off-white eggs annually.

30. Marans Chickens

Marans Chicken in a fence with hay.

Developed in the 1920s in Maran, France, the Maran chicken is a sex-linked hybrid that produces 185 eggs annually. The Maran can be Silver black, copper blue, Black-tailed Buff, Black, Dark Cuckoo, Golden and Silver Cuckoo, and other colors.

31. New Hampshire Red Chickens

New Hampshire Red Chicken eating leaves.

Although they come from the Rhode Island Red, the New Hampshire Red has been bred to be a meatier bird; therefore, it produces few eggs. It also grows faster, making it an excellent high production meat chicken. An adult hen will produce about 150 large brown eggs of a medium-sized bird per year.

32. Orpington Chickens

Orpington Chicken with gold feathers carrying a hay.

A Buff Orpington Rooster is what every other aspires to be. They are large, handsome birds, and their cream-colored feathers and bright red comb set them apart from other fowl. They have a gentle temperament and are friendly towards their two-legged caregivers. Buff Orpington’s are prodigious egg producers, and an adult hen will produce an average of 240 large brown eggs per year.

33. Padovana Chickens

Padovana chicken with orange gold feathers.

On the brink of extinction, the Padovana chicken, one of the oldest recorded breeds of chicken, comes from the Padovana region of Italy. A few small breeders are still in existence, so this breed of chicken may live on. Their egg production is moderate, and they only produce 135 eggs per year.

34. Plymouth Rock Chickens

Plymouth Rock chicken with black and white stripes.

Like the Orpington, the Plymouth Rock is an excellent chicken to have around for as a pet and eggs, as they have a gentle nature. Another hybrid breed, as most have come about in the last decade, the Plymouth rock produces from 200 to 300 eggs per year. They have black and silver plumage that reminds me of a herringbone or checkered pattern.

35. Polish Chickens

Polish Chicken with feathers on the face and hay.

Few birds have plumage that readily identifies their origin as the Polish Crested chicken. They look as if they are wearing a wig, and although they have a comb, it is well hidden beneath their cap of feathers. Adult Polish hens will lay an average of 200 medium to large white eggs per year. This production level makes them moderate laying hens and suitable to keep just for eggs.

36. Rhode Island Red Chickens

Rhode Island Red Chicken with large comb walking in grasses.

After my Australorp went missing, I had a Rhode Island Red named Ginger that stepped up and became the girls’ leader and my brooder. She’s the first to greet me and gets ecstatic when she knows I have special treats. This breed has been around for about a century, so they are accustomed to the company of humans. An adult hen can lay, on average, 285 medium to large, light brown eggs per year.  

37. Sebright Chickens

Sebright Chicken, white feathers and black outline.

They are immediately identifiable by laced plumage; Sebright chickens are one of the oldest breeds of bantam chickens. They are small chickens and can be gold or silver. Their combs and wattles are bright red, and an adult hen can lay an average of 70 eggs annually. So, it is obvious that Sir John Sebright developed the breed more for its distinctive plumage than for its meat or eggs.

38. Serama Chickens

Serama Chicken a very small chicken in a flock.

Serama roosters are flashy and have long silvery and black feathers; however, as striking as they are, Serama chickens are the smallest of any breed. They come in various colors, along with the silver feathered variety, and maybe silkied or frizzled. Serama’s are good layers for little hens and produce about four tiny, cream-colored eggs per week.

39. Shamo Chickens

Shamo Chicken with cut spurs beside a fence.

The Shamo chicken is rare, and it’s believed that they originated in Japan, and as chickens go, they are odd-looking birds. I would never tell one that to their face, though, because they may take offense, and they are fighting chickens, after all. They have thick turkey-like necks and may be used for meat and fighting, as hens won’t lay but 90 eggs or so per year.

40. Silkie Chickens

Silkie Chicken with white and fine feathers.

I have a friend that raises Silkies, and she loves her birds. Silkies are as lovable as a bunny, cuddly, and amusing. They are extraordinary chickens to have for a companion and children. However, they don’t do well in a wet or cold climate. They are not heavy layers, and adult hens will produce only 100 eggs per year.

41. Sulmtaler Chickens

Sulmtaler Chicken with orange brown feathers.

A rare bird from Syria, Sulmtaler Chickens, was first noted in the 1400s. The Sulmtaler chicken was considered the favored meat at both French and Austrian courts, and today, it is still the bird of choice for chefs in Europe. An adult hen will lay 150 to 180 eggs cream to light brown.

42. Sultan Chickens

Sultan Chicken, black feathers and white crown feathers.

With a lineage that goes back to the Ottoman empire, the Sultan chicken resembles the tufted head Polish bird breeds. However, their snowy white plumage and rather comical feathered leggings make them look rather uncomfortable. On top of that, they have five twos instead of four, furthering their differences from other chicken breeds. Like a few other birds here, they must be kept for their peculiar looks. An adult hen will only produce about 60 small white eggs per year.

43. Sundheimer Chickens

Sundheimer Chicken lying in the ground with few grasses.

Another chicken developed by the Germans, the Sundheimer, can be found as standard-sized birds or bantams. The Sundheimer has white plumage with black tail and neck feathers that fan out like a necklace, across their shoulders, and down their necks. They lay a light brown egg, and an adult hen will produce about 200 eggs a year, making them above average laying hens.

44. Sussex Chickens

Sussex Chickens with feathers and black outline.

The Sussex chicken is colored much like the Sundheimer and has predominately white plumage with a black tail and neck feathers. They are dual-purpose chickens and excel as both meat chickens and layers. An adult Sussex hen can have as many as 200 lightly tinted eggs per year.

45. Thai Game Chickens

Thai Game Chicken with curly comb, used for cock fighting.

Another old chicken breed from Thailand, the Thai Game Chicken, resembles the Shamo. Like that Japanese bird, Thai game chickens are often used for fighting. The Thai Game Chicken will lay about 100 tinted eggs per year. However, their primary purpose is as fighters, and any eggs that one may get from these birds are just a benefit.

46. Welsummer Chickens

3 Welsummer Chicken with golden feathers.

At first glance, Welsummer chickens look like Rhode Island Reds. They hail from the Netherlands and are popular in the UK and Australia. The rooster on the Kellogg’s cornflake box is a Welsummer chicken. An adult Welsummer hen will lay around 210 dark brown eggs annually.

47. Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandotte hen with small comb sitting in the grasses.

The most chill of my hens, the Wyandotte’s, gives me eggs whether cold, rainy, or hot. They are beautiful birds, and their plumage may be laced with silver or gold or various other colors. An adult hen will lay about 200 large brown eggs annually.

48. Vorwerk Chickens

Vorwerk Chickens walking in the garden.

The Vorwerk is another of the German breeds and is docile and a good bird for beginners. Vorwerk chickens are good for meat or eggs, and an adult hen will lay around 170 cream-colored eggs per year. They are good foragers, so they can be let out to free-range, keeping chickens very inexpensive.

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