Types of Chickens.
Review of Different
Breeds of Chickens.

Here we review the most popular and interesting types of chickens from A to Z, with chickens pictures and useful information.

The aspiring chook farmer is confronted with an astounding number of different breeds of chickens from which to choose.

We hope this overview will help you pick the breed that is right for you!

Americana Chickens

Americana chickens

Color and Appearance

Unlike most types of chickens, Americana’s are muffed and bearded, with full tails and slate or black legs depending on the variety.

Eight colors are officially recognized: Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten and White.

Origin of Americana Chickens

The Ameraucana (popularized as “Americana”) was developed in the USA from the non-standard “Easter Egger” chicken whose ancestors were South American Araucanas. It was accepted as an official breed in 1984.

Size of Americana Chickens

There are both bantam and large types of chickens of the Ameraucana breed.

• Bantam weights are 30 oz (0.85 kg) for cocks and 26 oz (0.74 kg) for hens.

• The large Americanas weigh in at 6.5 lb (3 kg) for cocks and 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) for hens. Bantam cocks weigh 30 ounces and bantam hens weigh 26 ounces while large fowl cocks weigh 6 1/2 pounds and large fowl hens weigh 5 1/2 pounds

Temperament of Americana Chickens

These birds are usually quiet and adapt well to confinement.

Uses of the Americana Chickens

Of chickens that lay colored eggs, Ameraucana chickens produce an above average number of blue/green eggs.

Their white skin and relatively early maturity makes the roosters reasonable eating birds too.

They are good brooders and are cold hardy.

Andalusian Chickens

Andalusian Chickens

Color and Appearance

Often called the Blue Andalusian for the color accepted for showing by the American Poultry Association, they also appear in Splash (mottled) and Black.

Although the only color pattern recognized by the American Poultry Association is Blue, when you cross two blues you will get some whites and some blacks.

Origin of Andalusian Chickens

The Andalusian is a types of chickens originally bred in Spain and England in the mid 1800’s.

Size of Andalusian Chickens

• Standard: 5.5 lb (2.4 kg)

• Bantam: 1.75 lb (0.8 kg)

Temperament of Andalusian Chickens

Flighty but can adapt to confinement. Do better on free range.

Uses of Andalusian Chickens

Fair layers of white eggs, laying up to 160 eggs per year.

They have white skin, mature early and are economical eaters, so are reasonable eating birds too. A hardy and heat tolerant bird not as well suited to cold climates. Generally does not go broody.

Aracauna Chickens

Aracauna Chickens

Color and Appearance

One of those rare and different breeds of chickens that lay colored eggs, Aracaunas have unusual feather tufts near their ears and no tails.

They come in a variety of colors: Lavender, Blue, Black/Red, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Blue/Red, Pyle, Crele, Spangled, Cuckoo, and Black and White.

Origin of Aracauna Chickens

Originating in Chile, the ancestors of the modern Araucana chicken were kept by the indigenous Araucanians Indians.

Size of Aracauna Chickens

The Aracauna is medium to large in size.

Temperament of Aracauna Chickens

They are quiet types of chickens, docile and trusting.

Uses of Aracauna Chickens

Reliable layers of medium sized, blue eggs. However, the gene that produces tufting is lethal, so that breeding two tufted birds together results in 50% with tufts, 25% of the brood dying in the shell, and 25% having no tufts.

Australorp Chickens

Black Australorp Chickens

Black Australorp Chickens

Color and Appearance

Australorps are large and soft feathered. Glossy black Australorp chickens were the original color. However, other color types of chickens have been developed and are blue and splash.

Origin of Black Australorp chickens

Black Australorp chickens were developed in Australia in the early 1900’s from Orpingtons imported from the UK, in a bid to improve on their utility. They were known as Black Utility Orpingtons.

Size of Australorp chickens

• Large Australorp:

Roosters should be between 3.9 kg (8.6 lbs) and 4.7 kg (10.4 lb), while hens weigh in between 3.7 kg (8.2 lb) and 4.5 kg (9.9 lb).

• Bantam Australorp:

Bantam roosters weigh from 1.8 kg (4 lb) to 2.3 kg (5 lb), with hens weighing between 1.7 kg (3.7 lb) and 2.2 kg (4.8 lb).

Temperament of Australorp chickens

The Australorps are quiet chickens, easily contained and handled.

Uses of the Australorp chicken

Australorps are a hardy, dual purpose types of chickens. Originally developed for exceptional egg laying (around 250 pale brown eggs a year), they also are a good meat bird, with reasonably early maturity and white skin.

However, their actual egg laying performance will vary from strain to strain.

Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens

Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens Barred Rock Chickens

Color and Appearance

Barred Plymouth Rock chickens, Plymouth Rock chickens and Barred Rock chickens (after their most usual color) are not different breeds of chickens, but different names for the same types of chickens.

Apart from their namesake barred coloring, they also come in blue, buff, columbian, partridge, silver laced, silver penciled and white. They are large birds with excellent table qualities.

Origin of Barred Rock chickens

Barred Rock chickens originated in the United States in the mid 1800’s and soon became very popular.

Size of Barred Rock chickens

• Rooster: 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)• Hen: 7.5 lb (3.4 kg)

Temperament of Barred Rock chickens

Generally docile, but occasionally aggressive, Plymouth Rock chickens adapt well to confinement and are usually easy to handle.

Uses of Barred Rock chickens

Plymouth Rocks are a cold hardy, dual-purpose fowl, useful for their meat and egg production. However, some strains have been developed principally for egg laying, and others for meat. They tend to go broody and make good mothers.

Overall they are good producers of light to medium brown eggs, yielding about 200 eggs per year. White Plymouth Rock hens are still used today to produce commercial broiler hybrids.

Brahma chickens

Brahma Chickens

Color and Appearance

Brahmas are amongst the biggest types of chickens, whose size is exaggerated by their thick, loose feathering. The feathering extends down the legs and onto their toes.

Recognized colors are light, dark and buff. The light Brahma hen is white with black tail and black, white-edged hackles, whereas the buff Brahma hen is gold where the light is white. The dark Brahma hen has black, white-edged hackles with dark grey and black penciled body.

Origin of Brahma chickens

Brahmas originated in India.

Size of Brahma chickens

Originally much bigger, the standard weight for a cock is now around 11 lb (5 kg), and for a hen is 8.5 lb (3.85 kg).

Temperament of Brahma chickens

Brahmas are quiet chickens renown for their docile, unruffled demeanor. They are also friendly birds that are rarely aggressive.

Uses of the Brahma chicken

Brahmas are average layers of brown eggs. Though they reach a large size, they are slow to mature so not fantastic meat birds. However, they are hardy in both cold and hot conditions and make good mothers.

Cochin Chickens

Cochin chickens

Color and Appearance

Like the Brahma, the Cochin is a big bird whose soft abundant feathers make it appear even larger. Similarly, it also has feathered legs and feet.

Cochins come in a variety of colors: buff, partridge, white, silver laced, gold laced, black and blue.

Origin of Cochin Chickens

The Cochin is originally from China.

Size of Cochin Chickens

Standard weight is 11 1b (5 kg) for a cock and 8.5 lb (3.9 kg) for a hen.

Temperament of Cochin Chickens

Cochins are docile, gentle and quiet chooks.

Uses of the Cochin Chicken

Cochins lay less well than most popular types of chickens, but will produce well in spring and make great mothers. Their eggs are brown, and the skin color is yellow. They are hardy, cope well in range conditions, and mature into an excellent table bird.

Cornish Chickens

Cornish Chickens

Color and Appearance

Cornish chickens are chunky birds with large breasts and thighs, and close fitting feathers. Color varieties include white, white laced red, dark birds with brown patterning on a dark blue-green background (the Cornish Game) or lighter birds with the same patterning on a light wheaten background (Jubilee Cornish Game).

Origin of Cornish Chickens

The Cornish originated in England and was first known as the Indian Game.

Size of Cornish Chickens

Though they may grow heavier, the standard weight for a male is 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) and for a female is 6 lbs (2.7 kg).

Temperament of Cornish Chickens

A loud and active breed that is not especially docile, but takes confinement well.

Uses of the Cornish Chicken

Of all the different breeds of chickens, the Cornish are the definitive meat bird, consuming substantial amounts of feed and growing rapidly. Their skin is yellow.

Crossed with white Plymouth Rocks, they form the basis to most commercial broiler production. They are poor layers (50/year) of brown eggs of low fertility, are winter hardy and apt to go broody.

Delaware chickens

Delaware Chickens

Color and Appearance

Delawares are uniquely patterned types of chickens, being white with light black barring on the ends of the hackle, wings and tails.

Origin of Delaware chickens

The Delaware is a breed of chicken originating in the U.S. state of Delaware, from crossing Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshires.

Size of Delaware chickens

The Delaware is a medium sized breed; roosters weigh around 8.5 lbs (3.9 kilos) and hens around 6.5 lbs (3 kilos).

Temperament of Delaware chickens

One of the quiet chicken breeds, it is docile and friendly.

Uses of the Delaware chicken

The Delaware is a robust bird that is both cold and heat hardy and does well in free range conditions.

It is a fast maturing breed with a clean appearing carcass, and though now rare, was once an important commercial meat breed, dominating the broiler industry until the 1950’s.

However, it also lays a good quantity of large, brown eggs and will go broody.


Faverolles chickens

Color and Appearance

Faverolles chickens

The Faverolles is a large and cloddy breed. They are unusual types of chickens, sporting beard, muffs, feathered feet, and five toes per foot.

The most common color is Salmon which is expressed differently according to sex, hens being cream and coffee colored, and males darker, with black, brown, and straw-colored feathers.

Less common colors include white, black, cuckoo, splash, and blue.

Origin of Faverolles

The ancestors of the Faverolles were first developed by French farmers in the early 1800’s. However, many different breeds of chickens have been used to develop it further since then.

Size of Faverolles

Roosters are around 10 lb (4.5 kg), hens around 8.5 lb (3.8 kg).

Temperament of Faverolles

Faverolles are friendly, docile and quiet chickens.

Uses of the Faverolles

Originally a dual purpose utility breed, Faverolles mature rapidly into a good quality meat bird. Hens are also above average layers of medium-sized, light brown to pinkish eggs.

However, today they are kept primarily for show, which has - as it does in all types of chickens - resulted in deterioration of their utility aspects.

Frizzle chickens

Frizzle chickens

Color and Appearance

Frizzle chickens have unique feathers that curl outwards instead of lying flat. The gene responsible for frizzled feathers can be introduced into any different breeds of chicken.

So in some countries any types of chickens with frizzled plumage, irrespective of breed, may be classed as a Frizzle.

However, in the UK the Frizzle fowl is now recognized as a distinct breed, specifically the Frizzle version of the Cochin.

There is a wide variety of colours but the most common are blue, black, white and buff.

Origin of Frizzle chickens

Frizzle feathering is thought to have originated in south east Asia where it was recorded around 300 years ago.

Size of Frizzle chickens

The size of any Frizzled chicken depends on the parents. However, for the “official” Cochin derived Frizzle: standard weight is 11 1b (5 kg) for a cock and 8.5 lb (3.9 kg) for a hen.

Temperament of Frizzle chickens

Frizzles (Cochin) are a docile, gentle and quiet chicken breed.

Uses of Frizzle chickens

Frizzles are mainly exhibition types of chickens kept primarily for the show ring.

However, they are hardy and cope well in range conditions. The carcass has good table qualities and the hens are fair egg layers in spring and make excellent broodies.

Golden Comet Chickens

Color and Appearance

This is a modern commercial hybrid strain that produces sex-linked color birds - roosters are white, and the hens are brownish red.

Origin of Golden Comet Chickens

The Golden Comet is one of three modern brown egg laying strains (the others are Hyline and ISA Brown) developed commercially from hybrid breeding of different breeds of chickens such as the Rhode Island Red and the Leghorn.

Size of Golden Comet Chickens

These chooks are “average” sized, the hens maturing at around 7.5 lb (3.4 kg) and the roosters around 9.5 lbs (4.3 kg).

Temperament of Golden Comet Chickens

Quiet birds well adapted to close confinement.

Uses of the Golden Comet

Golden Comets mature early, and hens start to lay eggs at a younger age than most standard types of chickens. They are excellent layers of large brown eggs.

Hamburg Chickens

Hamburg Chickens

Color and Appearance of Hamburg Chickens

Hamburgs come in a wide variety of colors including: Silver-Spangled, Golden-Spangled, Golden-Penciled, Silver-Penciled, White, and Black.

Origin of Hamburg Chickens

The Hamburg (or Hamburgh in Britain) was developed in Holland before 1700 and may even date back to ancient times.

Size of Hamburg Chickens

Hamburgs are small with roosters weighing around 5lb (2.25kg) and hens about 4lb (1.75 kg). There are also bantam Hamburgs, weighing around 1.5lbs.

Temperament of Hamburg Chickens

The breed is apt to fly and tends to be nervous around people.

Uses of the Hamburg

Hamburgs are hardy, active types of chickens that forage well, mature quickly and are very good producers of small white eggs.

Java Chickens Java Chickens

Color and Appearance

Java chickens are usually black, but also come in white. They are solid, sturdy birds.

Origin of Java Chickens

The Java was developed as a pioneer breed in the USA from various Asian breeds sometime before the mid 1800’s.

Size of Java Chickens

Javas are large, well built chickens with stocky bodies and large breasts. Java roosters average over 9lb (4 kg) and hens over 6 lb (2.7 kg).

Temperament of Java Chickens

Javas are reputed to be gentle, docile chooks.

Uses of the Java

A hardy, dual purpose breed the Java are suited to both meat and egg production. They are also economical eaters and superb foragers.

Leghorn Chickens

White Leghorn Chickens

Color and Appearance

Most Leghorn chickens have single combs but there are several color varieties that have rose combs.

Recognized colours are white, red, black tailed red, light brown, dark brown, black, blue, buff, columbian, buff columbian, barred, exchequer and silver.

Brown Leghorn Chickens

Brown Leghorn Chickens

Origin of Leghorn Chickens

The Leghorn breed was developed in Livorno, Italy.

Size of Leghorn Chickens

Leghorns mature into smallish chooks, weighing from 3 lbs (1.4kg) to 4 lbs (1.8kg).

Temperament of Leghorn Chickens

Leghorns are nervous types of chickens around humans and can fly, making them less popular as a homestead breed.

Uses of the Leghorn Chickens

Leghorns are fantastic egg producers, laying around 280 white eggs a year. They are the world’s top breed behind commercial egg producing lines.

New Hampshire Chickens

New Hampshire Chickens

Color and Appearance

The mature birds are a rich chestnut red, of a lighter and more even shade than the Rhode Island Reds.

Origin of New Hampshire Chickens

The New Hampshire originated in the state of New Hampshire in the United States.

Size of New Hampshire Chickens

Roosters weigh in at around 8.5 lb (3.9 kg), whereas hens are lighter at 6.5 lb (2.9 kg).

Temperament of New Hampshire Chickens

New Hampshires are competitive and aggressive.

Uses of the New Hampshire Chickens While it is a fair producer of large brown eggs, the New Hampshire was developed more for meat production than egg production. Medium heavy in weight, it matures early and dresses a nice, plump carcass as either a broiler or a roaster. The hens are prone to go broody and make good mothers.

Orpington Chickens

Buff Orpington Chickens

Color and Appearance

The Orpington are large types of chickens with a soft appearance. It has a wide chest, broad back, and small head and tail.

They originally came in black, white, buff and blue. Other varieties have also been developed including porcelain (speckled), red, mottled and birchen.

Buff Orpington Chickens pictures

Origin of Orpington Chickens

The original Orpington (the Black) was developed in 1886 by William Cook. He crossed many different breeds of chickens, chiefly Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks, to create the new hybrid bird.

Size of Orpington Chickens

The Orpington is a heavy breed, weighing from 7 lb (3.2 kg) to 10 lb (4.5 kg). Its soft, profuse feathering makes it appear even larger than it is.

Temperament of Orpington Chickens

Docile, affectionate and easily handled types of chickens.

Uses of the Orpington

The Orpington was bred as a dual-purpose breed, famous for good egg laying capacity (from 110 to 160 beige eggs/year even through winter), moderately early maturity, and good carcass qualities. Hens may go broody.

Rhode Island Red Chickens

Rhode Island Red Chickens

Color and Appearance

These chooks normally have hard rust colored feathers, but may be darker or almost black.

Origin of Rhode Island Red Chickens

The Rhode Island Red are types of chickens originally bred using an infusion of Malay chicken bloodlines in Adamsville, Rhode Island in the USA.

Size of Rhode Island Red Chickens

Rhode Island Reds are large: roosters weigh in at around 8.5 lb (3.8 kg), the hens 6.5 lb (3 kg).

Temperament of Rhode Island Red Chickens

They are generally good pets to keep. However the roosters, and sometimes hens, can be quite aggressive.

Uses of the Rhode Island Red

They are a tough utility bird, raised for meat and eggs. Indeed they are among the best laying types of chickens. With good feeding their egg production is excellent, being from 250 to 300 large, light brown eggs a year.

They are moderately early maturing. Rhode Island Reds are also used for creating many modern hybrid types of chickens. However, their large comb makes them susceptible to frost bite.

Sussex Chickens

Sussex Chickens

Color and Appearance

The most famous Sussex chooks are the Light Sussex. These are very distinctive types of chickens having a white body with a black tail and black wing tips, neck being white striped over with black.

Other colors include Brown, Buff, Light, Red, Speckled, Silver, White and Coronation.

Origin of Sussex Chickens

The Sussex chicken was created over a century ago in the county of Sussex, England.

Size of Sussex Chickens

Cocks should weigh approx 9lbs (4.0 kg), and the hens (females) 7lbs (3.2 kg).

Temperament of Sussex Chickens

The Sussex chicken is an alert, docile breed that can adapt to any surrounding, comfortable in both free range or confined spaces.

Uses of the Sussex

Sussex are dual purpose types of chickens that are good foragers, and understandably popular in backyards.

They (especially the Light Sussex) a good producers (240 to 260 a year) of large beige eggs.

It is also a good meat bird, maturing quickly for a heavy breed, and may go broody.

Silky Chickens

Silky Chickens

Color and Appearance

Of all the different breeds of chickens, only the Silky has down-like feathers. This gives them a soft, fluffy appearance.

They come in two varieties - bearded and non-bearded, and several colors including black, blue, buff, gray, partridge, splash and white.

Origin of Silky Chickens

Silkies are a very old breed, thought to have originated in Southeast Asia sometime before the 1200’s. They are often called Chinese Silky chickens.

Size of Silky Chickens

Though large Silkies are the original version, which is common in Europe, the bantam version is most popular in the US and Australia.

Size for large Silkies is still a diminutive 4 lbs (1.8 kg) for roosters, and 3 lbs (1.36 kg) for hens, whereas in the bantams the roosters are around 36 oz (1 kg) and the hens 32 oz (0.9 kg).

Temperament of Silky Chickens

Silkies are well known for their calm, friendly temperament. Among the most docile of poultry, Silkies are considered an ideal pet.

Uses of the Silky

Though poor layers themselves, Silky hens are often kept as broodies, to hatch and care for the chicks of other breeds. They go broody very easily and are great mothers.

Because of their black meat and skin most peoples of European descent shun them as table birds, but they are highly prized for this purpose in China.

Silkies are one of those delicate types of chickens that do poorly in extremes of temperature or inclement weather because of their lack of hard outer feathers.

Polish Chickens

Polish Chickens

Color and Appearance

The Polish Chicken (sometimes called the Crested Dutch) is a highly ornamental fowl valued for their extravagant crest of feathers that is often a contrasting color to that of their body, heightening the effect.

They can be bearded or non-bearded. Bearded Polish come in golden, silver, white, and buff laced colors. Non-bearded Polish come in white crested black, white crested blue, black crested white, and laced in either gold, silver, white or buff.

Origin of Polish Chickens

Polish Chickens did not originate in Poland as their name suggests, but are thought to be an old breed which was first developed in the Netherlands.

Size of Polish Chickens

Roosters weigh around 6 lbs (2.7 kg), and hens 4.5 lb (2.0 kg).

Temperament of Polish Chickens

Polish are an active breed. However, because their crests restrict their vision, they are easily startled.

Uses of the Polish Chickens

Polish chickens are types of chickens that were originally developed as egg layers (so do not go broody), and produce very white eggs. However, today they are primarily kept as show birds.

Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandotte chickens

Color and Appearance

The Wyandotte is a medium sized chook. The most popular colors have a very striking lacy appearance and are appropriately named silver laced (white feathers rimmed in black) and gold laced (red feathers rimmed in black).

Other less common colors include white, black, buff, Columbian, partridge and silver penciled.

Origin of Wyandotte Chickens

The Wyandotte originated in the USA in the 1870’s.

Size of Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandotte roosters weigh around 8.5 lb (3.9 kg), and the hens around 6 lbs (2.7 kg). Like most chicken breeds featured here, the Wyandotte also has a smaller, bantam version.

Temperament of Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandottes are normally a docile, friendly bird and make good pets. However, some have been known to be aloof or even aggressive.

Uses of the Wyandotte

Wyandottes were developed as another of the dual-purpose types of chickens. They are moderately early maturers with big breasts, so go well in the pot. They are also good layers, producing around 200 eggs per year.

They occasionally go broody and make good mothers. However, their thick feathering about the vent area is apt to go daggy with faeces, so may need regular washing.