While raising chickens in your backyard there is a lot to know about. The real temptations are the eggs that are fresh and tastier than any other store-bought eggs that are good for baking too. Additionally, the chicken poop and the shells can be tossed right into the composite pile.
For raising chickens, the right way, the first thing you must know is their breed. Different chicken breeds have different characteristics, so the way they adapt to the environment is also different. But before that, you must check with your local town ordinance to know whether keeping chickens is allowed in your neighborhood. Also, make sure that you have enough space for henhouse or a full-size chicken coop. chicken needs water and food daily. The preferable time for hens to lay eggs is from spring to summer to fall, where they can get 12 to 14 hours of daylight. You can expect eggs daily or even twice a day.
The definition of a perfect chicken means different for everyone. A perfect chicken would not only lay egg but also be juicy and tender in serving. For people that have more realistic expectations from chicken, we have compiled a list of chicken breeds from around the world.
25 Best Chicken Breeds
So here is your guide to 25 top most chicken breeds from around the world.
While choosing the best chicken breed you will want to consider the number and color of eggs produced, the temperament of the breed, the noise level, and adaptability to confinement.
The list of top performers goes as follows:
- New Hampshire
- Plymouth rock
- Brown leghorn
Great Chickens for meat
- Cornish cross
- Jersey giants
Friendliest Chicken breeds
The breed is known for appearance
Other popular breeds
- ISA brown
- Easter egger
Lets us describe all Best Chicken Breeds in brief.
The chicken breed originated from orpington are being developed as a breed around the same time. they are an excellent egg layer that holds the world record of 364 egg output in a year. They are the dual-purpose hen that dresses out 5-6 lbs of meat which is of good quality.
The Australorp name comes from the chicken breed that is used to formulate the excellent egg layer. Australorps re developed in Australia in the year 1920 and the world adopted them quickly. In USA Australorps are of black variety and in other countries they are seen as blue and white.
For the beginners Australorp are a pleasure to have around. They are friendly, sweet, and docile to humans. They get along with other hens and animals easily. Mainly, they are bred to produce eggs and can lay 300 brown large eggs per year.
The Delaware previously named Indian rivers was developed in United States in the year 1940 by George Ellis. The fowl is a combination of New Hampshire and Plymouth Rock. Delaware breed was considered in the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 1952. The birds were set to become the broiler bird of the US and the Cornish cross was introduced. Delaware is a friendly, calm, hardy, and a fun to watch chicken. Hens mature quickly and lay brown or brown tinted eggs of around 100 to 150 each year depending on conditions like weather and food supply.
3. New Hampshire
The New Hampshire as the name suggests are originated in the state of New Hampshire in the United States. They are closely related to Rhode Island Red and have been around since 1930. They are dual purpose breed and are more considered for serving on table than to produce eggs. Approximately they lay 200 to 280 large brown eggs per year with being more prolific during colder months. The New Hampshire are aggressive and competitive in obtaining food and not ideal for mixed breed flock.
Buckeye originated in the late 19th century in Ohio was created by Mrs. Netti Metcalf. It is an American chicken breed developed solely by a woman. They are a dual-purpose breed of chicken with lustrous red colour. They are cold weather hardy, pea combs, and adaptive to a variety of living conditions. They are known for their abilities to hunt and catch mice.
5. Plymouth Rock
The chicken breed Plymouth rock was initially originated in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA in 1860s. until second world war, no other breed was kept extensive as the Plymouth Rock. The original birds were of barred variety with a plumage of black and white strip. Other varieties developed later. They are mainly popular for the outstanding qualities of farm chicken like broodiness, hardiness, docility, and production of excellent brown eggs. They lay around 200 to 280 eggs per year.
Sussex is a chicken breed that has ancient connections to the British, they were the finest poultry in Britain and reached USA in 1912. They are the dependable layer with laying eggs around 250 to 300 per year. It has the same temperament and history as that of Speckled Sussex. They put on fat easily and are the dual-purpose breed, so feeding them too many treats can make them overweight. With increasing weight there will be a decline in the production of the eggs. They are good for small farm and homestead and are excellent breed for meat and eggs. They come in different varieties like Speckled, Light, and red.
7. Brown leghorn
The variety of Brown Leghorn Chicken is originated in Tuscany, Italy. The initial name was Livorno which is derived from the port city in Italy where they were exported from and later, they were known as Leghorn. They are the dual-purpose breed that lays approximately 280 eggs per year. They can be butchered early in 16 weeks when they weigh a good 5-6 lbs. the feeding ratio is very good, and they have good quality meat which is decent on the brown variety. Brown as well as white leghorns are prolific egg layers with a capacity of laying 300 large eggs.
Great for meat
8. Cornish cross
Cornish chickens were originated from Cornwall County in England. They love to be cuddled and can easily become a lap chicken. The temperament of Cornish tends to be active, aggressive, and loud. They are not recommended for backyard keeping. They are mostly used for meat and ae not the good egg layers. In a year they lay about 100 to 120 medium light brown eggs.
Bresse chicken breed is termed as the best tasting chicken in the world. They are strictly raised in the legally defined area of the historic region of Bresse, which is in eastern France. They are actively controlled by the French Government, to maintain the strict quality standard and raising and selling the Bresse Chicken. A Bresse chicken has a leg band to prove its authenticity while purchasing. Their appearance is that like a French flag – white body, red comb, and blue legs.
10. Jersey giants
The Jersey Giants are the big rooster breed of chicken. They were developed by John and Thomas Black of New Jersey between years 1870 and 1890 in New Jersey State of USA. They are the massive roosters weighing around 13 lbs and hen weighing around 10lbs. they grow slowly and start to be culled around 16 weeks. They were originally bred for meat and egg but are not used for commercial farming as it takes them long time to grow. They are the calm and docile breed with an average temperament. They are good for backyard chicken and may around 150 to 200 very large eggs in a year.
Brahma is referred to as a king of all poultry. The chicken is well known for its strength, size, and vigor. They can reach an incredible weight of around 18 pounds. The name brahma is derived from the river Brahmaputra that flows from both India and China. Brahma are very friendly when it comes to temperament. They are calm, quiet, and docile birds that mixes well with other chicken breed. They come in varieties of dark, light, and brown. They are the winter egg layers of approximately 150 eggs per year. The eggs are large and medium brown in colour.
Cochin initially originated in China were introduced to the west in the mid 1800’s as they were responsible for the rise in the popularity of keeping chickens that were known as ‘hen fever’ in US and Britain. Cochins are large in size of around 10 lbs. they have ample of feathers and are calm in nature. They are more prone to broodiness and not known for egg production. Every year they lay around 160 large brown eggs.
Faverolle chicken is French breed and are considered a heavy breed. They have feathered feet, muffs, beard, and 5 toes per foot. They are well known for their round shape. Faverolles are very quiet breed which makes them suitable for home flocks as pets and egg layers. Per week they are said to lay about 4 pinkish coloured eggs if they are well cared.
Orpington as the name suggests were developed in the town of Orpington, England. William Cook wanted to create a dual-purpose breed which had white skin which British usually preferred for meat. Within 10 years they were popular in America and England. They came in a variety of jubilee, spangles, black, buff, and white. They lay around 200 eggs per year. Buff Orpington are good when it comes to including them in your flock. They are the great pets and are very docile.
The polish chicken is easy to recognize as they have a crest of feathers that usually covers their entire head. The beautiful pom-pom may sometimes come in the way of their vision which may need a little trimming. As it was standardized in Netherlands, the origins of the breed are not clear. They are mainly the ornamental bird used to produce egg before Leghorn became popular. They are the prolific birds that lay around 200 medium white eggs per year. They are easy to handle and are like leghorn in type and size. They are good choice for beginner chicken farmer and preferable as pets.
Sultan breed is native to Turkey. The chicken breed arrived first in England in the year 1854 when Mrs. Elizabeth Watts received the fowl of the breed from a friend living in Constantinople. Sultan is a unique bird that has feathered shanks, V-shaped comb, large nostrils, beard, muffs, Low-carried wings, five toes and vulture hocks. Their legs are slate blue and pure white. From March to September Sultan hens lay white eggs.
Breed known for appearance
Silkie are the eastern China’s ancient breed. They were initially documented by Marco Polo in the year 1300. They are the most popular and ornamental breed. They have a friendly temperament and feathers that look more like hairs. Usually, Silkies have black bones and black skin, a turquoise earlobe, and a walnut shaped comb.
The Phoenix breed of chicken is German oriented with its long-tail fowls of Japan. The creation of this breed is done by Mr. Hugo du Roi, the president of National German Poultry Association. It is an alert breed with pheasant like appearance. They have fair layers that have tendency to be broody. They require plenty of space to roam around.
Onagadori is a long-tailed Japanese chicken which is considered as a special natural monument by the Japanese Government. They have a recorded tail of up to 27ft. the male onagadori is a non-molting gene that takes around 3 years to completely shed some of its feathers.
Turken is also known as Transylvanian Naked Neck chicken. The chicken breed is devoid of feathers on its vent and neck. The name Turken was mistaken with the hybrid of chicken and domestic Turkey. They are a dual-purpose chicken but are mainly used for meat as their egg laying is very moderate.
Other popular breeds
The name Minorca is derived from the Island of Minorca which is off the coast of Spain. Minorca has a friendly and peaceful temperament that thrives on human contact. As they are more flighty utmost care should be taken for fencing when raising in backyard. All through the year they lay about 200 to 240 large white eggs.
21. ISA brown
The ISA brown (Institute de Selection Animale Brown) is a crossbreed developed in the year 1978 in France. They are usually meant for production of eggs as they lay around 285 to 300 eggs per year. They are quite popular with commercial egg layer as they produce large brown eggs. They have a very mellow temperament and are friendly and calm with humans.
Hybrid is a creation between the crossing of pure breeds like Light Sussex, Leghorn, and Rhode Island Red. This crossbreeding for Hybrid started worldwide in 1950. They are vaccinated against disease and the easy and tame to handle. The Hybrid is bred for egg production and the colour.
Frizzle is a characteristic of feather rather than the chicken breed. They are originated in Asia and are known as separate breed in European countries. The quaint feather formation is the notable characteristic with each feather curling towards the head of the bird. They lay around 160 white or tinted eggs per year but are considered more as a show chicken then meat or eggs.
24. Easter egger
An Easter egger is a relative of Ameraucanas and Araucanas. It is a chicken that possesses blue egg gene. They are a hybrid and not a true breed of chicken. They are a mixed breed with one parent carrying the blue egg gene. Their egg colour is of rainbow which makes them unique. Every hen will only lay single egg colour in a lifetime. Every year they lay around 280 eggs. They are a great addition to backyard flock.
Frequently Asked Questions
The list of the chicken breed with the friendliest temperament are as follows:
5. Easter Egger
6. Golden Buff
8. Plymouth Rock
9. Rhode Island Red
10. Silkies (and most other bantams)
The best chicken breed for beginners are as follows:
1. Rhode Island Red
3. Buff Orpingtons
5. Barred Plymouth rock
6. Jersey giant
7. Easter egger
9. White Plymouth rock
10. Production reds
The actual number of chicken breeds are not known exactly but American Poultry Association recognizes 53 large hen breeds.
The friendliest chicken breed that gets along well are as follows:
1. Rhode Island Red
2. Crested Polish
3. Giant Cochin
5. Speckled Sussex
7. Rhode Island Red/ White Leghorn Laying Hybrid
Each chicken breed varies from others by their feather colour, characteristics, size, and size of eggs. An excellent way to identify the best chicken breed is look at its height and weight, behaviour, and feather colour. It is easy to identify if you are raising from a long time.