Chicken Breeds

There are actually hundreds of domesticated chicken breeds all over the world some of which have distinct physical and behavioral characteristics due to cross-breeding and geographical factors.

Normally, a breed’s physical traits differentiate it from other chickens such as size, color of plumage, type of comb (style), color of skin color, number of toes, feathering, color of earlobes and eggs, and geographical origin. Furthermore, chicken breeds are categorized according to their principal use, whether for eggs, meat, or ornamental purposes; some are also categorized as dual-purpose.

All chickens lay eggs, have edible meat, and have a unique appearance common to their particular breed. However, distinct breeds are the result of selective breeding to emphasize certain traits. Any breed may technically be used for general agricultural purposes, and all breeds are shown to some degree. But each chicken breed is known for a primary use.

Chickens for Egg Production
Egg producing chickens are generally light-weight and hens have a balanced temperament.

eggs

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Egg Producing Chicken Breeds

  • Ameraucana
  • Kraienkoppe
  • Ancona
  • Lakenvelder
  • Andalusian
  • Leghorn
  • Araucana
  • Marans
  • Asturian Painted Hen
  • Minorca
  • Barnevelder
  • Orloff
  • Campine
  • Penedesenca
  • Catalana
  • Sicilian Buttercup
  • Easter Egger
  • White-Faced Black Spanish
  • Fayoumi
  • Welsummer
  • Jærhone

Chickens for Meat Production

cooked chicken

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People who raise chickens for the meat alone prefer dual purpose breeds for meat production purposes, the following breeds are commonly used.

Common Meat Producing Chicken Breeds

  • Bresse
  • Ixworth
  • Indian Game (or Cornish)

Dual-Purpose Chickens
The chicken breeds usually seen in farms and backyards all over the world are chickens that produce both meat and eggs. Although some of these breeds are slightly better for either egg or meat production, they are normally called dual-purpose breeds.

Common Dual-Purpose Chicken Breeds

  • Australorp
  • Marsh Daisy
  • Brahma
  • Naked Neck
  • Braekel
  • New Hampshire
  • Buckeye
  • Norfolk Grey
  • California Gray
  • Orpington
  • Chanticleer
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Cubalaya
  • Poltava
  • Derbyshire Redcap
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Dominique
  • Rhode Island White
  • Dorking
  • Scots Dumpy
  • Faverolles
  • Scots Grey
  • Holland
  • Sussex
  • Iowa Blue
  • Winnebago
  • Java
  • Wyandotte
  • Jersey Giant

Chickens for Game, Exhibition and Show
For more than 100 years, the breeding of chicken for competitive game, exhibition and has greatly influenced the development of chicken breeds. Some breeds have been cross-developed with other breeds in order to come up with game, exhibition and show birds.

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Game, Exhibition and Show Breeds

  • American Game G
  • Japanese Bantam
  • Asil G
  • La Fleche U
  • Appenzeller U
  • Malay G
  • Barbu de Watermael
  • Modern Game
  • Bearded d’Anvers
  • Nankin
  • Bearded d’Uccle
  • Old English Game G
  • Belgian d’Everberg
  • Pekin
  • Blue Hen of Delaware G
  • Phoenix
  • Booted Bantam
  • Polish U
  • Cochin
  • Rosecomb
  • Crevecoeur U
  • Sebright
  • Croad Langshan U
  • Serama
  • Dutch Bantam
  • Shamo G
  • Frizzle
  • Silkie
  • Ga NoiG
  • Sultan
  • Hamburg U
  • Sumatra
  • Houdan U
  • Vorwerk U

Chicken Raising Information You Should Know About
In the course of flock breeding and management, it is necessary to catch and handle birds at various times. Proper catching and handling methods of chickens can avoid both injury and discomfort not only to the birds but the persons handling them as well.

How to Determine if the Chicken is a Layer
By learning how to tell which chickens are layers in your flock, you can segregate those that can be used as meat source and save unnecessary costs by removing non-layers and use them cooking.

The easiest method to visually tell if a chicken is a layer or not is by inspecting the space between the pubic bones. If a chicken is a good layer, there is normally a two-finger spread between the public bones; if the chicken is non-layer, the pubic bones are rigid and close together.

Additionally, most good layers have yellow skin which shows signs of bleaching of pigment; however, there may be cases of disease and abnormality in chickens wherein the skin color may exhibit faded pigment.

Identifying Poultry Breeds
The first and most important decision a producer or backyard chicken raiser must make is the selection of the type of breed best suited for his requirements. Having a basic knowledge of poultry breeds makes it easier to recognize and understanding the characteristics of chickens for easier flock management.

The most common resource for any purebred chicken is to see if it is listed in the Standard of Perfection book. It lists breeds and varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association although breeds of foreign origin may not be listed like the Cornish Rock which is a crossbreed between the Cornish and White Rock breeds.

The most common characteristics of chickens that help identify their breed distinction are size, shape, color, feather pattern, and comb type.

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