Due to recent world events, people are thinking about sustainability more than ever. Self-sustainability is becoming more popular, and many people are exploring how they might begin sourcing food. 

Raising hens is a fantastic method to provide food for your family. A healthy chicken can produce many eggs for many years. 

You may even harvest the chickens for meat, ensuring that your family is well-fed no matter what happens in the future.

When it comes to rearing chicken, picking the appropriate breeds of chicken is crucial. Do you want a lot of eggs, friendly birds, or something a little more unique?

There are so many perfect chicken breeds to choose from that it might be daunting! 

Table of Contents

1. Araucana Chickens

White Araucana chicken breed

The Araucana chicken is the breed that started the blue egg craze, and unfortunately, many poultry farmers mix it up with the Ameraucana and the Easter Egger. It’s reasonable, though, because all three breeds of hens lay colored eggs, most of which are blue.

The Araucana is a difficult breed to find in the United States due to its rarity. Due to hatch rate concerns caused by genetics, many hatcheries have decided not to breed them.

If you want to introduce the Araucana breed to your flock, you’ll need to speak with a breeder actively striving to develop the breed.

Weight: 4–5 pounds

Looks: The Araucana does not have a tail, a beard, or a muff. However, it may have ear tufts. They feature blown-out cheeks and come in a variety of colors.

Character: The Araucana is considered by some to be the friendliest breed. Others argue that the contrary is true. For the best temperament, ensure regular handling as a chick.

2. Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens

Barred Plymouth Rock chicken

Plymouth Rock is a domestic chicken breed from the United States. It was first observed in Massachusetts in the nineteenth century and was the most extensively kept chicken breed in the United States for much of the early twentieth century.

They are dual-purpose breeds raised for both meat and brown eggs. It is cold-resistant, easy to care for, and an excellent sitter. 

The white rock Plymouth chicken is considered an excellent forager. 

Weight: 7 to 8 pounds 

Looks: The Barred Plymouth Rock is a huge, triangular-bodied bird. The Barred Rock has black and white barred feathers that vary in color. 

Character: Barred Rock chickens are peaceful, calm birds who get along.

3. Rhode Island Red Chicken

Rhode Island Red chicken

For various reasons, Rhode Island Reds are perfect and popular chicken breeds for your backyard flocks. They are dual-purpose, ideal for small homesteads, and excellent layers of large brown eggs. 

They are also known for their beautiful red rose comb on the rooster’s forehead.

Weight: 6.5 pounds

Looks: The Rhode Island Red features orange eyes, yellow feet, and a dark red body with a long rectangular body.

Character: The Rhode Island Red is one of the active birds suitable for inexperienced breeders since it can withstand unfavorable conditions and has a poor diet.

4. ISA Brown Chicken

ISA brown chicken

Look for ISA Brown Chickens if you want an all-around fantastic chicken that lays many huge brown eggs. They’re lovely, friendly chickens with a calm demeanor who appreciate showing attention to their human families. 

Weight: 4 – 7 pounds

Looks: The body of this medium-sized chicken is dark and rectangular, with white feathers in the tail. They can grow to be pretty large.

Character: An excellent all-around pick, docile, amiable, and sweet-mannered.

5. Australorp Chicken

Black Australorp Chicken

The Australorp is a relatively new addition to the chicken world. Despite its short history, it has negatively influenced chicken keepers and the poultry business worldwide.

The name is a mixture of the words Australian black Orpington and Orpington. Before Australorp, the breed was known by several distinct names.

Weight: 2.2 and 3.1 kg

Looks: Although blue and white variations exist, this medium to large breed has black feathers. It should stand tall and have a long tail.

Character: Although shy at first, the Australorp will follow you and enjoy culinary delicacies around the yard. Perfect for cold climates.

6. Maran Chickens

Black copper Maran chicken

Marans are known for their “chocolate eggers,” or eggs with a dark chocolate brown color. To a lesser extent, the Black Copper variety’s eggs and the Silver Cuckoo’s are the darkest of all. Marans are “essential” for your flock if you value a colorful egg basket!

Weight: 3.6 kg

Looks: Other variations, including the black-tailed red and the Rooster, are named from their physical characteristics.

Character: The Maran is a serene and quiet breed that can survive in any environment.

7. Buff Orpington Chicken

Buff Orpington Rooster

The Orpington is a chicken breed used for eggs and meat. It was bred primarily to produce exceptional eggs while maintaining good meat quality in Orpington, Kent, England.

There are a variety of color variations, including the classic buff Orpington and full-sized and bantam versions.

Weight: 3.6-4.6 kg

Looks: The Buff Orpington is the most frequent hue of the Orpington breed, with fluffy feathers, a low stance, and a large body.

Character: Orpingtons are large, gentle birds that enjoy being seen. They are non-aggressive and like being handled, making them excellent family birds. They do not perform well in mixed flocks with aggressive breeds since they are quiet birds.

8. Barnevelder Chickens

Barnevelder Chicken

Barnevelder chickens are enormous, a heritage breed that is the product of crossbreeding various chickens from Asia, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.

These birds are known for their chocolaty dark brown eggs and eye-catching double-laced iridescent black and green feathers.

Weight: Between 3 and 3.5 pounds

Looks: The Barnevelder appears to be lean and agile. Its legs and feet are yellow. Hens have a distinctive brown feather with double lacing that gives the appearance of an arrowhead.

Character: The Barnevelder is a lovely breed for youngsters to raise since it is docile and kind.

9. Leghorn Chickens

Leghorn Chicken

The Leghorn’s precise origins are unknown. The Leghorn was developed from several tiny landraces and ancient breeds in the Tuscany region of Italy. Leghorn is the anglicization of the Italian word Livorno.

These breeds are in the category of Prolific layers, which means they have excellent egg-laying capacity.

The decent layer like brown leghorn has better egg laying capacity and higher-quality meat.

Weight: 4-6 kg

Looks: Leghorns have yellow skin and legs, making them aerodynamic. For example, the famous White Leghorn and Cream Leghorn types exist in various colors.

Character: If left to its own devices, the intelligent, active breed Leghorn can find most of its food. They’ll stay active and occupied, and they’re good at flying.

10. Easter Egger Chickens

Easter egger rooster

The Easter Egger is the breed to go if you want friendly chickens and lovely eggs. They may lack a ‘pedigree,’ but they make up for it in various ways.

Easter Eggers are adorable birds with distinct personalities and appearances. They aren’t noisy birds, so they shouldn’t bother your neighbors. They are also suited for warm climates.

Weight: 4-5 pounds

Looks: Although the Easter Egger is a hybrid breed, hybrids make excellent pets. The Easter Egger is usually tiny and takes on the looks of its parents.

Character: The Easter Egger is usually a lovely and friendly creature. They enjoy treats and will happily sit in your lap. They’re an excellent option for a family house. They aren’t noisy birds, so they shouldn’t bother your neighbors.

11. Silkies

Silkies Chicken

Silkies is a chicken breed for its fluffy plumage, described as feeling silky and satiny. 

Weight: 3-4 pounds

Looks: Silkies are tiny birds with delicate feathers covering them from head to toe. Silkies are usually white, with some having a beard and others not. They have five toes on each foot instead of four.

Character: Even roosters, described as calm and gentle, are considered friendly small animals. They can be a fantastic addition to a backyard coop.

12. Welsummer Chicken

Welsummer Rooster

These lovely birds are under-represented in the world of backyard chickens. This scenario is a pity because they have a lot of fantastic features for small homesteaders, as we’ll see.

They are a new addition to the chicken breeds, having been ‘born’ in the Netherlands less than a century ago.

They have shiny golden hackle feathers around their neck, making them a visually standout active foragers chicken breed.

Weight: 2-3 kg 

Looks: The stocky Welsummer is brown in hue with a yellow neck and upper body and has a big tail.

Character: The Welsummer is a pleasant and easy-going creature. They enjoy being outdoors and are a good choice for family coops.

13. Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandotte Chicken

The Wyandotte is an authentically American chicken breed. She was developed in the late 1800s and bred to resist the harsh winters of the north.

While they are not particularly cuddly, allowing them to free-range will give you enough eggs and free pest control.

Weight: Around 2-4 kg

Looks: The Wyandotte is a big bird with various color variations. It is a popular display breed, and while it is easy to find this breed, finding show-quality birds can be challenging.

Character: The Wyandotte is an excellent garden bird since it is described as calm and kind.

14. Speckled Sussex Chicken

Speckled Sussex chicken

The Speckled Sussex has a very long and illustrious history in its own England and around the world. Since the Roman era, this breed has been here and has gradually evolved into the chicken we know today.  

Weight: Around 3 – 4 kgs 

Looks: The Sussex is a beautiful huge breed chicken with broad shoulders. Red, mottled, brown, and silver are some available colors.

Character: These birds are docile but cheerful and friendly. They will frequently follow you around in the hopes of winning some snacks.

15. Cochin

Gaint Cochin chicken

The Cochin is a big domestic chicken breed. It comes from giant feather-legged chickens imported from China in the 1840s and 1850s to Europe and North America. It is mainly raised for exhibition. Previously, it was known as Cochin-China.

Weight: Around 3.2 – 5.9 kg

Looks: The Cochin is a huge breed with fluffy feathers from top to bottom that make it appear even larger. Because of the length of their feathers, their feet and legs should be concealed.

Character: The Cochin is a well-rounded bird that will thrive in a backyard coop. Temperament: Calm and friendly, the Cochin is a well-rounded bird that will thrive in a backyard coop.

16. Polish chicken

Polish Chicken

The Polish, often known as Poland, is a European crested chicken breed notable for its distinctive crest of feathers. The first sightings of these birds were in the Netherlands, although their origins are unknown.

Weight: 2-2.75 kg

Looks: The Polish chicken is an ornamental breed with a distinctive appearance. It has a sizeable feathered head crest that distinguishes it from other breeds.

Character: The Polish may be curious despite their reputation as quiet chickens. Because they may be nervous, you should whistle or speak to them to warn them of your presence.

17. Brahma Chickens

Bramha chicken

The Brahma is an American chicken breed. It was created in the United States using birds imported from Shanghai, China.

Weight: Around 4.5 – 5.5 kg of docile breed

Looks: Though they come in many color varieties, all Brahma chickens have red eyes and a single pea comb. Because of their enormous size, Brahmas are sometimes referred to as the “King of Chickens.”

Character: The roosters are docile and straightforward to handle, so these birds can also be kept as pets.

18. Jersey Giant Chicken

Black jersey giant chicken

The Jersey Giant is the most popular chicken breed in the United States and one of the most popular worldwide. 

Initially, the breed was developed as a viable turkey alternative—Jersey Giants, which originated in the United States.

Weight: Males can weigh between 13 and 15 pounds and measure between 22 and 26 inches tall, according to USDA standards. Females stand between 16 and 20 inches tall and weigh about 11 pounds.

Looks: The term “Jersey Giant” was given to the team because of its enormous physical traits. Even bigger than the Brahma chicken variety, known as the “King of Chickens.”

Character: They’re also quite gentle and easy to care for, which is one of the reasons for their growing popularity, which has increased to match their size.

19. Ameraucana Chicken

Ameraucana Chicken

American scientists created the Ameraucana, a descendant of the Chilean Araucana, to keep the Araucana’s characteristic light blue-colored eggs while removing a gene that could cause chicks to die inside the egg.

Most Ameraucana owners and breeders agree that these hens are curious, personable, and easy to manage. They are, however, easily frightened; therefore, they may not be suitable for use with small children.

Weight: 5.5–6.5 pounds

Looks: These American breeds are sometimes confused with Easter Eggers due to their appearance. Although they have a similar appearance, Ameraucanas are a pure breed with distinct traits. Wheaten, white, blue, and silver are among the eight hues available for Ameraucanas. 

Character: Ameraucanas are known for being predator-resistant, so they’re a fantastic choice if you let your chickens roam free. They can withstand chilly temperatures but struggle in hot weather.

20. Turken

Turken chicken

“Turken” came from the incorrect assumption that the bird was a cross between a chicken and a domestic turkey. Today, naked necks are reasonably frequent in Europe, but they are uncommon in North America and highly abundant in South America. 

The naked neck characteristic is a dominant trait regulated by a single gene that is relatively easy to introduce into other breeds.

Weight: 3-3.9 kg

Looks: You might want to avoid the Turken if you want chickens as attractive as they are prolific. Sometimes known as naked neck chickens, these hens have some of the most unusual appearances. In general, a lack of feathers is an indication of disease.

Character: They’re comfortable in cold and hot temperatures, and their attitudes are calm and kind.

21. Bantam Breed

Bantam Chicken

Bantam chicken is a miniature chicken breed with a size nearly half of regular birds. They originated from Banten, Indonesia. Though these species had some alteration by humans, true bantams are still natural species and are abundantly found.

Weight: 400 – 1100 grams

Looks: Small, Miniature, and 1/5th of regular chickens

Character: Clam, Placid, and Friendly

22. Bresse Chicken

Bresse Chicken french breed

Bresse Chicken is the most famous among french breeds of chickens. History says that this chicken is the crossbreed of various local chicken breeds, the same as cornish cross rock chicken.

This friendly breed is good for any preferred climate zone and can be reared worldwide.

Weight: More than 6 pounds

Looks: Blue color with a single comb

Character: Can lay about creamy white colored 175-250 Egg

Which Chickens are likely to get bigger?

Size-wise and purposed-wise, Red Rhode Island chicken (RRI) and White Leghorn (WL) are perfect for big-sized chicken for meat and egg. Their competitors include Plymouth rock chickens and ISA brown large breeds with bigger chicken breasts and abundant amino acids.

The perfection also depends upon each breed’s genetic distances and geographic distances, as a breed performing in one condition might not do the same in other setups.

But which one is better? Breeders often look for the best combination options as the market requires cross breeds for better meat quality traits and egg demand fulfillment.

This is why the chickens famous in the 19th century and 20th century were often cross-bred into bulkier or autosexing breeds for better outcomes. The slow-growing breed like marsh daisy was rarely farmed.

A study by Adamu et al., 2020 shows that the crossbred from the WL line has a higher breeding worth of hatchlings. These hybrid eggs have stronger egg shell strength compared to RIR. 

However, the RIR breed was resistive and acted as a sire line for egg and meat quantity, quality, and volume.

How does a Chicken lay an egg?

The primordial germ cells form ovaries in females and testes in roosters of every chicken breed. As these germ cells impact the endogenous activity of chicken, they are also called endogenous germ cells.

The genotypes of birds also impact the egg laying of chickens. Chickens have 39 pairs of phenotypes that determine a breed’s physical and biochemical layout.

The sexual maturity in these avian species occurs between 16 to 24 weeks of age.

The sex chromosome in chicken is referred Z and W. Female is denoted by ZW and Male by ZZ. The genetic diversity depends on both roosters and the hen chromosomes. 

The selection of a mating partner sometimes results in cock fighting in the coop, which can cause injury and death of roosters.

The egg-laying chickens are generally slow-growing birds, whereas the chickens famous for meat are fast-growing birds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the common breed of chicken?

The most common chicken breed based on countries are:
– Italy = Anacona
– America = Rhode Island Red
– Switzerland – Appenzeller Spitzhauben
– Australia = The Australorp
– The United Kingdom = Orpington
– Russia = Russian Orloff

Do chickens do OK in hot weather?

Chickens are excellent at adapting to hot climates, but they can perform better in temperatures below 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is healthier, chicken or beef?

Chicken meat is a much better option for a protein-based diet. Beef is higher fat and calorie meat which are much responsible for higher carbon emission. It is good to raise your own meat bird.

Which chicken layer is the best?

The best chicken layer is leghorn. The prolific egg layer produces a huge strain on their reproductive organ. The chicken layer can be converted into the moderate layer by cross-breeding.

Which color egg does cream Legbar lay?

Cream Legbar lays blue eggs and is a docile bird. Cream eggs are very rare in the United States.

Are Lavender Orpington chicken rare?

Lavender Orpington chicken is a rare chicken breed that can be granted as domesticated breeds and fancy breeds. They are not poor layers with 3.6-4.6 kg body weights that can be excellent lap chickens.

Finding the best chicken breeds for your backyard coop entails finding one that meets your needs and fulfills your desire to have a chicken. 

It should also be appropriate for your environment and conditions, and because it will be living with you, you will probably want a pleasant and docile chicken.

But you’ll be rewarded with baskets full of fresh, delicious eggs and hours of soothing amusement watching your small flock cruise the yard softly chasing bugs, clucking, and scratching for weeds, no matter which chicken varieties you raise.

(Last Updated on August 7, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Sadrish Dawadi is a Mountain Ecologist, an expert on the impact of climate change on humans, animals, and plant species. As an activist for animal welfare, he believes an animal's eyes can speak a great language of the planet's state and environmental condition.