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Food Chickens

All Chicken Breeds

ameraucana_header Ameraucana

Good layers and good-natured as well, the Ameraucana breed is one of only three breeds that lay blue eggs. This is a good choice for those who want something simple and easy to manage.

ancona_header

Ancona

Ancona are some of the best layers, producing 5-7 eggs a week, though they have a tendency to be wilder than most and do enjoy a good fly once in a while, making them a bit harder to keep fenced in.

andalusian_header

Andalusian

Strong egg layers but flighty birds, Andalusians are a rather active breed and can run very fast. They also tolerate cold climates very well. They also make for good show birds.

appenzeller_spitzhauben_header Appenzeller Spitzhauben

The Appenzeller Spitzhauben thrives in cold weather as it was bred in Switzerland. They are known to have a very distinct personality and are enjoyable to watch as they climb trees and search endlessly for bugs.
araucana header Araucana

Though they have high mortality rates in the egg, the Araucana breed is a good dual purpose chicken with strong egg producing qualities and enough meat for a meal. No other birds look like the Araucana does.
araucana header Aseel

The Aseel is a very strong and aggresive breed, known to fight at all times. However, they are very docile toward humans. They serve as a good foundation stock for meat producers.
australorp_header Australorp

The Australorp is a hardy dual-purpose breed, capable of laying 5 eggs a week once they reach the age of 5 months. These are a very each breed to handle at any skill level, making them great for beginners.
barnevelder_header Barnevelder

A triple threat, the Barnevelder is great for egg laying, meat production, and even has a following as a show bird. A large bird, they are known to be calm and easy to handle, even considered shy by some.
belgian bearded d'uccle header Belgian Bearded d’Uccle Bantam

The Belgian Bearded d-Uccle Bantam functions as a decent layer and makes for a good meat bird, as well as being unique enough to be popular as a show bird. They’re very tame and even ride on your shoulder.
booted_bantam_header

Booted Bantam

Suited best as an ornamental breed, the Booted Bantam is easy to tame to the point of becoming a pet since they are calm and very friendly. They come in many varieties of colors.

brahma_header

Brahma

The Brahma can do everything, from lay eggs to become a filling dinner to win awards at a breed show. This is one of the largest breeds in the world and is an ideal chicken for newcomers as they’re easy to manage.

campine_header Campine

Campines, despite their small size, make good egg layers, though their primary use is as a show favorite. They love the summer months but don’t to well in winter, though they don’t mind confinement.
catalana_header Catalana

The Catalana breed loves heat and thrives in it. It functions as a dual purpose bird capable of producing plenty of eggs and meat. They are, however, shy to the point of wanting to avoid humans.
chantecler_header Chantecler 
The Chantecler is a native breed from Canada, making them great in the cold but poor in the heat. They’re good layers and hardy enough to be good fryers as well. They don’t enjoy confinement much.
cochin_header Cochin

Cochins will eat anything, causing them to be rather large birds. However, they aren’t fantastic layers and mature too slowly to be good meat birds. Instead, they’re renowned for their unique personalities.
cornish_header Cornish

The Cornish is the star of the meat production world and as such is used more often in the meat industry than any other chicken. Unfortunately, they are a difficult breed to raise properly.
creyecoeur_header Crevecoeur

Though once known for being a great dual purpose chicken, the Crevecoeur is now best suited as a show bird as it is considered endangered. Despite this, they are calm and easy to handle.
cubalaya header2 Cubalaya

Used in Cuba as dual purpose birds but mostly as ornamental in the US, the Cubalaya can do it all. They do great in heat and humidity and make a great choice for first-time chicken owners.
delaware_header

Delaware

Developed originally as a commercial, dual-purpose breed but later replaced by hybrids, Delawares today make excellent backyard chickens. They typically lay four, large, brown eggs a week far into the winter months.

dominique_header

Dominique

The Dominique breed is considered a dual purpose bird, but it excels in egg laying over meat production. They do great in both hot and cold climates and also make good pets.

dorking_header Dorking

Dorkings are best known for their qualities as meat producers, though they are capable of laying 140 eggs a year. They can withstand cold weather without any trouble, making them great in the winter.
easter_egger_header

Easter Eggers

Easter Eggers are the most-loved breed in the US as they can produce eggs in colors such as green, blue, and even pink. The APA still doesn’t recognize them as a breed however.

faverolles_header

Faverolles

A chicken bred in France, the Faverolles is a dual purpose bird and succeeds as such. Their finely packed feathers allow them to withstand cold climates well and are considered the most docile breed in the world.

fayoumi_header

Fayoumi

The Fayoumi is best as an ornamental bird, as well as a research subject as they are resistant to many diseases. They are as close as possible to being wild, so they don’t make very good domestic birds.

hamburg_header

Hamburg

Dubbed the “everlayer”, Hamburgs lay consistently throughout their whole lives and live pretty long. They are a hardy bird and can withstand cold climates without any trouble.

holland_header Holland

The Holland is a dual purpose breed that is bred specifically to lay brown eggs and have yellow skin, as those are preferred here in the US. While not great for the meat industry, they’re excellent for the backyard.
houdan_header Houdan

The Houdan is loved as a meat bird, loved as an egg-producing bird as they have amazing longevity, and loved as a show bird because of their unique feathering style. They can do it all!
japanese_bantam_header Japanese Bantam

The Japanese Bantam is a breed that only comes in the one size: Small. They serve as great pets and show birds, but that’s it. Still, they live to be 13 and are helpful is eating weed seeds and insects in the yard.
java_header Java

While a dual purpose breed, the Java is best when used for meat production as they grow big and they grow fast. They enjoy warm weather, but will need a well-insulated coup in the winter months.
jersey_giant_header Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant is the largest breed of chicken, though because of their huge size it takes them too long to mature to be commercially viable. Regardless, they make excellent chickens on even small farms.
la_fleche_header La Fleche

The La Fleche breed is a dual purpose bird with its meat production quality being the main reason for breeding them. They are considered a very wild breed and like to have space to roam and forage on their own.
lakenvelder_header Lakenvelder

Lakenvelders are best when they’re laying eggs, though they do have delicious white meat, albeit not very much of it. They can easily survive in both hot and cold climates and are considered very intelligent.
langshen_header Langshan

Langshans do great as egg layers and make great food birds as well. First time owners are often surprised with how friendly they are dispute their large size. That can withstand any weather climate.
leghorn_header Leghorn

The Leghorn is a master of egg laying, producing upwards of 280 eggs a year. Their ability to be a good meat production chicken has been overlooked as a result of this.
malay_header Malay

Malays can stand up to three feet tall and are incredibly strong birds known for their fighting prowess. However, they don’t lay often and don’t have much meat, so they’re primarily ornamental and show birds.
marans_header Marans

Marans lay three eggs a week and produce eggs with a very rich dark brown color. Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, even made Marans eggs the character’s favorite. They also produce delicious meat.
minorca_header Minorca

Though Minorcas used to have mythical-like egg laying abilities, the current breed has slowed down production just a bit, however not enough to make them anything less than one of the strongest laying breeds.

modern_game_header Modern Game

Modern Games are skinny and lengthy, so they aren’t good for eggs or meat, but they’re great for showing off. They’re a challenge to tame, but once they’re attached to you they may even offer presents.

naked neck 2 Naked Neck

The Naked Neck breed has no feathers around the neck, hence the name. However, they’re excellent dual purpose birds and are very resilient to most diseases, making them a great choice for beginners.

new_hampshire_red_header New Hampshire Red

Consistent with eggs and heavy with meat, the New Hampshire Red is truly a utility bird. They’re considered very tame and friendly with little or no aggressive tendencies when kept with their own breed.
old_english_game_header Old English Game

Old English Game are poor layers and poor meat producers, but they’re the number one most popular show breed. Just be ready to face tough competition since hundredss of these birds compete each year.
orpington_header Orpington

Orpingtons can do it all, whether it be laying 200 eggs a year, offering a lot of meat when matured, or being easy to handle and show. These are just a good chicken for all occasion.
pendesenca_header Penedesenca

The Penedesenca is unique in that no other breed can produce eggs as dark as they can. They also make great meat birds, but their unrecognized status makes them difficult to act as show birds.
phoenix_header Phoenix

The Phoenix breed is famous for its incredibly long tail, making them wonderful in the show circuit. They aren’t, however, very good at anything else and do require a lot of care to keep their tails undamaged.
plymouth_rock_header Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rocks may just be the most popular breed in the US due to their excellent egg laying and hearty frames that make for a good meal. They’re also easy to tame and non-aggressive. What’s not to like?
polish_header Polish

The Polish breed is best known for their magnificent V-shaped crest, making them great as show birds. They also have a decent egg laying ability, though this isn’t as reliable as other breeds.
redcap_header Redcap

Redcaps are best at laying eggs, so that’s what their primary purpose should be. They’re considered endangered, so meat production isn’t an option, and they hate confinement, so showing isn’t either.
rhode_island_red_header Rhode Island Red

The Rhode Island Red can be used for anything. They’re prized for their 220 eggs a year production, but are hearty meat birds and popular in shows. There’s nothing this chicken can’t do.
rosecomb_header Rosecomb

Rosecombs are a true bantam and as such are used primarily on the show circuit since they don’t lay much and aren’t large enough for a meal. Expect to see a lot of these if you go to a show.
russian_orlaff_header Russian Orloff

Big, strong, and capable of dealing with the harshest winters, the Russian Orloff is a great layer and a great fryer. However, they are considered very endangered, so make sure to breed them frequently.
sebright_header Sebright

The Sebright is a bantam built for the show world. They are very active birds, but they aren’t aggressive and aren’t very loud, so this is a great chicken for someone needing an easy time.
sicilian_buttercup_header Sicilian Buttercup

The Sicilian Buttercup is classified as an egg laying breed despite having poor egg laying abilities. They are most popular as show chickens, so if you want an egg layer with a better purpose, these are your bird.
silkie_bantam_header Silkie Bantam

Silkie Bantams look like a little ball of fluff due to their unique feathers. They are small, as the bantam name suggests, and do not work as anything but a show bird. Still, they’re considered very friendly.
star_header Star

Stars are very special, working as egg layers, meat producers, and excellent show birds. Their best talent may be as a sex link for breeding purposes. If you want specific characteristics in other breeds, use a Star.
sultan_header Sultan

The Sultan breed is all about the shows due to their odd feather placement like a turban on theri head and long tufts coming from their feet. They’re also very placid, adding to the reasons for being show birds.
sumatra_header Sumatra

Sumatras are best when they’re shown around, but can’t really provide you with a decent meal either with eggs or meat. They’re prized due to their many feathers, glorious tails, and uniquely colored faces.
sussex_header Sussex

The Sussex breed is magnificent as egg layers, able to keep egg production high even through the winter months. They also have quite a following as show birds because of their easy-going temperament.
welsummer_header Welsummer

Welsummers are great layers and have a pleasant attitude about everything. When choosing eggs to incubate and breed from, select the lighter-colored eggs as these indicate better laying abilities.
white-faced_black_spanish_header White-Faced Black Spanish

The White-Faced Black Spanish breed is known for its iconic look with very white faces due to their unusually long white earlobes. They make great egg layers, but their temperament is all up to debate.
wyandotte_header Wyandotte

The Wyandotte looks deceptively large, though that’s mostly caused by the feathers. They are great egg layers and considered very friendly and easy to care for, making them good for beginners.
yokohama Yokohama

Yokohamas work best as show birds since they don’t lay very well and just simply have too good of an appearance to waste. They aren’t very friendly though, so they don’t do well with humans and other chickens.