When we think of chickens, we don’t often think of how many poultry breeds are out there. Yes, there are different breeds of chicken — even rare types of chickens and here we’ll take a look at some chicken breeds and why they are so unique. You'll see from the chicken picture just how beautiful they are.
First and foremost, the scientific name for a chicken is Gallus Domesticus and all sorts of poultry breeds, both mainstay and hybrids are raised all over the world for pets, for poultry and for their valued egg laying. In total, there are approximately one hundred fifty varieties of chicken breeds.
The F15 is a favourite because of its low live cost and good yield across the live weight range resulting in high current and future commercial potential in the global marketplace. It can have less leg problems and be dryer than other birds. Confirmation is good and it is flexible to be used for a wide range of body weights. An added benefit is the choice of white or yellow skin by simply using a different male - the 99 (white) or the 77 (yellow).
THE COBB OR BLUE FOOT CHICKEN
The Cobb or Blue Foot chicken is an American variety of the French Pullet de Breese breed. It does resemble other chicken breeds, however, the Cobb Chicken has a red comb and white feathers and steel-blue feet. Usually, these Cobb Chickens are slaughtered later than most of their cousin chickens and their feet can be left on for unique presentation. The price of a Cobb can be ten times higher than other poultry breeds and you can get this chicken breed with the head and feet intact. The existence of the Cobb has been credited to Peter Thiessen and Bob Shipley and their breeding techniques used in the late 1980’s.
Ross Chickens are from New Zealand. This chicken breed is created from two main poultry breeds, the Ross chicken from Scotland and the Cobb chicken from the United Kingdom or the United States. These chicken breeds are known for their broad chests, white feet, and a ferocious appetite that enables them to grow at rapid paces. They are popular breeds of chicken for home poultry keepers and each one or two years, new batches of fertile eggs are hatched to maintain a parent flock. Subsequently the new flock produces chickens for poultry production.
THE BOVAN GOLDLINE BREED
The Bovan Goldline Breed is a cross or hybrid breed and can be very friendly and with their strong immune system, they are known for their egg laying. This breed of chickens will eat right out of your hand and can lay up to 330 brown eggs in their first year. With shades of brown and cream feathering, these chickens are hardy and are easy to handle for first time breeders. They are naturally inquisitive and love to please which is evident from the amount of eggs they can produce, along with their pleasant nature.
Perhaps now is a good time to mention the good old Rooster. How does one tell the difference between a hen and rooster? While in every breed there can be differences, roosters will always have what are called spurs, no matter the breed. You can also tell from the chicken’s crow, as hens do not crow. Finally, compare tails; roosters have longer and curlier feathers hanging from the back. One final note is the rooster’s shine compared to the hen. Because roosters have an oil gland near the tail, they do oil themselves from time to time to get a nice sheen. Roosters can also have a pecking order of Alpha Rooster if there is more than one in the coop.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT CHICKENS
There are some interesting facts about chickens that not everyone is aware of. If a chicken coop has no rooster, one of the hens, no matter what breed of chicken will try and assume the role of top chicken. It can crow and even try and mate with other hens and rarely, but sometimes, will even grow spurs. The chicken most likely originated in Southwest Asia emerging as jungle fowl and then becoming popular for their poultry meat. More fun facts on chickens, which can vary from chicken breed to chicken breed, is that they do use their beaks to explore, the more hours of daylight a chicken has, the more eggs it will lay, and they can use different calls, sounds, and cackles to indicate danger.
Chickens can also mourn and not just other chickens. They can be sad if an owner changes or an owner leaves for a long period. Chickens and varied chicken breeds can sulk as well and are more intelligent than they are given credit for. They also tend to like to be in groups rather than alone and they adjust well as pets.
THE RHODE ISLAND RED
One of the most popular poultry breeds in the United States is the Rhode Island Red and most people may not know its breed but recognize it by sight. While raised all over, they are so popular in the state of Rhode Island that it is their state bid. When smaller farmers lost out in the economy, so did the Rhode Island Red, but now that more and more large breeders are coming back, so are this breed of chicken. They produce many eggs, but are more desirable for their meat and are often raised and sold for their poultry.
THE PLYMOUTH ROCK
Another chicken breed is the Plymouth Rock, or the Barred Plymouth Rock chicken. These used to be thought of as a dual-purpose chicken, used for both eggs and their poultry. Able to stand cold weather, they don’t mind confinement but do better when they can run free. In the past, this breed was popular for it’s poultry, however, today it is rare in all varieties.
THE WHITE LEGHORN
The White Leghorn Chicken is well known for its poultry purposes, especially in the United States. Pronounced “Leggern,” these chickens lay large white eggs each and every day. Although considered to be a nervous chicken, many breeders claim they can also be tame and very friendly. Often, petroleum jelly is used on their beaks to prevent frostbite in the cooler months. They are probably as popular for their extra large white eggs as they are for their meat.
THE NON-WHITE LEGHORN
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Non-White Leghorn chicken, which comes from Italy, and like all Mediterranean chickens they are slim and have large
and white earlobes and are considered to be active and foragers. This variety of chicken is not like its cousin, The White Leghorn, when it comes to egg laying and while it does fair, it can’t keep up with the amount or size of its cousin.
THE CORNISH CHICKEN
The Cornish chicken breed is what farmers like to call their “good ole meat chicken.” They are stocky with close-fitting feathers and most likely sprang from the Southwest of England. They are not outdoorsy and usually kept confined. They are large at over eight pounds and when they do lay eggs, they are brown and small. These chickens don’t mate often due to their size and are a popular poultry breed.
SILKIE BANTAM CHICKEN
Our final chicken pictures are of the Silkie Bantam chicken, an ornamental breed. One of the more unusual poultry breeds. Perhaps these are the most loved of all chickens and resemble the tiny face of a Shiatsu dog. Originally bred in China, where they are still eaten, they have black skin and bones and five toes instead of the standard four. They are wonderful mothers and a unique chicken breed.
Poultry breeds and, in particular, chicken breeds can range from the Andalusian, White-Faced Black Spanish (aka Clownface) and the Catalana to the Chinese Silkie and everything in between. Here we have shown and talked about a few, but a quick search on the internet, will land you many more photographs and descriptions on all breeds, varieties, and information on the wonderful world of chickens!
A list of poultry breeds with comparative information ...
More poultry breeds ...
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