Popular Breeds of Chickens

Popular Breed of Chickens in the US

Most people probably know that chicken is a good source of lean meat as well as nutritious eggs. However, since most people buy their chicken meat or eggs from their local grocery or retail stores, they may not know the various breeds of chickens available on the market today. With that in mind, here is a look at some of the most popular breeds of chickens in America today:

Araucana Chicken

Araucana is a medium-size chicken breed reared in many American farms and residential backyards since the 1930s. It consists of various varieties such as Silver Duckwing, Black-breasted Red, and Golden Duckwing. According to the Araucana Club of America, this breed originated from a part of Chile that is home to the Araucana Indians and it acquired the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1976. Araucana cocks weigh about 5.5 pounds while hens weigh about four pounds. This breed has distinctively small combs and its hens lay medium-sized blue or blue-green eggs. In terms of physical appearance, the Araucana breed has clumps of feathers growing in its ears and spots a willow-colored shank.

Booted Bantam Chicken

Booted Bantam chicken have feathered legs, long feathers protruding from the rump (tail), and bright red wattles. Cocks tend to have medium-size earlobes while hens have small earlobes. This has made Booted Bantam a popular ornamental chicken breed regularly presented at poultry exhibitions. It is a native of Belgium and gained admission into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1914. Besides their great ornamental looks, Booted Bantam hens are great at rearing chicks when they go broody. Poultry enthusiasts love Booted Bantam chicken because they are mild-mannered, calm, and friendly. However, they require tall fencing because they are good fliers and can easily clear low fences around their coops or yards.

Americana Game Bantam Chicken

Just like Booted Bantam, Americana Game Bantam is a popular ornamental chicken breed that gained admission into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 2009. In spite of this, Americans have been rearing this breed since the 1940’s. It consists of varieties such as Blue-Breasted, Birchen, Brassy Back, Golden Duckwing, Black, Blue, White, Wheaten, Red Pyle, and Black-Breasted Red chicken. It thrives well in both cold and hot environments. In addition, it has thin and smooth earlobes as well as wattles that are red in color. If you would like to raise chickens the traditional way, this breed’s hens tend to be great mothers.

Andalusian Chicken

This breed is a perfect choice for anyone looking for great egg layers and sources of lean meat. Andalusian Chicken originated from England in 1846, arrived in the US around 1850 to 1855, and gained admission into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874. This breed is known for tolerating heat well making it ideal for raising in southern parts of the US that tend to be hot such as California, Texas and Florida. They also thrive well in cold areas though their combs are prone to frostbite.Weight wise, cocks will tip the scales at seven pounds and hens at 5.5 pounds. On the appearance front, they have slate bluish feathers with a tinge of glossy black hue.According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Andalusian chicken have been included in its Conservation Priority List because they are becoming rare by the day.

Buckeye Chicken

Buckeye is a sturdy chicken breed that has been around since the 1800s in parts of the US including Ohio and Cleveland. One can rear this multi-purpose breed for meat or eggs production. Farmers and poultry enthusiasts love this breed because it is mild-mannered, a good forager, not prone to flying, and generally thrives well under confinement. Moreover, they have stocky bodies, meaty thighs, as well as broad backs and breasts. Their feathers have a mahogany reddish color. Cocks have an average weight of nine pounds while hens are much lighter at 6.5 pounds. If you are planning to rear this fast-growing chicken breed, you should invest in quality high-protein feed to meet their high nutritional demands.

Australop Chicken

Reared in the US for decades, this breed is a prolific egg layer. Additionally, it is popular among farmers and urban dwellers because it is an excellent forager, great meat producer, and ideal to rear in environments where there are small children due to its medium size. Cocks will tip the scales at about 8.5 pounds and hens at 7.5 pounds. Australop chicken gained admission into the APA’s Standard of Perfection in 1929.

According to the American Heart Association, chicken meat is healthier compared to beef, pork, or lamb meat because it has less saturated fats. The good news is you can raise breeds of chickens such as Booted Bantam, Buckeye, Araucana, Australop, and Andalusian at home to provide meat and eggs. Depending on your needs choose from the popular breed of chickens.