The 25 Best Chicken Breeds and How to Choose One for You

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Chickens can be great pets and a useful food source. No matter why you're planning to keep chickens, here's what you need to know about the best chicken breeds. That's why we put different chickens together. You can look through this list and find large, bantam, laying or simple pet chickens.

You're sure to find a chicken that's right for you!

What Makes the Best Chicken Breeds?

Black-bone Roosters Roaming in the Yard
Some people want chickens for friends, some people want chickens for food!

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Finding the right chicken breed for you is all about figuring out what you want. If you want to get eggs from chickens, you're going to need a chicken that lays a lot of eggs. Someone looking for a different breed of chicken as a pet may want a sweet and small bird such as a bantam.

25 Best Chicken Breeds

Chicken: Rooster crows
The 25 best chicken breeds mix farm animals, docile animals, and friendly breeds.

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We've put together a list of such diverse chicken breeds, including their size, temperament, egg production, and other physical characteristics. When you browse through our list of the 25 best chicken breeds, you'll know which one is right for you!

1. Rhode Island Red Chicken

Rhode Island Red Chicken

©Ariene Studio/Shutterstock.com

Sizes: 6-10 lbs

Egg production: about 200 to 250 eggs per year

Temperament: Friendly but somewhat rowdy animal, although roosters can be aggressive.

About: Rhode Island Reds tend to have reddish-brown plumage, red wattles and comb, and yellow feet. They are easily identifiable from the overall appearance. These types of chickens are great for beginners and will thrive in both farm and home settings.

2. Buff Orpington Chicken

Buff Orpington Chicken

©Tyler T. Photography/Shutterstock.com

Sizes: 6-10 lbs

Egg production: 250-300 eggs per year

Temperament: Despite its size, it is mild-tempered.

About: Buff Orpington is usually light yellow. They start out as yellow chicks and then develop slightly darker feathers. These chicken breeds are able to survive inclement weather and they lay brown eggs. These types of chickens are great for people who want to raise eggs and meat.

3. Laihang Chicken

Laihang Chicken

© Jay-Dee/Shutterstock.com

Size: 4-6 lbs

Egg production: 250-280 eggs per year

Temperament: Highly intelligent skittish chicken. They can also be noisy, so they don't make great pets.

About: Laihang Chicken is iconic. They're the type of chicken breed most people imagine if they've never been to a farm before. These chickens are great for someone looking for a quality egg-laying breed, but they are not good as pets. They will tolerate your presence in the coop, but they will not warm to you or appreciate excessive treatment.

4. Brahma Chicken

Brahma Chicken

©Adrian Eugen Ciobaniuc/Shutterstock.com

Sizes: 7-12 lbs

Egg production: 120-150 eggs per year

Temperament: Brahma chickens are a very quiet chicken breed and they are not flighty.  

About: The Brahma Chickens breed is a very versatile beauty. Their calm nature makes them great pets, but they are also good at laying eggs. You can even raise Brahma's for meat, as they are quite large animals. You don't have to worry about these types of chickens flying, though. That means it's easy to create a nice range for them in your yard.

5. Sussex Chicken

Sussex Chicken

©Erwin Bosman/Shutterstock.com

Size: 7-9 lbs

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Egg production: 200-250 eggs per year

Temperament: Docile but wary

About: Sussex chickens are good egg producers as well as meat. They are docile, which makes them ideal for people who want a breed of chicken for pets. They can be motivated by food. These birds come in many different colors such as red and silver. They can also contain beautiful speckled patterns.

6. Plymouth rock chicken

Plymouth rock chicken

©Jennifer de Graaf/Shutterstock.com

Size: 6-8 lbs

Egg production: 180-210 eggs per year

Temperament: Easygoing

About: The Plymouth Rock Chicken breed is good for both meat and eggs and excels at both. These chickens are also beautiful, so they're perfect for anyone wanting a show bird. Plymouth Rock's became popular during World War II. They occur on family farms in the United States and Europe. They are known as the Barred breed with white and black plumage!

7. Australorp Chicken

Size: 3-6 lbs

Australian Chicken

©Andrea J Smith/Shutterstock.com

Egg production: 230-260 per year

Temperament: Docile but shy with new owners

About: The Australorp Chicken breed is a medium sized breed, known as the black variety. These chickens make decent pets, but they really shine when it comes to laying eggs. These birds can regularly lay over 200 eggs per year, with some world egg laying records coming from Australorp!

8. Silkie

Silkie, also known as silkie or Chinese black-bone chicken.
Silkie, also known as silkie or Chinese black-bone chicken.

©Andi111/Shutterstock.com

Size: 2-4 lbs

Egg production: 140-160

Temperament: Kind and calm

About: Silkies are the perfect chicken breed for finding a mate. These particular types of chicken breeds are often considered bantams in some parts of the world due to their small size, but even the largest chickens are not too large. Although they can lay eggs, people love silkies as pets for their softness, feathers, and good-natured dispositions!

9. Red Star Chicken

Red Star Chicken

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Size: 6-8 lbs

Egg production: 300 or more per year

Temperament: easy-going

About: The Red Star Chicken breed is also known as ISA Browns, a breed of commercial chicken known for its egg production. These chickens tend to have reddish-brown plumage, red wattles and combs, and orange eyes. They can be friendly with humans as they get used to them, but these chickens are much better as farm animals than as pets.

10. Malan Chicken

Malan Chicken

©Irina Kozorog/Shutterstock.com

Size: 5-10 lbs

Egg production: 130-150 per year

Temperament: Calm, quiet, able to live in difficult conditions

About: The most interesting aspect of the Malan chicken breed is that it lays chocolate colored eggs! However, it doesn't lay nearly as many eggs as some of the other chickens on this list. They are calm and easygoing chickens, but they are not chickens you would convince to put on your lap.

11. Cochin Chicken

cochin chicken

© penphoto/Shutterstock.com

Sizes: 9-13 lbs

Egg production: 100-140 eggs per year

Temperament: quiet and friendly

Description: The Cochin Breed is a large, fluffy chicken that is very friendly to humans that live around it. Interestingly, their legs have feathers that make them look like boots. These chickens are easygoing and good with people, so they do well in a backyard coop.

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12. Polish Chicken

Bird with the Craziest Hair: Polish Chicken
Polish Chicken

©iStock.com/500

Size: 4-6 lbs

Egg production: up to 100 eggs per year

Temperament: Irritable until they get used to the routine

About: The Polish chicken is an interesting breed, most known for the stunning crest of feathers on its head. These chickens also come in many colors. They are great show animals, but their vision can be obstructed by their feathers, making them prone to panic attacks. They are no longer great spawners, but they can make interesting pets.

13. New Hampshire Red Chicken

New Hampshire Red Chicken

©Jesper Frehr/Shutterstock.com

Size: 7-8 lbs

Egg production: 200 or more per year

Temperament: Varies, but can be aggressive or mean

About: The New Hampshire Red is a well-known breed similar to the Rhode Island Red. This breed is excellent for egg and meat production, and they mature quickly. They will do well in your enclosed area and they are very litterous when it comes to spawning. These chickens tend to have reddish-brown plumage, yellow legs, red wattles and combs.

14. d'Uccle, Belgium

belgian uncle

© Susan Flashman/Shutterstock.com

Size: Up to 2 lbs

Egg production: 100-150 per year

Temperament: calm and kind

Introduction: The Belgian d'Uccle is a bantam that makes a good pet, but not as a laying or broiler chicken. These chickens often have beards and hoods on their heads, giving them a unique look. They are chicks prone to the desire to fly. They can come in many different colors such as red and brown.

15. Nanjing Bantam

Nanjing Bantam

©Adrian Delsi/Shutterstock.com

Size: 1-1.5 lbs

Egg production: 100 eggs per year

Temperament: Good tempered, but best kept away from other chickens to prevent bullying.

About: The Nanjing bantam is a breed of bantam that does not have a larger body. They tend to have copper-colored plumage on their bodies and black feathers on their tails. They are small chickens suitable for pets, but of course not suitable for laying eggs or eating meat.

16. Red Cap Chicken

Red Cap Chicken

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Sizes: 5-7.5 lbs

Egg production: 200 per year

Temperament: Active and alert, can be a minority

Description: These chickens are easily recognizable by their rosette-shaped comb on their heads and blue on their legs. These birds may not be the friendliest of the flock, but since they grow to such a large size, they are good for both egg production and meat. These chickens are very alert and fearful of humans, but this will lessen over time.

17. Sultan Chicken

Sudanese Chicken

©Consolvo Images/Shutterstock.com

Size: 4-5 lbs

Egg production: about 50 per year

Temperament: Docile

About: The Sultan chicken is an interesting bird because of its soft feathers and small size. These birds have soft feathers on their heads and feathers on their legs. They're calm enough to make great pets, which helps because they're not good for meat or eggs. These birds are very docile and easily handled by humans.

18. Wyandotte Chicken

Wyandotte Chicken

© Nick Beal/Shutterstock.com

Sizes: 6-9 lbs

Egg production: 200-220 per year

Temperament: Calm, used to being manipulated

About: Wyandotte Chicken is a good meat and egg producer so they are good for the farm. They are also friendly animals. They are used to being handled by humans. Their plumage is interestingly colored, light on the inside and dark on the outside. They are beautiful animals!

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19. Bantam in Boots

boot bantam

©Smiler99/Shutterstock.com

Size: 1.5-2 lbs

Egg production: 150-170 small eggs

Temperament: Friendly

About: The Bantam with Boots is a favorite of people who want to keep chickens as pets. These chicks are known for the interesting feathers on their legs that look like they're wearing feather boots. Although they may look like the Bantam Belgian d'Uccle breed, they are actually different; Booted Bantams don't have beards!

20. Golden Rooster

dumb chicken

©Alicia Cooper/Shutterstock.com

Sizes: 6-10 lbs

Egg production: 130-150 per year

Temperament: Very calm, used to being handled

About: Dorking Chicken are good for egg and meat production and they tend to come in several unique colors including white, red and gray. Accustomed to being handled by humans, these domesticated animals make great farm animals.

21. Frisian Chicken

Frisian Chicken

© RGZV Frankenthal / Creative Commons – License

Size: 3-4 lbs

Egg production: 230 per year

Temperament: More brooding than most

About: These are quality farm chickens that lay a lot of eggs. These chickens are known for their variety of colors, including gold and silver variants. These chickens are great brooders, so they're great for any owner who wants eggs.

22. Barnefield

Barnefeld

©Charlotte Bleijenberg/Shutterstock.com

Size: 5-8 lbs

Egg production: 150-200 medium eggs per year

Temperament: Active but somewhat quiet

About: The Barnevelder is an excellent chicken for the inexperienced as they are tame and easygoing. They are active chickens that are entertaining as pets, but they are also good at eating meat and eggs.

23. Curly Chicken

curly chicken

©HollyHarry/Shutterstock.com

Size: 7-8 lbs

Egg production: 150-200 eggs per year

Temperament: Friendly and gentle

About: Frizzle Chicken has the funniest feathers you'll ever see on a chicken. They have curly feathers that make them look like curly hair! These are good chickens for both egg and meat production, with good yields for both. They also make great pets!

24. Pheasant

pheasant

©Erni/Shutterstock.com

Size: 4-6 lbs

Egg production: 140-160 eggs per year

Temperament: Active, not docile

About: The Campine Chicken isn't the friendliest of birds, so you probably don't want to keep it as a pet. However, they produce hardy, hardy chickens that can live in a wide range of temperatures. Their egg production is moderate, but they are not naturally fond of brooding.

25. Barbu d'Anvers Chicken

balb danvers

©cynoclub/Shutterstock.com

Size: 1.2-1.5 lbs

Egg production: 160-180 eggs per year

Temperament: Friendly but can be aggressive

About: The Barbu d'Anvers Chicken is a bantam breed that lays many eggs due to its small size. They are better suited as ornamental chicken breeds than farm breeds. If you find a bird with a friendly disposition, you can make good pets, but some of them can be aggressive.

Final Thoughts on the Best Chicken Breeds

can chickens fly
Chickens are more diverse than most people think!

© Monticello/Shutterstock.com

Finding the right chicken breed for you is a matter of understanding your needs and the types available. Using this list, you can find chicken breeds that are good as pets and others that are easy to integrate into your existing flock.

Whether you want meat, eggs, or friends, you have many great options when it comes to chicken breeds!

chick closeup
Some chicken breeds make great pets because of their friendly dispositions.

© iStock.com/Peter D

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