Chicken breeds come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Some have feathers that look like a rainbow exploded on their head, while others might resemble a fluffy cotton ball. You may be wondering what the difference is between one breed to another. What’s the story behind these unique-looking fowl? Read on to find out!
This chicken breed originates from the Appenzell region of Switzerland and is a popular show bird. Their name means “little pointed hood” and refers to their crest, which can resemble a little monk’s cap or beret. They also have large walnut-shaped combs that hang over their eyes like floppy caps.
Appenzeller Spitzhauben roosters get quite feisty during mating season and will fight other roosters with vigor! The hens lay about 150-170 eggs per year, but not all at once—laying sessions usually take place every 2-3 days throughout the year (Schell).
This Dutch breed has feathers that look like they’ve been combed—in a forward direction. This chicken breed has dark brown feathers and chickens with red earlobes.
Barnevelder chickens are friendly, active, and will make their presence known when they want food! They’re also well suited to cold climates because of their long legs and extended feather coverage (Schell).
This large breed is popular among backyard chickens for its friendliness, calm demeanor, and the fact that both the roosters and hens incubate eggs well. Brahmas can weigh up to 13 pounds and have fluffy feathers all over their body. The roosters usually have bright blue wattles, while the hens tend to be more subdued in color.
This breed is best known for its feathers—they have large, fun-shaped fluff balls on their heads. Cochin chickens have a characteristic “coconut” or top-knot, which used to be made into fancy hair ornaments. They also have fluffy plumage—combine that with their red earlobes, and they look like toy drumsticks!
Cochins are friendly chickens that get along well with other chickens. Their docile behavior makes them a great choice for children’s pets (Schell).
These chickens have dark grayish-blue legs and feet, while their breast feathers are white. The feathers around the neck form a ruffled collar, while the comb is large and peaked on top of the head. Crevecoeur’s may look like roosters afar, but if you get too close, you’ll see their combs are flesh-colored.
Crevecoeur’s chickens mate for life and make excellent mothers. They rarely brood but will readily accept chicks from other hens (Schell).
This breed is one of the oldest chickens to be domesticated and originally came from England. Due to a long history as a farm chicken, Dorkings have adapted to different climates and lifestyles well—making them a popular backyard chicken option! Their legs are strong, and they love scratching under the soil for tasty tidbits. Roosters can weigh up to 7 pounds while hens max out around 5 pounds.
Crevecoeur chickens are chickens that have a fluffy crest.
This breed is native to the Normandy region of France, where it was first recorded in the 18th century. The Crevecoeurs were originally bred as ornamental chickens, and roosters only had the right to crow at sunrise under French law.
Lakenvelder chickens, which are named for their lacy white leg feathering, come from Germany and were imported into England around 1860. Lakefield chickens got their name because they have a very distinctive type of feather on their legs: A band of lighter-colored feathers separates darker ones above and below it along most of its length. Different colors can be found among these chickens depending upon where they originate from in Germany – with some chickens being almost all white and others having a much higher percentage of black.
Easter Eggers chickens originate from chickens that we’re able to produce eggs of various colors. You may know these chickens as Ameraucanas, but they are actually a specific breed of Easter Egger chickens with speckled patterns and blue legs and beaks (common among many Easter Eggers chickens).
These chickens come from the Netherlands, where they have been bred since the 12th century. They were named after the town of Barneveld in Gelderland province – which is where they were first bred for their meat. Once dressed, roosters can weigh up to 9 pounds and hens around 7 pounds.
The Polish chicken has a crest on its head that it will puff out when feeling threatened. They are one of the largest chickens – with hens weighing an average of 6 1/2 pounds and roosters around 7 1/2.
Mottled Houdan Chickens
The Mottled Houdan chickens came to us from France, where they were first recorded in the 18th century in the region between Chartres and Vendome.
Their name is thought to have come from their mottled appearance (with white patches set against dark brown feathers), which reminded people of designs on hand fans that were popular at that time.
La Fleche Chickens
The La Fleche chickens have a sharp beak and went from France to England around 1780. Their name comes from the French words ‘la Flesche,’ which means arrow.
Because chickens with crazy hair are often quite docile, they make excellent pets for children of all ages. They rarely brood but will readily accept chicks from other hens (Schell). The chickens do not like to be confined, so it is best to let them free-range or provide them with plenty of room to run around.
Frizzle chickens have a characteristic cockscomb and curly feathers.
Frizzle chickens can either be bred intentionally, or they can occur by accident when two breeds that possess the frizzle trait are crossbred. When chickens with this trait were first developed, they were intentionally bred for their unique appearance. They became especially common in Great Britain between 1850-1950 (Schell). Modern chickens originally came from Asia and eventually spread to other continents such as Africa, Europe, and North America over time. Chickens with crazy hair emerged in the 12th century when chickens were brought back from China and India to Europe, where selective breeding created all of the chickens we see today (Schrader).
Silkies are extremely adorable little chickens with fuzzy feathers. They’re lovely and calm birds with more fluffy and silky feathers than most. It almost looks like someone brushed their curly hair, which has now become one big puff of cuteness! Silkies also have a crest of feathers on their head, which is why they’re sometimes referred to as Chinese crested chickens. They originated centuries ago in Asia and were imported to England in 1835 (the same year the chickens with crazy hair were first seen).
Chickens with crazy hair come from different parts of the world and have varied appearances. They make great pets for families who want to rear their own food. So if you have some chickens with crazy hair, feel free to show them off! Just make sure to take good care of them so they can continue being your wonderful pets for many years to come.