Keeping Pet Chickens

|

A Guide To Keeping Chickens At Home

Archive for the ‘Breeds Of Chickens’ Category

Wyandotte Chickens

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Wyandotte Chickens Are Hardy, Docile & Friendly Chickens.

Wyandotte Chickens Background & Appearance.

 wyandotte chicken image
Wyandottes originated in the US in the mid 19th century and first appeared as the Silver Laced Wyandotte variety. It’s not sure which chickens the breed originated from but it’s thought that Cochins, Brahmas & Hamburgs were involved in starting this strain. (more…)

Plymouth Rock or Barred Rock Chickens

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

Plymouth Rock Chickens Most Common Colour Is The Barred Rock Chicken.

Plymouth Rock Chicken Background & Appearance.

plymouth rock chicken barred varietyThe Plymouth Rock is an American breed of chicken, bred in the mid 19th century at New England. There’s a difference between the British type and the US type, as the chicken is taller and a different shape in the UK.

The breed is also known as the Barred Rock Chicken after their most common colour. Further colours have divided this breed, available colours are barred, columbian, buff columbian, partridge and blue laced. (more…)

Pekin Bantams

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Pekin Bantams Are A Very Attractive Breed That Will Adorn Any Garden

Pekin Bantams Background & Appearance.

pekin bantams imageThere are a lot of confusions in the chicken world between the bantam type of Cochin chickens and the Pekin Bantam. The Cochin bantam has a full sized fowl, whereas the Pekin is classified as a true bantam, having no large fowl counterpart.

Both Cochins and Pekins were imported from China in the mid 19th century. Pekin lovers insist the birds were stolen from the Emperor of Chinas private collection, whilst other chicken fanciers believe that the Pekin is a derivative of the Cochin. (more…)

Old English Game Chickens OEG

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Old English Game Chickens, Probably The First Breed Developed In Britain.

Old English Game Background & Behaviour.

oeg old english game imageThe Old English Game (OEG) has its origins in Britain and has long been a popular fighting bird. The overall appearance of the OEG is of a well rounded muscular chicken. OEGs are small birds with a tightly feathered plumage. The head is small with a big, strong beak, single comb, small thin earlobes and wattles and large eyes.

Although fighting is now illegal in most countries, the males were dubbed to prevent injury during fights. Dubbing is the removal or trimming of the combs and wattles. Dubbing is still performed for some exhibition birds. (more…)

New Hampshire Chickens

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

New Hampshire Chickens Another Perfect Breed For The Beginner.

New Hampshire Chickens Background & Appearance.

new hampshire red chicken imageNew Hampshire chickens are a favorite in the US and are rapidly gaining popularity in the UK. The New Hampshire Red is derived from the Rhode Island Red chicken by selective breeding of certain characteristics, for instance; rapid full feathering, large brown egg laying and fast maturity. Only the rhodies blood line was used.

Although the large bird was developed in the New England region, the bantam variety was developed in the Netherlands. (more…)

Jersey Giant Chickens

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

Jersey Giant Chickens, Are They The Worlds Largest Chicken?

Jersey Giant Chickens Background & Appearance.

jersey giant chicken imageThis bird was developed in New Jersey USA around 1870 as a dual purpose bird. It was originally known as the Jersey Black Giant, not because of any colouring but simply to acknowledge the Black brothers, John & Thomas, who developed this fine breed.

They are thought to have been developed from crosses of Brahmas, Langshans and Orpingtons. At a later stage Australorps were introduced to the strain with the result being that apart from the size difference, they look remarkably alike. (more…)

Hamburg Chickens

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Hamburg Chickens A Large Elegant Chook Who Needs Space.

Hamburg Chickens Background & Appearance.

hamburg uk holland chicken imageAlthough Hamburg Chickens originated in Northern Europe, they have been bred in the UK for over 300 years, where they were originally named ‘Mooneys’ or ‘Pheasants’. These names stuck until the mid 1800′s and they then reverted to being called Hamburgs or Hollands. (This is not the same as the US breed named Holland).

These birds are smart and elegant and come in a variety of colours. namely White, Black, Silver Spangled, Silver Penciled, Golden Spangled, Golden Penciled. (more…)

Frizzle Chickens

Monday, February 7th, 2011

Frizzle Chickens With Their ‘Backcombed Feathers’

Frizzle Chickens Background & Appearance.

frizzle chicken pictureThe Frizzle is thought to have originated in Southern Asia around 300 years ago, but the history is a little sketchy as some Frizzles were documented to have neen kept in Europe in the 17th century.

This breed of chicken is generally regarded as an exhibition breed, the bantam variety being much more popular than the larger type. In fact the larger bird was virtually extinct, until a group of breeders set up an intensive program to promote them, they are still considered rare today. (more…)

Dorkings Chickens

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Dorking Chickens Are Possibly The Oldest British Chicken Breed.

Dorkings Chickens Background & Appearance.

dorking chicken pictureDorkings were brought from Italy to Britain during the time of the Roman Invasion in AD43, making them one of the oldest breeds in the UK.

Dorkings are a dual purpose largish bird. Cocks weigh about 9 ponds and the hens 7 lbs.

Colours range from silver-grey, red, white, dark and cuckoo. It is interesting to note that the colours also dictate the comb type of the Dorking. The silver-grey and red varieties should possess a single comb, whilst the white and cuckoo should have a rose comb. (more…)

Campines Chickens

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Campines Chickens Are A Lively Small Breed That Prefer Free Ranging.

Campine Chickens Background & Appearance.

campine chicken pictureIt is generally accepted that Campines originated in the Antwerp area of Belgium, but some experts believe they are descended from the Egyptian Fayoumi chicken. They are very similar to another Belgian breed the Braekel chicken which looks like a larger version of the Campine.

This bird has been bred in two different colours; the golden campine and the silver campine. The gold birds  head and neck is gold with the remainder of the bird being beetle–green, the difference with the silver bird is the head and neck is white. (more…)

Brahma Chickens

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Brahma Chickens Are A Very Large Chook, With Profuse Feathering.

Brahmas Background & Appearance.

brahma chicken pictureBrahma Chickens originated in the Brahmaputra region of India. They were imported to the UK & US in the mid 1800′s. Originally known as the  Brahma Poutras Chicken.

Brahma Chickens are quite majestic and are sometimes referred to as the King Of Chickens due to their large size, the cocks can weigh between 11 & 12 pounds. They seem even bigger as they have a profuse of feathers which extend down their legs and onto their feet. (more…)

Barnevelders Chickens

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Barnevelder Chickens A Good Tempered Chicken

Barnevelders Background & Appearance.

barnevelders chicken photoThis bird originated in the Netherlands and was imported to the UK & US in the early 1920′s. The birds are a dual purpose medium to heavy chicken and come in a range of colours.

Colours range from black, white, double laced, blue, brown and blue double laced.

 The most attractive and popular colour is the double laced, giving rise to dark hackle feathers that are tinged bottle green.

Both sexes posess a single comb and have prominent orange eyes and yellow legs. (more…)

Australorp Chickens | Australorps Breed Information

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Australorp Chickens Or Australorps Make Great Pets For Children.

Australorps Background & Appearance.

ausralorps chicken pictureAustralorp is a name that derives from Australian Black Orpington. It came about from some Australian stock birds imported into the UK being crossed with Black Orpingtons at around 1920. Therefore the Australorp can claim to have both Australian and British origins. (more…)

Andalusian Chickens

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Andalusian Chickens, A Soft Feathered Spanish Chicken

Andalusian Chickens Background & Appearance.

andalusian chicken pictureThis soft feathered bird originated in Andalucia, Spain and developed from black & white stock in the mid 19th century. They are classified as Mediterranean birds and are similar to other fowl in this range, having close soft feathers.

Fifty years ago the breed had become a rarity, but it seems to have regained it’s popularity and is now shown in many countries around the world. (more…)

Ancona Chickens

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Ancona Chickens A great Egg Layer.

Ancona Chickens Background & Appearance

ancona chicken picture

These chickens are an ideal beginners bird. They originate from a port in Italy called (you guessed it!) Ancona. They were shipped to the UK in the mid 19th century and a few years later it was exported to other countries including the USA.

They were first thought to be a member of the Leghorn family, particularly from the Mottled Leghorn, but this is now known to be untrue. (more…)

Dominique Chickens Also Known As Dominicker

Monday, January 31st, 2011

Dominique Chickens Have A Very Hardy Constitution

Dominique Chickens Background & Appearance.

dominique chicken dominicker pilgrim fowl pictureThe Dominique (which is also referred to as the Dominicker or Pilgrim Fowl) was once the most common backyard chicken in America. It is also regarded as the oldest breed of chicken in America and probably descended from chickens brought in during the colonial era.

The main reasons for this chickens breed popularity was the chooks possess a very hardy constitution along with their heavy plumage giving them excellent protection during bad winters. This breed weighs in on average at 7lb at maturity.

The barred feathering also gives them excellent camouflage when foraging in shady areas, making them practically invisible from predators. (more…)

Sussex Chickens

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Sussex Chickens – A Very Popular Backyard Breed

Sussex Chickens History & Appearance

picture of sussex chickenSussex Chickens were developed from the Speckled Barn hen as far back as when the Romans invaded Britain in AD43. Originally they were a dark bird but later interbreeding with Cochin stock led to the Light Sussex which in turn increased the egg laying numbers.

Nowadays there are several colours which include brown, red, white, silver, speckled, buff and cuckoo.

The Sussex has a single comb and red ear lobes, the legs are white and they possess a solid rectangular shape body with the tail sticking out at 45 degrees. All in all the Sussex Chicken is a typical farmyard bird and will grace any backyard. (more…)

Maran Chickens Breed Information

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Maran Chickens, Great Backyard Hens

Maran Chickens Appearance And Background

Marans ChickensOften called Cuckoo Marans because of their colouring, however fowl of this breed are found in many colours including black, white, wheaten, golden, silver cuckoo and brassy black.

They have a medium sized single comb, beware of some strains that have been bred purely for eggs as this could result in oddly shaped combs and incorrect leg colour, which should be white.

(more…)

Poland Chickens Also Known As Polish or Paduaner

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Poland Chickens With Their Big Hair Do

Poland Chickens Background & Appearance

poland polish paduan chickenThe Poland is instantly recognised by their huge feathered crest which resembles an eighties ‘big hair do’. Some of the breed display a small horned comb in the front of their ball shaped headdress.

You’d think that the birds originated in Poland, but the name is actually derived from the word polled and the breed is thought to originate in Russia. (more…)

Cochin Chickens

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Cochin Chickens ‘The Big Bird’

Cochin Chickens Appearance

Cochin ChickensThese birds began to arrive from the Far East in the mid nineteenth century. Originally referred to as the Shanghai, they are sometimes erroneously called the Peking as the bantams resemble the Peking bantams.

They are a large bird, in fact one of the biggest chicken breeds we have. The cocks can reach over 5Kg and the hens usually weigh in at just under 4Kg. (more…)

Welsummer Chickens

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Welsummer Chickens, Lay Eyecatching Eggs.

Welsummer Chickens Appearance.

Welsummer Chickens Brown EggsOriginating from the Dutch village of Welsum, the Welsummer has descended from a mixture of Rhode Island Red, Cochin, Wyandotte, Barnevelder and Leghorn Chickens.

In the majority of cases the birds are usuually found in one colour, the  hens resemble a female brown Leghorn and the cocks are like a black-red Old English Game.

(more…)

Buff Orpington Chickens

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Buff Orpington Chickens | A Great Breed For The Novice Chicken Keeper.

Buff Orpington Chickens, Appearance & Background

Buff Orpington ChickensThe Orpington Chicken was first introduced at the London Dairy Show of 1886. The first strain was the black variety, but due to popular demand for the breed it wasn’t long before  white and buff varieties were added.

Today many more variations are found including blue, partridge, cuckoo, buff-black, laced, birchen and Columbian are quite common.

(more…)

Leghorn Chickens

Saturday, August 21st, 2010

Leghorn Chickens Are Consistently Good Layers…

Leghorn Chickens, Appearance & Background

leghorn chickensLeghorn Chickens  originate from the Italian city of Livarno, (the German translation of the city is Leghorn). Although the development of the breeds various strains developed in many other countries. Initially the breed was known as Italians Chickens when they were first introduced to the US in the early 1800′s, but the name Leghorn got globally accepted later. (more…)

Araucana Chickens

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Araucana Chickens | The ‘Blue Egg’ Layers

Araucana Chickens, Appearance & Background

araucana chickensTwo types of Araucana Chickens are commonly found in most countries today, the tailed and rumpless. The rumpless breed is more typical of the original strain, first kept by the Arauca Indians of Chile many years ago. It is sometimes thought the Araucana is a hybrid of the Collonca, a rumpless breed which produces blue eggs, and the tufted Quetro. (more…)

Rhode Island Red Chickens

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Rhode Island Red Chickens, Great Egg Layers?

Rhode Island Red Chickens, Appearance & Background.

Rhode Island Red Chicken

Rhode Island Red Chickens or simply Rhode Island Chickens as they are known in their native U.S.A. have rust coloured feathers, but in some countries there is a white variety. In the red strain the comb can either be the more commonly seen single or it can be a rose comb. The rose comb is considered more correct in the white strain. (more…)

Silkie Chickens

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Silkie Chickens Make Great Pets For The Family

Silkie Chickens Background

silkie chickenSilkies are a light breed of chicken approx 1.5kg – 2 kg that arrived from China to the western world around the 1300′s. It is reported that Marco Polo was responsible for introducing the birds to the USA. (more…)