List_of_chicken_breeds

List of chicken breeds

There are hundreds of chicken breeds in existence. Domesticated for thousands of years, distinguishable breeds of chicken have been present since the combined factors of geographical isolation and selection for desired characteristics created regional types with distinct physical and behavioral traits passed on to their offspring.

The physical traits used to distinguish chicken breeds are size, plumage color, comb type, skin color, number of toes, amount of feathering, earlobe color, egg color, and place of origin. They are also roughly divided by primary use, whether for eggs, meat, or ornamental purposes, and with some considered to be dual-purpose.

In the 21st century, chickens are frequently bred according to predetermined breed standards set down by governing organizations. The most commonly-used of such standards is the Standard of Perfection published by the American Poultry Association (APA), the oldest livestock organization in the New World. Others include European standards (especially British ones), and that of the American Bantam Association, which deals exclusively with bantam fowl. Only some of the known breeds are included in these publications, and only those breeds are eligible to be shown competitively. There are additionally a few hybrid strains which are common in the poultry world, especially in large poultry farms. These types are first generation crosses of true breeds. Hybrids do not reliably pass on their features to their offspring, but are highly valued for their producing abilities.

Table of contents
By place of origin: Australia Belgium Canada Chile China Cuba Egypt France Germany India Italy Japan Malaysia Netherlands Norway Persia Russia Spain Sumatra Switzerland Transylvania Turkey UkraineUnited KingdomUnited StatesVietnam
By primary use: EggsMeatDual-purposeExhibition
Size: Bantams
See also   •    Footnotes   •    References

By place of origin

Australia

Belgium

Canada

Chile

China

Cuba

Egypt

France

Germany

India

Italy

Japan

Malaysia

Netherlands

Norway

Persia

Russia

Spain

Sumatra

Switzerland

Transylvania

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States

Vietnam

By primary use

All chickens lay eggs, have edible meat, and possess a unique appearance. However, distinct breeds are the result of selective breeding to emphasize certain traits. Any breed may technically be used for general agricultural purposes, and all breeds are shown to some degree. But each chicken breed is known for a primary use.

Eggs

Many breeds were selected and are used primarily for producing eggs, these are mostly light-weight birds whose hens do not go broody often.

Meat

Some breeds are preferred for meat alone, though the commercial broiler market is currently monopolized by the Cornish-Rock (a hybrid of the Cornish and Plymouth Rock). Many smaller farms and homesteads use dual-purpose breeds for meat production.

Dual-purpose

The generalist breeds used in barnyards the world over are adaptable utility birds good at producing both meat and eggs. Though some may be slightly better for one of these purposes, they are usually called dual-purpose breeds.

Exhibition

Since the 19th century, poultry fancy, the breeding and competitive exhibition of poultry as a hobby, has grown to be a huge influence on chicken breeds. Many breeds have always been kept for ornamental purposes, and others have been shifted from their original use to become first and foremost exhibition fowl, even if they may retain some inherent utility. Since the sport of cockfighting has been outlawed in the developed world, most breeds first developed for this purpose, called game fowl, are now seen principally in the show ring rather than the cock pit.

Key
U denotes a breed primarily used for exhibition, but which is still used for utility purposes.
G denotes a game breed.

Bantams

Most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart, sometimes referred to as a miniature. Miniatures are usually one-fifth to one-quarter the size of the standard breed, but they are expected to exhibit all of the standard breed's characteristics. A true bantam has no large counterpart, and is naturally small. The true bantams include:

See also

Footnotes

References

  • American Standard of Perfection. American Poultry Association.
  • Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. 210 MAS MoCA Way, North Adams MA 01247: Storey Publishing.
  • Graham, Chris (2006). Choosing and Keeping Chickens. 2-4 Heron Quays London E14 4JP: Octopus Publishing.
  • Heinrichs, Christine (2007). How To Raise Chickens. Voyageur Press.
  • Percy, Pam (2006). The Field Guide to Chickens. Suite 200, 380 Jackson St, St Paul MN 55101: Voyageur Press.

External links

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