How Do You Identify Chicken Breeds?

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There are hundreds of different breeds of chickens that are distinguishable from one another by examination of physical traits such as size, color of the feathers and type of comb. Different breeds of chickens also lay eggs of different colors. They may have different numbers of toes, different feathering patterns and different skin colors.

Smaller breeds of chickens that weigh 2 to 3 pounds are commonly referred to as bantam breeds, while those larger than this are referred to as standards. Many chicken breeds have both bantam and standard varieties. One common chicken breed, Rhode Island Red, is identified by its reddish-brown feathers, large single comb, yellow skin and medium brown eggs, and it comes in bantam and standard sizes. Another common breed is the Sussex. Common in England, Sussex chickens are identified by their creamy, light brown eggs, single combs and white skin. They come in several colors, including white, speckled and red.

Some chicken breeds are easy to identify at a glance because of their unique feather patterns. According to the Sage Hen Farm, the Wyandotte breed has a stunning black and white speckled coat. The White Faced Black Spanish breed is black with a bright white face.