Champion Chicken Breeds



When one dives into the exciting world of chicken breeds, the variety is amazing and, sometimes, dazzling. In this post, I bring you the champions of the chicken world in their various capacities:

Top Egg Layers – White Leghorns are without a doubt the world egg-laying champions, producing up to 300 eggs in their first year. To fuel this little egg factory, a lot of food is needed – White Leghorns aren’t just champion layers, they are champion eaters, too. The drawback, of course, is that after the first year their production declines, as the number of eggs a chicken can lay over a lifetime is limited. For myself, personally, I prefer more balanced producers, who lay less prolifically but more evenly over a longer time, and can go broody and be good mothers as well. Which brings me to the next award:

Champion Broodies – Silkies are notorious for their strong broody tendencies and good mothering skills, and have been used for a long time as excellent surrogate mothers for just about any egg you might like to put under them. Given the chance, many Silkies will be broody throughout most of the year. Cochins come at a close second, and are also a very good choice if you want a reliable broody or two in your flock. Having said that, I’ve had hens from a variety of breeds, including Rhode Island Red crosses, that were very good, consistent broodies, but if you’re getting chicks or young pullets for this purpose, you cannot go wrong with Silkies or Cochins.

Sweetest, Most Docile Breed – Here, too, the golden cup goes to the Silkie. Beautiful and quirky-looking, with their down-like feathering and prolific crests, Silkies are like sweet docile puff balls that are perfect to be held and handled, and make wonderful pets. Other very docile breeds are Cochins, Brahmas, Orpingtons and Faverolles. Disclaimer: this also depends on the upbringing. If you want to have sweet, docile pet chickens, handle them a lot from a young age and hand-feed treats daily.

The Biggest Chicken in the world is the Black Jersey Giant, with 13 lb being the standard weight for males. They were developed primarily as a meat breed. The smallest chicken is probably the beautiful little Sebright, which is mostly ornamental.

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