Poultry Breeds

Other Names: Belgian Bantam

Type: Bantam

Colours: Millefleur, Porcelaine, Blue, Lavender, Black, Mottled, Cuckoo, Silver, Golden Neck

The Belgian d'Uccle Bantam is a true bantam with no full sized counterpart. It gets its name from the small municipality Uccle at the south-east border of Brussels, where it was developed. The bird is cobby and should be small, with males weighing approximately 700 - 800 grams and hens roughly 550 grams. A very good Barbu d'Uccle must have a low posture, a short but well developed neck and a rather open tail-feathering. The tail must not be too wide and has to make a triangle o...

Type: Bantam

Colours: Blue, White, Black

The Japanese bantam is a charming miniature – a true bantam with no larger counterpart. This bantam whilst developed to perfection in Japan, has its origins in South China, as their Japanese name ‘Chabo’ indicates. The history of the Japanese bantam can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906) where they were kept only in the royal gardens of the emperor. From 1200 – 1500, the Edo emperors allowed the birds to be freely moved throughout Japan. Japanese Bantams began to appear in Japanese art around the year 1635.

The Japanese bantam was traded into Germany in the 1800s before arr...

Other Names: Silky, Chinese Silkie, Chinese Bantam, Japanese Silkie

Type: Bantam, Large

Colours: White, Black, Chocolate, Blue

Silkie Bantams are some of the most charming and beguiling oddities of the Poultry Fancy. They possess many characteristics that set them apart from the other breeds of chickens; the most obvious being the texture of their feathers which is almost fur or silk-like in appearance - hence their name. Feathers have several parts to them; the main part being the quill that grows from beneath the skin which tapers off up the center of the feather to become the shaft. From each side of the s...

Type: Large, Bantam

Colours: Light, Dark, Buff

Brahmas are an Asiatic breed of fowl that originated in the Brahmaputra district of India where they were also known as 'Gray Chittagongs'. They are thought to be a cross between the Malay and the Cochin. After they were first imported from Shanghai, China in September 1846 to America, they were commonly known as 'Brahma Pootras'. Later, the name was shortened to just 'Brahma'.

In 1853, they made their way to England where Queen Victoria was presented with a quill pen made from a Brahma feather. This act caused Brahmas to gain much notoriety. At that time, Brahmas were known for ...

Colours: Black, Blue, White

The most common of the heavy breeds, this is the only breed that has been developed in Australia for use both as an egg layer and as a table bird. However, the introduction of cross-breeds for egg production has seen this breed fall out of favour as a commercial egg producer as they have a tendency to go broody. They are however generally calm and docile.

The Australorp is a large, soft-feathered bird. The male and female are black with blue-green sheen. Beak and legs are black or dark grey and earlobes are red. Any white or red feathering is considered a fault. The bird's single comb is moderately large and upright, with fi...

Other names: Not to be confused with Rhode Island White

Type: Large, Bantam

Colours: Red

The Rhode Island Red is one of the most famous utility fowls in the world, named after the American state where it was first bred in the 1880’s. The Rhode Island Red was originally bred in Adamsville, a village which is part of Little Compton, Rhode Island. One of the foundation sires of the breed was a black-breasted red Malay cock which was imported from England. This cock is on display at the Smithsonian Institution as the father of the Rhode Island Red breed. A cross of mainly Asian breeds, it became a huge success ar...

Other Names: Poularders, Patavinian, Paduan

Type: Large, Bantam

Colours: Black, White, White Crested Blue, White Crested Black

The Polish is a striking poultry breed with its large mop crest and rather upright neck. Varieties with contrasting colours provide an added dimension to this unusual looking bird. The Polish breed was developed solely as an ornamental fowl. It is considered a non-sitter and will hence not hatch its own eggs. Artificial incubation or fostering of eggs being the main method of hatching eggs from the Polish breed. The standard (or large) Polish weighs in at around 3kg for the rooster, a...

Other Names: Antwerp Belgian

Type: Bantam

The Bearded d'Anvers is a breed of bantam chicken from Belgium. Also called the Antwerp Belgian, both names refer to the breed's origin in Antwerp (the French version being Anvers). The d'Anvers is a true bantam, having no large counterpart from which it was miniaturized. Males weigh 740 grams (26 ounces), and hens weigh 625 grams (22 ounces).

The Bearded d'Anvers is a bantam breed that originates from Belgium. It is a true bantam with no large counterpart. Males weigh a mere 740gms and hens around 625 gms. Also know as the Antwerp Belgian (referring to its origins in Antwerp, or Anve...

Other Names: Barred, Birchen, Black, Blue, Buff, Columbian, Cuckoo, Lavendar, Partridge, Silver Partridge, Gold Partridge, White, Salmon, Red, Splash, Mottled, Millefleur

Type: Bantam

The Pekin only comes as a bantam and are often only between 20 to 30 centimetres tall. They have a rounded body, a carriage that tilts forward and with their head just slightly closer to the ground than their tail feathers. Their feet are completely feathered which give the whole bird the appearance of a feathered ball. The males have slightly longer feather on the feet. Their docile and placid nature make them ideal as pets, particularly with children, a...

Type: Bantam, Large

Colours: Speckled, Light, Buff, Red, Silver

Originating in Sussex, England about 200 years ago, the Light Sussex comes in several varieties: Speckled, Light, Buff, Red, and Silver. Although the specked variety is the oldest, the light variety is the most popular. The eyes should be red in the darker varieties but orange in the lighter one and they sport a medium sized, single, erect comb. The earlobes are red and the legs and skin white in every variety. Cocks should weigh approximately 4 kg, and the hens 3.1 kg. The Brown and red varieties are rare but the others are more common.

Today they are a popular ...

Other Names: Cornish

Type: Large

Colours: Dark, Jubilee, Blue Laced

The Indian Game, known as the Cornish in the United States, is an English bird originating from the country of Cornwall. Indian Game chickens, as well as crosses derived from this breed are some of the most-used breed in the table chicken industry. They are heavy, muscular birds with poor egg productivity.

The Indian Game is dark blue - green in colour, with brown patterning on the hens. In the US, there are two varieties of this breed, known as the Cornish Game and the Jubilee Cornish Game.  The Jubilee Cornish Game are much l...

Type: Bantam, LArge

Colours: Dark Brown, Buff, Silver, Black, Red

Prior to the introduction of cross-breeds for commercial egg production, the White Leghorn was considered one of the best layers. They’re virtually broodiness-free, which makes them ideal as an egg layer. They are a little shy and nervous in behaviour and hence require an environment that is not prone to abrupt movements or loud noises. They are however, a hardy bird. Egg colour is generally white and size is a medium to large.

The White Leghorn should be pure white with white earlobes and yellow beak and legs. Other leghorn colours are less common and tend to ...

Other Names: Barred Rock, Rock

Type: Bantam, Large

Colours: Barred, White, Buff, Silver

Plymouth Rock chickens are an old American breed and are a favourite of fancies and are extremely hardy, especially in cold climates. Developed in New England in the middle of the 19th century and first exhibited in 1869, development of the Plymouth Rock, whilst having several multiple claims to its invention, is larger credited to John C Bennet for creating or popularising the breed.

They do extremely well as a dual purpose fowl, valued for both its egg productivity (average of 200 eggs per year) and meat. They ...

Type: Large

Colour: Red

Comment: Not to be confused with other species of Jungle Fowl. The Red Jungle Fowl is considered rare or extinct due to hybridisation with its domesticated counterparts. As a group with 'mixed genetics', they are still common in many parts of Asia.

The Red Jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) is not a breed of chicken, but one of two ancestors of the domestic chicken. Whilst the genetics of the Red Junglefowl has contributed largely to domesticated fowl, research by Eriksson et al (2008) suggests genetic contribution from the Grey Jungle fowl as well. The exact time and place of domest...

Type: Bantam, Large

Colours: Gold Laced, Silver Laced, White, Black, Buff, Columbian, Partridge, Silver Pencilled

Originating from the United States, the Wyandotte first appeared in the 1870s. The breed was developed as a dual purpose fowl for its brown eggs and meat. The birds are a medium size, has a rose comb, clean yellow (sometime grey) legs and a docile temperament. Their feathers are broad and loosely fitting with the ventral area being very fluffy.

They are a popular show bird and come in a wide variety of colour patterns including golden laced, silver laced, white, black, buff, Columbian, partridge and silver pencill...

Type: Large

Colours: Light Brown

The New Hampshire is another breed from the United States and has its ancestral roots in the well known Rhode Island Red. It is a relatively new breed (admitted to the United States Standard in 1935) derived from judicious selection of characteristics of early maturity, vigour, rapid feathering and egg productivity from the original Rhode Island Reds. They serve as a dual purpose chicken although serving more as a meat bird than for egg production.

The New Hampshire comes in the one colour of red, although a lighter shade than the Rhode Island Red. It’s skin colour is yellow and eggs are a lig...

The Orpington Chicken is a large bird from the English class of chickens. It is a bold, upright breed with a wide chest, broad back and smallish head and tail. The Orpington chicken was bred as a dual-purpose breed (meat production and eggs), but its popularity grew as a show bird rather than a utility breed.Their large size and soft appearance together with their rich colour and gentle contours make them very attractive.

The original Orpington (the Black Orpington) was developed in 1886 by William Cook. He crossed Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks to create the new hybrid bird. Cook named the breed after his home town in Kent. The first Orpingtons looked very much like the...