So, lots of people think that chickens are just white or brown. Well, if you’re here and reading this, you know that’s just not so! Chickens come in all shapes, sizes, colors… I’ll feature some of the fascinating variety of poultry on this page!
I’ve been slow to update this page–apologies! If you’re looking for something more compreHENsive, check out HENderson’s Breed Chart!
Buff Orpington A cold-hardy breed, these birds are generally sweet and docile. Lots of feathers make them look quite plump, and they are a good dual-purpose bird: meat and eggs. However, all those feathers can cause them some difficulty in the heat of summer, so make sure that water and shade are plentiful and always accessible. They’re not the smartest or cleverest birds on the block, but in terms of cuddly and cute, you can’t beat them.
Serama These have got to be the cutest li’l chickens you’ll ever see (next to my personal faves, the bearded Belgian d’Uccles… or was that the penciled Hamburgs?) At any rate, I just found a flock of tiny Serama roosters at the Feed Store in Summit, IL, today (10/21/2010)! These bantam (small-sized) chickens are from Malaysia. They are the smallest breed in the world, weighing in at a max of 20 oz. (570 g). Seramas are gentle, and their posture sets them apart: broad breast thrown out, head back, wings held nearly perpendicular to the ground. The rooster I held today was about the size of a pigeon.
ISA Browns These chickens are not a true breed; they are a hybrid – a cross of a Rhode Island Red hen and a white Leghorn rooster (or was it the other way around? Some sources say Rhode Island Red and Rhode Island White – don’t quote me on the breeds). I’ve noticed that while they are good egg producers, they can have issues with internal laying, producing weird clumps of calcium instead of eggs, and with becoming egg bound. I’m not terribly fond of them, but a lot of Chicago chicken keepers have had positive experiences.