The Campine chickens are a fairly small, closely feathered breed with solid coloured hackles and barred bodies. Campine chickens are chiefly an ornamental breed but will lay a fair number of white shelled eggs and are non-broody. Campine chickens are thought to have originated in Belgium. These are another rare breed of chicken that never really caught on in the U.S.
Campine chickens are economical eaters and adaptable to confinement, but prefers free range. Campine chickens like to attempt flight and are very alert birds. Campine chickens are lively, inquisitive and some are rather wild, others can be friendly. From being chicks, they are quick to develop feathers, but late in maturing. Campine chickens have white skin beneath their feathers and blue shanks. Campine chickens are not really hardy birds and are susceptible to frostbite in cold weather.
Campine chickens are beautiful chickens with golden and silver colouring and unique penciling and a single comb. Female Campine chickens lay medium, white eggs. Campine chickens may have ancient ancestry, however, they have been refined and further developed in Belgium in the 19th C. Braekel is a closely related European breed.
The Dorking chicken is a breed that is believed to have originated in Italy during the period of the Roman Empire. One of the earliest known mentions of this breed was by the Roman writer Columella during the reign of Julius Caesar. From there it was introduced to Great Britain by the Romans at an early date where much of its development continued to take place.
Dorking chickens appeared in the first British poultry show in 1845. They were later used to produce the Sussex and Faverolles breeds. The Dorking chicken has a rectangular body with very short, five-toed legs. Due to its relatively large comb it generally requires protection in cold weather.
Dorking Chickens are also well known for their versatility as a breed for both egg and meat production. The Dorking chicken is one of the few breeds with red earlobes that produces a white-shelled egg. The skin colour beneath the feathers is white. The standard weight is 9 pounds for a cock, 8 pounds for a cockerel, 7 pounds for a hen and 6 pounds for a pullet. The Dorking chickens are very docile. The Dorking chicken has three recognized varieties: White, Silver-grey and Coloured.
The Leghorn chicken is named after the Italian city of Leghorn/Livorno. Leghorns and leghorn crossbreeds are one of the most popular commercial breeds of chicken worldwide and while the majority are white, a number of varieties also exist.Leghorn chickens are recognized in colours of white, red, black tailed red, light brown, dark brown, black,blue, buff, columbian,buff columbian,barred, exchequer and silver.
Most Leghorn chickens have single combs but there are several colour varieties that have rose combs. Leghorns are excellent layers of white eggs (around 300 per year), but they can be noisy, flighty and easily excited. Leghorns mature quickly, but are generally not considered to be large birds. Leghorn chickens’ weight averages from 3lbs to 4lbs. Due to their prolific egg-laying, they are preferred by laboratories for embryonic and avian biological research as well as being the number one breed used for large-scale commercial egg production in the United States.
The Marans chicken is a small breed compared to other chickens. They are popular at poultry shows and preferred for its eggs rather than for its meat.There are 9 recognised colours: Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, Birchen, Black Copper, Wheaton, Black-tailed Buff, White and Columbian. Black Copper is the most common of these.All have red or orange eyes and white feet. The average weight of a Cockerel is around three and a half kilograms.
Marans chickens are quiet, docile, gentle birds, but they are quite active, taking well to free ranging in rough terrain and are also tough and disease-resistant. Marans lay around 150 dark brown eggs each year. Marans are an historically dual-purpose bird, prized not only for their dark eggs but for their table qualities as well. The Marans originate from France, and were imported into the United Kingdom in the 1930s.
The New Hampshire chicken originated in the state of New Hampshire in the United States. Mature birds are a rich chestnut red, of a somewhat lighter and more even shade than the Rhode Island Reds. The baby chicks are also a lighter red. New Hampshire cocks weigh around 8.5 pounds, cockerels 7.5 ponuds, hens 6.5 pounds and pullets 5.5 pounds.
New Hampshire chickens skin beneath their feathers is a yellow colouring. New Hampshire chickens lay brown coloured eggs. New Hampshire chickens are a dual purpose chicken, selected more for their meat production than egg production. Medium heavy in weight, it dresses a nice, plump carcass as either a broiler or a roaster.
New Hampshires are a relatively new breed, having been admitted to the Standard in 1935. They represent a specialized selection out of the Rhode Island Red breed. By intensive selection for rapid growth, fast feathering, early maturity and vigor, a different breed gradually emerged. This took place in the New England states, chiefly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, from which it takes its name.
New Hampshire chickens have a deep, broad body and grow feathers very rapidly. They are prone to go broody and make good mothers. Most pin feathers are a reddish buff in colour and therefore do not detract from the carcass appearance very much. Their colour is a medium to light red and often fades in the sunshine. Their comb is single and medium to large in size, in the females it often lops over a bit. These good, medium-sized meat chickens have fair egg-laying ability. Some strains lay eggs of a dark brown shell colour. New Hampshires are competitive and aggressive. New Hampshire chickens were initially used in the Chicken of Tomorrow contests, which led the way for the modern broiler industry.
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 Langshan and were black. Between 1889 and 1905, Cook also created white, buff and blue colored Orpingtons. The breed was famous for its great egg-capacity.
Orpington chickens weigh around 7 – 10 pounds. They have soft, profuse feathering, which almost hides the legs of the bird. They have a curvy shape with a short back and U-shaped underline. Their head is small with a small comb despite being a large chicken and their temperament is usually tame. Besides the original colours (black, white, buff, blue), lots of other varieties exist today, e.g. porcelain, red, mottled and birchen. The original colours are still the most widely bred varieties. Orpingtons lay between 110 and 160 eggs a year. Orpington chickens do not stop laying in the winter. Their eggs are tinted and range from small to large depending on the heredity of the breed. Hens tend to go broody more than other heavy egg breeds, which is to say occasionally.
The Plymouth Rock is a chicken breed that originated in the United States in the 19th century and is still popular to this day. The Plymouth Rock chicken was bred as a dual-purpose fowl, meaning that it was valued both for its meat and the hens egg-laying ability. The Plymouth Rock chicken is a cold-hardy bird and therefore makes a great breed for the small farm or backyard flock owner.
There are seven varieties of Plymouth Rock chickens: barred, blue, buff, Columbian, partridge, silver-penciled and white. Plymouth Rock chickens lay brown eggs and continue laying all through the winter although the production decreases through this season. Their eggs are brown in colour. Plymouth Rock cockerels weigh around 8 – 9.5 pounds and the hens weigh around 7.5 pounds. Young Plymouth Rocks (known as pullets) weigh 6 pounds. Plymouth Rock chickens are mainly used for meat and eggs.
Plymouth Rocks are a good general farm chicken. The Plymouth Rock chickens are docile which makes them ideal for Capons. Normally they will show broodiness. The Plymouth Rock chickens possess a long, broad back, a moderately deep, full breast and a single comb of moderate size. Some strains are good layers while others are bred principally for meat. They usually make good mothers. Their feathers are fairly loosely held but not so long as to easily tangle. Generally, Plymouth Rocks are not extremely aggressive and can be tamed quite easily. Breeders should be aware of the standard weights and not select small or narrow birds for capons or the breeding pen. Common faults include shallow breast, high tails, narrow bodies and small size.
The Rhode Island Red Chicken (Gallus gallus) is a very popular breed of chicken. Rhode Island Red chickens are a utility bird, raised for meat and eggs, and also as show birds. Their feathers are Mahogany dark red/brown lustre, bordering on black. Some have purple spots or green stripes. Rhode Island Red chickens have red/orange eyes and yellow feet. Chicks are a light red to tan colour with two dark brown bars running down their backs.
Rhode Island Red chickens are tough birds, resistant to illness, good at foraging and free ranging, and are typically docile, quiet and friendly. Rhode Island Red chickens are excellent egg layers, producing up to 250 to 300 large, light brown eggs per year. Rhode Island Red chickens are also bred for meat, with Cockerels weighing in at around four kilograms, and hens slightly less. Rhode Island Red chickens were originally bred from chickens in Little Compton, Rhode Island around 1900, and is now the state bird of Rhode Island in the US. Rhode Island Red chickens and Sussex chickens are also used for many modern hybrid breeds.
The Silkie is a variety of chicken believed to have originated in eastern Asia. It is one of the ornamental chicken breeds. Silkie chickens are known to have an incredibly sweet temperament. Silkies generally have a fluffy appearance due to their feathers lacking functioning barbicels (a part of the tree formed by feathers). All their feathers are similar ‘down’ (a layer of fine feathers).
Silkie chickens unique appearance and their quiet temperament mean they are often kept as pets. The hens easily become broody, laying only a dozen or so eggs before attempting to hatch out their clutch. Silkie chickens are considered excellent mothers. Their broodiness makes them a poor breed for egg production and their dark skin makes them difficult to market as meat birds in Europe and America.
Silkie chickens have a walnut, crested comb, feathered feet and five toes as opposed to the usual four. The American Bantam Association accepts six standard colours for silkies: black, blue, buff, white, partridge and grey. There are bearded and non-bearded varieties.
Silkies were originally bred in China, where they are still kept (and eaten) today. Marco Polo is reported to have encountered Silkies in China at the end of the 13th century, where they are raised for the gourmet meat market to this day. Silkies are only bantam size in the USA. American silkies are actually intermediate in size, not proper bantam but not large fowl either. Elsewhere there are standards for both the bantam Silkie and the standard Silkie. Silkies are used in traditional Chinese medicine, due to their dark skin colouration.