There are at least 53 officially recognized chicken breeds in the United States, with dozens more unofficial breeds. Most of these new breeds come from hatcheries and other commercial operations, and many of them are reserved for use by the breeder that developed them. But unless you’re a hardcore hen-head, you likely won’t notice much of a difference between the new breeds and the old ones.
That said, let’s check out the new breeds!
The 6 New Chicken Breeds
1. Sapphire Splash
This Czech breed has a dappled black-and-white appearance, with bits of gray mixed in with their plumage. The Sapphire Splash performs well in both hot and cold weather and is notable for their prodigious egg-laying capacity. They tend to weigh around 7 pounds or so, and they’re as handsome as they are productive.
2. Blue Sapphire Rock
These chickens live up to their name, with a faint blue appearance. Blue Sapphire Rocks are a hybrid of Sapphire Gems and Blue Plymouth Rocks, with hens capable of producing nearly 300 brown eggs per year. These birds tend to be sweet-natured, making them fun and easy to raise, and many people prefer to allow them to roam free as a result.
3. French White Maran
French White Marans have a classic appearance, with an all-white body and bright red combs and wattles. They’re shy and docile, and they thrive in cold climates. They’re excellent free rangers, as they love to forage for food, and their natural athleticism makes them more than capable of tracking down enough to eat.
4. San Vitellus
At first glance, you might not notice anything special about the San Vitellus chicken. They look like most other breeds, with a white body, red combs and wattles, and a bit of dark mottling along the neck. However, this lab-created breed is hiding an exciting secret: They lay yolk-less eggs.
These eggs tend to be healthier for the heart than the yolk-filled variety, and scientists are excited about the breed’s chances of changing the breakfast industry for the better in the years to come.
5. White Sapphire
While the White Sapphire is not much to look at, they are an egg-laying machine, and the eggs they produce tend to be blue with white speckles.
6. Lavender Orpington
If you think the worst thing that someone can call you is “chicken,” then you’ve obviously never been called a “Lavender Orpington.” These creatively named birds have a light blue hue and are known for being extremely friendly. They make excellent pets and productive farm animals.
Which Is Your Favorite of the New Chicken Breeds?
While there may not be many new chicken breeds to choose from, the good news is that it is much easier to choose your favorite.
Of course, this decision will likely depend on whether you’re picking a chicken for agricultural purposes or just as a pet, but you can’t go wrong with any of the options on this list.
Featured Image by SMcNaughton, Shutterstock