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12 Show Chicken Breeds Worth Looking Into (With Pictures)
All chickens are beautiful in their own right. They can be any color and have any type of design or pattern. But let’s be honest: Some chickens are better looking than others. In fact, some chickens are so good looking that they are popular show chickens that win big prizes for their owners. We set out to find the most prominent show chickens in existence, and we have come up with a list of 12 that you are sure to appreciate. Check them out!
1. The Silkie
This is one of the oldest and most unique looking chicken breeds in existence. They come in many different colors, including black, blue, gray, white, and partridge, and have extremely fluffy feathers that even grow on their legs. Their feathers feel soft and silky, almost like fur. These chickens are smaller in size than most other breeds but hold their own when it comes to their outgoing personality.
2. The Faverolle
These chickens can lay up to 200 eggs a year, keeping your kitchen stocked. They can weigh anywhere from 7 to 11 pounds when fully grown and have feathered feet and interesting facial hair that makes them look like they are sporting a beard. This is one of only two chicken breeds that have five toes instead of four.
3. The Sebright Bantam
These birds have an elegant look with all-white or brown feathers that are lined with black. A fully feathered Sebright Bantam chicken looks almost checkered. This chicken breed is considered one of the smallest alive on the planet today. Their bodies are compact, and their legs are long, giving them a look that is similar to miniature ostriches.
4. The Wyandotte
These chickens were once one of the most sought after in England, but they are most popular in the United States. Larger in size than many others on our list, Wyandotte chickens are sturdy and are known to dominate poultry shows throughout the world. They have bright red faces and deep flesh-colored legs and feet. Their body and neck feathers are different textures, which gives them a multidimensional look.
5. The Old English Game Hen
Old English game hens were originally bred for cockfighting because of their large, stout bodies, broad chests, and vicious leg claws. However, they evolved into show chickens thanks to those same features. They have long, luxurious feathers that make them stand out from the crowd and win show ribbons.
6. The Modern Game Hen
Unlike most of the other show chickens on our list that are also raised for eggs and meat, the modern game hen is raised primarily for show. These birds have long, slender bodies, with little “meat” to speak of, so they are not worth cultivating into food. Their shiny feathers and proud posture tend to make them winners when shown in competitions.
7. The Orpington
Originating from the United Kingdom, the Orpington chicken is a popular show bird that is raised by breeders around the world. They are almost always solid in color, except for white spots here and there. They may be black, white, or buff overall. Their feathers are slightly fluffy, and their stalky bodies make them look like they are a bit overweight.
8. The Buckeye
With thick, stalky legs and long feathers, the Buckeye chicken is sure to impress anyone. Originally bred by a woman from Ohio, these chickens know how to stand up to frigid weather, thanks to their thick coats that make them look larger than they really are. The Buckeye comes in just one color: rich mahogany.
9. The Cochin
These chickens have small heads and large bodies, prickly feathers, and interesting colors. Their unique stance sets them apart from the show competition, and their straight neck feathers make them look like they are wearing capes. First bred in Vietnam, the Cochin chicken is as great at laying eggs as they are at winning shows.
10. The Yokohama
This chicken breed is a descendant of Japanese chickens called Shokokus and Shamos. However, the Yokohama was never bred in the region. Instead, it was bred in Germany and the United Kingdom using the Japanese variations. Their long tail feathers make them look like they are wearing a skirt, and they have no leg or feet feathers to speak of.
11. The Barbu d’Uccle
This is an amazing Belgian breed of chicken that has unique spotted markings and stout yet compact bodies. They have feathered legs, a single comb, and a rich color profile that is hard for chicken enthusiasts to ignore. They come in a variety of colors, such as black, lavender, blue, white, porcelain, and quail.
12. The Brahma
This is one of the largest chicken breeds in existence, which alone makes them worthy of showing in competitions. The Brahma chicken is a graceful bird that seems to move and react with purpose. With good DNA and breeding practices, these birds can stand as tall as 30 inches when fully grown. Their thick wing feathers make them look like they have muscles.
Any of these chickens are worthy of being entered into show competitions. Just remember that these are animals with thoughts and feelings just like all other living creatures on the planet. Therefore, they should be respectfully treated as pets, rather than just commodities. Are you planning to raise one or more show chickens? If so, which breed? If not, why? We would love to hear what you think! Tell us in the comments section.
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Featured image credit: furbymama, Pixabay
Rachael has been a freelance writer since 2000, in which time she has had an opportunity to research and write about many different topics while working to master the art of fusing high-quality content with effective content marketing strategies. She is an artist at heart and loves to read, paint, and make jewelry in her spare time. As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. Animals also happen to be her favorite topic to write about! She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.