Different breeds of chickens, as well as different strains within a breed, will vary in temperament and production capacity. The 'perfect' breed for your operation will depend on your management and production needs.

Chicken breeds are grouped according to classes. The classification for large chicken breeds is based on their place of origin - American, Asiatic, English, Mediterranean, Continental, and Other (including Oriental). Bantams are classified according to certain characteristics - whether or not they are game breeds, by their comb style, and the presence or absence of leg feathering.

Cushion CombRose comb


Sex-linked crosses

Selecting the right chicken breed (University of Kentucky)

Breed selection for a small-scale egg-production enterprise(University of Kentucky)

The History of Chicken Breeds (University of Illinois)

Pick-A-Chick (Livestock Conservancy)

Definition of a Heritage breed (Livestock Conservancy)

Henderson's Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart (An alphabetical list of more than 60 chicken breeds with comparative information)

Poultry genetics for pastured production (ATTRA)

My Pet Chicken - This is a tool to help poultry newcomers determine which breed(s) of chicken are best suited to their needs/wants