Chicken, one of the most commonly domesticated birds worldwide, has been primarily raised for meat and eggs. There are hundreds of chicken breeds out there, with different countries having their own breed standards set up by their official poultry associations. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), as many as 33 billion chickens were living in the world in the year 2020.

The traditional use of chicken pertained to cockfighting and ritual sacrifices in the past. However, it was not until the 4th to 2nd century B.C., classified as the Hellenistic period, that they began being used for edible purposes.

Images of Chickens

Presently, there is a high demand for consumption of chicken meat and eggs worldwide compared to other domestic birds like turkeys, geese, and ducks. Some, like the Silkie and Cochin chicken, famed for their fluffy plumage, are often reared for show.  The prettier chickens with a docile temperament, like silkies and cochins, are also raised as pets, a trend that has become increasingly popular since the 2000s.

Chickens can be grouped based on their utility, appearance, nature, and personality, as well as their geographical origins.

Different Types of Chicken Breeds by Purpose

Since chicken farming primarily revolves around egg and meat production, their purpose is often the most important consideration when it comes to the different types.

Types of Chicken Breeds

  1. For Eggs: Breeds that produce around 150 to 300 eggs a year. Examples: Ancona, Andalusian, Barnevelde
  2. Dual Purpose: Good for both eggs and meat, hence ‘dual purpose’. Examples: Rhode Island Red, Brahma, Australorp
  3. For Meat: The primary source of chicken at the dinner table. Examples: Jersey Giant, Bresse, Cornish
  4. Show Chicken: Ornamental breeds valued for their attractive and colorful appearance. Examples: Silkie, Serama, Cochin

A to Z List of Chicken Breeds

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z



  • Banat Naked-neck
  • Barbu de Boitsfort
  • Barbu de Grubbe
  • Barbu de Watermael
  • Barnevelder
  • Bearded d’Uccle
  • Bekisar
  • Belgian Bearded d’Anvers
  • Belgian d’Everberg
  • Bergische Schlotterkämme
  • Bianca di Saluzzo
  • Bielefelder Kennhuhn
  • Bionda Piemontese
  • Black Shumen
  • Blue Hen of Delaware
  • Bohuslän-Dals svarthöna
  • Booted Bantam
  • Bourbonnaise
  • Brabanter
  • Braekel
  • Brahma
  • Bresse Gauloise
  • Buckeye
  • Burford Brown
  • Burmese


  • California Gray
  • Campine
  • Catalana
  • Chantecler
  • Cochin
  • Combattant de Bruges
  • Combattant de Liège
  • Combattant de Tirlemont
  • Coucou de Rennes
  • Coucou des Flandres
  • Crèvecœur
  • Croad Langshan
  • Cubalaya
  • Czech gold brindle chicken


  • Delaware
  • Denizli
  • Derbyshire Redcap
  • Dominique
  • Dorking
  • Dutch Bantam


  • East Frisian Gull
  • Ermellinata di Rovigo
  • Estaires


  • Faverolles
  • Fayoumi
  • Friesian
  • Frizzle


  • Ga Dong Tao
  • Ga Noi
  • Gasconne
  • German creeper
  • German Langshan
  • Giriraja
  • Gramapriya
  • Groninger Meeuw


  • Hamburg
  • Hamburg chicken
  • Holland
  • Houdan
  • Hrvatica


  • Icelandic chicken
  • Indian Game
  • Índio Gigante
  • Inshas
  • Iowa Blue
  • Ixworth


  • Jangmigye
  • Japanese Bantam
  • Java
  • Jersey Giant


  • Kadaknath
  • Kampung
  • Kedu
  • Ketawa
  • Kosova Long-crowing
  • Kraienköppe


  • La Flèche
  • Lakenvelder
  • Lamona
  • Leghorn


  • Malay
  • Malines
  • Manx Rumpy
  • Marans
  • Marsh Daisy
  • Mechelse kalkoenkop
  • Mericanel della Brianza
  • Minorca
  • Modern Game
  • Modern Langshan
  • Muffed Old English Game
  • Mugellese


  • Naked-neck
  • Nankin
  • New Hampshire
  • Niederrheiner
  • Nixi
  • Norfolk Grey
  • North Holland Blue
  • Norwegian Jærhøne


  • Old English Game
  • Old English Pheasant Fowl
  • Onagadori
  • Orloff
  • Orpington


  • Padovana
  • Pekin
  • Pelung
  • Penedesenca
  • Pepoi
  • Phoenix
  • Pita Pinta Asturiana
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Polbar
  • Polish chicken
  • Poltava
  • Polverara
  • Potchefstroom Koekoek
  • Provençale
  • Pyncheon


  • Red Shaver
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Rhode Island White
  • Robusta Lionata
  • Robusta Maculata
  • Romagnola
  • Rosecomb
  • Russian Orloff


  • Saipan Jungle Fowl
  • Schweizer
  • Scots Dumpy
  • Scots Grey
  • Sebright
  • Sentul
  • Serama
  • Shamo
  • Siciliana
  • Sicilian Buttercup
  • Silkie
  • Silverudd Blue/Isbar
  • Skånsk blommehöna
  • Slovene Late-feathered Hen
  • Slovenian Barred Hen
  • Slovenian Brown Hen
  • Slovenian Silver Hen
  • Sombor Kaporka
  • Starozagorska Red
  • Styrian Hen
  • Sulmtaler
  • Sultan
  • Sumatra chicken
  • Šumava chicken
  • Sussex


  • Taiwanese Game
  • Thai Game
  • Tomaru
  • Twents Hoen


  • Valdarnese
  • Valdarno
  • Vanaraja
  • Vorwerk


  • Welsummer
  • Wenchang chicken
  • Westphalian chicken
  • White-Faced Black Spanish
  • Wyandotte


  • Yurlov Crower


  • Zielononóżka Kuropatwiana

History and Development

Male Chickens

Chickens Hatching

A study conducted in 2020 suggested that all domestic chickens derive their lineage from the red junglefowl found in southwestern China, northern Thailand, and Myanmar. In domesticating the chicken, humans took advantage of its fast reproduction rate when given sufficient food. The red jungle fowl indulged in an increased intake of seeds for faster reproduction. This was indeed a boon, and humans used it to their advantage while domesticating chickens from the red jungle fowl.

Baby Chickens

It is estimated that the chicken was domesticated around 8,000 years ago in Southeast Asia, from where it spread to the rest of China and India 2000–3000 years later. This is further backed by archaeological evidence found in Southeast Asia before 6000 BC. The remains found in China and India were dated to much later periods, 6000 BC and 2000 BC, respectively.

Chicken remains from Syria have been dated to 2000 BC. They were brought to Egypt around 1400 BC. Though it was initially for cockfighting, chickens were widely bred around 300 BC.

Chickens Images

Chickens Eggs

They reached Europe by 800 BC, and their breeding was on the rise during the period of the Roman Empire. However, the Medieval period saw a decline in chicken breeding.

Picture of Chickens

Nowadays, most chickens raised for food are bred on factory farms for mass production and consumption. But the living-conditions provided to birds in these farms raises several ethical questions. So, free-range farming is considered an alternative. These farms generate lower produce, but the birds get relatively better care.

Over 8 billion chickens are slaughtered for their meat, and around 300 million are bred mainly for eggs in The United States alone.

More on Chicken Breeds

Chickens by Purpose

Chickens by Characteristics

Chickens by Size and Appearance

Chickens by Color

  • Black
  • Black And White
  • Brown
  • White
  • Blue
  • Red
  • Yellow
  • Grey
  • Speckled

Chickens by Country

  • Asian
  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • French
  • German
  • African

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