Chicken, one of the most commonly domesticated animals worldwide, has been primarily raised for meat and eggs. According to the latest data obtained by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the chicken population in the world amounts to about 26 billion.

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 turkey, geese, and duck. Some like the Silkie and Cochin chicken, famed for their fluffy plumage are often reared for show.  The prettier chickens with a docile temperament are also raised as pets, a trend that has been on the rise since the 2000s.

Different Types of Chicken Breeds

Chickens are raised for different purposes. Some are raised for eggs, others for meat, some for both, and other chickens are bred for exhibition purposes.

Types of Chicken Breeds

For eggs

  • Ancona
  • Andalusian
  • Asturian Painted Hen
  • Barnevelder
  • Braekel (Brakel)
  • Brabanter Chicken
  • Campine
  • Catalana
  • Easter egger
  • Egyptian Fayoumi
  • Norwegian Jærhøne
  • Kraienköppe (Twentse)
  • Lakenvelder
  • Leghorn
  • Marans
  • Minorca
  • Orloff
  • Penedesenca
  • Sicilian Buttercup
  • White-Faced Black Spanish
  • Welsummer
  • Sombor Kaporka

For meat

For eggs and meat

  • Ardennaise
  • Australorp
  • Australian Langshan Chicken
  • Barnevelder
  • Brahma
  • Buckeye
  • California Gray
  • Chantecler
  • Cubalaya
  • Derbyshire Redcap
  • Dominique
  • Dorking
  • Faverolles
  • Holland
  • Iowa Blue
  • Java
  • Marsh Daisy
  • Naked-neck
  • New Hampshire
  • Norfolk Grey
  • Orpington
  • Plymouth Rock
  • Poltava
  • Red Shaver
  • Rhode Island Red
  • Rhode Island White
  • Scots Dumpy
  • Scots Grey
  • Sussex
  • Winnebago
  • Wyandotte
  • Sumava

As show chicken

  • American Game
  • Asil
  • Appenzeller Barthuhn
  • Appenzeller Spitzhauben
  • Australian Pit Game Fowl
  • Barbu de Boitsfort
  • Barbu de Grubbe
  • Barbu d’Uccle
  • Barbu de Watermael
  • Belgian Bearded d’Anvers
  • Bearded d’Uccle
  • Belgian d’Everberg
  • Blue Hen of Delaware
  • Booted Bantam
  • Cochin
  • Crèvecœur
  • Croad Langshan
  • Dragon Chicken
  • Dutch Bantam
  • Frizzle
  • Ga Noi
  • Hamburg
  • Houdan
  • Japanese Bantam
  • Jangmigye
  • La Flèche
  • Malay
  • Modern Game
  • Nankin
  • Old English Game
  • Pekin
  • Phoenix
  • Polish
  • Rosecomb
  • Sebright
  • Serama
  • Shamo
  • Silkie
  • Sultan
  • Sumatra
  • Vorwerk
  • Yokohama

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 have been dated to 2000 BC in Syria and Egypt about 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 as the existence of these farms raises several ethical questions, free-range farming is considered an alternate. 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 just the United States alone.

Quick Information

  • Biggest breeds of chicken
  • Jersey Giant Chicken
  • Brahma Chicken
  • Cochin Chicken
  • Smallest breeds of chicken
  • Silkie Chicken
  • Booted Bantam Chicken
  • Sebright Chicken
  • Best meat-producing chicken
  • Cornish Chicken
  • Jersey Giant Chicken
  • Bresse Chicken
  • Best egg-producing chicken
  • Leghorn Chicken
  • Rhode Island Red Chicken
  • Plymouth Rock Chicken
  • Common chicken breeds
  • Leghorn Chicken
  • Brahma Chicken
  • Cochin Chicken
  • Rare and exotic chicken breeds
  • Burmese Bantam Chicken
  • Sultan Chicken
  • Vorwerk Chicken
  • Friendliest chicken breeds
  • Silkie Chicken
  • Rhode Island Red Chicken
  • Cochin Chicken
  • Quietest chicken breeds
  • Rhode Island Red Chicken
  • Plymouth Rock Chicken
  • Cochin Chicken
  • Colorful chicken breed
  • Houdan Chicken
  • La Flèche Chicken
  • Frizzle Chicken

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