Are you new to raising chickens? Is your chicken’s weight a bit concerning? Can you do something to let your fowl have a healthy weight? We will answer all of these questions in this article. Without further ado, let’s check out how much chickens weigh and what you can do.
Average Chicken Weight
To discuss chicken weight, it’s essential to note that there’s no universal average weight for all chickens. It’s because chickens are divided into two classifications: bantam and large chicken breeds. As their names suggest, large chicken breeds are usually bigger than bantam chickens.
Adult chickens typically weigh between one to thirteen pounds, with many averaging around five and a half pounds. There are only a few infrequent occasions when a chicken would fall heavier than this weight range.
Often, owners select a chicken breed to raise based on its typical weight. It’s understood that more giant chickens will produce larger eggs than smaller ones. That’s why knowing more about a specific breed will help chicken owners figure out how much they will weigh once they reach adult age. If you want to know more about chickens and their weight, continue reading the following sections below to learn about the different weight classifications in chickens.
The first classification we’ll discuss is the lightweight breeds. These are the typical breeds that don’t reach more than 40 oz of weight, even as adults. You might have heard of them with the term ‘bantam chickens.’ Check out the following lightweight chicken breeds for more information.
Let’s start with the Malaysian Serama, the world’s lightest chicken breed. They are a fascinating breed because of their size and upright posture, but they are also gentle and friendly around people and other chickens. Their average weight only falls between 13 to 19 ounces, the smallest in the world.
Next up is Nankin, one of the oldest chicken breeds to date. Since it is known to be more prolonged than most breeds, the Nankin is believed to be a significant factor in how more bantam chickens were produced after them. This breed is a true bantam, meaning there are no larger versions of it. Their average weight is 1.5 pounds, a proper bantamweight.
After discussing lightweight breeds, let’s now focus on heavyweight breeds. As the name implies, this breed is heavier and more significant in size compared to other chickens. The weight range usually falls from 3 to 5 kilos. However, they can still be heavier depending on the environment in which they are raised. Look at the list below of the most common heavyweight breeds.
Brahma chicken is a heavyweight breed that usually weighs more than 10 pounds. Their sweet temperament and ability to produce 140 eggs per year are some of the reasons why they are favored by many. Hens generally weigh more than 10 pounds, while roosters weigh more than 12 pounds.
The next heavyweight breed in our list is the Jersey Giant, known to be the heaviest chicken breed in the entire USA. They were first created by mixing dark Brahma, Black Java, and Black Langshan chickens. Jersey roosters can weigh anywhere between 13 to 15 pounds, while a hen can weigh up to 11 pounds.
After the lightweight and heavyweight breeds, we must not forget to include those who fall into the regular-sized classification. They are effortless to raise and take care of since you would immediately know if they are on the healthy side or not.
Among the categories, regular-sized chicken breeds are commonly found in poultry farms because they are easy to raise. You may check out the examples listed below if you’re curious about them.
Next, we have the Rhode Island Red, a popular choice among chicken breeds to raise. This is caused by their fantastic ability to produce up to 300 eggs per annum, one of the best records for producing eggs. The hens usually weigh about 6.5 pounds, while the males can reach up to 8.5 pounds.
The Leghorn chicken is a distinct type of breed that you can distinguish at first glance with its red wattle and white feathered body. However, do not mistake them for this variation only since Leghorns are recognized to have 10 different color varieties. The average weight for Leghorn roosters is 7.5 pounds, while hens are about 5 pounds.
Weighing your Chicken
For those people out there who are still not quite sure how to determine if your chicken has a healthy weight or not, we’ll be teaching you how to weigh your chicken efficiently. You can do so in three ways, but you need to be sure that it’s the best method for your chicken. We’ll thoroughly explain the steps in weighing your chicken, so continue reading the rest of this article. You can check out this video below if you want a visual representation of how to weigh your chicken.
The first method of weighing your chicken is using a cord to hang your chicken upside down. This is a straightforward process where you tie the rope to your chicken’s feet and turn it on a weighing scale. It’s efficient, fast, and without a doubt, easier to do for more giant chickens that are hard to handle.
The following process is using a sack. It works just the same as the cord, but without the tying. You just need to put your chicken in a bag and let them snuggle up comfortably before hanging it on the weighing scale. While this might take some time since your chicken might not be comfortable with being put inside a sack, it’s a great trick to do consistently so that you won’t have any problems getting your chicken inside a bag.
Using a small food weighing scale is the last technique to cap off this section. Although it may be the easiest one out of the three, you won’t be able to use this method for heavier chickens since it would be more of a struggle to keep them in place and not affect the weight that the scale reads. You also need to put a light piece of paper or something that can protect the scale from accidents. This method is preferable to use for baby chicks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we’ve covered the essential topics regarding chickens and their weights, you must still have some questions you would like answered. Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the topic. Feel free to read the answers and insight into some of the facts you should know about a chicken’s weight.
What to do about underweight chickens?
There are many reasons why your chicken could be underweight such as growth spurts or health reasons. If your chicken is underweight, you first need to add a few calories or protein to their meals.
Leave some kernels or similar treats in their hatch so they can access it anytime they want. You can also try to add some supplements to their meals. If all of that doesn’t work, it’s time to consult a veterinarian to gain a more advanced opinion if your chicken is genuinely having problems with its health.
What to do about overweight chickens?
It’s essential to know how much your chicken should weigh because a chicken that’s too heavy can result in tons of other health problems that could affect their daily lives. They might face difficulties laying eggs or suffer from conditions like prolapse.
For overweight chickens, keep the treats at bay and replace the calorie-rich meals with fruits and vegetables so that you’ll have control over their weight gains. Be careful about what your chickens eat, and ensure they get some time for exercise and walking around. If their weight problem is getting out of hand, consult a specialist to find out what you can do.
Are hens lighter than roosters?
The answer is yes, but not in every situation. There can still be an instance where a hen is much heavier than a rooster. Still, there could be environmental factors that cause them to be heavier than their male counterparts.
Generally speaking, roosters are built to be bigger and heavier since they need to fight each other constantly. You also need to consider their breeds because it can also be a factor why your hen is heavier than a rooster.
Chickens vary in size and weight; it’s natural for some to be smaller than others. We hope this article helped answer your question, “How much do chickens weigh?”. It’s better to understand your chicken’s breed so that you can give them specific care designed for them and keep them healthy.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.