Can an animal seemingly as common as a chicken be considered “beautiful”? Sound like a stretch? There are dozens of species of chickens out there and not only are some considered beautiful, some are downright designer! After learning about the wide and varied world of chickens, you may even want to start a coop of your own!
1. Silkie Bantam Chicken
This beautiful chicken is covered in downy feathers that feel like pure silk. They have a few qualities outside of their unique feathers that make them stand out, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes and five toes on each foot.
They are often kept as pets because of their calm and friendly temperament. As egg layers, they average about three per week and can even be used to hatch the eggs of other hens. They’re that nice. Read more about Silkie Bantam.
2. Gold Laced Wyandotte
A beautiful chicken with a classic overall shape and mesmerizing feathers. There are several species of Wyandotte in a variety of colors, but the Gold Laced is covered in striking brown-gold feathers that are individually highlighted with black around the tips.
They are dramatic-looking and hardy and do well in cold weather. They are sturdy egg layers that produce brown eggs and is commonly used as a show breed. Read more about Gold Laced Wyandotte.
3. Modern Game Bantam
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This fowl might not have traditional good looks, but it has a rich history and with legs like that, it’s bound to get noticed! Bantams were once a breed that was used for cockfighting in the 1800s.
They have strong claws and long, bare legs that make them ideal as fighters. Once the practice was outlawed, owners turned to breed them instead. Purely a competition and breeding chicken, Bantams are not valued for meat nor are they good egg-layers. Read more about Modern Game Bantam.
4. Frizzle Chicken
By far one of the strangest breeds on this list, the Frizzle chicken looks like it wandered a little too close to an electrical socket. “Frizzle” can be considered both a type of plumage (more common in the United States), but the Frizzle breed is more common in European countries and Australia. T
heir feathers, which come in a variety of colors, are light and fluffy and curled outward, giving it a unique look.
The gene that causes the frizzled look is recessive and was almost bred out of the species completely. Selective breeders brought it back, however, and they are used for exhibition shows. They are reliable egg layers and good brooders, but it is their unique feathers that make them truly stand out from the crowd. Read more about Frizzle Chicken.
5. Barbu d’Uccle Chicken
Another notable beautiful chicken, the Barbu d’Uccle is a unique Belgian breed that is also used in poultry shows. They come in a variety of colors, are more common in Europe. They are short but have a full beard and muff. Their short necks are very strong and they have a dramatic posture with a broad breast and a short, perky tail held straight up.
The millefleur color, which is one of the most dramatic, is a mix of white, brown and black with well-defined feathers and a single comb. They are not well known for egg-laying, but their hardy nature and sturdy posture make them a beautiful chicken indeed. Read more about Barbu d’Uccle Chicken.
6. Faverolles Chicken
If you are looking for a bird with classic good looks but is also a great family addition, look no further. The Faverolles is a favorite breed for families that are keeping chickens as pets. They are unique looking, with beards, feathered feet and five toes and fluffy plumage. Roosters are large and dramatic, with a rainbow of feathers that shine iridescent.
They are very calm and form genuine bonds with their keepers. Hens are excellent egg producers, even in winter. If you are a family with a mixed flock, however, it’s important to consider their docile nature with more aggressive birds. These beautiful chickens are a wonderful addition to any coop. Read more about Faverolles Chicken.
7. Sebright Chicken
You really can’t beat the striking plumage on this beautiful chicken. Unlike most other breeds that have a variety of color variations, Sebrights only come in gold and silver. Like the Wyandotte chickens, the feathers on these birds are dramatically outlined in black with a light golden or silver base color underneath.
They are a miniature bird, they are considered a “true bantam” and are one of the first breeds of poultry to have its own club of enthusiasts. You could consider them the OG beautiful chicken.
They only lay around 60-80 eggs per year and are not for beginners. Adults are hardy, but chicks are difficult to raise and suffer from high mortality rates. If you are up to the challenge, however, these gorgeous birds amazing to behold. Read more about Sebright Chicken.
8. Phoenix Chicken
If you are looking at this chicken and expecting it to burst into flames and then rise from the ashes like the mythical bird it takes its name from, you might be disappointed.
If you are looking for a beautiful chicken with impressive plumage, then you are on the right track! Phoenix chickens are actually a cross between more traditional European breeds and the Japanese Onagadori. Onagadori chickens are notable because they only molt every three to four years.
As a result, the tail feathers of roosters grow to a length of 12 to 27 feet. That’s right, feet. The creation of Phoenix chickens is credited to Hugo du Roi, a German who cross-bred the Onagadori with other European breeds to product a golden-feathered rooster with tail feathers reaching between 12 and 18 inches.
They are hardy and well suited to roam, and hens are decent layers. They come in three striking colors; Silver, Golden and Black Breasted Red. Read more about Phoenix Chicken.
9. Brahma Chicken
The term “Brahma bull” probably evokes a specific image in your mind. It would also be accurate to describe this enormous and impressive beautiful chicken. Roosters are called the “King of the Chicken Breeds” because they can reach a whopping 18 pounds! Hens are smaller, but can still reach 12-14 lbs.
Hardy in nature and excellent egg layers, these enormous chickens have feathered legs and come in three basic colors; standard light, dark and buff. Their size prevents them from being able to fly well, but they are gentle and docile and great in cooler, dry climates. Read more about Brahma Chicken.
10. Hamburg Chicken
A beautiful chicken that comes in a huge variety of colors! Black and white varieties look something like a dalmatian dog disguised as a chicken. They are fast, very good fliers (for chickens) and like to roost in trees. They are prolific egg layers and mature early and they are very compact.
They explore freely, and while Hamburg might not be the most cuddly chicken for a human, they get along well with other chickens in the coop. Understanding their personalities and roving nature is key to successfully add this breed to your flock, however!
They are very strong-willed and keeping them means taking the necessary step of clipping their wings regularly to keep them out of trouble. Read more about Hamburg Chicken.
11. Golden Polish
Another ornamental breed of chicken that stands out from the crowd is the Golden Polish. Known for their unique and, frankly, wild hair-do, these birds are a smaller breed with a very large puff of plumage covering their entire heads. The feathers are fluffy and wild-looking and give them a somewhat comical appearance.
Their head feathers can grow so puffy, in fact, that it can totally obstruct their vision! Polish chickens all share this unique characteristic, so from an egg-laying perspective, they are somewhat unreliable due to breeding. Read more about Golden Polish.
12. Plymouth Rock Chicken
Now, this is a chicken with some royal good looks! Bred by some of America’s first European settlers, this beautiful chicken has a likeness that is used in paintings and recognizable logos. It is one of the most popular chicken breeds in the nation.
Prized for its meat, egg production and roosting ability, hens of the species boast contrasting colors of barred plumage. Roosters have a long-feathered tail that sits high on its back, giving it a graceful arch. Plymouth Rock Chickens are also commonly used as pets, because of their docile nature. Read more about Plymouth Rock Chicken.
Chickens aren’t just egg layers and sources of meat anymore. They are wildly diverse, have unique personalities and histories and different needs. Some breeds are rare and wild, some are docile and family-friendly. Whether you are researching a beautiful chicken casually or looking to start a coop of your own, we encourage you to dive deeper into this fascinating world!