There are dozens and dozens of different chicken breeds in existence today. Sometimes, this number becomes a problem when trying to pick a new addition to your chicken family. We understand, after all, there are just so many to choose from!
Well, allow us to introduce 9 weird chicken breeds. These chickens might be weird, but they might be what your flock is missing.
1. Araucana Chicken
Someone might have misassembled our next bird. The Araucana chickens mostly do not have tail feathers, and it seems those plumes went to their faces!
This breed is known to be rumpless, which is why their tails are usually missing in action. However, they do have tufts that grow on their faces. These tufts sometimes grow a mind of their own and go in different directions. Do not be surprised if you see an Araucana with a tiny pair of wings on its face, or one with a fabulous mustache, or one with an overgrown beard. There is no telling with these tufts.
It seems you cannot go wrong whichever type of Araucana you get. This breed is known as a friendly bunch. They could also be quite lively, which might be perfect if you have an active child – they could be playmates! Overall, they are a great choice if you want a family pet.
However, we hope you are not looking for a meat bird, as these birds are not the best table birds around. Nonetheless, they could provide you with wonderful blue eggs. Furthermore, the Araucana is a decent egg layer, providing around 150 eggs each year.
If you’re looking for a unique bird that can give you unique eggs, the Araucana is for you.
2. Onagadori Chicken
Have you ever wanted to take care of a phoenix? We know they do not exist, but we might have the next best thing! You could say that the Onagadori is a real-life representation of the elegance and grace of the phoenix.
The Onagadori is a Japanese breed possessing a long and majestic tail, and we are not exaggerating! This chicken’s tail can reach lengths of about 12 meters. It is a beauty, and was even recognized as a Japanese National Natural Treasure.
They have been around for a long time, and they sure do have a long and rich history. The Onagadori is a royal bird and has been known to adorn the gardens of emperors. Today, many are still amazed at the beauty of this bird. However, it is not the easiest chicken to acquire. They are not quite as common, and you need a good eye to get yourself a purebred one.
If you happen to get your hands on one of these elegant fowls, then you ought to be prepared to take care of those stately tails. Their plumage does not molt as often as other birds, which means they would have to keep their damaged plumes for a longer time.
3. Modern Game Chicken
The Modern Game chicken may not have long feathers like the Onagadori, but it does have some pretty long legs! These birds have one of the longest legs you will ever see, and they would most likely catch the attention of anyone.
Despite its name, the Modern Game was not made for cockfighting. It was actually developed after the sport became illegal. They are ornamental birds, and you could expect them to get you that trophy or blue ribbon in poultry shows.
However, they are not the most productive birds around. The Modern Game is not dependable when it comes to egg production. On average, they could only give you one egg a week. Nevertheless, they go broody, so they might be able to help you if you have some eggs that need a mother. On the other hand, they are not great table birds as well.
Game birds usually have more fire than other birds, but the Modern Game does not seem to hold that aggressiveness. They might look a little intimidating than our usually fluffier companions, but they are known to be calm and friendly. The Modern Game would be a great choice to be a barnyard buddy when they are not competing for that first place!
4. Naked Neck Chicken
Yes, we are still talking about chickens. No, that is not an unknown breed of a turkey.
This bird is the Naked Neck chicken. Sometimes, they are also referred to as the Turken or the Churkey! Amusingly, these guys got their nicknames as a nod to the fact that people have mistakenly thought that they were the product of a chicken and a turkey.
As the name suggests, their necks are bare, which sometimes extends to the uppermost part of their bodies. Other portions of their frame have feathers. However, it seems it is barely covering them as they have a comparably lower number of plumes than other chickens.
Despite their unusual appearance, you will not see them as usuals in poultry shows. They are not known to be ornamental or exhibition birds. Instead, these birds are known to be a dual-purpose breed. The Naked Neck can be depended on for eggs as they could give you three eggs a week. Furthermore, they also pass as a good table bird with their meaty bodies and noticeable lack of feathering.
They are undoubtedly a choice to consider, especially if you have some turkeys on your land. I do not know about you, but I would love to see a Turken and a Turkey meet for the first time.
5. Silkie Chicken
Next up, we have one of my all-time favorites – the Silkies. They are one of the most adorable chicken breeds out there. Sometimes, they do not even look like chickens. They look like walking balls of fluff!
Their plumage is quite unique in contrast to our more common fellas. Furthermore, as their name suggests, their feathers feel like silk. If you are thinking that it would be a delight to hug one of these little critters, you are in for a treat. These guys are a calm and friendly bunch. They would more than welcome your love! This friendliness also extends to other birds, so you will not have that much of a hard time introducing them to the family.
However, the Silkies are not all about appearances! They are also sought after as they have multiple uses. These chickens could give you a fair number of eggs, being able to give up to or more than 100 eggs each year. Furthermore, they may not have much meat, but they are sought-after table birds. Under all that feather, the Silkie has black skin and muscles, which renders them a delicacy and an ingredient in some medicines.
The Silkie is undoubtedly a great choice if you want something different – but still useful – to add to your flock.
6. Polish Chicken
Make way, make way! Here, we have a chicken with a quirky hairdo, and probably one of the coolest chickens in town. Where else will you find such a good-looking bird?
The Polish will undoubtedly get attention with its head feathers. However, there is so much more to this bird than its looks. They can also give you a good number of eggs, producing around three eggs each week.
If you are interested in chicken history, they make a mighty fine addition to your historical birds. They have been roaming the earth for a long time that parts of their history got lost along the way! Today, bits and pieces of their origin story are somewhat unclear. However, paintings from the 16th century have attested that they have been around since then.
On the other hand, if you are looking for a chicken companion for your kids, then you can count on these critters as well. They are known to be a calm and gentle bunch. You can trust them around your kids.
Whether you are looking for a handsome bird, a chicken with some history, or just a barnyard companion, the polish chicken would be a great option to consider!
7. La Fleche Chicken
Here, we have the Devil Birds. No, they are not problem birds. We doubt these critters would even give you much trouble! The La Fleches have been given the name “Devil Birds” because of their unusual comb. It is easy to spot these birds because of their combs. It is not every day you get to see horns on chickens, after all.
They were once one of the most celebrated chickens in the poultry world, as they were one of the best table birds before. Furthermore, they can give around 180 eggs a year, which is not shabby if you ask me. They were undoubtedly a great dual-purpose breed. However, they are slow-developing birds, and they soon lost this fame when fast-developing chickens came into the scene.
From their downfall, they did not only lose their fame but their numbers, as well. At one point, they have been so close to extinction. However, they are slowly regaining both their popularity and numbers back.
Overall, we believe that raising these guys would be a rewarding experience. You might need some patience since they are a slow-developing breed. However, we have little doubt that all the hard work and waiting would pay off! [Learn more about La Fleche Chicken]
8. Dong Tao Chicken
Yes, we are sure this is a chicken and not a dragon. However, the Dong Tao chicken might be what the offspring between a chicken and a dragon would look like.
The Dong Tao chickens immediately catch people’s attention with their bizarre legs. Some may think they are ordinary chickens exhibiting some form of disease or a simple allergy. However, that is how they normally look.
Their appearance may not obtain everyone’s fancy, but these are some regal birds. At one point, these birds were exclusive to royals. As we already know, only the best is served to kings and queens. These birds were not merely set apart for the noble because of their looks. It is a delicacy and possesses one of the most delicious meat before. Today, this fact still rings true.
Their market value proves that they are still prized. Currently, it is possible to sell a pair for more than $2,000!
Hatching and breeding your own Dong Tao might be one of the biggest challenges with these guys. Dong Tao hens do not produce as many eggs, and they are not known to go broody. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for them to accidentally crush their eggs with their large feet. Extra caution should be taken during the breeding process.
9. Featherless Chicken
As the name suggests, these birds do not have any feathers. No, I am not talking about those chickens about to be cooked. This bird is a real-life moving naked chicken!
You might be surprised, but it took decades to bring this bird about. They were made for the world of commercial poultry. This breed has many qualities you would look for in commercial chickens. They develop faster and usually gain weight faster.
However, since they do not have that extra layer of protection, there are several things you might want to look out for. You need extra caution with common concerns such as parasites and other insects, as their lack of plumage makes it easy for the mites and such to attack.
It is not advisable to get featherless chickens if you live in an area that gets exceptionally cold. They were developed not to produce any feathers as an answer to overheating hens, but this somewhat makes them defenseless against the cold. On the other hand, you also need to be cautious in hot seasons. Their lack of feathers also makes them susceptible to issues such as sunburns and the likes.
Overall, featherless chickens can give you a lot. However, they also require a lot of care and attention.
There you have it, 9 weird chicken breeds that you could add to your flock!
With their eccentric looks and personalities, these chickens would most probably be some of the best additions to a chicken mom or dad’s family. They may be weird, but they are just as lovable as their more common counterparts. If you think your flock is missing something, then a quirky new chicken might be what you are looking for.
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.