The Different Types of Chickens To Choose From

Different Types of Chickens, Breeds & Varieties

types of chickens

Several classes of chickens can be penned together, their temperament is what determines compatibility when you are keeping multiple varieties together.

Different types of chickens are classified into several breeds in several classes throughout the world. As a matter of fact there are over 300 breeds and varieties that are recognized. These different breeds are distinguished by certain traits and characteristics that all the varieties within the breed share.

Types of Chickens

The types of  chickens are relative to geographic location that a particular breed originated and in the class are groups of breeds. The American Class, for instance with the breed Rhode Island Red, which originated in Rhode Island just like the Plymouth Rock originated in Plymouth Rock, both individual breeds in the same class, and so on.

When we talking about different classes of chickens variety and breeds a variety is simply a sub-division of a breed and can be distinguished by the slight variation form the primary breed, such as color, plumage or comb type etc., no matter the variation, however, the body shape and physical features should be identical.

A breed of a chicken is referring to a group of chickens that possess a particular set of physical features like number of toes, feathered shanks, and shape of the body or skin color for instance. If breeding occurs within their own kind, then because the breed is established, the expectation is that all these physical traits will be passed onto the offspring.

Besides different types of chickens, breeds and varieties also have strains that are a result of one person, such as a hobbyist, or an organization that has their own breeding program to enhance a particular trait such as size for meat, appearance or egg production. Strains are populations that are breeding that possess common traits, so if you have Jersey Giants and Brahmas that are cohabiting and are breeding, their offspring will be a strain.

Besides the American Class of chicken, there are the ones listed below:

  • Asiatic Class
  • English Class
  • Mediterranean Class
  • Games Class
  • Class Listed as Miscellaneous

Varieties & Strains of Chickens

Each class contains several breeds and each breed, typically, has several varieties.
Bantams for the most part can fall into all of the classes listed above because most large chicken breeds have a bantam counterpart. Usually one-fifth to one-quarter the size of the standard breed, they are expected to exhibit all of the standard breed’s characteristics. However not all large breed have a bantam counterpart and similarly not all bantams are a replica of a large breed.

In a sense they could be considered their own class since Bantam Chickens origin from the city of Bantam – currently known as Banten Province. Really they are miniature chickens that are categorized as bantams with over 350 kinds of breeding miniature chickens, typically breed and kept for exhibition.

There are several combinations of physical features, 350 of them, that are used to identify and classify each breed, variety and strain of chicken.

It is the categorization and organization of this information that makes it possible to identify and put together your own flock of chickens based on your own needs such as egg production, heavier breeds for meat production, for show and temperament such as docile or aggressive.

Do you keep chickens? What breed or variety do you have? Please leave a comments below and as always, please share this page! thanks!!



  1. Michelle M. Losey

    January 12, 2017 at 8:00 am
    I’m disabled now but I’ve had alot of different breeds. But my faves for roosters are White Silkie, Rose comb brown leghorns and Wheaten Old English games 🙂 For hens I prefer those that’ll set at least once a yr. Have both good meat and eggs and are friendly and talkative. BUT I don’t always stick to my own rules ‘cuz some I like for their personalities. Like silver spangled hamburg I almost always had a few of them. Other hens I liked were Buff orphington, Barred rock, Buff rock, Rhode Island red, Buff brahma, Favorelle, Large modern game, Sussex, Mottled Houdan, Mille fleur D’uccle. Golden campine, Americauna- blue or pink egger got rid of all green eggers was careful who they bred with.

  2. Steve Hales

    January 17, 2017 at 6:42 pm


    Thanks for the comment!

    I’ve not had many of the types you have listed. I’ve had Brahma’s, orpingtons, Silver Spangled Hamburgs, Araucana and Australorps. The which the last 2 have been my best layers. For the orpington I was expecting higher egg production from, but they didn’t do as well as I hoped. Their a big bird though, so nice for eggs and meat. I liked how docile the orpingtons were as well, easy bird to have around kids. Were chickens all you kept or did you keep other birds like ducks or turkeys?

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