10 American Chicken Breeds

Americans are chicken lovers, so many keep various breeds in their urban backyards and rural farmlands.

Although most of the chicken breeds Americans raise today come from Europe and Asia, many Americans raise some breeds that originate from their country.

Most of these breeds are dual-purpose birds. Here is a rundown of the ten most popular American chicken breeds to raise in your farm or backyard.

1. Plymouth Rock

The Plymouth Rock chicken is a true American breed. The dual-purpose bird comes in wide varieties: white, buff, barred, silver penciled, Columbian, blue, and partridge. Plymouth Rocks are good layers and great table birds.

They are among the best American breeds for backyard farming. Plymouth Rocks have single combs with five points. Their earlobes and wattles are bright red, while the legs are featherless and yellow.

The beaks can be horn-colored or yellow, depending on the variety. Plymouth Rock chickens have broad and long bodies, and their breasts are relatively deep. Plymouth Rocks are pretty large birds, weighing 7.5 lb. for males and 6.5 lb. for females.

Bantam Plymouth Rock roosters weigh 1.36 kg, while female bantams weigh 1.13 kg. Hens can lay between four and five eggs weekly.

Plymouth Rocks are mellow and calm birds. They don’t have bad attitudes, such as pecking at flock mates. These chickens can live between six and eight years.

2. Rhode Island Red

The dual-purpose chicken is an excellent choice of the breed to raise in your backyard for eggs and meat. Rhode Island Reds have long rectangular bodies.

These chickens have red plumage, reddish-brown beaks, and red-orange eyes. They have large, rose, or single combs. They are among the best egg-laying American breeds, capable of laying between 200 and 300 brown eggs annually.

Rhode Island Reds also yield high quantities of flavored meat. These chickens are large birds, weighing 8.6 lb. for roosters and 6.6 lb. for females. Rhode Island Reds are calm, docile, and active.

These birds are suitable for both free range and confinement. They are robust birds with tolerance to all climates. They can live between five and eight years.

3. Wyandotte Chicken

The Wyandotte chicken is among the most famous American breeds and one of the oldest American breeds.

Farmers keep the dual-purpose breed for its flavored yellow-skin meat and large brown eggs. Wyandotte chickens are way larger than the standard breeds. Wyandottes have compact and rounded bodies.

These chickens have red earlobes, faces, and wattles. They weigh between 8 lb. and nine lb. for roosters and between 6 lb. and seven lb. for hens. Wyandotte chickens are excellent meat birds, thanks to their massive sizes.

Because Wyandottes are hardy, they can live for up to 12 years. They are efficient layers since they can produce approximately 200 brown eggs annually.

These chickens are calm and docile. Their lovely temperaments make them great birds to raise in any backyard.

4. New Hampshire

The New Hampshire chicken breed results from selectively breeding the Rhode Island Red chickens until these chickens become New Hampshire chickens.

New Hampshire chickens have deep, broad bodies and dazzling chestnut plumage. These birds reach maturity pretty quickly. Although they are dual-purpose chickens, most people use the birds for meat production.

These chickens weigh 8.5 pounds for males and 6.5 pounds for females. Hens are good layers, capable of laying around 280 eggs yearly. Although Red Hampshire hens are prone to broodiness, they make lovely mothers.

New Hampshire chickens are family-friendly birds and excellent for beginners. These chickens’ temperaments can vary from one bird to the other.

For instance, some New Hampshire chickens can be aggressive and friendly, while others can be docile and gentle. These chickens’ life expectancy in captivity is approximately seven years.

5. Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant is the largest non-hybrid chicken breed in existence. Jersey Giants have tight feathers, giving them an elegant and clean appearance.

These chickens have several color variations. Some Jersey Giants, for instance, can be white, red, black, or blue. Jersey Giants are heavy birds, weighing around 13 lb. for cocks and ten lb. for hens.

Jersey Giants are raised primarily for meat, but they are also reliable layers since hens can lay around 260 eggs annually. These giant chickens are gentle and friendly.

They get along with other chicken species, although some fearful breeds may not get close to these large birds.

Their lifespan is proportionally shorter than their colossal size since they can only live for six years.

6. Delaware Chicken

The Delaware chicken is an American chicken breed that originates from Delaware State. It was once among the most popular breeds, although today, the species is critically endangered.

Delaware chickens are white birds with black plumage around their necks. They have black barred tail feathers. The Delaware chicken has a single red comb and red earlobes and wattles. The breed has white skin and a yellow shank.

Delaware chickens have a rounded and squat appearance. These medium-sized fowls are approximately 27.6 inches tall. They weigh about 8.5 pounds for males and 6.5 pounds for females.

Delaware hens are excellent layers. They lay around 280 large to jumbo-sized brown eggs annually. Pullets start laying when they are 16 weeks old. Unfortunately, egg production in Delaware hens keeps plummeting with age.

Delaware chickens are good meat producers. Their long and broad bodies help them produce substantial quantities of flavored chicken meat. Delaware chickens are gentle and calm. Males can be somewhat pushy, but they rarely bully flock mates. Delaware chickens don’t have a long lifespan.

These chickens can only live for approximately five years.

7. Java Chicken

The Java chicken is the second oldest American chicken breed after the Dominique chicken. It is a breed that comes from crossbreeding several unknown breeds from Asia.

Java chickens have four varieties: auburn, white, mottled, and black. Black Javas, for instance, have black or dark brown eyes and black beaks. These chickens have black legs and yellow feet bottoms.

Mottled Javas have reddish eyes and horn beaks, yellow feet bottoms, and black legs. Auburn Javas have light-willow legs, horn beaks, and yellow feet bottoms.

Java chickens are large-sized birds weighing approximately 4.3 kg for roosters and 3.4 for hens. These chickens have small-sized wattles and small red earlobes.

Java chickens are calm and docile and tend to enjoy human company. The birds are strong, healthy, and capable of withstanding harsh climates and several poultry diseases.

Javas can tolerate confinement, although the birds love being in free range. They also interact well with other breeds. They are pretty independent and active, making the birds a worthy sight in your backyard.

Java hens lay large brown eggs, with egg production reaching between 150 and 180 eggs annually. Javas are suitable for meat, particularly for small-scale flock keepers. The chickens can live between six and eight years.

8. Brahma Chicken

The Brahma chicken is a giant breed, only comparable to the Jersey Giant. Brahma chickens have ample feathering that makes them look even larger.

Brahmas have pea combs and short but powerful beaks. Their heavy feathering extends to their legs, covering their two outer toes. These chickens have large heads with slightly overhanging brows, giving them a mean look.

Brahmas come in multiple color variations, including light, dark, and buff. Light Brahmas are white with heavy black feathering on their tails.

Dark Brahmas have dark plumages with white lacings. Buff Brahmas look similar to their light counterparts, although Buff Brahmas have soft golden feathers.

Brahma roosters weigh approximately 12 lbs., while hens weigh around 8 lbs. Hens are moderate layers since they lay around 150 large-sized brown eggs. Brahmas are excellent chickens for the table owing to their massive size.

Brahmas are incredible, calm, sweet, good-natured, and with a beautiful, laid-back disposition. These chickens can live between six and eight years.

9. Leghorn Chicken

The leghorn chicken is an American breed with a long and obscure history. Leghorns have bright yellow beaks, yellow legs, and yellow skins. These chickens have white earlobes, a common trait in all breeds with white legs.

The birds have four yellow toes on every foot. Leghorns have red wattles. They can have either a rose comb or a single comb.

Leghorns weigh 3.4 kg for roosters and 2.5 kg for hens. Leghorns are some of the most terrific American egg-laying breeds. Mature hens can lay between 280 and 320 eggs annually.

Nonetheless, Leghorns aren’t viable meat producers since they are light birds. Leghorns are pretty resourceful and intelligent.

They will meet their dietary needs while free-ranging. These chickens can live for around six years.

10. Ameraucana Chicken

The Ameraucana chicken is a domestic American chicken breed that results from crossing Araucana chickens from Chile with local species.

Ameraucana chickens have full tails, beards, muffs, and white skins. Their legs can be black or slate, but these chickens don’t have ear tufts.

Ameraucana chickens weigh approximately 6.5 lb. for roosters and 5.5 lb. for hens. These chickens are people-friendly and docile. They are curious and laid back but always avoid trouble.

Ameraucana hens lay around 200 blue-shelled eggs annually, with most hens laying year-round. The primary purpose of these chickens is egg production.

While they aren’t good meat producers, these chickens are healthy birds and have excellent meat quality. Ameraucana chickens can live between seven and eight years.


America has a thriving poultry industry, and that’s why there are dozens of chicken breeds from the US.

These breeds are suitable for eggs and meat, although some are great ornamental breeds.

Whether you want an American breed for eggs or meat, you will undoubtedly get a breed that suits you.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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