Ornamental chicken breeds are some of the most beautiful birds. They often have wild colorful plumage and quirky personalities. These chickens are called ornamentals because they often lay small eggs and have a much lower egg-laying rate than typical for chickens.
Ornamental chicken breeds are known for having the most froo-froo feathers on the head, feet, and body. They are fun birds to own! These chickens make great pets. Depending on the breed their feathers may not keep them warm in cold climates and so they require an extra bit of TLC.
Chickens have also been known to help bring peace to our spirits and uplift our moods. This concept is really catching on in nursing homes around the country! Since ornamental chicken breeds don’t lay large eggs and are not big in stature, they are great for this purpose.
Another great reason to have ornamental chicken breeds is that most of them go broody quite often. So if you have other great layers and a rooster, these birds will sit on a clutch and hatch them out for you! So consider this before you toss these birds off of your list.
Whether you are looking for a pet, a companion or just an exotic friendly bird, here are some ornamental chicken breeds you’re sure to love!
Ornamental Chicken Breeds
American Game Bantam: Bantam sized chicken with a single comb who is heat tolerant. Laying a peewee sized light brown egg they go broody often. Their personalities vary and they originate in the USA.
Belgian Bearded D’Anvers: These chickens are true bantams with bearded cheeks. They have a rose comb, tolerate heat and lay peewee white eggs. D’Anver’s go broody often has a docile personality and are from Belgium.
Belgian Bearded D’Uccle: A true bantam in size the D’Uccle also has bearded cheeks. With a single comb, they also tolerate heat well. Laying peewee white eggs they are docile creatures and also from Belgium.
Booted Bantam: Another true bantam in size these guys have a single comb and again, tolerate heat well. A peewee sized white egg is typical. They are docile in nature go broody often and originate in Asia and the Netherlands.
Cubalaya: This chicken is large or bantam and has a pea style comb. Tolerates heat and cold hardy this bird is great for any climate. They lay a small to medium brown egg and go broody a lot. They are aggressive in nature and originated in Cuba.
Dutch Bantam: A true bantam, these birds have a single comb and tolerate heat well. Laying a small brown egg, they go broody and are flighty. They are from Java.
Japanese Bantam: Yet another true bantam with a single comb, these chickens lay peewee brown eggs. They are docile, flighty and from Japan.
Kraienkoppe: Larger or bantam in size with a walnut style comb, these birds are cold hardy. They lay a medium brown egg, are flighty and come from the Netherlands.
Modern Game: These chickens come in large or bantam size. They have a single comb and are heat tolerant. Laying a small light brown egg they go broody often. Aggressive in nature they are from England.
Nankin: A true bantam with a single or rose style comb. They lay a tiny light brown egg, go broody often and are docile creatures. Originate from England.
Old English Game: Large or bantam sized chickens they have a single comb and tolerate heat and cold well. Laying a small light brown egg, they are aggressive and hail from England.
Phoenix: Another large or bantam bird they have a single comb and tolerate heat well. Laying more than most ornamental chicken breeds at 200-250 small to medium light brown eggs a year! Not known for broodiness, they are docile and come from both Japan and Germany.
Pyncheon: True bantam in size with a single style comb. Laying tiny light brown eggs, they sometimes go broody and are docile in nature. Their origination is unconfirmed but thought to be in Belgium.
Rosecomb: A true bantam in size with a large rose comb. Cold-hardy and heat resistant birds they lay a peewee sized light brown egg. They do not go broody, are docile and from Rhode Island.
Sebright: Another true bantam with beautiful plumage this chicken has a rose comb and thrives in heat. Laying a tiny brown egg, they do not go broody. Flighty in nature and hailing from England.
Serama: Yet another true bantam. These chickens have a single comb and tolerate heat well. Laying tiny brown eggs they go broody quite often and are docile birds. These guys originated in Malaysia.
Sicilian Buttercup: Larger in size these guys have a buttercup comb and like the heat. They lay a small to medium white egg and do not go broody. Typically flighty personalities and hail from Italy.
Silkie: These small chickens are of the most popular when it comes to ornamental chicken breeds. They carry a walnut style comb and tolerate heat. Laying a peewee sized white egg they go broody often. Silkie’s have a docile personality originating in China.
Spanish: Large or bantam in size, they carry a large single comb. Tolerating heat well, they lay a large white egg about 150-200 times a year. They do not go broody, are flighty and come from Spain.
Spitzhauben: A large or bantam these guys have a V-shaped comb. They do well in both hot and cold climates. Laying medium white eggs they good broody often. They are flighty from Switzerland.
Sultan: Another large or bantam sized chicken with a V-shaped comb. Loves the heat and lays a small white egg. These birds do not go broody and are docile. They originated in Turkey.
Sumatra: Large or bantam with a pea styled comb. Does well in heat or cold laying a medium light brown egg about 150-200 times a year. They go broody often. Personalities range from flight to aggressive. They come from Sumatra.
Yokohama: Large or bantam with a walnut styled comb, these chickens like the heat. Laying a small to medium white egg, they often go broody. Their personalities are docile and they come from both Japan and Germany.
Phew! That wraps up our series on chicken breeds. This list of ornamental chicken breeds is no way extensive. There are a ton of chickens out there, all over the world. As you continue to grow and change as a chicken owner just remember to get what you like and if you happen to get a breed you don’t like, then just put him the freezer 😉
~Until Next Time,
Question: What are your favorite ornamental chicken breeds?
Source: The Chicken Encyclopedia by Gail Damerow; pgs 304-311 Copyright 2012