7 Speckled And Spotted Breeds of Chicken

What Causes Chicken Feathers Color and Spots?

Chicken feather colors are created by diluting, intensifying, or disguising black and red.

The Rhode Island Reds, for example, have the gold gene combined with the dominant rosewood gene.

When a dark feathered chicken contains the blue gene, the black hue is diluted, resulting in blue feathering.

Vitamin B2 insufficiency is the underlying cause of speckled chicken feathers.’

Different parasites may be detected on the heads and bodies of chickens.

On hens, these parasites show as black, brown, or red “spots.”

Mites, fleas, lice, and ticks are examples of these pests. Another reason for chickens feather coloring is the natural process through which hens shed their feathers and develop new ones, known as molting.

When your birds begin to molt, you’ll notice that they turn white.

When your hens begin to lose their feathers, especially around their necks, they will become white.

Feathers can also become yellow if there is too much maize in the chicken diet.

If you do incorporate crack corn with your feed and detect yellowing, you may want to reduce or eliminate it entirely.

There are a variety of foods that might produce yellowing as well.

Marigolds, grass, and dark leafy greens. Let’s go over some speckled chickens…

  1. Speckled Sussex

While the Sussex is available in a variety of colors, the Speckled Sussex is indeed a deep mahogany tint. Closer to the tip, their wings have a vivid green barring, and each tip is white or buff in hue. These feathers have a lovely iridescence when the sun shines on them. The Speckled Sussex is a nice bird with a kind nature. They are ideally suited to a family environment because roosters are typically good with children — the only exception being aggressive roosters. The Speckled Sussex is an English breed. They are also available in different hues, including white and red. Their weight is approximately nine pounds, while hens will weigh approximately seven pounds. The speckled Sussex chicken is the earliest color variant. They are very friendly and a great breed to add to a family with children. The speckled Sussex will give you roughly 4-5 eggs per week, or around 250 eggs per year.

  1. The Plymouth Rock Chicken

The banded plumage of the Plymouth Rock chicken makes it easy to identify. With its black and white bars, it resembles a prisoner, and while males and females appear to be quite similar, there are some differences between the genders. Males have equal quantities of both black and white barring. The Plymouth Rock was first seen in Massachusetts in 1849. Nobody knows what happened to the original birds, who seem to have vanished over the past 20 years or so. Around 1869, a Mr. Upham of Worcester, Massachusetts, started breeding barred males with Java hens, and the trail heats up again. It’s been suggested that he was aiming to breed for banded plumage and clean legs. These birds are now regarded to be the progenitors of today’s Plymouth Rock. They lay approximately 200 eggs each year on average, which works out to around 4 eggs per week. Even the roosters are characterized as nice, quiet, and gentle by their owners. Plymouth Rocks are naturally curious, and they like exploring their surroundings and following you about to see what you’re up to and if there are any treats to be found. Rocks love to roam free and hunt for yummy treats in the yard, but they may accept confinement if given enough room. This is a really trustworthy chicken after you’ve built a bond, and fantastic with the family and children.

  1. Brahma chicken

The Brahma chicken was the dominant breed for meat production in the United States from the 1850s until around 1930. The light and dark variations of the Brahma chicken were first recognized in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874, with the Buff form following in the 1920s. When it comes to Brahmas, there are three different hues to pick from. Light, Buff, and Dark are the three hues that are officially acknowledged. Their plumage is silky and thick down covers their entire body. Brahma chickens are extremely personable and may be taught to appreciate human interaction. Simply feed them plenty of sweets, and they’ll crawl straight into your hand for a snuggle or a snack. These birds are peaceful and gentle, and they get along with other chicken breeds as well. Even Brahma roosters are placid and less prone than other types to assault humans or other birds. The yolks, egg especially, are enormous and ideal for use in frying and baking. They are also productive layers, producing around 300 eggs each year or five to six eggs per week. A light Brahma will have a white base color with black and white hairs on the back and a black tail. The saddle feathers of this kind of rooster will have black stripes. The Dark Brahma has the most distinct hen and rooster characteristics, with a grayish hen and a black hen. The Dark Brahma can also have fair skinned wings and white-edged main feathers. The Buff Brahma is identical to the light Brahma, but instead of a white base color, it has a golden buff one. There are also certain Brahma variants that are more difficult to get by. The Australian Poultry Association acknowledges partridge, blue, black, and barred variants, which aren’t often acknowledged in the United States.

  1. Golden Laced Wyandotte

A loner is the best way to define the Golden Wyandotte. They like to be in the company of their own kind and only mix with other kinds seldom, giving them the appearance of being aloof. They aren’t one of those chickens who appreciates cuddling or lap time. They’re happy to be your friend and hang out for goodies and the odd pet, but they don’t like to be held all the time. A dual-purpose chicken that lay a considerable number of eggs and was large enough to serve a family when table fare was needed. We’ll never know the exact genetic makeup of the original Wyandotte, but we do know that Brahmas and Hamburgs were employed. The Golden Laced Wyandotte’s genetics, on the other hand, are well-known. Silver Laced Wyandottes were crossed with a Partridge, Brown Leghorn, and Cochin in Wisconsin. Wyandottes originally had both single and rose combs, but the rose comb won out when the breed standard was established in 1883. They were a popular choice in the colder northern areas of the United States since they tolerated the cold well. While there are numerous color variants in the Wyandotte breed family, the gold laced is entirely gold laced with no variances. The background is dark brown or black in tone. The color of their head and neck is more golden than black. Gold feathers are bordered in black on the breast, wings, and saddle. The gold lacing looks great on the hens, but not so much on the rooster. The head and neck of a rooster will be yellow or chestnut in color. Lacing is restricted to the breast and wings, however it is less pronounced than in hens. The sickles are black, while the hackles and saddle plumes are a gold chestnut hue. Expect four eggs every week, or a little more than 200 eggs per year, which is a respectable lot.

  1. Hamburg chicken

These chickens lay about four eggs a week or around 200 a year. Hamburg hens have close-fitting feathers, grayish blue shanks (except in the Black variant), and reddish bay eyes. They feature red rose combs, tiny to medium wattles, and ears that are either white or a lovely brilliant blue hue. Hamburg hens’ rose combs should have a point that goes directly backward, up and off the head.

Hamburg chickens come in a variety of colors and patterns. Black, Penciled in gold, Spangled Golden, Penciled in silver, Spangled in Silver, and White are recognized by the American Poultry Association. Hamburgs are also available in Blue, Penciled in Yellow and White, Penciled in lemon, Penciled in golden blue, and Cuckoo. 

Here’s some important info you’ll want to know:

Brooding hens are disliked by hens.

Hamburgs are tough as nails.

They adore flying.

They aren’t cuddly or tame.

When they’re among other chickens, they may get violent.

They make a lot of noise.

Hamburg chickens have a tumultuous past. Many European nations have claimed the birds as their own, and some poultry historians believe they originated many years ago in the Eastern Mediterranean, maybe Turkey. Even within a country, poultry enthusiasts have historically been unable to agree on the name of the breed.

  1. Ostfriesische Möwe

Silver-penciled and gold-penciled versions are both available. The Möwe gets its name from the typical rural fowl of East Friesland and West Friesland, respectively, in northwestern Germany and north-eastern Holland. It is closely linked to the Braekel and the Westfälische Totleger.

Each year, they lay around 170 eggs. This chicken is a domestic breed from Germany. It’s an uncommon breed: in 2016, there were only 215 cocks and 979 hens in Germany, with 130 breeders. It is classified as gefährdet, or “endangered.” They have excellent flight and lay a great number of big light cream to white eggs. Their demeanor is serene yet unfriendly. Even as chicks, they are tough and disease resistant. They are extremely rare in their home nations, with reports numbering in the thousands. Greenfire Farm introduced East Frisian Gulls from the coasts of Belgium, Germany, and Denmark in 2014. They are an “Old World” kind of fowl.

Ostfriesische Möwe is the German term for these fowl. These hens are an elegant landrace with excellent foraging abilities.

  1. Booted Bantam

These birds were not included in William Tegetmeier’s first British poultry standard in 1865, but he states that a pure white color variation had lately been presented. Both the white and black varieties are assumed to have been developed in the United Kingdom; the black type has been documented since 1841, when William Entwisle got a pair as a gift. By 1836, the birds had arrived in the United States and were being raised in Massachusetts. In 1879, the American Standard of Perfection was updated to include a white color option. A breed society, the Booted Bantam Society UK, was founded in 2014 in the United Kingdom. The Booted Bantam is kept as a display bird. Hens may produce around 120 eggs per year, each weighing about 30 g and ranging in color from colored to white. The Booted Bantam has a small compact body, a short back, and a well-propelled breast; the top line of the neck, back, and tail has a distinct U-shape.

The legs feature well-developed vulture hocks, with long stiff feathers sticking down from the backs of the thighs and almost touching the ground; the shanks and feet, especially on the outer side, are densely feathered. There are four toes on each foot. The wings are huge and lengthy, and they point down at a similar inclination as the vulture hocks. The ears and wattles are crimson, and the comb is solitary and erect with five to seven points. The color of the beak changes depending on the plumage of the bird.


Can Chickens Eat Bok Choy?

What is bok choy?

For those who have never heard of bok choy, you are not alone.

Unless you are familiar with Chinese cuisine you may have never known this cabbage relative.

Bok Choy is also commonly referred to as Pok Choi or Pak Choi.

This leafy green vegetable has been a part of Chinese cuisine for more than two thousand years. 

It is also known as Chinese Cabbage and is in the same family of vegetables as kale, cabbage, turnip, and broccoli.

The bok choy plant has two parts, the leafy tops, and lower stalk and all parts are edible.

The bok choy has a pleasing taste and its stalk is crunchy much like celery.

The leaves have a soft texture and yet still have a bit of crispness at the same time.

It has a grassy taste with a hint of pepper. 

What is the nutrition in bok choy?

Like most vegetables, the bok choy plant has several nutrients to offer.

This is one of the primary reasons why the Chinese people have been including it in many different foods for more than two millennia.

Bok choy contains high levels of several vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. 

Each of the vitamins offers a different benefit such as an improved immune system from vitamin C, improved eyesight from vitamin A, and improved bone and heart health from vitamin K.

Along with all the vitamins it contains, bok choy is also a source of potassium.

Getting the right amount of potassium can help to lower blood pressure and improve overall heart health.

What is even more impressive is that it packs all of the nutrients, but it is very low in calories.

A single cup of bok choy only has 9 calories. 

How might this nutrition help your chicken?

When you include bok choy in the diet that you created for your chickens they will benefit highly from many of the nutrients found inside. Just like with humans, your chicken’s immune system is very important when it comes to its overall health. Fortunately, the high level of vitamin C in bok choy is a good way to boost your chicken’s immune system. 

Along with being high in vitamin C, there is also a good amount of minerals such as calcium, folate, and iron, as well. There is also a rich source of dietary fiber in bok choy. Leafy green vegetables like the tops of bok choy contain large amounts of vitamin A. Beta Carotene (vitamin A) helps to promote improved eyesight. 

Can your chickens eat too much bok choy?

Unfortunately, as with humans, too much of a good thing can be bad even for chickens. Despite bok choy having the above-mentioned nutrients, there is a downside and if you feed your chickens too much bok choy it can be harmful to them. There are several reasons why you should limit the amount and frequency of bok choy you feed them. 

There are compounds found in bok choy called glucosinolates and these compounds can be beneficial to chickens in tiny amounts. However, these cancer preventative compounds can be toxic in larger amounts. So, to be on the safe side, you should add bok choy only as a treat instead of a staple of their diet. There is also a potentially harmful enzyme called myrosinase found in bok choy that can lead to another health concern if consumed in higher quantities. Glucosinolates in high concentrations can lead to suppressed iodine levels and can even lead to hypothyroidism. Cooking bok choy before putting it out for your flock ban help to neutralize the harmful effects of the myrosinase enzyme. 

Can chickens eat raw and cooked bok choy? 

As it turns out, leafy green veggies are just as good for chickens as they are for humans. They benefit from all of the same nutrients that are packed inside. The whole bok choy is also edible for the chicken, they can eat the leafy top portion and the more crunchy lower stalk part. Just as humans can prepare and eat bok choy fresh and raw as in a salad, you can feed it the same way to your flock of chickens.

Now, when it comes to cooked bok choy, this is when it can get dicey. Most people cook bok choy in soups or boil it to go into other recipes. The problem is salt and most spices are toxic to chickens and most animals alike. So, if you plan to cook the bok choy before you feed it to your flock be sure that you use only plain water with no salt or seasonings. 

Is there any part of the bok choy plant that chickens shouldn’t eat?

Now that you know that you can feed your flock of chickens bok choy the next thing you should know is that all parts of the plant are edible. That means you can feed them the leafy greens at the top and the more crunchy stalk at the bottom end. The only two things to remember, too much of a good thing, is not a good thing.

The other very important thing to remember, the earlier in your chicken’s development the better it is to introduce them to it. With that said, it is equally important to know that you want to be extremely careful to provide your chickens with a diverse, but a balanced diet of “fresh” fruits, grains, veggies, and meats. 

How much bok choy should you feed your chickens?

Chickens, just like humans should not consume too much bok choy since it contains a compound called glucosinolates. Too high of a level the glucosinolates can be toxic for chickens. It is recommended that you only give bok choy a couple of times a week and mix it in with other vegetables like kale or mustard greens as a treat. 

The amount you mix in will depend on the overall number of chickens in your flock. Assume each will eat about the same amount and that way you don’t end up overfeeding them. The added nutrients will help them to continue laying eggs and help improve their overall health. 

Should you feed bok choy to baby and young chickens?

While we have previously discussed that leafy green vegetables are very good for your chickens. However, when it comes to your baby chickens and young chickens you want to avoid feeding them vegetables of any kind. It is highly recommended that you start them off with a starter mix. 

The reason why you don’t want to feed greens to babies or young chickens is that it can cause them to have diarrhea or loose stool. As your chickens have grown, you can begin adding bok choy or other veggies to their diet. This is the best way to introduce them to new foods and to be sure that it doesn’t adversely affect them. 

What other Asian vegetables are healthy for a chicken to eat? 

bok choy is not the only kind of Asian vegetable that is good for chickens to eat. As we discussed earlier a well-balanced diet is very important for your flock of chickens. Part of that balanced diet should be vegetables and they should always be fresh. When it comes to Asian vegetables there are several varieties that chickens like. 

  • Eggplants
  • Daikon Radish
  • Lotus Root
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Opo Squash

All of the above-mentioned vegetables are packed with nutrients that are very beneficial to your chickens. They are very high in potassium, fiber, vitamins A, D, and K. Radishes and roots are high in vitamins, minerals, and water, which helps to keep them hydrated. 

What other dark green vegetables are healthy for a chicken to eat?

Most leafy green vegetables are packed with nutrients that are extremely healthy for your flock of chickens. So, with that said, there are many other varieties of dark leafy greens that are also good choices besides bok choy to feed your chickens. Greens are naturally high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

If you are interested in other dark green vegetables that you can look into like spinach, mustard greens, and collard greens. Chickens are quite well suited for eating leafy greens, especially mustard greens and they can eat them without having any special preparation. Just put it out for them and they can use their powerful beak to eat the greens. 


We hope that by now you have a really good understanding that feeding your chickens the right balance of food is very important and that bok choy can and should be a part of it. We also hope that you also know that you want to be sure that you don’t overdo it and that too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. So, go ahead and feed them it in moderation as long as they will eat it and by all means, make sure that you only feed them fresh bok choy. 

Photo credits

¹ Chicken photo by Photo by Monika Kubala on Unsplash

² Bok choy photo by Photo by Jasmine Waheed on Unsplash


Why Do Eggs Have Calcium Deposits?

Have you noticed lately that the eggs that your beautiful hens are laying every morning have had bumpier shells than usual? 

Maybe it’s been easy to ignore as you’ve just been scraping these little bumps off with your fingernail, but other people who are interested in buying your eggs have been pointing out the lower quality shells, and very much NOT ignoring them. 

They may be asking, ‘are these safe to eat?’ and, ‘why do the eggs have all these bumps?’

Who even knows how to answer these questions? 

What are calcium deposits?

These raised bumps are actually called calcium deposits and are defects on the shell that can occur when your chickens are eating way too much calcium. 

They show up as tiny spots on the eggs that some people might think are fish eggs. 

Calcium is one of the very most important nutrients for hens as it plays a major part in your chicken’s reproductive system. 

Of course, the easiest way to solve this problem is to introduce a healthy amount of calcium to your bird’s diets. 

However, there may be some other reasons for these egg imperfections… 

Four possible reasons for these calcium deposits

-Over ovulation 

One potential reason for these calcium deposits on eggs is over ovulation.

This happens much more often in older hens. While usually a hen only forms one egg at a time, sometimes she’ll over ovulate and produce two at once.

What usually ends up happening is one of the eggs will have too much calcium, resulting in these bumpy deposits, and the other egg will have a very weak shell or no shell at all.

This is quite a rare event, and if it only happens every once in a while, it’s nothing to worry about. 

-Lack of vitamins 

These bumpy egg shells can occur when there is a lack of vitamins.Vitamin D, and especially vitamin D3, are very important for your hens.

Vitamin D3 helps the chicken to absorb calcium into it’s system.

When they don’t get enough, the calcium goes first to their bones and cells, and doesn’t make it to the egg shell that your chicken is trying to form.

This can be a big problem, especially considering how important these vitamins are to the chicken’s overall health. 

-Possible illness 

Some of your poor chickens might catch a disease at some point in their very short lives.

These sicknesses can result in defects in the eggs that they lay and their egg shells.

Because there may be imbalances with vitamins during sickness, chickens will produce lower quality eggs with a more problems than usual.

Another reason for this is that when a chicken is sick, it’s usually drinking much less water and not eating enough. Without the right nutrients and hydration, your hen is bound to lay eggs that are a little funky. 

-Lighting and water supply 

The final potential reason for these pesky calcium deposits is that the hens aren’t receiving the right amounts and temperatures of water and lighting.

Hens need cool water to produce quality eggs, and they need a specific amount of light in the day. B

oth of these things play a huge factor in chicken’s reproductive system. 

How can these deposits be eradicated? 

Now that we know the potential causes for these calcium deposits, we can solve the great mystery on how to eradicate them (for the most part). 

-Over ovulation is one of the problems that is inevitable, and can’t be prevented. However, this problem isn’t very common so it’s most likely not going to be the top reason for the bumps on your eggs, 

-If you’re suspicious that the cause is a lack of vitamin D3, there are many supplements that you can feed the chickens to help with that. This liquid calcium can be given to the chickens daily through their drinking water. 

-Proper vaccination and sanitation is important for all hens to avoid diseases that can cause fertility problems. Avoid eggs with calcium deposits (and other side effects of illnesses) by giving your chickens all the shots they need. Make sure to educate yourself on the specific vaccines that your hens need. 

-Giving your hens enough lighting throughout the day will ensure the top quality egg production. This needs to be in a set schedule and every day they need 14 to 16 hours of daylight. When the hens are supposed to be sleeping, absolute darkness is also necessary. Without consistency, chicken’s reproduction systems can get thrown off balance. 

-Chickens need to drink a lot of water, and doing so may help eradicate the calcium deposits. Their preferred water temperature is 55f, and if it’s any hotter or cooler, the hens might not drink enough. Make sure to use a thermometer to measure the temperature of their drinking water so that your picky hens stay hydrated. 

How do I introduce more calcium to my chicken’s diet? 

One of the two most common ways to give your hen a healthy amount of calcium when it is lacking it is to actually feed your chicken egg shells. This may seem weird, but the girl chickens especially love to eat these shells and they’re very good for them! If you’re running low on egg shells, the second most common way to feed your hens calcium is through oyster shells. These are another snack that chickens enjoy and can be an excellent source of nutrients.

Are eggs with calcium deposits safe to eat? 

Yes. There’s nothing poisonous about eggs with calcium deposits.

These bumpy shells are pretty much a cosmetic issue, although they can be reflective of other issues with your hens.

As long as the shell is completely intact, the calcium deposits make no difference on if the actual egg is safe to eat, tasty, etc.

However, not everyone knows this, and customers can often see that the more blemished the egg is, the lesser the quality (kids are especially picky with this).

This is exactly why it’s still important to try to eradicate these types of eggs as much as you can. 

Why do chickens need calcium in their diet? 

Chickens need lots of calcium in their diet for a variety of reasons.

One of them being that 90% of their egg shells are made of calcium, so it takes a lot to be able to produce that every single day.

Calcium also plays a very important factor in the chicken’s heart rate, bone growth, PH level, and more.

It generally plays a huge contribution to your chicken’s health, and enables it to live a long, happy life.

The longer a hen lives, the more eggs it’ll lay, so taking proper care of your bird’s diet is a very smart investment. 

Four other eggshell imperfections

Calcium deposits are just some of the ugly blemishes that can be found on eggshells. Some other common problems include: 

-Corrugated shells are shells that have a wrinkly, ribbed appeaerance. They can be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, heat, and poor nutrition. They may be a sign that the chicken’s drinking water is too salty or has been treated with lime or other agents. 

-Wrinkled egg shells are common amongst older hens. They also can happen when the bird has been infected by a disease called infectious bronchitus, which is why vaccination against this is important. This disease stays with the chickens for life which means that the wrinkled eggs may 

appear even years after the original infection. As long as these weird-looking shells don’t have any cracks in them, thankfully, they’re still safe to eat. 

-Sometimes, chickens lay eggs without any shells at all! These shell-less eggs happen a lot when a chicken is young and just beginning it’s laying process. They can sometimes be a result of a lack of calcium or vitamin D, but as long as they’re irregular, they’re not much to worry about. These eggs can occur even when a chicken senses a disturbance at night such as a storm or a predator around the coop.

-Speckeled eggs are discoloured with brown spots everywhere. These eggs are perfectly safe to eat and are the result of debris in the chicken’s oviduct early in the process. Speckled eggs are quite common and nothing to be concerned about. 

What other lumps or deposits can be found within the egg? 

Blood spots can occur when a blood vessel is ruptured in the hen’s ovaries while the egg is being formed. These spots may look alarming but are actually safe to eat as long as the egg is cooked. They are also found in only about one percent of eggs. 

Meat spots are a similar issue, and are usually found in the egg white. These are caused by pieces of tissue being picked up by the egg as it’s in the chicken’s oviduct. While both of these deposits look a bit frightening, they’re quite rare and not a sign of any real harm to your hen. 

Depending on the frequency of your chickens producing eggs with calcium deposits, they may be harmless irregularities or a warning sign. If these ‘fish eggs’ are appearing regularly, it may be a tell-tale sign that something needs to be changed with your hen’s diets, or you need to care for them differently. But, if these eggs are a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence, there’s really nothing to worry about and your egg is safe for you to eat. So, either give your eggs some more vitamins or make yourself a yummy omelete!


7 Breeds Of Chickens With Green Feathers

When you see a classification of chicken feathers, you don’t normally see green-feathered chickens listed.

Colour variations of a chicken breed usually include white, black, buff, golden, red, and combinations of those colours.

However, there are chickens with feathers that appear to be green.

This green colouring is usually visible on black chickens under certain lighting, giving the feathers a beautiful iridescent green shimmer.

This is due to the scattering and reflecting of light, called the Tyndall effect.

Overall, most black-feathered chickens have a good chance of developing a green sheen on their feathers.

There are four types of feather luster: green, purple, blue, and matte (no sheen).

You can improve this quality on your black chicken by breeding green-sheen black chickens with other green-sheen black chickens, eliminating the ones with purple sheen. 

Other than genetics, you will also need to keep the chicken healthy.

Black chickens with green sheens are considered to be better, and their feathers also feel softer, indicating better quality.

A healthy bird with good nutrients will have more sheen to its feathers. 

It should also be noted that green sheen is more often found in roosters, although some hens have it, too.

If you want to have a chicken that glistens green under the sun, you should consider buying one of the following breeds.

  1. Australorp

The first chicken with green feathers is the Australorp chicken. It’s a breed from Australia that has been bred from Orpington chicken, specifically with the goal of creating a mighty egg layer breed. In one year, it can lay about 250-300 eggs or even more. The eggs are medium-sized, light brown eggs. Australorps will give you eggs regardless of the weather.

This Australian breed has a big build, with tightly packed soft feathers. Most Australorps are black-feathered and they’re known to have a green sheen in their feathers. There are also other varieties of the breed such as blue and white Australorps, but they’re pretty rare to find.

Australorps have a good temperament. They make good pets and they like being near their owners. Even though they like to free-range, they will also behave well when confined. If you want a beautiful black chicken with green shimmers that will sit on your child’s lap and also lay multiple eggs a week, an Australorp is the perfect choice for you!

  1. Ayam Cemani

Originating from Java, an island in Indonesia, Ayam Cemani is a unique chicken breed. Unlike other black chickens, Ayam Cemani is completely black, including its feathers, comb, skin, meat, bones, legs, toes, and even organs. Due to this, they have been associated with spiritual and mystical practices by the locals.

Being the incredible phenomenon that it is, no wonder this breed is expensive. They’re usually owned by ornamental chicken enthusiasts to add to their collection. Ayam Cemani is really a sight to behold. Their fully black, sleek body is slender complete with an upright stature. Sometimes, their black feathers will have that green sheen when hit by certain lights.

Ayam Cemani breed isn’t typically bred for their eggs, since they only lay one egg a week, resulting in around 80 eggs per year. Their eggs are also relatively small to medium so it’s not worth it. And while you’ll see many click baits online about Ayam Cemani eggs being as black as their body, this is actually a lie. Ayam Cemani eggs are white. However, if you want to collect them, they’re perfectly good, friendly, and low-maintenance chickens. 

  1. Sumatra chicken

Another breed from Indonesia, Sumatra chicken comes from the island of Sumatra. If you really want your chicken to have green feathers, this breed is a great choice. The chances of it having that gleam green are very high.

In fact, if you do a quick Google image search of the breed, you will find that most of the results have green feathers in them. This is why they are known for their looks and people breed them as ornamental chickens. Sumatra chicken also has a long tail that adds to its beauty.

However, it should be noted that Sumatra chicken is considered a rare breed. On top of that, they are also tricky to raise. They’re not domesticated, so they’re usually unfriendly towards both humans and other chickens. They also don’t like being confined and would rather be in an open area where they can forage.

Due to their aggressive nature, it is not recommended to breed them for eggs. Sumatra chickens aren’t very good layers, laying about 100 white eggs a year that are small in size. 

  1. Jersey Giant

You can probably infer from their name, that Jersey Giant is a breed of large chickens originating in New Jersey, USA. They are the biggest chicken breed in the US, with the males capable of growing up to 26 inches tall. The roosters weigh about 13 to 15 pounds and the hens about 11 pounds.

They have yellow skin, a red single comb, and a relatively short tail. The black variety of the breed often has the iridescent green colour we’re looking for. There are also white and blue varieties of the Jersey Giant.

Interestingly, they were bred to replace turkeys. But because they take longer to reach full size and the supply of turkeys improved, Jersey Giants saw a decline in demand, causing the breed to become critically endangered at one point. The current Jersey Giants have also become smaller than when they were first bred.

Jersey Giants are known to be good pets, including for houses with children. They’re also great with other chickens and other animals. They don’t peck others and they’re not aggressive. However, they can hold their own with their imposing size and stance.

  1. Black Minorca

Minorca chicken is a breed originating in Menorca, a Mediterranean island that belongs to Spain. It’s said that they were bred from Menorcan birds by the British during colonialism. Minorca is one of the biggest Mediterranean chicken breeds. Other than their body, their eggs are also one of the largest out of standard breeds.

The Minorca comes in a variety of colors, including white and buff. But the majority of them have black feathers that gleam green in the sunlight. They have a slim black-feathered body and a long tail with a single comb atop their head. Minorcas also sport exceptionally large black earlobes as one of its distinguishing features.

They are an active breed and they tend to travel too far if allowed to roam free. However, they will behave well in confinement. Minorcas are a good choice for a pet for children because they’re very docile and friendly. They’re usually also bred for their eggs. Minorca chickens lay big white eggs and they can lay around 120 eggs annually.

  1. Langshan

Langshan is a chicken breed native to China, specifically to the district of Langshan. They’ve been around since the 19th century, making them one of the oldest breeds that are still living. They’ve been said to be one of the best breeds to raise as pets because they have a good temperament and are also productive. Sadly, they’re considered an endangered species.

There are 6 varieties of the Langshan: large black, large blue, large white, bantam black, bantam blue, and bantam white. Black Langshans are easier to find than the other varieties, and they sometimes have a green sheen. Langshan chickens are large, weighing up to 9.5 pounds. They have feathers on their legs, tightly-packed feathers on their body, and an upright tail.

Langshan chickens are great layers. They can lay about 200 medium-sized brown eggs per year. They’re also known amongst chick lovers to be the sweetest fowl. Some people who own this breed have said that their Langshan likes to follow them around. They’re even described to behave like dogs because they show the desire to be near their owners. They’re surely great with children, too. Langshan chicken is a good breed for beginners.

  1. Black Faverolles

Last but not least, Faverolles chicken is a breed of fowl from the village of Faverolles in France. They are medium in size and have five toes. They were bred by mixing a lot of breeds with the goal of creating a breed whose flesh can be eaten bountifully and who lays eggs in winter. This is why they have compact, fluffy feathers to warm them during the cold months.

The original breeders of Faverolles chicken really succeeded in their mission, as Faverolles can lay around 150-200 eggs a year, including in wintertime. They will continue on to lay eggs in cold weather when other chickens will usually have stopped.

The most common variety of the Faverolles is actually salmon, and Salmon Faverolles are very popular because no other chicken breed has a colour pattern quite like it. But Black Faverolles are really worth mentioning as one of the chickens with green feathers because they are really beautiful. Faverolles with fully black feathers appears to have a green shimmer under the sunlight.

Photo credits

¹ Photo by Deb Nystrom on Flickr


Can Chickens Eat Bacon?

Can Chickens Eat Meat?

Chickens are omnivores, which means they eat a wide variety of foods (including meat).

Meat leftovers are fine for your chickens as long as the meat does not include too much fat or preservatives.

The flock will scavenge through turkey corpses and other meat bones.

Preservatives and salt are abundant in deli meats like ham, thus they should not be offered to your birds.

Fish skin and other leftovers will be enthusiastically consumed by your hens (not bones).

Just keep in mind that feeding fish in large amounts might taint the flavor of the eggs.

As chickens are omnivores, they will explore outside and locate a variety of foods that will suit their nutritional demands, including other animals to consume.

Foraging hens often eat seeds, grass, and insects. Chickens will eat toads, frogs, tiny snakes, and skinks.

If the hens catch a mouse, they will eat it! All of these are types of meat that hens can eat.

These animals give the protein that hens require for proper bodily function and egg production.

Why Bacon May Be Good For Chicken

Bacon include B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12 vitamins, 37 grams of high-quality animal protein, The RDA for selenium is 89 percent, 53 percent of the RDA for phosphorus and fair amounts of iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium.

These nutrients will be very beneficial to your chickens if  you notice any of the following in your chickens:

Illness in general

decreased egg production

Growth that is slowed

Appetite suppression

Loss of weight

Sparse feathers (caused by a B12 deficiency)

Watery discharge from the eyes

Poor quality egg shells (usually a calcium or vitamin D3 deficiency)

Leg weakness

Nervous system disorders

Toes curled


Excessive bruising as a result of minor injuries

Why Bacon Could Be Bad For Chicken

Uncooked, rotten, or processed meats should not be fed to your flock. Fats, salt, and preservatives are commonly included in processed meats. Food poisoning can be caused by raw or rotting meat. Your chickens don’t require a daily meat diet, other than what they may consume in the form of bugs. It may contain Trichinella, a parasitic roundworm that burrows into your intestines and sucks the nutrition out of everything you eat.

Can They Eat Bacon Grease, Fat, or Rind?

Foods that are greasy are harder for them to digest. Chickens can consume fat, but only in moderation. Your hens’ health will be jeopardized if they consume too much fat. Small amounts of protein can be added to your hens’ usual meal to provide a decent supply of protein. This is especially beneficial during the winter. They’re allowed to chew on the rind. Cut the fat. Know how much fat you offer your hens if you have leftover trimmed fat from pig or beef from supper. While hens require fat in their diet, trimmed fat from hog and beef should be given in moderation. Feeding your hens a high-fat diet is not good for them, yet some fat is required for healthy chickens. Save and drain your grease when you’re cooking meat. (Bacon fat should be used sparingly since it contains salt and nitrates, which should be avoided in most cases.) Hens should never be offered food scraps that are heavy in fat or salt, and they should never be fed rancid or rotten food. Too much fat will be horrible for your chicken as it will practically ruin their liver health as they will be gaining too much weight and all of it will be from fat. Gaining too much weight may lead to obesity which will likely cause diminished fertility, multiple-yolked eggs, large eggs, egg-binding, and ventral prolapse.

Does Bacon Give Any Benefits To Their Feathers?

You should boost their protein intake during their molt to help them recover feathers as rapidly as possible. Use a high-protein diet (20% or more) and provide high-protein snacks or treats, such as any form of meat. If you notice that your chickens are losing feathers, adding more protein to their diet will likely help them to produce more faster.

Can I Feed My Chickens Bacon & Maple Syrup

Maple syrup is not the best thing for your chicken to eat, but if you inadvertently give it to them or want to give it to them as a treat, it is safe for them to eat. Chickens should not eat maple syrup on a daily basis, but as a special treat to encourage good behavior or if you unintentionally give it to them, it is fine. There’s nothing to worry about if you feed your chicken maple syrup, but you shouldn’t do it on a daily basis.

What Types Of Meat Can I Feed My Chickens?

Uncooked, rotten, or processed meats should not be fed to your flock.

Can Raw Bacon Be Dangerous To My Chicken?

Bacteria and parasites may both be spread by eating raw bacon. Feeding your chicken raw bacon may lead to food poisoning or other illnesses like trichinella larvae.

How Much Bacon Should You Feed a Chicken?

You may feed your chicken about one bowl every day or so of bacon if you really want to. Although giving them too much is not good for them.

How Should You Feed Bacon To a Chicken?

Typically, you should be feeding your chicken bacon through small scraps. Do not give them big pieces, they should be nibbling at it and be fed in scraps.

Should It Be Fried or Grilled?

It does not matter very much, although grilling it will assure that it is evenly cooked. Grilling the bacon may be safer for your chicken but if you know what you are doing either way is fine. 

Bacon Scraps

Hens can consume leftovers, however it is illegal in several countries, like the United Kingdom and Australia, to feed certain meat scraps to chickens. This prohibition was imposed by the Animal and Plant Health Agency to prevent the spread of economically significant animal illnesses. Of course, this prohibition is plausible. Some meat scraps are raw, while others are already decomposing when given to hens. Chickens can become infected with lethal illnesses if they consume meat under such settings. If you happen to give your chicken some bacon scraps off of your sandwich it will likely be completely fine for them to consume.

What Types Of Pork Can Chicken Eat?

Pork is healthy for chickens to consume, and you may offer it to them in moderation. When giving pork to your hens, you must be careful how you prepare it for them to consume, as some varieties of pig are inedible to chickens. Pork that is uncooked or has been processed with a lot of salt should not be fed to your hens.

Can Chickens Eat Bacon?

No, hens should not eat bacon because, while it is in little pieces, soft enough for your chickens to chew, and a good protein source, it is still highly processed and has a lot of salt, which is not healthy for your chicken to consume. If you really want to feed your chicken bacon, it could be okay if you feed it one or two pieces left over at the kitchen table. But, in general, feeding highly processed and salty foods like bacon as a regular component of your chicken’s diet is not healthy. Chickens can eat pork, and it is safe to feed it to them if done right. When giving pork to your hens, avoid feeding them processed pork, raw or undercooked, or rotten pork. Always remember to feed pork sparingly. It should never be used as a substitute for their usual diet. Avoid feeding them processed beef. Meats such as bacon and luncheon meat are highly processed. Fast food is included in this category as well. Burgers, fish patties, fried chicken, and chicken nuggets are all off-limits for feeding to your hens. Those meats include a lot of preservatives, salt, and harmful fats. Feeding such meats to your chickens may have a bad impact on their health. Most meat is safe for chickens to ingest. If you let your hens go foraging and they happen to find a frog, mouse, or tiny reptile, they will eat them. Meat is good for hens because it contains protein. Chickens will benefit greatly from a tiny bit of meat in their diet.

Information Regarding Some Other Meats

How Much Meat Should I Feed My Chicken?

Chickens are omnivores rather than carnivores. Never put your chicken on a meat-only diet. Meat does not offer your chicken with the additional nutrients it requires to be healthy. If you have control over what your hens eat or cannot allow them to forage outside, including meat in their daily diet is a smart idea. If you have a flock of a dozen hens, give them the equivalent of 4 tablespoons of meat pieces or minced beef in addition to their diet. Feed (sometimes referred to as pellets or crumbles) is a crucial component of their diet. Wheat, oats, cracked corn, soybean meal, or a mix of these foods are the key ingredients of high-quality chicken feed. For added calcium and protein, some formulations may include powdered oyster shells or bone meal. Chickens require nutrients from their diet, some veggies, and tiny amounts of meat to develop properly.

Can Chickens Eat Beef? 

If you offer raw beef to your hens, they may consume it, but it is not a safe option. There is always a possibility that raw beef contains dangerous bacteria. If your hens consume raw meat that contains germs, they may become ill. This is especially likely if the beef is past its prime. Aside from food poisoning, raw beef can cause a range of other ailments in hens. So, as far as possible, avoid feeding raw meat to your hens. Cooked beef is okay for chickens to consume. Cooked beef is less likely to contain hazardous germs since heat eliminates the majority of harmful bacteria. In addition, cooked beef should be easier for birds to peck on and digest than raw meat. Cooked beef is a wonderful source of protein for hens, but it should be fed in moderation. Beef is not a food that should be included in a chicken’s daily diet.

Can You Feed Your Chicken Eggs?

It is not a good idea to serve raw eggs or eggshells to your hens. Why? They may develop a taste for them and begin to consume the eggs laid in their coop. If you’re attempting to hatch chicks, you could discover that the egg-loving birds are making it difficult. Instead, scramble the eggs and feed them to your chickens.

Photo credits

¹ Photo of bacon by Kim Ahlstrom

² Photo of chicken by Liz West


Black Chickens That Lay White Eggs

Do all black chickens lay white eggs?

The colour of a hen’s eggs depends on her breed. Because one chicken breed can have various colour variations, the colour of a chicken’s feather really doesn’t determine what egg colour it produces.

Therefore, some black-feathered chicken breeds lay white eggs, while some lay different colours. It all depends on the breed of the chicken.

Why do chickens lay different coloured eggs?

The main factor that determines what colour of eggs a hen lays is genetic (depends on her breed).

Other than that, there are other factors that can slightly alter the egg colour.

These changes aren’t significant, and it won’t turn a chicken’s eggs from white to blue.

But it can make the eggs turn lighter, darker, or a little tinted.

A pretty accurate way of determining a hen’s egg colour is to look at the spot in her ear area.

Most of the time, white spot means white eggs and brown spot means brown eggs.

However, some breeds don’t abide by this rule.

What is the most common colour of chicken egg?

Regardless of the colour of its feathers, the most common chicken egg colour is white.

White eggshells mean they have no pigment, unlike other coloured eggs such as brown eggs that gain pigment from the hen’s haemoglobin

Aside from the more commonly sold white and brown eggs, there are also some colourful chicken eggs out there.

Some people intentionally breed chickens to get colored eggs.

Are white eggs different from brown eggs?

In terms of nutrition values, there is not much difference between white eggs and coloured eggs.

All eggs contain a high amount of protein, iron, and vitamins. 

Instead of the colour of the eggshell, the hen’s diet and living conditions can be determined by the colour of its eggs’ contents.

Hens who live on more open grounds and have access to grass pasture produce darker, orangey yolk.

However, different-colored yolks too have the same nutrients and the colour of the yolk doesn’t determine the egg’s nutrients.

8 Breeds of black chicken that lay white eggs

  • Polish chickens (Poland)

Unlike what the name suggests, Polish chickens (also called Polands) are actually believed to have originated in the Netherlands or Italy.

They are very distinguishable due to the unique shape of the feathers on top of their head. On top of their (also unique) v-shaped comb, they have very long and thick crests, often resulting in a fluffy, round-headed chicken.

This crest plays a big part in their temperament, as the thick feathers can block their vision, causing them to be more irritable at times. Other than that, Polish chickens are mostly friendly and curious.

Many Polands have black feathers, such as the Silver Polish, White Crested Black Polish, and Golden Polish. Other colour variations of the breed are White Polish, Black Crested White Polish, and Buff Laced Polish.

Polish chickens lay about 2-4 eggs per week. Their egg-laying is seasonal, amounting to around 100 eggs annually. While this may not sound much, Polands lay eggs earlier than most breeds at 5 months old. Their eggs are relatively small with off-white colouring.

  • Black Minorca

Minorca chicken is a breed that originated in Menorca, an island near Spain. When the British colonized the island, they began breeding the now more common, “international” type of the Minorca. Minorcas are now very common all across Europe, America, and other parts of the world.

While there are other colour variations of the Minorca such as white and buff, most Minorcas are black and they’re said to shimmer with green under the sunlight. They look very elegant with a slender black-feathered body and long tail with a single comb atop their head. One of its determining characteristics is the unusually big black earlobes.

Black Minorcas have a big build. They are active and prone to travel too far when allowed to free-range. However, they’re not fussy at all if confined. Minorca chickens are friendly and calm and they love human company. They are a good choice for a pet for children.

Minorca chickens are known to be great egg layers. They typically lay 120 eggs annually, but the number can increase if they’re put in warmer places. Minorca chickens lay big, chalk white eggs.

  • Leghorn

Now very common in the US, Leghorn’s origins lie in Tuscany, Italy. This small-sized chicken breed doesn’t possess any physical trait that makes them stand out from other breeds. They have white earlobes, red wattle, and a single comb or rose comb.

Leghorns are considered to be a friendly and intelligent breed. When allowed to free-range, Leghorns will find their own food. They are very active and they like to busy themselves. Some owners say that Leghorns are relatively noisy because of their active nature.

Not necessarily black-feathered, there are many other colour variations of Leghorn chicken, such as white, buff, brown, silver, and even red. In fact, white Leghorns are more popular than their black counterpart.

Producing 280-300 eggs a year, Leghorns are widely recognized to be one of the top egg layers. The colour of the eggs is chalk white and large in size. The eggs get even larger as the hen gets older.

  • Andalusian

Andalusian chicken is a breed of chicken from the Spain otonomy Andalusia. This chicken breed was deliberately bred to show more of their beautiful blue feathers. They are often described as elegant because of their upright carriage. Their feathers are closely packed and they have a relatively small body. 

The most common variety of Andalusians is the Blue Andalusian. However, there are also black and white Andalusians. Typically they have a dark laced plumage.

They are known to be flighty, especially when touched by humans. They also like to free-range and are very tough and hardy. Andalusians lay around 160 eggs yearly that are white in colour.

  • White Faced Black Spanish

The Spanish chicken breed is a domestic chicken from Spain. However, the more commonly found Spanish breed was bred in the UK. The white faced black variation of Spanish chickens is often called Clown Face due to their white face looking like a clown. Because of this, they’re bred more as ornamental fowl. 

When newer chicken breeds were found to be better layers, the White Faced Black Spanish soon decreased in population. It got so bad that it was once considered an endangered species. But the truth is this breed is still a great egg layer, laying up to 180 large white eggs a year.

The population decrease is believed to have been influenced by their ill temperament. They’re not friendly with humans and are very flighty. They are very active, like to roam around, and also noisy.

  • Ayam Cemani

Ayam Cemani is a breed of chicken from Java, one of the main islands in Indonesia. Ayam in Indonesian means chicken, therefore the name of this breed is essentially Cemani.

Interestingly, this chicken is fully black, inside and out, from its comb down to its toes. This colouring has caused them to be associated with spiritualism by the locals. There are rumours that Ayam Cemani’s eggs are also black, but this is not true. Ayam Cemani eggs are off-white coloured.

This breed is still pretty rare, even in Indonesia they’re not often consumed. They have an upright, strong-looking build and are always alert. However, they are generally friendly and docile.

Cemanis are not great egg layers. They typically only lay one egg a week, amounting to about 80 eggs per year. However, some owners claim that their Ayam Cemani chickens lay eggs quite often, and can even lay an egg everyday. This may depend on the hen’s age and her living conditions.

  • La Fleche

As suggested by their name, La Fleche (locally spelled as Flèche), is a French chicken breed, specifically from the town of La Fleche. Back in the 15th century, their meat was considered one of the finest.

La Fleches have a very distinctive feature of a v-shaped comb that looks like horns, earning them the formidable nickname of Devil Bird. Their white earlobes are also very prominent. Their body is medium size with black plumage and compact feathers. 

This breed isn’t the friendliest chicken breed out there. They are pretty alert around humans and they would rather be free-ranging. They’re very active and capable when facing other breeds or even other animals. Despite their active nature, La Fleches behave well in confinement.

They are also pretty productive, laying about 180-200 eggs a year. La Fleche eggs are large and off-white in colour. Owners should be careful when collecting eggs as the hen can get broody.

  • Swedish Black Chicken

Swedish Black Chicken or Svart Hona chicken does not originate in Sweden, as it was brought to Sweden from Mozambique. It also bears a resemblance with Ayam Cemani, leading some people to believe that the Svart Hona too is actually from Indonesia.

The similarities we’re talking about is the all-black appearance of the breed. Just like Ayam Cemani, Swedish Black Chicken is black inside-out, including their comb, legs, even meat and organs. This breed is considered to be luxurious, so much so that it’s deemed as the Lamborghini of the poultry world. They are relatively small in size, but not bantam. 

The Swedish Black are very friendly. They are easy to train and are often used as show birds. They are also active and love to free-range. Svart Honas are good egg layers, laying around 150 up to 250 eggs per year. The size of the eggs can be either medium or large and off-white in colouring.

Photo credits

¹ Photo by Pussreboots on Flickr


White Chickens With Feathers On Their Feet [4 Breeds]

Have you just been watching some old episodes of Looney Tunes and been laughing at Foghorn Leghorn- the legendary white rooster? 

Has this got you thinking about adding some white chickens to your pack, perhaps some with feathers on their legs?

Even though there is a popular breed of chicken called Leghorn, Foghorn Leghorn is different to them in one crucial way.

Whilst he clearly has feathered legs, Leghorn chickens don’t- although they are a beautiful vibrant white. 

But there are plenty of real life chicken breeds that are white and have feathered legs. 

Before I start discussing some of the breeds of chickens that you might be interested in taking a look at, I first want to think about feathered legs.

Why do chickens have feathered legs? 

No one is quite sure why some breeds of chickens have feathered legs and other breeds don’t. 

Of the 53 large breeds of chickens that are recognised by the American Poultry Association, only eight are breeds with feathered legs. 

But it is easy to see how feathered legs would help a chicken in certain geographic locations. 

Feathered legs would provide a bird with an extra layer of insulation. 

It is obvious to see how this would be of help in very cold weather..

and it’s easy to forget how this would also help a bird in very hot weather. 

But before you rush out to the shops to buy some socks for all of your chickens that have bare legs, there are some downsides to having feathers on their legs.. 

Problems with having feathered legs and feet

There are two main issues with having too many feathers. 

The first issue is mites. Chickens with feathers on their legs are more susceptible to getting scaly leg mites. 

This is because the feathers make a chicken leg an even more attractive place to live or infest. 

On top of that, the feathers make treatment much harder because the feathers get in the way. 

And the second issue is water or more specifically rain and the knock on effects that it has for chicken with feathered legs. 

Wet feathers mean that a bird’s legs will take longer to dry out and when the climate is cold and wet this puts the chickens at risk of something like frostbite. 

Wet feathers also act like a mud sponge. 

Feather leg chickens will spread more mud around which makes for a dirtier coop. 

So having given a bit of an introduction to the reasons for feathered legs and some of the practicalities of owning these sorts of chickens, next I want to think about whether there are any pros or cons of keeping white chickens over other colours of chickens.

What are the disadvantages of keeping white chickens?

There are two downsides to keeping white chickens.

One of these I wouldn’t class as being very serious, whilst the other is.

Let’s deal with the most serious one first.

White chickens seem to be more vulnerable to predators than chickens of other colours.

This is because they don’t blend into their background as well.

Unless they are being kept in a place that has snow for most of the year then white chickens, in most environments, stick out like a sore thumb.

And it is this brilliant white which is part of their attraction but it seems can also be part of their downfall. 

The second disadvantage in keeping white chickens is that they show the dirt more easily.

Now, how serious a problem this is depends on your own individual circumstances but if you like to keep your chickens clean, then a white breed of chicken might send you into a tailspin. 

Coming up next, I will provide details of five breeds of white chickens with feathered legs.

[1] Croad Langshan

Croad Langshans like many breeds of chickens have their origins in China.

These birds were originally imported into the UK from Langshan Mountain which is in the city of Nantung in Eastern China. 

They were imported by a man named Major Croad- sounds like an eccentric character, doesn’t he?! 

And they made their way to America soon after. 

These are large birds. 

Fortunately for us, they have feathered feet and they are available in white-although that is not a very common colour for them. 

Most of these birds come in a beautiful black. 

Apart from having feathered feet another quirky feature about their feet is that the soles should be pink! 

[2] Pekin/ Conchin Bantams

The next breed of chicken that I would like to take a look at is the Pekin or Conchin Batam.

Known as the Pekin in the UK and the Conchin in the US, these birds are only available as Bantams.

Apart from having feathers on their feet, other beautiful aspects to this breed include:

  • how friendly they are
  • what great brooders/ mothers that they make

You can get a pure white Pekin which will come with a red comb but this is only one of a number of colour options. 

Conchins are a very popular breed and so the colour combinations are increasing. 

Other popular colours apart from white, include:

  • Buff
  • Mille Fleur
  • Partridge 
  • Mottled

[3] Silkie

If you want a chicken to pet and bring down your blood pressure then you could do a lot worse than a Silkie.

These birds are named after the way that they feel.

With feathers as soft as silk, cradling and stroking one of these will be a very soothing activity.

And they are an incredibly docile breed who will tolerate being stroked more than other breeds of chicken.

But I have gone off on a tangent.

Although it is useful information to bear in mind, it is not the focus of this article.

The good news is that Silkie’s come in a snow white colour and they have feathers on their feet. 

And the only part of them that isn’t white are their eyes and beak- which are jet black.

It is a shame that their beak isn’t orange because then they would look like a snowman!

[4] Sultans

My last example of a white chicken with feathered legs is a bit of an oddity in this list because it doesn’t originate from China.

Instead it was first bred in the Ottoman Empire, which is now called Turkey.

And they were bred to be kept in the gardens of the royal palaces hence the name.

The rulers of the Ottoman empire were called Sultans. 

Size wise, sultan chickens are like Silkies and the similarity continues with the crest of feathers on their head.

However, Sultans have more “feather-like” feathers than Silkies and instead of having black eyes and beaks they have red.

But also these two breeds are very gentle and docile.

Photo credits

¹ Photo by Conall on Flickr


Black Chickens With Feathers On Their Feet [6 Breeds]

So you are looking to add a little something fancy to your flock?

Perhaps, everything is just a little to “run of the mill”.

Or like me you have a grandchild who loves chickens and would be ecstatic if some were to appear in your run wearing socks!

I don’t know about you, but every time I look at a chicken that has feathered feet I can’t help but think of all those dancers in their long socks from the “Hall of Fame” days!

But if it’s dancing feet that you want, it is dancing feet that you shall have.

And in this article, I list 6 breeds of black chicken with feathered feet. 

Why do chickens have feathered legs?

But before I dive in with a list of specific breeds, I want to give you some background on why it is that some chickens have feathered feet.

And after a little research, although it sounds crazy, no one is quite sure. 

The most logical answer is the most outlandish as well. 

That breeds of chickens that have feathered feet are a throwback to the dinosaurs. 

I kid you not

It seems that chicken feathers are very similar to dinosaur scales… 

But none of this explains why chickens would need feathers on their legs. 

And that must be because the feathers act as a sort of protection to the legs and to keep them warm. 

So having looked at the possible function and role that feathered legs give to a chicken, let’s dig a little deeper and find out if on the whole feathered feet are a thing of beauty or just a pain in the bum. 

Pros of feathered feet

The way that I see it there are a few advantages for a breed of chickens to have feather socks.

  • Feathers make a chicken look more beautiful or stylish
  • They make a chicken more interesting to watch as they move around. 
  • They can provide extra protection to a chicken in hot and cold weather

Cons of furry feet

  • Chickens with feathered feet may have more problems with mites
  • Feathered feet attract more dirt and mud which might lead to more disease.
  • They might get caught in things

Should I cut a chicken’s feathered feet?

Having kind of established that the pros and cons of feathered feet kind of cancel each other out, you might wonder if you should try and cut these feathers off.

And I believe that in most situations you shouldn’t try and trim these feathers.

If they aren’t causing your chicken any real harm, then they are best left alone.

After all, once cut, they will grow back and then you will have to subject the chicken to another haircut which will probably be very stressful. 

Having spent the last few sections discussing feathers, legs and feet, I want to spend the rest of this article matching you up with some black varieties of chickens that have feathered feet. 

[1] Silkie

I want to start by talking about Silkie chickens. 

Named after their fluffy coat of feathers which feels as smooth as silk, these small chickens hail from ancient China. Marco Polo wrote about a furry chicken in the 13th century… 

Their feathered feet complement their wonderful coat. 

And you can even get bearded Silkies. 

That’s right, they come with feathers on their chin as well as their legs. 

And they come in any number of colours-jet black is only one option. 

The most common colour variations are blue, buff, white, grey and partridge.

In terms of size and weight you would be looking at about 1 kilogram for a male and 900 g for a female. 

[2] Belgian D’uccle

From China we now travel to Belgium and to another small variety of chicken. 

Originally from the Belgian town of d’Uccle (don’t you love it when names are used so sensibly) these birds are a true bantam variety.

They don’t come in standard sizes unlike many Battam varieties.

But the Belgian d’Uccle was only created in the early twentieth century instead of having its origins in ancient China. 

In terms of looks, the d’Uccle has a coat of feathers-much like you would see on any other type of chicken. 

And their legs have lots of feathers. 

These birds come in jet black and mottled black varieties but the breed has an enormous colour range including blue, white and millefleur. 

Weight wise d’Uccles are considerably lighter than Silkies with an ideal male specimen weighing between 700 and 800 grams. 

[3] Booted Bantam

If you like the look of a Belgian d’Uccle but are struggling to find any to buy then you won’t go too far wrong with a Booted Batam.

Which is a d’Uccle doppelganger, if you like.

And if you think that they might be identical twins then you might be right.

Because booted bantams were one of the breeds used to create d’Uccles. 

[4] Cochin

Moving onto something a bit different.

The Cochin is another variety of black chicken with feathers on its feet.

Although its origins are in China, new variants were created when it was exported to Europe and to the US in the mid 19th century. 

These birds look regal. 

They have an abundance of feathers that are so thick around their legs that you can be hard pressed to sometimes see their feet. 

A vibrant red comb and wattle finish off the very sophisticated look.

Cochins are available as large fowl and bantam varieties- well in the US at least.

A standard size (male)  bird can weigh over 5 kg, whereas a bantams tips the scales at somewhere around 900 g. 

Cochin Bantams aren’t a recognised breed in the UK. 

Other colours that you can opt for when it comes to Cochins are buf, cuckoo and grouse. 

[5] Faverolles

Named after the small French village in Northern France where the breed was created in the mid 19th century, Faverolles are another fine looking bird.

Although they are available in black, they aren’t common in that colour.

Their most common colour is salmon.

Like the Cochin, they come in standard and bantam sizes. 

A standard size male should weigh around 8 lbs or 4 kgs whereas a male Faverolles bantam should weigh around 1.2 kgs. 

And what about their legs?

Well, their legs don’t tend to be covered in as many feathers as Cocins but their leg plumage is still impressive. 

[6] Sultans

Sultan chickens originate from Turkey- a part of the world that we are yet to travel to in this article.

Little is known about their true origins as more accurate details were only kept when they were first exported to England in the mid nineteenth century. 

However, their name is derived from the fact that these birds were kept in the gardens of the Turkish royalty (Sultans.)

Like the Silkie, Sultans have a crested head or a wonderful crop of tiny feathers on top of their head instead of a comb.

They have a fine set of feathers which extend all the way down their legs and curl over their feet. 

Once again, Sultans can be bought as standard sized chickens or bantams.

To give you an indication of sizes, a standard sized male will be lucky to weigh 3 kilos or 6 pounds.

Which makes Sultan chickens one of the smallest large breed chickens.

The most common colouring for Sultans is pure white.

They do come in black but you may need to hunt a little harder for them. 

And their other claim to fame?

They are one of few breeds of chickens that have five toes.

Photo credits

¹ Photo by normanack on Flickr


Building a Chicken Coop Video #3 (Review and Full Transcript)

Thumbnail of Chicken Coop Video
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If you are serious about building a chicken coop by watching a video, you must see this!

Keep reading to get a detailed review and to access a full transcript of the video…


Building a Chicken Coop Video #2 (Review & Full Transcript)

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Ever fancy building a chicken coop from pallets?

In this 12 minute video created by Cheapskate Gardener, a chicken coop is made from partly re used pallets.

Keep reading to get a detailed review and to access a full transcript of the video…