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Ornamental Breeds

Ornamental Breeds

Ornamental Breeds

If you are interested in keeping birds to exhibit at shows or simply to add a little flare to your backyard, you probably want an ornamental breed. Keep in mind though, that ornamental birds produce few eggs and most are inefficient meat producers, so it really is all about their looks.

Ornamental breeds are commonly more expensive than commercial breeds, and that additional expense comes from their scarcity as well as the difficulty in breeding them. In exchange for your investment though, you can look forward to a wide range of feathers, colors, shapes and sizes. These are not your typical chickens!

The most common ornamental breeds include:

  • Cochin: Large, fluffy chickens with feathers on their feet often black, white or partridge colored
  • Polish: Cute small chickens with feathers that cover their eyes
  • Old English Game: Aggressive birds that stand tall with sleek appearance and are good brooders
  • Modern Game: Large aggressive birds that stand tall with sleek appearance and are good brooders

Like many things in nature, nothing is guaranteed. But, the following table highlights what to expect from the various ornamental chicken breeds.

Ornamental:

Type of Chicken
Egg Production
Bird Size
Good Brooder
Cold Hardy
Class
Breed
Below Avg
Average
Above Avg
Egg Color
Egg Size
Below Avg
Average
Above Avg
< 3 per week
3 - 4 per week
5+ per week
< 5 lbs
6 - 7 lbs
7+ lbs
Asiatic Cochin 
X
Brown  Medium
X
X
X
Continental Houdan 
X
White  Small
X
X
Continental Polish 
X
White  Tiny
X
Other Aseel 
X
Cream Medium
X
X
X
Other Modern Game 
X
White  Medium
X
X
Other Old English Game 
X
Cream Medium
X
X
X
Other Phoenix 
X
Cream Medium
X
Other Sultan 
X
White  Small
X
Other Sumatra 
X
White  Medium
X
X
Other Yokohama 
X
Cream Small
X

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