Every country has a chicken that is ‘the’ chicken of the nation. The quintessential breed that was born, bred and raised in that country. They thrive in its weather conditions, and have adapted to the environment - but are also commonly found in other countries across the globe as well.
So, let’s go scratching around the world and look at the different chickens that are popular in different nations. You could even start your own global flock of chickens, finding one of each for your multi-cultural backyard!
What better place to start than with our home grown chicken breed - the Australorp.
Australia - The Australorp
The Australorp is our very own, true blue Aussie breed of chicken. Bred from the English-born Orpington chickens, the Australorp is incredibly popular in here in Australia (and overseas) because of its beautiful temperament and very dependable egg laying habits (they will lay through the winter, as well as the summer- we Aussies sure know how to tough it out!). This great breed actually holds the record for the most eggs ever laid in one year by a chicken, which was 364 - not bad for a local chicken! Want to know more? Check out our 5 reasons to love Australorps here!
Russia - the Russian Orloff
This chicken really does look like it belongs in Russia! A stoic, upright (some have described its appearance as ‘hawk-like) breed that’s covered in white flecks, that on first glance, could pass as small snowflakes adorning their plumage! They are also egg-stremely winter hardy, having grown up in the harsh, cold Russian weather - so they don’t cope exactly well in the heat. The females lays a reasonable amount of pale brown eggs, approximately 150 each year.
This breed has now become popular in the colder parts of America - with the ‘spangled’ white and red feathered variety becoming the most sought after colour variation. They have also been bred in white, red, black and mahogany, so there are an array of different colours you can get your hands on!
America - Rhode Island Red
The Rhode Island Red was once one of the most popular chickens in America, and is the official bird of the state of Rhode Island- makes sense! It is believed to have been bred from the Red Malay Game, Leghorn and Asiatic chickens. It was bred in America to be a great dual purpose chicken (a good egg layer and a decent table bird), and still is to this day!
This splendid, rich red coloured bird is a great all rounder breed, and therefore is also popular in backyards across other countries - Australia included.
They’re a productive egg-layer, laying approximately 250-300 eggs each year, hardy against the cold elements - enough to withstand the harsh American winters, and are extremely docile and tame- the perfect chicken for every chicken keeper, and a must have for any backyard flock. Want to know more? Check out our 5 reasons to love Rhode Island Reds here!
United Kingdom - Orpington
The beautiful Orpington is one of the most popular breeds in the nation. So popular in fact, the Queen Mother once owned her own flock of Orpington chickens! If that’s not a testimonial to the breed, we don’t know what is? They also became popular in America in the early 1900s, and were given ‘pure breed’ status. Orpingtons are a great dual purpose chicken that can be quite prolific layers and are resilient to cold weather - they would have to be given the chilly country they were bred in! Want to know more? Check out our 5 reasons to love Orpingtons here!
Italy - Ancona
The Ancona is a strong Italian bird that has become popular throughout the globe. It originates from the town of Ancona, located in Eastern Italy, and have since been exported to America, Europe and Australia. Their beautiful appearance makes them quite a popular bird, with their impressive red combs, mottled sleek feathers and spectacular green-tinted tail - who wouldn’t want one of these chickens in their backyard flock?!
Switzerland - Appenzeller Spitzhauben
The Appenzeller Spitzhauben is the national bird of the Swiss, and they certainly aren’t a difficult bird to spot! Their distinguishing feature is their crazy crest on top of their head - it generally points forward, but the feathers spike out in different directions. They are quite rare outside their native country, and are a fairly good egg layer (egg-spect about 156 eggs per year). However, they will need some room to roam around, otherwise they may act as crazy as their crests appear!
You might decide on a nation's favourite chook for your breed of choice, but be sure to take your time to consider the many other amazing breeds when starting your own flock. It can be eggstremely overwhelming to find the perfect breeds for you and your family. From their looks to traits to egg-laying talents - where should you begin?
Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares useful advice on choosing the right chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. You’ll even learn about their individual personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program. It really is a great way to find your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers! The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with vital information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.
As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a full range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, get the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens like an eggspert.
As a member, you will get access to ALL their fantastic courses. So, no need to wing it, become a confident chicken keeper. Click here to check out Chickenpedia today!
No matter where the chickens are from, they need a safe and secure coop to sleep in! All of these chickens will be as happy as can be in a Taj Mahal, Penthouse or Mansion coop - especially our Aussie Australorp!