The Top 5 Weird and Wonderful Chicken Breeds

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

15 November 2017

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Hello chicken keepers,

One of the best things about keeping chickens is the vast array of different chicken breeds there are available. You can make your coop a poultry menagerie, filled with plumage of every colour and pattern if you so wish, and there are some breeds that are more quirky than you could imagine! Have a peck at my top 5 weird and wonderful chicken breeds below.  

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5. The Appenzellar Spitzhauben Chicken Breed

The Appenzellar Spitzhauben chicken breed originates from the Swiss-German region of Appenzell in Switzerland.

What makes them weird

This wunderbar chicken breed has a unique, forward-pointing crest. In fact the word Spitzhauben translates to “pointed bonnet”. They also sport a striking V-shaped comb and can display blue spangled, black spangled, gold, gold spangled and silver spangled plumage. Herrlich!

What makes them wonderful

Appenzellar Spitzhauben are active and curious chickens that prefer to free range and forage in an unrestricted space. But you don’t need a backyard as big as the Swiss Alps to keep these chooks as pets - just make sure you have plenty to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Eggs

The Appenzellar Spitzhauben chicken breed lays around 220 white or tinted eggs a year.

Availability

Very rare in Australia

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4. The Sultan Chicken Breed

The regal Sultan chicken breed originates from Constantinople in Turkey and was introduced to the exotic poultry enthusiasts of the English elite during the Victorian era.

What makes them weird

Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” The Sultan chicken pays no attention to Chanel’s stylish advice. This chook is wearing everything it owns - feathered feet, vulture hocks, full crest, a long tail, muffs, a beard, a horned comb and a fifth toe are strutted about the chook yard with great aplomb.

What makes them wonderful

Sultan chickens are docile, friendly and can live happy and healthy lives confined to a spacious chicken run. Add a sovereign Sultan hen or rooster to your poultry menagerie and enjoy the feathered fashion show.

Eggs

The Sultan chicken breed lays around 180 white eggs a year.

Availability

Very rare in Australia

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3. The La Flèche Chicken Breed

The French La Flèche is one of the most unique looking chooks on the perch. The name La Fleche translates as “the arrow”, perfectly describing this chicken’s strange but beautiful horned comb. But the name actually comes from the area it originated in - the town of La Flèche in Pays de la Loire, France. Ooh la la!

What makes them weird

This dazzling chicken breed can display black, cuckoo, blue or white plumage. They have a distinctive horn shaped comb giving them a devilishly handsome appearance with stark white earlobes and a blood red wattle.

What makes them wonderful

Despite their villainous appearance, La Flèche chickens, like all chookies, are a pleasure to keep in your chicken coop. They are active and inquisitive hens that love to devise nefarious ways to eggs-plore their backyard.

Eggs

The La Flèche chicken breed lays around 180 white eggs a year.

Availability

Very rare in Australia

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2. The Naked Neck Chicken Breed

The Naked Neck chicken breed - also known as the Transylvanian Naked Neck and the Turken - are sweethearts in disguise. Don’t be fooled by its spooky appearance! The breed is thought to have originated from Hungary and keepers adore the Naked Neck chook for its pleasing temperament and Eastern European hardiness.

What makes them weird

The Naked Neck chicken breed has a distinctive… naked neck! They can display black, buff, red or white plumage and can even be spotted wearing frizzled feathers! Their alias of Turken came about when people falsely assumed the Naked Neck was the result of forbidden love between a turkey and a chicken.

What makes them wonderful

Naked Necks are friendly and affectionate with their keeper. They are happy to be confined to a spacious run but flourish if they’re given the freedom to forage in the backyard. They also make perfectly unusual pets for kids due to their gentle and sweet nature.

Eggs

The Naked Neck chicken breed lays around 120 light brown eggs a year.

Availability

Available in Australia

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1. Ayam Cemani

The weirdest and most wonderful breed of chicken has to be the Indonesian Ayam Cemani. They are revered as religious and mystical symbols in their native land and are extremely rare and expensive. There is rumoured to be as few as 3,500 Ayam Cemani birds worldwide and can fetch as much as $5,000 for a breeding pair!

What makes them weird

All. Black, Everything. The Ayam Cemani is often referred to as the Goth Chicken Breed and it’s easy to see why. These dark and alluring chooks are black from head to toe and tail to beak. Even their skin and flesh is black!

What makes them wonderful

Despite their black metal style and eggs-clusive appearance, Ayam Cemani chickens are friendly and make caring mother hens. Unfortunately for Australia there are no Ayam Cemani birds available here, so we can only dream of one day having the most metal flock of chooks the world has ever seen.

Eggs

The Ayam Cemani chicken breed lays around 80 slightly pink tinted, cream eggs a year.

Availability

Not available in Australia :(

Keep on cluckin’ about chicken breeds with our Top 20 Chicken Breeds for Your Backyard Coop here. Or if you know what you want, have a peck at our suggested breeder list. After some more cheeky chook action? Of course you are! Join the flock on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest!

Feathers Forever,

Kassandra X

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