Fancy chickens are so much fun to add to your backyard flock. A pair or two of these unusual breeds can not only make for quite the conversation starter but can be visually stunning or quirky according to which breed you pick.
However, there are some things to consider when adding one of the ten fancy chicken breeds in this article.
Most of these breeds have a trait that will need special accommodations, such as extremely long tail feathers, feathered feet, small stature, and so on.
These fancy chicken breeds may need a separate pen such as the Onagadori chickens and some are so small they need a tiny house just for them like the Serama. Frizzles, Silkies, and Polish chickens don’t handle wet weather well and need protection from any water or rain.
Temperature and climate also need to be regarded when picking a breed. Some of the breeds come from tropical climates and don’t handle cold weather well, while others don’t tolerate the heat.
Getting the facts about whichever breed you pick will help you determine if a fancy chicken will be a healthy, happy addition to your backyard flock.
Ten Fancy Chickens for your Flock!
Silkies are a lovable breed that has a sweet and gentle personality and is a superb backyard flock addition. This fluffy fowl is very light in weight and has five toes compared to the standard four.
Feathers cover the outside toes, and the skin, beak, bones, and meat are bluish-black. They are poor egg producers but are fantastic mother hens and are used to hatch eggs from other chickens.
Polish chickens are primarily a show bird because of their adorable crest of feathers that drape down over their head. Another feature that makes this fowl so stunning is some varieties have magnificent beards under their beaks. They have a small comb, white earlobes and are very docile. They lay around 150 eggs per year and are not broody.
Araucana chickens are best known for the beautiful blue eggs they lay and the “mutton chops” of feathers that adorn the side of their heads.
There is some confusion between this breed and Ameraucana chickens and Easter Eggers. The Araucana is a rumpless bird with clean legs. It has a small pea comb that lays close to the head and little, bright red wattles and ear lobes.
These loving birds are broody mamas that have a low hatch rate. It’s best to let them do the job for more success. Imported from Chile, they do remarkably well in cold weather as well as warm.
These fancy chickens love the great outdoors and are avid foragers; thus, they prefer to free-range over being in a coop. They are a friendly fowl with a spitzhauben or woman’s hat of feathers on top of their heads. The Appenzeller chickens have a v-comb and are respectable egg layers. They do well in both warm and cold climates.
Frizzle chickens descend from Asia and have feathers that curl tightly backward toward the head. Incredibly docile this breed is a fluffy lap chicken. However, it is not recommended for a Frizzle to mate with another Frizzle. The chicks are called Frazzles, and their feathers are so brittle they break when touched. Instead, a Frizzle is mated to a regular breed like a Cochin or Polish hen. Frizzles are magnificent show birds but are poor egg layers.
These fancy chickens have tail feathers that range from twelve to twenty-seven feet long. As you can imagine, these fowl require special pens, plenty of ventilation, and are best kept separate from the rest of the flock. This breed does well in warm weather but does not tolerate the cold. Onagadoris do not lay very many eggs, nor are broody.
These fancy chickens originated in Java and have hyperpigmentation that results in an overall black chicken from organs to feathers. These birds are both friendly and hardy. Ayam Cemani eggs are cream-colored, and they lay a moderate amount of eggs. However, they are rare and, therefore, expensive to purchase.
Also known as “Toy Soldiers,” are tiny in height, six to ten inches tall. Their body, tail feathers, and head are all upright as if standing to attention. Serama chickens are much quieter than other chickens and used as therapy birds. They are broody mothers and prolific egg layers. However, it takes five Serama eggs to match one Grade A egg.
These chickens, as you would suppose, have no feathers on their neck or vent, which garners them the nickname Transylvanian Naked Neck. An excellent dual-purpose bird with fewer feathers to pluck, they are average egg layers. Naked Necks are a hardy bird, immune to most diseases, and rarely broody. This flightless chicken loves to forage and garners quite the conversations when you have guests.
Belgian Bearded d-Uccle
These fancy chickens hail from the outskirts of Brussels in the town of Uccle. These teeny birds have a beard, muff, and full hackle feathers. They are incredibly talkative and friendly and are known for their quirky expressions, making them excellent pets for children. Laying only 150-200 tiny cream-colored eggs yearly, these little hens are indeed broody. Hardy in warmer temps, d-Uccle chickens does not do well in colder temperatures.
Did you find a favorite in this list? Maybe you already have a fancy breed in your flock. Tell us about it in the comments below!