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 and add some quirkiness to your flock.
Most of these fancy chicken breeds will be at home in any flock or any climate, but some are a little high maintenance and may need special treatment.
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.
This post was written in collaboration with our friends at My Pet Chicken, be sure to check them out for all your chicken buying needs!
16 Fancy Chickens for your Flock!
The Silkie chicken is a lovable breed of domestic chicken believed to have originated in China or Southeast Asia. They are a small, fluffy ornamental breed known for their unique appearance and gentle temperament. They are the lap dog of the chicken world!
One of the most distinctive features of the Silkie chicken is its feathers, which are soft and fluffy like fur, and come in various colors such as black, white, blue, splash, and buff.
They also have black skin, bones, and organs, which gives them a unique appearance.
Silkie chickens are generally calm and docile, making them good pets and a good choice for for small children and beginner chicken keepers.
They are also broody, which means they like to sit on their eggs to hatch them, making them good mothers. However, they are not very good at laying eggs themselves and tend to produce fewer eggs than other breeds.
2. Polish chickens
The Polish chicken is a breed of domestic chicken believed to have originated in the Netherlands or Central Europe. They are known for their distinctive crest of feathers on their head, which gives them a unique and ornamental appearance.
Polish chickens come in various colors, including silver laced, buff laced, golden laced, white crested blue, and white crested black.
The feathers on their crest can be long and obstruct their vision, contributing to their silly personality.
They are generally friendly and social and can make good pets. However, they are not very good at laying eggs and tend to produce fewer eggs than other breeds.
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.
Tru Araucanas are only available through specialty breeders.
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. Frizzles are incredibly docile, this breed is basically a fluffy lap chicken.
Frizzles are magnificent show birds but are poor egg layers. These birds are truly kept in the flock purely to add fanciness!
A fun fact about these birds is it is not recommended for a Frizzle to mate with another Frizzle.
The chicks resulting from two Frizzles mating are called Frazzles, and their feathers are so brittle they break when touched. Instead of mating two Frizzles together, a Frizzle is mated to a regular breed like a Cochin or Polish hen.
The Onagadori are among some of the most exotic chicken breeds, mostly raised for ornamental purposes. They 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 and does not tolerate the cold.
Onagadori chickens are known to be a poor egg producer, and they don’t tend to go broody either. They’re mainly an ornamental addition to your farm, much like a peacock!
7. Ayam Cemani
The Ayam Cemani chicken is a breed of domestic chicken native to Indonesia. It is a rare breed known for its striking appearance, with its body’s black pigment including feathers, comb, beak, skin, wattles, internal organs, meat, and bones. Their blood is not black, however.
Ayam Cemani chickens are medium-sized birds and are generally friendly and docile. They are good foragers and can adapt well to various climates, although they may be more sensitive to cold temperatures.
While Ayam Cemani chickens are not known for their egg production, they lay medium-sized, cream eggs. However, they are primarily valued for their striking appearance and are often kept as ornamental birds or used for exhibition purposes.
8. Serama chickens
Also known as “Toy Soldiers,” Seramas are small chicken breeds, coming in at only 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 are often used as therapy birds.
They are broody mothers and prolific egg layers. However, it takes five Serama eggs to match one Grade A egg.
9. Naked Neck
This breed of chicken, 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.
Their unique appearance has made them a great choice for your fancy flock!
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 do not do well in colder temperatures.
11. Blue Favaucana
This breed is exclusive to My Pet Chicken. We love Blue Favaucanas! This designer breed boasts numerous delightful traits, including its extreme docility, sage-green medium to large eggs, charming little muffs, beards, and lightly feathered feet (some even having five toes!).
The Blue Favaucana is prized for their sage green eggs, docile nature, and hardiness in all temperatures.
These birds have pea combs and ample feathering that assists in cold-hardiness, while their lean body size supports heat tolerance. Plus, their stunning overall appearance, reminiscent of a blue hawk, is sure to capture attention.
If interesting egg color is one of the top reasons you want fancy chickens, don’t miss out on the Partridge Olive Egger! Her eggs are a gorgeous olive green color, but that’s not the only part of her beauty.
This breed is exclusive to My Pet Chicken!
Our team has created a striking and true dark olive egger breed that we know you’ll adore in your egg basket.
The designer breed showcases a partridge plumage, where the hens boast warm brown feathers that blend into reddish-gold at the hackles, each feather with distinct double black penciling.
The roosters are equally impressive with flame and black coloring. The Partridge Olive Egger is a relatively small and energetic bird that is often inquisitive and playful. Although they may not be at the top of the pecking order, they are active foragers, which results in their prolific laying of dark olive eggs in a medium to large size.
The Black Copper Marans is a breed of chicken that originated in France. They are highly valued for their dark brown eggs, which are some of the darkest of any chicken breed.
Black Copper Marans are medium-sized birds with black feathers and copper-colored neck feathers, which can have a greenish sheen in the sunlight. The hens are generally friendly and docile. In addition to their unique egg color, Black Copper Marans are also known for their hardiness and adaptability. They can do well in a variety of climates.
The eggs are large and have a rich, chocolate-brown color. The intensity of the color can vary depending on the individual bird, but is generally darker in the early part of the laying cycle.
We have loved owning Black Copper Marans over the years, but fair warning, we have not found them to be particulary good at free ranging as they’re not very savvy to predators. All of our BCMs, and those of friends and family that we know, have been snatched by predators. If you choose to raise this breed, they may be better kept in an extra large chicken run that’s well protected from predators!
The Lavender Ameraucana chicken is known for its distinctive blue eggs and characteristic muff and beard around the face. They are also known for their docile and friendly temperament, which makes them good pets.
The Lavender Ameraucana, as the name suggests, has lavender-colored feathers, ranging from pale blue-gray to a deeper, more muted lavender color. They also have the characteristic Ameraucana muff and beard, which are fluffy and extend from the sides of the face. The breed is medium-sized and has a somewhat stocky build.
In addition to their distinctive appearance, Lavender Ameraucanas are good egg layers. They lay medium-sized eggs that are blue in color, and can produce up to 250 eggs per year. They are also relatively hardy and adaptable and can do well in various climates.
The Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte is a chicken breed known for its striking and unique plumage. This breed is a variation of the original Wyandotte chicken breed, which was developed in the United States in the 1870s.
The Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte is named for its distinctive blue and red coloration. The feathers on its body are a deep, rich red color, while the edges of the feathers are a light blue color. This creates a “laced” effect on the bird’s feathers, giving it a unique and eye-catching appearance.
In addition to their striking appearance, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are also known for being hardy and friendly birds. They are relatively easy to care for and make great pets or backyard chickens. They are also good layers, producing around 200-220 brown eggs annually.
Do you want THE most unusual designer chickens roaming your land? Then you simply must see My Pet Chicken’s exclusive Cuckoo Bluebar Blue-Egger!
The Cuckoo BlueBar chicken is a striking designer breed and an incredibly prolific layer of large, light blue eggs, with a gorgeous barred blue plumage that features darker hackle feathers, rather than the more common barred black plumage. The rooster’s plumage is particularly spectacular, while the hen’s barring can be more subtle.
Friendly and intelligent, Cuckoo Bluebars are comfortable in confinement but truly relish foraging and laying their eggs outdoors. According to numerous customer reports, these chickens are surprisingly docile despite their crossbreed heritage, which often results in flighty and avoidant behavior.
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!