Chickens come in different sizes, colors, and beauties but having large chickens are not only entertaining but also profitable if your plan is to sell meat. Like any other animal, size comes with corresponding expenses on feeds. In this article, we are going to show you what are the top ten biggest and largest chicken breeds that you can raise in your backyard for food, business, or as pets. Most of these chicken breeds are already available in the Philippines and although purity is always a concern, if you are looking to buy, make sure to examine the bird first including its history and origins.
Here are the top 10 largest chicken breeds.
1. Jersey Giant
Obviously, there is a big reason why this chicken is called a giant. Jersey Giants are the biggest chicken breeds. Jersey Giant males typically weigh around 5.9 kilograms, and the females typically weigh around 4.7 kilograms. Males not only weigh more, but they’re also taller too. Males reach a height of 20 to 26 inches while females usually grow to 15 to 20 inches tall. Many Filipinos are already raising Jersey Giants and if you are looking to buy to raise your own, just search Facebook. There are several Facebook Groups dedicated to raising Jersey Giants and you can join and look for something to buy. There are three colors of Jersey Giant. The black, blue, and white but black is the most popular one.
Not only that Brahmas are huge, but they are also one of the most beautiful chickens due to their thick leg feathers and height. Brahmas are slightly smaller than Jersey Giants and some are almost of the same size. Brahma chickens are either light, dark, or buff. The light chickens are a whitish color with a gray undertone. The darker chickens are usually black with a grayish lining, and the buff chicken is buff-colored with a little white and black here and there. Both Buff Brahma and Light Brahma are popular and are available in the Philippines, however, Brahmas are one of the most expensive chicken breeds. Day-old chicks cost between P800 to P1500 with a pair of breeders can cost between P9,000 and P15,000. You can check the price here.
Brahma is a massive chicken breed with males that can weigh up to 5.5 kgs and females up to 4.5 kgs.
The big, fluffy Cochin chicken just begs to be picked up and cuddled! They have been seducing people for a long time now and aren’t about to stop anytime soon!
They have been described as ‘head to toe feathers’ – an apt description for these beautifully feathered birds. People cannot pass them by without making a remark about them.
Cochins can take up to two years to mature since they are slow growers. When they are full-grown, the male can weigh in at 3.6 to 5.9 kgs with the female weighing around 3.2 to 5 kgs.
4. Maline Chicken
The Malines is a massive bird, among the heaviest of all chicken breeds. The Malines is reared mainly for their meat, which is fine, pale, and close-textured. Hens lay about 140–160 tinted eggs per year, with a weight of about 65 g (extra-large!). They are good mothers and excellent sitters. This is one of my favorite breeds we raise as they are very gentle and loving.
In the early twentieth century, the Malines became famous under the name “Poulet de Bruxelles”, and were in great demand for the quality of its meat, which is white and finely textured. After the Second World War, when competition from imported specialized meat breeds became more intense, its popularity faded. In 2010 there were 575 breeding birds in Flanders. Male Malines can weigh around 5 kgs while females can weigh 4 to 4.5 kgs.
5. Malay Chicken
One of the most unique chicken breeds in terms of both appearance and personality is the Malay. This breed, which originated in England, is sometimes known as the towering chicken due to its incredibly long legs and upright stance.
Although it is not considered to be a good egg layer, the Malay chicken makes an interesting addition for those who are simply fascinated by beautiful birds.
Malay chickens have a strawberry comb, and their comb is low and thick. Their beak is short, broad, and hooked. The skin color of Malay chicken is yellow. Their legs are yellow with remarkably large scales.
Their feathers tend to be very close to their body, lacking fluff, firm, narrow, and very glossy. And when viewed in daylight their feather will show a lustrous sheen. They have little fluff or down underneath as common to other breeds.
Standard Malay roosters weigh about 5 kg and the hens about 4.1 kg. And the bantam roosters weight about 1.19-1.36 kg and the hens about 1.02-1.13 kg. Malay chicken has similarities with other Asiatic breeds Asil chicken.
Orpingtons are big, gentle birds that respond well to attention. They are non-aggressive and enjoy handling, making them a good bird for families. Because they are passive birds, they do not do well in mixed flocks that include aggressive breeds, such as the Rhode Island Reds. Orpingtons are relatively quiet birds that do well in city or suburban environments. They are great with kids, making them a good choice for 4-H projects or schools. The buff was created to fulfill a need for a buff-colored chicken at the time. It is a heritage chicken that has since become a favorite to many people.
Mature Orpingtons are large, heavy birds, with males weighing in at 3.5 to 4.55 kgs and females at 2.7 to 3.6 kgs.
Australorps, particularly the Black Australorp is one of the most popular breeds here in the Philippines. Black Australorps have glossy black feathers with a greenish-purple sheen and large red combs. Australorps are very large birds — cockerels (males) weigh 3.2 to 4.1 kgs at maturity, and pullets (females) weigh 2.2 to 3.1 kgs. As a dual-purpose breed, Australorps have pinkish-white skin and plump bodies and dress out nicely once the birds have matured. Pullets mature early, starting to lay between 5 and 6 months of age.
Australorps are quiet, gentle, and stand confinement well. Baby chicks are black with a good deal of white in the underparts and small white patches around the head and wings.
Australorp is the record-holder in egg production. It was the egg-laying performance of Australorps that attracted world attention when in 1922-23 a team of six hens set a world record by laying 1857 eggs for an average of 309.5 eggs per hen during a 365 consecutive day trial. These figures were achieved without the lighting regimens of the modern intensive shed. Such performances had importation orders flooding in from England, the United States of America, South Africa, Canada, and Mexico. Well looked after Australorps lay approximately 250 light-brown eggs per year. A new record was set when a hen laid 364 eggs in 365 days. They are also known to be good nest sitters and mothers, making them one of the most popular large heritage utility breeds of chicken.
8. Delaware Chicken
The Delaware chicken breed is one of the fastest-growing of the popular heritage chicken breeds. One of the best ways to be self-sufficient in rural areas is to produce your own food, and many homesteads benefit from the addition of Delaware chicken.
It is known for being a stunning hen that produces brown eggs which are perfect for breeding and consumption. Additionally, its calm demeanor and friendly temperament make it ideal for beginners.
Due to its thick feathered body, it is also suitable for cooler climates. The only issue is that it is a dying breed and not popular in the Philippines.
With males weighing 8.5 pounds (3.9 kilos) and hens 6.5 pounds (3 kilos), Delaware is a medium-sized breed. They have rather large, bright red-colored single combs and wattles.
The Cornish chicken is a hefty bird with closely-knit feathers giving the chicken the appearance of a slenderer fellow. Their feathers are a mishmash of colors that most commonly include iridescent greens, brown, and blue; however, they can also come in white and buff. In general, Cornish chickens aren’t considered the beauty queens of the poultry world, but they are still quite unique in their own way.
These meaty chickens can weigh in at around 3.86 kgs for males and 2.57 kgs for females., thus the source of our modern-day Cornish Cross. Their size is certainly large enough to feed the entire family. So, while they appear slim and sleek, they are actually quite muscular and hefty. One might even refer to the Cornish chicken as a stocky bird due to its short neck, wide skull, and well-spaced legs (which causes the Cornish Cross a few problems down the line when their body weight becomes too much for their legs to handle).
10. Langshan Chicken
The Langshan chicken is jet black in color and very beautiful. Its appearance is quite striking. Another thing that makes the Langshan stand out from the rest of the breeds is their height. These chickens tend to grow much taller than other breeds and typically weigh an average of 4.0 kgs for males and 3.2 kgs for females.
The Langshan chicken is a skilled forager. They can also lay several eggs in a year and are considered pretty tasty meat. If you’re looking to invest in a quality chicken, then the Langshan might just be the breed for you. Not only are they quite useful, but they’re also pretty friendly birds as well.
Although chicken size always affected by many factors including feed quality, environment, climate, and health, the chicken breed is one major factor.
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