Fascinating Chicken Colors You Might Not Have Known Before | Kidadl

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Fascinating Chicken Colors You Might Not Have Known Before

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A splash of colors can make anything look bright and beautiful!

You already know that the chicken is a domesticated bird, but what comes to mind when you hear the word 'chicken'? Its appearance, eggs, noises, or meat?

Birds are perhaps the most beautiful creatures to survive on Earth. They come in a plethora of sizes, shapes, colors, and shades. Among all birds, chicken is one of the most popular in the whole world. Do you know that there are more than 100 chicken breeds scattered across the globe?

Most city dwellers are pretty ignorant of the different breeds of chicken that chickens have. If you ever visit a chicken farm, you'll get a clear idea of some eye-catching breeds of chicken that actually exist! Since the egg and meat of the chicken are delectable, this highly demanded bird is primarily bred for commercial purposes.

Most breeds of chicken are utilized in the egg production business. However, in many countries, chickens are not just egg-laying birds; they're also utilized as game birds and show birds. Remember cockfights? This blood sport dates back around 6,000 years ago when the cocks would be introduced inside a cockpit where one would inflict injuries on their opponent to win. Because of the bloodshed and mental trauma inflicted on these defenceless birds, most countries have banned and made this sport illegal.

If you enjoyed reading these interesting facts about chickens and their colors, then carry on. Also, don't forget to read through these mind-boggling facts about why are my chickens not laying eggs and are chickens mammals.

Polish Chicken Colors

One of the most elegant and good-looking chicken breeds is the Polish chicken. This is one of the most common breeds that you'll come across. If you're a chicken breeder, then you must be familiar with this breed from Poland.

There are several beliefs about the origin and history of the breed, which makes it difficult to decipher which one holds good. However, it is widely considered that the term 'Polish' with its roots in the old Dutch (from 'pol'), refers to the large head. Categorized as the 'Continental' breed, it possesses both bantam and standard sizes, both being identified in the breed standard of the American Poultry Association.

Four distinct types have been recognized in the chronological order of non-bearded white-crested in the shades of black, silver, golden, and white (1874); bearded golden in color variations of white, silver, and buff laced (1883); non-bearded buff laced (1938); and lastly, non-bearded white crested blue (1963).

The most defining feature of the breed is the peak or pom-pom-like hairdo on top of the head that the hens as well as the roosters exhibit. The Silver Laced Polish possesses silvery-white feathers bordered with black at the tips that cover the entire body. This combination of silver-white feathers is also profound among the Hamburgs.

The roosters exhibit a red-colored comb in a V shape. The wattles are also shaded in red, while there's white on the earlobes. Feathering is absent in the foot area. The captivating appearance of the breed eclipsed its egg-laying utility. Therefore, it can be spotted more often in poultry shows and exhibitions than being solely used for egg production.

Phoenix Chicken Colors

If you think that the Phoenix chicken has anything to do with the mythical bird, then you're absolutely mistaken. No, it doesn't arise from its ashes, nor is it immortal. However, it is another popular ornamental breed of chicken that is adored by many for its ravishing display of colors.

The origins of the breed have been traced back to Germany. The breed was developed as a result of cross-breeding some long-tailed fowls imported from Japan with innumerable breeds such as Yokohama, Ramelsloher, Modern Game, Combattant de Bruges Kruper, Leghorn, Old English Game, Malay, and Bruegge Game chicken.

Three variations have been identified, namely Silver Duckwing, Black Breasted Red, and Golden Duckwing. In 1965, the American Poultry Association offered recognition to the breed. It has a very low egg production rate. The Black-breasted red roosters display black feathers on their bodies and tails along with red hackles on their shoulders, wing sections, and back. On the other hand, the hens project a brown body while the hackles are black or yellow-orange color.

The look of this chicken resembles that of a pheasant, but the most prominent feature is its elongated tail that can measure over 35.43 in (90 cm). Both its single comb and oval-shaped wattles are red, while its earlobes are white-colored. There's no feathering on the legs. This breed is currently classified as Threatened and is pretty rare.

Unusual Chicken Colors

How many unusual and weird chicken breeds are you aware of? There are actually innumerable breeds of chicken that have singular as well as peculiar looks. The list is almost endless! Here are some of the marvelous breeds from the chicken world that you'll fall in love with!

From where does a chicken derive its color? The genes of a chicken are constituted of only two pigments of color, namely red and black. Other shades that are visible to the eyes are the result of a combination of these two pigments. Hence, the other shades can exist in masked, enhanced, or even diluted forms. Chickens are normally self-colored. The most common color is solid black with an enhanced beetle green luster.

The slate blue color is a muted form of black, while the white color implies a complete absence of pigmentation. Other color variants include buff, fawn, cinnamon, chestnut, lavender, silver, red, wheaten, salmon, and bay. Nevertheless, apart from the self-colored ones, chickens with other color patterns also exist, thanks to hybridization.

One such pattern is the silver penciled which is a blend of black and silver. Silver penciled breeds possess a predominantly silver-colored back, saddle, and head, along with a black center stripe. The hen's feathers are marked with three distinct black-colored penciled lines.

The Crevecoeur is an extremely elegant breed of chicken that hails from France. It is one of the oldest breeds and has currently been categorized as Endangered. Both the bantam and standard-sized cocks and hens are pretty bulky. This four-toed chicken projects a prominent V-shaped comb and is most commonly pitch black in color, which includes all of the body extending right up to the tail feathers.

Apart from the black feathers, three more colors have been identified, including cuckoo, white, and blue. A bright red hue is visible on the earlobes, wattles, comb, and face. The coloration of the feet and legs ranges from slate blue to black. Although the breed originally served as a dual-purpose chicken, it is presently bred primarily for exhibitions.

Rhode Island Red is an American domestic chicken and Rhode Island's state bird. These chickens possess a rose comb or a single comb that is red in color. The wattles and earlobes are also vivid red. The beaks are reddish-brown, the legs and feet are yellow, and the eyes are red-orange. These hens lay large eggs of a brown color. The rose comb can also be found in breeds like Wyandotte, Minorca, Nankin, Ancona, and even Leghorns.

The American breed of Brahma chicken is yet another chicken breed with an unusual look. The red pea comb and the shape of the head are a result of cross-breeding that involved the Malay variant of Grey Chittagong. It comes in the shades of buff, dark, and light. The light variant possesses a white base color and has black hackles as well as a black tail.

In the dark Brahmas, the hens exhibit a black pencil to dark gray coloration. The cocks, on the other hand, possess black-white saddle feathers and hackles. They also have a black base. The buff variation is somewhat similar to the light ones, with the exception of the golden buff shade of the base. Although its contribution to egg production is quite good, it is more preferred for meat.

The Dominique is another unique dual-purpose chicken breed that comes with an elegant black and white striped body. The color pattern gives a pronounced V-shape to the breed that helps in distinguishing them from the Barred Rock chicken. The breed is also good at egg production, producing about 260 moderate to large-sized eggs per year.

The Onagadori chicken is considered to be one of the most beautiful breeds of chicken. This breed from Kōchi Prefecture, Japan has a mesmerizing appearance that anyone would fall for. The chicken displays a variety of shades, including black-breasted white and golden, black-breasted silver, and black-breasted red. The tail quills of the roosters are exceptionally llong,measuring around 12-27 ft (3.66-8.23 m). As per studies, the black-breasted white is believed to be the original form. These chickens possess a single comb, reddish-brown eyes, and white earlobes.

Have you heard of the Sultan chicken? This breed was bred and raised by Turkish royals and is extremely scarce. The most distinguishing feature is the puffed-up feathers throughout its all-white body as well as the white head. The feathers on top of the head appear turban-like, which offers the bird a serene disposition. The American Poultry Association has categorized it as a perfect breed of chicken. They can also be docile, and they should be put in a group with more active breeds.

There are some more unusual breeds of chicken that deserve special mention. The prolific egg-producing Light Sussex chickens display white bodies with black tail feathers and hackles. The South American Rumpless or Araucana, on the other hand, is famous for its bizarre appearance. It is tufted and lacks a rump.

You have commonly seen feathered chickens, but have you come across a chicken that is completely devoid of feathers? Yes, naked chickens exist!

Chicken colors offer the birds an enticing look!

What does a Turken chicken look like?

A chicken is normally a docile bird due to the ease with which it can be domesticated. The Turken, or Naked Neck, chicken is a dual-purpose breed that is bred for meat as well as egg production.

The breed derives its name since the vent and neck region lack feathers that give it a turkey-like appearance. In fact, it was initially mistaken for a hybrid chicken because of its resemblance to turkeys. Although this chicken breed had its origins in Transylvania, it was developed on a large scale in Germany.

Despite its weird looks, the breed is not displayed in exhibitions. These chickens have the reputation of being excellent egg layers. In fact, they have very high commercial value because of the meat.

Since they have comparatively many fewer feathers on their bodies, plucking becomes easy. Due to constant sun exposure, the head and neck region gain a bright red hue. Surprisingly, the breed is pretty resistant to cold weather! The hens lay brown eggs.

What does chicken egg color mean?

Just like all other birds, hens lay eggs after breeding. No doubt, a chicken is one of the most popular birds for egg or meat production throughout the world. However, do you know that the color of the eggs is not always white? Also, these egg colors hold a special significance. Let's learn about the different egg colors and their meanings.

Who doesn't love those yummy boiled white eggs sprinkled with salt and pepper for breakfast? However, other than white eggs, chickens also lay eggs in brown, green, and blue colors! Nutrition plays a vital part in good quality egg production. However, the coloration of the eggshells has more to do with the genes of the egg-laying hen. The hard eggshells are composed of a mineral named calcium carbonate.

While a white Leghorn hen lays white eggs, common backyard chickens like the Rhode Island Reds and Barnavelders are known for laying brown eggs. Both the Phoenix and Polish chickens are considered to be good layers. They lay off-white to gray eggs. The color of brown eggs is the result of the pigment called protoporphyrin IX that is contained in the hemoglobin of the hens. While moving out of the oviduct, the exterior of the eggs becomes coated with protoporphyrin due to which the exterior of the shell imbibes the brown hue while the inner part retains the white.

Do you know which chicken lays a blue egg? It's the Ameraucana and Araucana. These are very uncommon chicken breeds and some of their available colors are brown-red, blue, black, buff, wheaten, and black, white, and black-breasted red, respectively.

The blue egg gene, named oocyan, influences the activation of the pigment named oocyanin, which is responsible for the blueness of the eggs. In this case, oocyanin permeates the shell, due to which the interior of the egg also turns bluish. Nevertheless, most of these chicks perish before hatching. An Olive Egger lays olive green eggs.

If you look closely at the earlobes of a chicken, you'll know the color of its eggs. Typically, a hen with white earlobes will produce white-colored eggs. No matter what the color of the eggs is, the taste and quality remain the same.

Silkie Chicken Colors Varieties

Silki chicken is one of the most famous chicken breeds that all chicken admirers should know about. Let's take a quick look into some of silkie chicken's features that set it apart from the commonplace breeds.

As the name of the breed suggests, the Silkie variation is known for its smooth and silky plumage that covers the entire body of the chicken. This is not a very heavy breed as the cocks weigh only 2-3 lb (0.91-1.36 kg) while the hens measure 1.5-2 lb (0.68-0.91 kg). The breed is a very unusual bird for some of its features.

For instance, unlike most other chickens that possess four toes, each foot of this chicken consists of five toes. Also, the ear cartilage is blue-hued while the skin and bone are black. This puffed-up plumage gives the breed an irresistibly adorable look.

The American Poultry Association has identified eight significant shades of the breed, including self-blue, black, splash, blue, partridge, white, gray, and buff. However, unlike most other breeds, this one contributes poorly to egg production and is more of a show bird.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for chicken colors then why not take a look at can cats eat chicken, or can chickens eat apples.

Rajnandini is an art lover and enthusiastically likes to spread her knowledge. With a Master of Arts in English, she has worked as a private tutor and, in the past few years, has moved into content writing for companies such as Writer's Zone. Trilingual Rajnandini has also published work in a supplement for 'The Telegraph', and had her poetry shortlisted in Poems4Peace, an international project. Outside work, her interests include music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading. She is fond of classic British literature.

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