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Are you interested in knowing the largest chicken breeds? Here is a list of the top most popular giant breeds of chickens known to man.

For many years, chickens have been living around humans since 2000 B.C. and their ancestry hails from a number of wild jungle fowls. Since their domestication, chickens have seen great evolution and most of them are bred as dual-purpose birds for eggs and meat.

Over the years, chickens have been bred resulting in a large number of chicken breeds that come in a variety of sizes including bantam, standard, and giant. And while breeders have retained the original purpose of chickens for egg laying and meat, others are bred for show purposes. From when they are chicks to maturity, chickens are adorable to keep in your backyard.

The bantam and standard chicken breeds are the most popular.

But are giant chicken breeds as common?

Although chicken breeds vary significantly in shape and size, the average weight of standard chickens is 5.7 lbs.

Typically, a giant breed of chickens is considered as those that weigh more than 9 lbs. While their large size makes them seem intimidating, most of them are docile and very friendly.

In this article, we have included a list of the 7 largest chicken breeds in the world that you can

Large Breed of Chickens: Review

Here is a detailed review of the largest chicken breeds globally in order of their recognized sizes.

1. Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant ranks as the largest chicken breed in America and globally and comes in three color varieties such as white, black, and blue.

These birds were developed here in the US, specifically in New Jersey, in the 1800s primarily for meat purposes. Jersey Giants were bred to compete with turkeys and to date stand out as the world’s largest purebred chicken breed. Turkeys were the largest birds that could feed huge families but were expensive.

Cute Black Jersey Giant chickens
Cute Black Jersey Giant chickens

When it comes to size, a male Jersey Giant stands anywhere between 20 and 26 inches and weighs 13 to 15 lbs. Jersey Giant hens, on the other hand, are 15 to 20 inches in height with a weight of between 10 and 12 lbs. These hens are not prolific layers but will give you 4 eggs per week or 200+ eggs per year. Like Wyandotte, Jersey Giant hens lay even during winter when other chicken breeds tend to take a recess.

These birds are excellent foragers and will supplement their diet with bugs, greens, and other goodies from the yard. Despite their size, Jersey Giants are docile, peaceful, and quiet birds that will not bully others in the flock.

Since Jersey Giants are huge, their coops should be big enough to accommodate their size and so should their nesting boxes and roaming spaces. Roosts should be sturdy enough to hold their weight.

2. Brahma

Yet another huge chicken breed developed in the United States, the Brahma chicken stands out as the second-largest breed of chickens around the world. They are one of the large chicken breeds with feathered feet that you will find out there.

The Brahma chicken breed was created using birds introduced from Shanghai and was primarily used as table birds in America between the 1850s and around the 1930s. However, they are also good layers. Brahma chickens tend to get along with other breeds and children of all ages which makes it a favorite choice for many chicken keepers.

A Light Brahma chicken in the yard
A Light Brahma chicken in the yard

Like Jersey Giants above, Brahmas have a calm disposition. These birds are friendly, docile, and quiet and tend to be easy to handle. They are also excellent foragers and would love it better if given the freedom to range freely. That being said, Brahmas are fairly easy to contain. Thanks to their thick feathering, they are cold-hardy birds.

Brahma chicken colors include buff, light, and dark. All these colors are available and adorable. These birds are very imposing with a height of approx. 30 inches which makes them frightening some people, especially small kids and adults that fear chickens. Brahma roosters weigh around 10 lbs. while hens weigh 8 lbs. Brahma hens are decent layers for their size as they will bless you with 3 to 4 medium-size eggs that are brown in color per week (130 to 150 eggs per year).

Due to their large size, Brahmas are best suited for people with large spaces so they can build coops that will provide sufficient room for these birds. The roosts should be strong enough and nesting boxes huge to accommodate them.

3. Maline

Our third-largest chicken breed is the Maline which was developed in Belgium in the 1800s. These birds are said to have been bred using the native Flemish Cuckoo with other large breeds. This included Cochins, Brahmas, and Langshans.

The Maline chicken turned out to be a large chicken breed with plumy shanks and herringbone pattern feathers. During this time and on a practical level, the Maline was mostly known for its quality meat. Eventually, these birds became the farmer’s favorite table birds.

Maline Hen and Rooster
Maline Hen and Rooster

Generally, Maline chickens are gentle birds with a calm and steady temperament. This calm and docile nature makes the breed the ideal choice for novice chicken keepers of backyard chickens. Even better, they are good pets for kids and will get along with other chicken breeds just fine.

When it comes to the personality and characters, Malines are good to live with. These birds prefer being outside foraging happily the whole day while enjoying a diet of fallen fruit, insects, weeds, and grubs. And since they are heavy birds, they are not flighty. Malines come in black and white barring which is excellent for camouflaging when they are outside foraging.

Maline roosters will weigh 12 lbs. while hens weigh between 8 and 9 lbs. Maline hens lay 3 eggs per week (140 to 160 eggs per year) that are buff-colored. These birds make outstanding mothers and sitters.

4. Australorp

If you are looking for large chicken breeds from Australia, the Australorp chicken is the most ideal choice. These birds are closely related to the Orpington chicken breed.

Surprisingly, the Australorp was developed in the 1800s when Australians began to modify the Orpington after it was shipped there. Eventually, breeders crossed the Orpington with the Rhode Island Red chicken, and the Australorp was born. These birds were predominantly for utility purposes hence their egg-laying capabilities.

Australorp chickens free-ranging in the field
Australorp chickens free-ranging in the field

The Australorp is a huge, heavy bird with tight-fitting, soft feathers. Categorized as a heavy, soft feathered bird, a male bird weigh 8 to 10 lbs. while hens weigh between 6.5 and 8 lbs. Australorp hens will lay 4 to 5 eggs per week (200 to 250 eggs per year) that are light brown in color. You will admire the upright stance of the Australorp that makes it taller than it actually is.

When it comes to the accepted colors, it varies from one country to another. In Australia, for instance, the Australia Poultry Association accepts white, black, and blue. Here in the US, the American Poultry Association only recognizes black Australorps.

These birds have a calm and sweet disposition which makes them one of the most kid-friendly chicken breeds. Australorps are beginner-friendly and both hens and roosters will get along with other breeds in your backyard flock. Since they are heavy, this prevents them from being flighty.

5. Cornish Chicken

First known as Indian Game chicken, the Cornish chicken originated from southwest England, specifically Cornwell and Devon counties. Developed in the 19th century (1820) by Sir Walter Raleigh Gilbert of England, Cornish chickens are reared for meat or as show birds.

The Cornish chicken is defined by a muscular body and a remarkably broad chest and closely-knit feathers that give it a slenderer appearance. Although these birds have a calm and friendly disposition, they are known for their aggressive streak. While they will not scare kids, this assertiveness means that may not be good for families with small children.

Cornish Chickens ranging in the field

Cornish chickens are heavy with roosters weighing up to 10 lbs. while hens may weigh up to 6 lbs. Cornish hens are not good layers but will give you 3 small brown eggs per week (160 eggs per year). These birds love nothing better than foraging and will enjoy spending most of their time throughout the day looking for bugs and other goodies in the yard. This is good news since they tend to be heavy eaters and allowing them to free-range help reduce feed bills.

When it comes to the coop and run considerations, Cornish chickens need at least 6 square feet of space per bird inside the coop and 2 square feet outside. It is worth mentioning that Cornish chickens tend to have widely-spaced hips that result in leg problems.

6. Malay

Probably one of the ancient chicken breeds that still exists, the Malay is our sixth-largest chicken breed. This breed stands out as one of the first large Asiatic birds to be introduced to the west. To this day, many breeders have used the Malay breed to restore lines of other Asian birds.

The Malay chicken is extremely tall as it will stand 26 to 30 inches in height which makes it the tallest in our list and the world today. What makes them exceptional from other chicken breeds is that they have a strawberry comb.

Malay chickens
Malay chickens

Malay roosters have a weight of approx. 9 lbs. while hens are around 7 lbs. Malay hens are poor layers that will lay 70 to 120 eggs per year that are light brown in color. Although these birds are primarily reared for meat, they tend to grow slowly, and many people say the meat is not as soft.

The Malay chicken breed is known for being curious, active, and energetic with exciting traits. And while they are reputable for a nervous and assertive nature, most owners say they are friendly. Malay roosters are very aggressive and will fight their own to the death. So, never keep Malay roosters in one coop. We also would not recommend this breed for homes with small kids.

Because Malays are tall chickens, make sure that the coop is large enough to accommodate their height. The roosts should be made of different heights and strong, and nesting boxes large too. In addition, make sure each Malay has 40 square feet of run space.

Dong Tao

The seventh-largest chicken breed on our list is the Dong Tao or Dragon chicken.

This unique chicken breed from Vietnam is characterized by enlarged feet and is valued as a delicacy in Đông Tảo village in Khoái Châu District near Hanoi. These birds are primarily for meat purposes. Initially, this chicken breed was kept by royals and used in ritual offerings.

Dong Tao chickens roaming outside foraging
Dong Tao chickens roaming outside foraging

Dong Tao chickens are large birds and rare to find as they are found in this small Vietnamese village. One of the weirdest things about this chicken breed is the thick and scaly legs that are very huge like a human’s wrist. These birds have a pea comb and huge wattles, and hens have a wheaten color and roosters feature a black-breasted red plumage.

This chicken breed is known to be friendly and that is why people raise them as pets other than for meat purposes. Dong Tao boys will weigh 12 lbs. while hens weigh approx. 9 lbs. Hens are not good layers as they lay in cycles and will only give you approx. 60 eggs per year.

Dong Tao chickens are not much of bullies, but roosters will become aggressive when their flock is threatened. These birds are super expensive and are especially due to their rarity. Expect to spend $2,000 on a pair of Dong Taos.

Giant Hens

The largest breed of hens includes Jersey Giants, Brahmas, Cornish, Australorp, and Maline among others.

These girls weigh anywhere between 6.5 and 12 lbs. And although they are not the only chicken breeds, we chose them to represent the rest as they are on top of the list of the largest chicken breeds in the world.

Large Chicken Breeds with Feathered Feet

Different people are attracted by chicken breeds due to various characteristics.

Chickens with feathered feet
Chickens with feathered feet

If you have come across chicken breeds that have feathers on their feet, they are pleasing to the eye. The main reason why breeders developed chickens with this feature is that they wanted to help keep the feet warm. On the flip side, feathered feet tend to hold snow and form snowballs and tend to get muddy when it is rainy.

Brahmas, Faverolles, and Silkies are the most favorite chicken breeds with feathered feet for us and our kids. Other large chicken breeds with feathered feet include Cochins, Belgian d’Uccle, Booted Bantams, and Sultans.

Benefits of Keeping Giant Chickens

Chicken enthusiasts keep these fowls for many reasons.

Many standard chicken breeds tend to grow fast and are not heavy eaters and will not eat up a lot of space. Large chickens, on the other hand, are the opposite.

So, why keep giant chicken breeds?

  • Most giant chicken breeds produce large eggs.
  • They tend to have tastier meat than chickens raised in a barn.
  • Large chicken breeds love to range freely which is good for pest control in your backyard.
  • Giant chicken breeds produce plenty of compost that is beneficial for your garden.

Guidelines on how to keep Giant Chickens Healthy

If you are planning on keeping giant chicken breeds, maintaining good health is crucial for them and you as well. As such, there are a few things that you need to consider.

Make sure that your giant chickens have access to adequate space both inside the coop and on the run where they spend most of their time during the day. They need ample space where they can stretch their large wings so, ensure they have access to at least 5 square feet per bird. Outside, each chicken needs 6 to 8 square feet of space.

In addition, make strong perches that will hold these heavy birds. As mentioned, large chicken breeds love to free-range and rest in the evening on perches.

A Black Jersey Giant hen
A Black Jersey Giant hen

Giant Chicken Breeds for Sale

Do you live in Australia, America, NZ, or the UK, among other regions globally, and are interested in keeping giant chicken breeds?

Do not buy large chicken breeds from sites such as Craig List or eBay. It is better if you visit the breeder and buy your chicks from them directly.

The price of a giant chicken breed will vary significantly depending on the breeder and the type of breed. Malines and Dong Taos are the rarest giant chicken breeds on the list that will cost you $60 and $2,000, respectively.


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