My Opinions and Views on Different Breeds


In the Brooder
Jul 6, 2016
I'm an amateur chicken breeder and owner, with a flock of maybe 15. I'm also closely involved with a second flock of five at another home that I'm at regularly. Because my chickens are just for eggs and pets, give or take, I'm not super attentive with their breeds and such, and as such I've got myself several mixed breed hens, that lay as well as their crossbreeds. I do have a few purebreed show chickens that I have more as pets and friends for the other chickens. This is just something that I wanted to post for reference for myself, and anyone else who wants to look at it. Breeds I have will be listed below, along with a short bit of description about each of the hens, and my overall impression of the breed.

Purebred Chickens

Barred Rock - 3 Hens
These hens, I've noticed, in addition to being the typical black and white barred chickens, have particularly large combs and waddles, particularly for hens. I mistook a few as roosters until making sure they didn't have their fantastic tail feathers.
I have three of these hens, one in my flock, and two in the flock I assist in. Tourmaline is the one in my flock, and the only one that has a name.
Tourmaline tended to be very loud, and much more of a leader than my other hens. They have free range capabilities at my home, so she wandered around a lot, along with the two Ameraucanas she was raised with. She was very social, given that I had hand raised her and her two buddies inside, but she didn't like to be held. She much preferred to walk behind you just a pace or two away and cluck for treats. Very talkative and happy, bright red comb and waddle.
The two Barreds at the other house are a bit more skittish, with a lack of socialization dampering their normally happy personalities. They are also very loud and excitable, some of the more energetic chickens that I know.
Overall I think that Barred Rock chickens are very talkative. They can be loud, Tourmaline was almost louder than the rooster I had at one point. They are very friendly, however, and tend to be good leaders of flocks. If there was a flock of only hens, a Barred Rock is viable to be the leader of them.

Ameraucana - 6 Hens
Coming in many shapes and colors, Ameraucanas can be very beautiful birds. I have 4 of them in my own flock, and two in the secondary flock. They tend to have smaller combs, that can look a bit shriveled.
Athena was my first Ameraucana. She is a black hen, and lays green eggs. She is a bit skittish, but is plenty satisfied with coming close when you've got food, and if she's distracted, will let you pet her. She's pretty quiet, and at about 3-4 years old, is rendered unable to lay due to a growth that takes out her reproductive system.
Serenity was raised by my Bantam Porcelain d'Uccle. She was raised by that tiny hen, and has become a middle ranking girl in the flock. She lays brown eggs, and has feathers like sunflower seeds, pale gold with dusty blackish grey marks on the ends. She is commanding towards those lower than her, but respectful to those above. She is very skittish, never having been raised by people, and prefers to just watch from a distance.
Agate and Casserite are a package deal. They are younger than their barred rock companion, Tourmaline, by about two months, but they still banded together nicely. The pair are very skittish, even though they were raised inside together with Tourmaline, a very social barred rock. Agate is a rosy-orange and blue-grey hen, who lays blue eyes, and Casserite is a white and golden laced hen who lays greenish blue eggs. Both are lower-middle ranking in the flock, and are very adventurous. Both are strangely small compared to the others of their breed, about 3/4 the size.
The two Ameraucanas in the side flock are unnamed. One is black, the other white and gold laced like Casserite. The black hen is the flock leader, and the white one is a middle ranked hen. They both lay blue eggs, and are fairly docile, though skittish.
Overall, I see Ameraucanas as a good layer breed, and good with younger kids, because they are docile, and don't mind being touched. They tend to be a bit skittish, but also even tempered.

Bantam Porcelain d'Uccle - 1 Hen
Bantam Porcelain d'Uccles, or Porcelains, are some of the most beautiful little creatures you'll find. Their feathers are white with opalescent purple-grey markings at the tips, and they are, of course, bantam in size.
My Porcelain's name is Yin. She had a daughter with a black rooster that was black in color, and named Yang, but Yang died a year or two ago. Yin is a slight bit shy, but she does enjoy being held and pet. She is a very good mother, and has a temperament like an old grandmother hen, very controlling and corrective, but also willing to let the others lead. She has raised two successful clutches, one slipped under her at night, the other hatched from eggs. She is almost seven years old now, and doesn't lay anymore, though she still goes broody when the silkies do. She raised her first clutch in conjoint with her own blood chick, Yang, and the second one with two silkies as coparents. She raised Serenity in the first clutch.
Overall I think that Porcelains are sweet show chickens, are are good mothers to chicks, particularly in flocks of smaller birds. They can be run over if they're in a flock of bigger birds, and have a hard time protecting the chicks, but are good parents all the same. They're good with kids, and very friendly birds.

Silkies - 2 Hens
Silkies are beautiful birds, with fur-like feathers that come most commonly in white. I have two of them, and they have dark blue-black combs and waddles, as well as iridescent blue ear flaps as well. They also have 5 toes, not 4.
I have two silkies, sisters, who came from a bad conditioned place where they were crammed in a small cage with three other birds. As such, they were very skittish and are absolutely terrified of people. Their plumes make it worse, constricting their vision. The first hen is Luna, the other Estrella. Luna was nicknamed Tweedle Dee, Estrella Tweedle Dum while they were struggling to learn how to be outside chickens. After about 6 months, they both went broody, and my Porcelain joined them. They successfully hatched 3 chicks, we had given them fertile eggs, one Ameraucana cross, and two black australorp/copper maran crosses. One was pure white with black feathers spastically placed across her form, the other pitch black. Luna went broody about 8 months later, when their black chick turned out to be a rooster, and was giving fertile eggs. She hatched another three chicks, and raised them all. The other raised another barred rock chick, though she's joined another flock.
Overall, Silkies are a very skittish breed in my opinion, but are brilliant mothers. Mine have hatched a total of 6 chicks, and all made it into adulthood. They are very protective, and can be a bit dangerous when brooding. They've drawn blood on me before, but are generally sweet.

Cochin - 1 Hen
I only have one cochin hen, and she's barred rock coloration, but absolutely massive. Rivals Jersey Giants, she does. Fluffy feet, plump, and always hungry for treats.
My Cochin is named Big Mama, and she's a barred in coloration. She has a very mean looking face, but absolutely loves people, and will hop into your lap at any given chance. She will walk beside you, and is always, and I mean always up for treats. She loves mealworms in particular, and you can get her over just by opening the lid of the can we keep their food in. Big is a brilliant hen, she lays once a day, and is very playful, good with kids too.
Overall, Cochins in my experience are brilliant hens, good layers, friendly, and very social and happy. I love the funny creatures. They love treats too, and are always up for a petting.

Buff Orpingtons - 1 Hen
They are smaller, light buff golden in color, and tend to be more squat and fluffy.
Poppy, the final hen in the second flock that I work with, is a very small, slightly deformed Buff. Her legs are super short, shorter than normal, and she has slightly twisted feet, though she can still get around fine. She's skittish, but once you pick her up, she's very friendly and happy. She loves being held, just not being picked up.
Overall the Buff's I know tend to be social creatures with a good laying streak, and hardy enough to live farther out in the rural areas.

Frizzles - 1 Hen, 1 Rooster, 1 Unknown
Frizzles can come in many breeds, the only one I have experience with being bantam frizzle cochins. They come in a few colors, but mine are still super young, so I can't really tell yet.
I have 3 Bantam Frizzle Cochins that we thought were normal bantams. Mir is our Roo, he almost died as a chick and was raised inside because of it, though he started with a hen outside. Mir is pitch black with white feathers here and there. He's tiny, but stocky and strong. His wings are still developing, and he has a massive comb and waddle, particularly for his size. He has a few rooster tendencies, but is overall a very nice little guy, skittish but OK with being held and touched. His full name is Miracle.
Philis is the name of the unknown little guy, as they haven't shown to be male or female in any way. They're a ton bigger than the other two, but have a smaller comb and waddle. They also feathered out the fastest, so I get mixed messages from them. Philis is pure white, and has very curled feathers, more than the other two, though the hen is coming in close behind. It's full name is Philis Diller. They're very bold, and up front, but not at all willing to be touched. They prefer to look at you and make clucking noises. I raised them inside due to a large injury on the back of her head from an older hen.
Mag is a tiny, full pitch black chick. She is smaller than even Mir, and at 3 months old weighed in at 0.2 pounds. She was severely ill then, and is now probably 4.5 months old, and around 0.5-0.7 pounds. She has a very yellow comb, though it's just her skin color, not anemia. Her full name is Magna, meaning big, or large, in Latin. Mag is shy, but will allow herself to be held. She has two adoptive chicks, they adopted her as their mother when she was about 2 months old, and them 2 weeks. They love her, and she's done a good job raising the pair. I raised her inside due to her always having been the runt of her clutch, absolutely tiny compared to even Mir.
Overall, Frizzles so far have been good chickens, not really super friendly, but not against being held or handled. They are also seemingly strong in comparison to some bantam's I've raised before.

Copper Marans - 1 Hen, 1 Rooster
They tend to be black with big patches of orange, red, and yellow, but there is also a variation that is white with the same colorful patches. I have one of each.
I have 2 purebred Marans, Juliet and Gene. Guess who's the Roo. It's Juliet of course. A typical black colored rooster, Juliet is slowly learning how to be a rooster. He's only about 2.5 months old, but seems to be very bold, if not that social.
Gene is white with some russet markings and a bunch of black feathers here and there. She is a hen, and is not super social, but is also very outgoing and strong.
Overall, Marans have been a hardy, bold breed, good to integrate into a flock when they are younger than the other hens, because they hold their own well. Not super social, but not fearful either.

Polish - 1 Rooster
Polish are smaller chickens, with massive crests that block their vision somewhat. They tend to have waddles, but not combs, and be lean and long legged.
My Rooster is Clarus, which means loud or clear and clarion, in Latin. He was raised inside because he had a severe head and face injury as a chick from an older chicken. Now completely healed, Clarus looks a bit like a Bald Eagle, with a pitch black body and neck, and a brilliant white crest. He has beautiful long tail feathers, and a big waddle, as well as the longer neck feathers. He is a bit shy because he can't see well, but he's very friendly once you pick him up. He is 4.5 months old, and is a beautiful boy. He responds well to being handled when you talk to him, so that he knows who it is working with him.
Overall, Polish seem to be good little creatures, a bit skittish, and hard to socialize because of their crests, but he is one of the nicest roosters I have ever had the joy of handling.

My Crossbred Chickens

Blu and Suus - Blu and Suus are copper maran, black australorp crosses. Blu came out colored like a white maran, Suus like an australorp. Suus was a rooster, and had himself a total of 4 chicks that are still in my flock. Blu was more rooster like than her brother, and still is. She's very fierce and outgoing, a leader, bossy and controlling. She goes out of her way to beat on smaller chickens, and will attack my feet if I mess with her. She can't do much, but it's strange to walk. Suus was more skittish, he didn't like to be touched, and was very protective. We had to find him another home. Suus means Independent in Latin, because he hatched on July 4. Blu hatched a week earlier. She's a year old now.

Twizzler - Twizzler is an Ameraucana, Copper Maran, Black Australorp cross, the son of Suus and Serenity. He might actually be an It, given that we believe that he is laying eggs, and is a hermaphrodite in gender instead of rooster. He just began crowing and mounting the hens a week ago, and is about 6-8 months old. He is social and happy, will let me even pick him up and will sit on my shoulder for awhile when I do the clicker commands that I trained him with when he was little.

Penny, Tenebris, and Stella - Penny and Tenebris are the chicks of Estrella and Suus and Luna and Suus. Stella is Suus and Blu's chick. Penny was a rooster, and had a silkie crest with fluffy legs, and copper maran black coloring. Tenebris is built like a silkie, but has real feathers, and is black with russet around her neck. Stella is a typical Black Australorp, and honks more than clucks. They're all ok, but Tenebris is horrifically scared of people, and will hide just at the sight of one.

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