There are many people who are unaware that different countries have developed their own distinct chicken breeds. Clucker, however, comes in a wide variety and can be found in almost every country.
Given its size, China inevitably has a wide variety of chicken breeds, each with its own quirks and characteristics. Today, we’ll explore six of the best Chinese chickens currently available.
1. Silkie Chinese Chickens
To the untrained eye, a Silkie may look more like a radioactive penguin than a chicken. They have thick, silky plumage (hence the name), black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and an extra toe on each foot.
These birds are surprisingly calm and submissive. They’re also a very old breed, with the first known citations to them coming from the 13th-century traveler Marco Polo.
They make great pets and are so docile that they are frequently used to incubate and raise the young of other birds.
The Silkie Chinese chickens is another well-known chicken breed with Chinese ancestry. Silkie chickens have existed since Ancient China. The Han Dynasty is where we find its first mentions.
The Silk Road was instrumental in its arrival in Western Europe.
Silkie chickens have been around for a very long time. This breed has grown and flourished over many centuries. It maintains its status as a surviving ancient breed.
The Silkie chicken stands out due to its unique appearance. The two types of Silkie chicken, the bearded and the non-bearded, also differ. Having said that, the difference between these two is obvious.
The American Poultry Association recognizes approximately seven colors. It includes the following:
Silkies are smaller than other chicken breeds. They are considered “bantams” in both the United Kingdom and the United States. Male Silkies typically weigh in at 2–3 pounds, while females typically come in at 1.5–2 pounds.
Silkies are characterized by a round, chubby body and a fluffy, pom-pom-like covering over their cleft. It is one of their distinguishing characteristics that it is worn atop their heads.
These pom-poms serve to conceal their comb, which is typically a deep red color.
The Silkies have black skin that shows through the feathers. The black meat of this chicken breed is regarded as having a medicinal value in Chinese culture.
On average, the life expectancy of a Silkie is between 7 and 8 years. Even though they don’t produce the most eggs, a female can lay an average of 1-2 eggs per week, which works out to about 100-120 eggs per year.
2. Cochin Chinese Chickens
The Cochin Chinese chickens can weigh as much as 6 to 13 pounds, making them very large birds. They have a remarkable amount of feathers, even on their feet and legs, and are typically raised for the exhibit.
The hens are caring and attentive mothers, and overall, the flock is fairly productive.
When these birds first appeared in the 1840s, they became so popular that they caused a spread of “hen fever,” which eventually reached Western countries.
The Cochin Chinese chickens are from the Chinese province of Shanghai. This breed first appeared sometime in the 1840s. The breed received a lot of attention in the West due to its good looks. It was one of the breeds responsible for starting the widespread “hen fever.”
In the United States, breeders have been working to improve the Cochin since the breed was brought over. Around 1874, it was given full membership privileges by the American Poultry Association. Around the same time, they were also brought to the UK.
Cochin Chinese chickens are so beautiful that it’s hard not to be captivated by them. One of its most striking characteristics is its unusual shape. It’s a large bird with soft, luxurious feathers.
Their legs are also completely concealed by their voluminous feathers. Their robust feathers shield them from harsh weather, including the freezing temperatures of winter.
Aside from their feathers, Cochin Chinese chickens only have a single red comb. The chickens’ heads are also smaller than average.
Large in stature, these chickens certainly live up to their name. When fully grown, males of the species typically weigh around 11 pounds. Females of the same species weigh about 8.5 lbs. Cochin Chinese chickens are also available in Bantam sizes.
Cochin chickens are available in a wide variety of colors which include the following:
The Cochin chickens, whatever their color, are always a joy to be around. Take into account the large quality of the meat they produce and the size of the brown eggs they lay, and you’ll find them even more endearing.
They are a pleasant company in the backyard and would make a nice addition to your coop or flock. They fly low. That eliminates the necessity of erecting a tall fence or other such precautions on your property.
They are easy to manage. For the most part, they are peaceful and never show signs of aggression.
3. Nixi Chinese Chickens
Nixi chickens are relatively small in comparison to the large and impressive Cochin chickens. Originating in the Yunnan province of southwest China, they are often the most important ingredient of chicken soup.
Yunnan is internationally significant as a center of terrestrial biodiversity. More than half of the rare, endemic, and epibiotic species of plants and animals in China can be found there.
In addition, Yunnan’s complex topography and rich biodiversity often separate people’s habitats from one another. This has led to the development of numerous distinct ethnic groups, half of which now make up China.
Yunnan has been proposed as a potential domestication hotspot because it is home to the wild ancestors of multiple common farm animal species. Dogs, pigs, and chickens are all examples of common domestic animals.
Raising conditions for Yunnan’s domestic chickens are as varied as the province’s landscapes, which are tended by farmers from a wide range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.
That’s why you can look at the chickens in Yunnan as relics from the original populations of domestic chickens.
Despite their small size, Nixis are well-suited to cold climates, which makes their choice of Yunnan unusual, as it is one of China’s warmest regions.
The Nixi chicken is bred for its eggs and can lay anywhere from 150 to 180 in a year. The average adult male of this breed weighs only about 1400 g, and females are much lighter at around 1200 g. (females).
The Nixi chicken is characterized by its small size, white skin, and gray shank in addition to its red single comb, black-green, and long tail feathers. Its plumage can be any number of colors.
The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in northwest Yunnan is home to the Nixi chicken. It features snow-capped mountains and deep valleys formed by the Nujiang River, the Lantsang River, and the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.
A subtropical xerothermic valley, a temperate mountainside, and a cold peak all contribute to a complex vertical environment.
4. Pekin Bantam Chinese Chickens
A true bantam, the Pekin Bantam chicken is one of the tiniest breeds available. In spite of its diminutive stature, this bird is surprisingly complex.
First of all, they have a lot of feathers. They look like walking balls as they strut around your coop; their plumage is so dense it almost looks like a second skin.
With its adorable furball appearance, this chicken has won the hearts of many chicken keepers. If that wasn’t enough to win our hearts over, just wait until this bird turns in for the kill and snuggles up to you.
There is so much to learn about these birds, just like their feathers.
Although the Pekin Bantam Chinese Chickens originated in China, it was more popular in the United Kingdom. The birds successfully arrived in the UK. sometime in the nineteenth century.
After the end of the Second Opium War, British soldiers supposedly snatched the first birds to arrive in England from the Chinese emperor’s private stash.
As the name suggests, these birds are true bantams; they have no larger fowl equivalent. Their feet and legs are covered in elaborate plumage, which complements their spherical body and low-slung head.
They are available in every conceivable color, and their calm demeanor makes them great pets.
There are few birds as beautiful as the Pekin chicken.
They’ve been around for centuries, and there are lots of legends about how they first appeared. While the details of their origin are sketchy at best, it is generally accepted that they originated in Peking, which is where they most likely got their name.
This flock of birds is not exactly known for its output. In spite of this, for a long time, they were primarily regarded as decorative chickens. With their charming personality, they have sometimes even been considered pets.
These birds have simple needs and would be happy in tight quarters. In addition, they are immune to illness, so the only health issues you need to worry about are the common ones.
All that fluff helps in ranking them high on the list of most adorable birds. But it might also be dangerous for the little creatures. Proper maintenance is required to avoid any serious complications.
Personality of the Pekin Bantam Chinese Chickens
These birds are more than meets the eye. The Pekin chickens are the cutest little things, and you’re not imagining things. You can pick them up and use them with little difficulty. You won’t have much trouble with these birds.
The docile nature of the Pekin Chinese chickens suggests it could make a good pet. Especially if there are treats involved, they would appreciate the extra attention.
The more you handle and bond with these birds, the more likely they will make excellent barnyard companions.
They look like the kind of thing that would fascinate young children. The Pekin Chinese chickens have a reputation for being docile and calm; kids can even pet them. You should probably let them play together if your child is not particularly rough.
However, all roosters are known to fight, and Pekin roosters are no exception. They could get aggressive if there are any young males in the flock. The flip side is that they tend to be softer.
The Pekin Chinese chickens are incredibly cute and should be seriously considered if you’re looking to expand your flock with some new birds.
5. Croad Langshan Chinese Chickens
Although the name “Croad Langshan” may sound more like that of a Steinbeck character than that of a chicken, this breed dates back to the nineteenth century, long before Steinbeck was even born.
These chickens may have originated in China, but they became wildly popular in Britain after a military officer named Major F.T. Croad brought them back from China in 1904.
These birds typically weigh between 7 and 9 pounds and are well known for having large, long breasts, and a small head. They are very sociable and responsive to training, making them ideal pets.
In ideal conditions, a single hen can produce over 150 eggs annually.
An ancient Chinese breed, the Croad Langshan has been around for a long time. The egg, the meat, and the overall appearance of this particular chicken breed have known it famous.
They were well received abroad as well as in their native country. But not only there; it’s also popular in the USA and UK.
Croad Langshan is a large bird as well. They share the larger stature of their Asian kin with other breeds. Male Croad Langshans can get to be 10 lbs in weight.
Females, meanwhile, have a weight limit of up to 7.5 lbs. These chickens provide a lot of white meat due to their size and weight.
You can expect to get between 150 and 200 eggs from them per year. Considering this is a dual-purpose bird, those are not bad numbers. The colors of the Croad Langshan eggs are fascinating.
The hen’s uterus secretes pigments during the egg formation process. These pigments then leave pink tints on the eggs. Croad Langshan chickens are the source of colored eggs if you’re interested in trying them.
These colored eggs make a unique change from the standard white variety.
Features Unique to Croad Langshan Chinese Chickens
Large in stature, Croad Langshan Chinese chickens have deep, long breasts and a dramatic, sharp rise in the back. The original roosters weighed more than 10 pounds, but the current crop averages 9.5. Approximately 7.5 pounds is the average weight of a hen.
Croad Langshan Chinese chickens were originally developed for functional purposes, but they can also serve as flourishing layers.
A hen’s egg production can range from 180 to 240 eggs, with the majority of nesting occurring during the colder months. The plum and dark brown colors of the eggs are distinctive.
The roosters and the hens are both friendly and easy to domesticate. Even though they are able to adjust to different climates, their small size makes them particularly vulnerable to heat.
Providing Croad Langshan Chinese chickens with safe haven and dry soil will help them flourish and produce.
Are Croad Langshan Chickens Suitable for Small-Scale Farming?
The Croad Langshan breed of chickens is known for its friendly demeanor, versatility, and high rates of market weight and egg-laying. They can be kept as a novelty or for display.
Despite getting along with other birds on a larger farm, Croad Langshan Chinese chickens may be bullied by more aggressive birds due to their calm demeanor.
It’s also important to give your flock plenty of room to roam because heavy hens may crush eggs or hurt other chickens if they’re crowded.
The Croad Langshan Chinese chickens are a prized breed of chicken kept for their eggs, meat, and aesthetic value. The calm temperament and high productivity of this chicken make it a great choice for both backyard farmers and commercial operations.
6. Yellow-Hair Chinese Chickens
While the meat from Yellow-Hair Chinese chickens is known for being exceptionally flavorful, they are low in fat, making them difficult and time-consuming to cook.
They’re difficult to find in restaurants outside of China, though they’re becoming scarce there as well, as larger broiler chickens begin to substitute them.
The yellow-hair chicken, also known as the yellow-feather chicken, is a breed of chicken commonly raised in China for consumption. Growing time is about 120 days, while broiler chickens can reach market size in as little as 41 days.
Because it has less fat and more meat than a typical broiler, cooking a yellow-hair chicken takes longer and is more difficult. As a whole, Yellow-hair Chinese chickens predominate in Chinese markets.
Outside of China, you can only find it on the menus of Chinese restaurants (which don’t always feature an English translation). In China, broiler chickens have become more popular, and this breed is in danger of extinction.
It’s not always the case that a yellow-haired chicken was raised in a free-range environment.
Which Breed of Chinese Chickens Do You Prefer?
Now that you know about some of the top chicken breeds in China, you need to choose one. Though we’re biased toward Croad Langshans, we can certainly appreciate your preference for Silkies.