Top 10 Heaviest, Biggest, and Largest Chicken Breeds
Chickens can be found in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors, but if you’re looking to make a profit from selling meat, you’ll want to focus on raising some large chickens. Feeding costs increase linearly with animal size.
Learn about the top ten largest chicken breeds that are suitable for backyard farming, whether for food, profit, or pets. Although purity is always a concern, most of these chicken breeds are already available in your location.
Before purchasing, though, it is important to learn as much as possible about the chicken you intend to buy, including where it came from.
Here is the Top 10 list of the largest chicken breeds:
1. Jersey Giant Chickens
There’s a big reason for calling this chicken a giant, that much is clear. The biggest among chicken breeds is the Jersey Giants. The average male Jersey Giant weighs 5.9 kilograms, while females are slightly lighter at 4.7 kilograms.
Males are bigger all around: they’re taller and heavier. Males can grow to a height of 20–26 inches, while females average 15–20 inches.
They were originally bred as a heritage breed in New Jersey. As an alternative to the domesticated turkey, these chickens were originally bred to be friendly and sociable.
It’s also worth noting that some Jersey giant chickens are larger than the turkey.
Due to their friendly nature, Jersey Giant chickens are now frequently kept as pets and are therefore raised by many people on small farms.
If you want to raise your own herd of Jersey Giants, just do a Facebook search. You can join one of the many Facebook groups devoted to Jersey Giant breeding to buy, post ads, or ask questions about the breed.
The Jersey Giant comes in three distinct colors. You can choose from black, blue, or white, but black is much more popular.
2. Brahma Chickens
Brahmas are among the most attractive chickens because of their height and thick leg feathers. The largest Brahmas are almost the same size as Jersey Giants.
The black chickens typically have a grayish lining, while the buff chicken is primarily buff with spots of white and black.
The male Brahma chicken can weigh up to 5.5 kg, and the female up to 4.5 kg, making it a very large breed.
Surprisingly, the Brahma chicken is the largest chicken breed in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records.
There are a variety of color variations of the Brahma chicken, including the more common white, buff, and dark Brahma chickens. The Brahma chicken is also available in miniature (or bantam) form.
The Brahma chicken often referred to as the “King of Chickens,” is a wonderful pet because of its calm demeanor and friendly nature.
They reach a maximum height of 30 inches, making this ancient breed quite tall (although this is unusual).
Brahmas, known for their feathered feet and their high-quality egg laying of around 300 eggs per year, are considered some of the best hens in the world.
Big and soft, the Cochin chicken begs to be picked up and cuddled. They have been enticing people for quite some time.
The birds have been aptly described as “head-to-toe feathers” due to their stunning plumage. People can’t walk by them without making on them.
Cochins are notoriously sluggish in terms of development, so expect them to take up to two years to reach full size. The adult male can weigh up to 5.9 kgs (kg), and the adult female, 3.2 to 5 kgs (kg).
The Cochin chicken, which originated in Asia but was brought to the Americas, was bred for large size and high egg production. Its fast growth time made it desirable; after 12 weeks of proper care, the bird is ready for the slaughterhouse.
A chicken allowed to mature for an extra month produces a fantastic 12-pound carcass at the end of sixteen months.
Although the original name of the Cochin chicken breed was “Cochin-China,” many people today believe that the birds were brought to the Americas from French colonies in Vietnam.
As the first notable patron of the Cochin chicken, Queen Victoria was an early and passionate supporter of the breed.
The Queen of England was known to keep a stunning cage for her beloved Cochin birds, and her enthusiasm for the chicken spread throughout the United Kingdom and, later, the United States.
4. Maline Chicken
The Malines are exceptionally large chickens, ranking among the heaviest of all chicken breeds. Malines are bred primarily for their meat due to their high quality, mild flavor, and tender texture.
A hen will produce anywhere from 140-160 colored eggs per year, with the largest of these weighing in at 65 g. They are wonderful parents and babysitters.
These breeds are among my favorites to raise because of their gentle nature and unwavering devotion.
In the early 20th century, Malines gained notoriety as the “Poulet de Bruxelles” due to the high demand for its white, tender meat.
Its popularity declined after World War II as it faced stiffer competition from imported specialized meat breeds.
There were 575 nesting birds in Flanders in 2010. An adult male Malinois can weigh up to 5 kilograms, while an adult female can weigh 4 to 4.5 kilograms.
5. Malay Chicken
The Malay chicken is one of the most distinctive largest chicken breeds available, both in terms of looks and appearance.
This chicken, which has its roots in England, has such extraordinarily long legs that it is sometimes referred to as the towering chicken.
The Malay chicken may not be the best egg layer, but it’s a pretty bird and thus makes a good addition for avian enthusiasts.
The comb on Malay chickens is thick and low, like a strawberry. Their hooked beak is short and wide. Yellow is the color of the skin of a Malay chicken. The scales on their yellow legs are unusually large.
Their feathers are typically very close to their bodies, slick, firm, and narrow. Their feathers will show brightly in the sunlight. As opposed to most other breeds, they don’t have a thick layer of undercoat or fluff.
Malay roosters typically weigh 5 kg, while hens are slightly lighter at 4.1 kg. In addition, bantam roosters weigh in at 1.19-1.36 kg, while hens are slightly lighter at 1.01-1.13 kg.
The Malay chicken is very similar to the Asil chicken found in other Asian breeds.
6. Buff Orpington
The Buff Orpingtons are one of the largest chicken breeds. They are big, gentle birds that thrive on human interaction. They are friendly and approachable, making them great pets for children.
Their docility makes them a poor fit for flocks with more dominant birds like Rhode Island Reds.
Buff Orpingtons are peaceful birds that thrive in urban and suburban areas. They are fantastic with kids and would do well in schools or 4-H clubs.
As there was a demand for a chicken with a buff coloration, the buff was developed to meet that demand. Many people now prefer this heritage chicken.
At maturity, male Orpingtons weigh between 3.5 and 4.55 kg, while females clock in at 2.7 to 3.6 kg.
The Australorp, and the Black Australorp in particular, is a very popular breed. Glossy black feathers with a greenish-purple sheen distinguish the Black Australorp, which also sports a large red comb.
At maturity, male Australorps (cockerels) weigh 3.2 to 4.1 kg, and females (pullets) weigh 2.2 to 3.1 kg, making them very large birds. Australorps, a breed used for both meat and birds, develop a rosy glow on their plump bodies as they mature.
Pullets reach maturity at a young age, beginning to lay eggs at around 5 to 6 months.
Australorps are gentle and friendly pets who do well in confined spaces. Chicks are mostly black with a lot of white on the underside and a few white spots on the head and wings.
In terms of egg production, Australorp is unrivaled.
The egg-laying abilities of Australorps gained international attention in 1922-1923, when a group of six hens set a world record by producing 1857 eggs over the course of a 365-day trial, an average of 309.5 eggs per hen.
These results were attained without the use of the rigorous lighting schedules of a contemporary intensive shed.
English, American, South African, Canadian, and Mexican import orders poured in after seeing these shows. Australorps, when lay happy and healthy, can produce around 250 pale brown eggs annually.
A hen broke the record by producing 364 eggs in a year. One of the most well-liked large heritage utility chicken breeds, they are also popular at sitting on eggs and making young.
8. Delaware Chickens
The Delaware chicken breed is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after popular chicken breeds.
Growing your own feed is a great way to become self-sufficient in rural areas, and many homesteads find that the addition of Delaware chicken helps with this goal.
The brown eggs this beautiful hen lays are ideal for both breeding and eating. Its easygoing nature and welcoming personality also make it great for newcomers. It is also well-suited to colder climates thanks to its thick feathered body.
The males of the Delaware breed weigh in at 8.5 pounds (3.9 kilos), while the females average 6.5 pounds (3 kilos), making them a medium-sized breed. Their single combs and wattles are very large and a brilliant shade of red.
If you’re looking for a chicken breed that’s good for both meat and eggs, the Delaware is a great option to consider.
Weighing in at around 6–8 pounds, these chickens are certainly not the heaviest. About 280 eggs per year is a very respectable production rate, so they clearly excel as egg layers.
In the 1940s, a cross between Barred Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshire resulted in the creation of Delaware chickens.
This white-colored broiler chicken breed is well-known for its rapid development and pleasant demeanor.
9. Cornish Chicken
Cornish chickens are one of the largest chicken breeds with dense plumage that makes them appear leaner than they actually are. Their feathers are a rainbow of colors, though iridescent greens, browns, and blues are the most common.
White and buff feathers are also possible. Although Cornish chickens aren’t usually held up as examples of avian beauty, they are still a distinct breed.
Males can weigh up to 3.86 kgs, while females average only 2.57 kgs, making these chickens the ancestors of the modern Cornish Cross. They’re large enough to satisfy everyone at the size.
So, even though they look trim and stylish, they actually have a lot of muscle and weigh a lot.
The Cornish chicken has a short neck, wide skull, and well-spaced legs, so much so that it could be called a stocky bird (which causes the Cornish Cross a few problems down the line when its body weight becomes too much for its legs to handle).
10. Langshan Chicken
The Langshan chicken, bred in China, is stunning in its blackness. It has a striking visual appearance. The height of the Langshan is another distinguishing feature between them and other breeds.
Males of this breed average 4.0 kilograms in weight, while females weigh 3.2 kilograms, making them significantly larger than chickens of other breeds.
The Langshan chicken is renowned for its scavenging prowess. In addition to being able to lay considerable eggs per year, these chickens are also prized for their delicious meat.
The Langshan chicken is a good choice if you want to purchase a high-quality breed. They serve a useful purpose, but they’re also nice birds to have around.
Despite many factors influencing chicken sizes, such as feed quality, environment, climate, and health, the Langshan chicken breed is a significant contributor.
Health Issues on the Largest Chicken Breeds?
The largest chicken breeds won’t be any more prone to illness than regular-sized chickens.
No worries about your largest chicken breeds contracting any size-specific diseases so long as you keep a clean and healthy environment for them to live in and give them the care they need.
Just one thing stands out. Some largest chicken breeds, like Cornish Cross chickens, have been selectively bred to encourage growth rates and body mass.
Because of this, raising them is more efficient because they reach their optimal size and can be butchered faster.
Due to their rapid growth, these chickens are ready for the slaughterhouse at just 42 days of age.
Problems like obesity, arthritis, gout, and heart disease can all be brought on by a lifetime of excessive eating.
It is also more likely that the largest chicken breeds will be infected with bumblefoot.
The largest chicken breeds often have serious issues with their legs and joints due to their rapid growth, which can outpace the development of their skeleton and articulations.
To ensure its continued good health, you should keep a close eye on your large chicken, particularly if it is a hybrid broiler breed.
Is Raising One of the Largest Chicken Breeds Right for You?
In all other respects, raising the largest chicken breeds is the same as any other kind of chicken.
If you decide to raise larger birds, you should plan for the additional needs they will place on your facilities.
Having more room in the cage and run, stronger roost bars, and bigger doorways are all necessities for raising largest chicken breeds.
Your nesting boxes will need to be bigger, and of course, you’ll need to provide more food.
Assuming you can meet the largest chicken breed requirements, adding one to your backyard flock might be a good idea.