You might be surprised at the largest chicken breed, or you might already have an idea of the winner.
Giant chicken breeds are a great addition to any backyard flock! They have a presence, they’re usually very beautiful, they definitely resemble tiny dinosaurs, and you’ll enjoy watching them!
With each of the breeds in this article, you’ll have the finest selection of dual-purpose kings or egg-cellent egg layers.
If you’re considering adding some gentle but big chicken breeds to your flock, then this article is for you. You’ll discover the largest chicken breeds that are also great egg layers – and despite their size, they’ll easily fit into any backyard flock!
Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information)
Top 10 Largest Chicken Breeds
- Jersey Giant
- Buff Orpington
- Barred Rock
- Dong Tao
The Jersey Giant chicken is one of the biggest chicken breeds out there. However, they are more than just giant chickens. They are docile and mellow which makes them a great pet breed!
Jersey Giants are a heritage chicken breed that was developed in New Jersey in the 19th century as an alternative to turkeys. They’re good layers at 150 to 200 large eggs per year. The Jersey Giant egg color is brown.
How Much Does A Jersey Giant Chicken Weigh?
What Is The Heaviest Chicken Breed? The Jersey Giant! The roosters can weigh up to 15 pounds (they’re called Jersey GIANTS for a reason), with the black variety usually just a pound heavier than the white.
How Big Is A Jersey Giant Chicken?
This huge chicken breed is usually between 16 to 26 inches tall.
You can read more here: Jersey Giant Chicken — A Giant Bird With A Giant Fan Club
Cochin chickens are fluffy giants who are also one of the most popular chicken breeds. They’re friendly, cold-hardy, and lay eggs consistently. If you add one to your flock, you can choose between a full-sized Cochin or the bantam variety (Or get both. Definitely get both).
Standard-sized Cochins are about 5 pounds and are well-loved for their fluffy, soft feathers. They do have feathers on their feet, giving them a fun and unique appearance. These fluffers like to be handled, especially the bantam variety (which weighs about 2 pounds – perfect for children.)
All Cochins love treats, and you can expect about 160 eggs per year.
You can learn more about Cochins here.
How Big Can A Chicken Get? Brahmas are well known because of a video of a giant rooster that went viral (owned by a man named Fitim Sejfijaj, based near Kosovo) and boasts the title of “Biggest Chicken In The World” (Guinness Book of World Records). Suddenly, everyone wanted Brahmas!
There are several different varieties of this chicken breed, including:
In terms of their size, there’s no difference between a Light and Dark Brahma, although the Bantam version won’t get very big.
When it comes to a Brahma vs. Jersey Giant, the Jersey Giant is usually bigger than a Brahma. However, both types of chickens make great pets.
The full-size Brahmas are an old breed that can be as tall as 30 inches (although this is rare and depends largely on the breeder). Many people love that Brahmas are feather footed. They’re also great egg layers, and lay up to 300 eggs per year.
You can learn more about Brahmas here.
How Big Can A Brahma Chicken Get?
How Big Is A Brahma Chicken? Some can grow to around 30 inches tall, however, this will vary from chicken to chicken and breeder to breeder. Because of its size, it’s sometimes called the “King of Chickens.”
Developed in the UK during the 19th century, the Cornish chicken has a squat, square body and weighs in at around 10 pounds. They come in several varieties including:
- White-Laced Red
They’re also the parent stock of modern Cornish Rock chickens (also called Cornish Cross), which are bred to grow extremely quickly for their meat (Cornish Rock chickens also make docile pets, if you can keep them alive long enough. They tend to have heart issues).
Read more here: Cornish Chickens of All Kinds – What’s the Difference?
The Orpington chicken breed is a heritage strain of dual-purpose chicken that was developed in the town of Orpington, in the UK. This type of chicken comes in several varieties, including:
- Chocolate Cuckoo (unrecognized)
- Jubilee (unrecognized)
- Lavender Columbian (unrecognized)
- Columbian (unrecognized)
- Lavender (unrecognized)
- Chocolate (unrecognized)
- Splash (unrecognized)
This docile and friendly breed is great for families because they’re calm around children and are laid back with confinement. They’re large, topping out at about 10 pounds.
As some of the best egg layers out there, you can expect about 280 eggs per year. You can read more about Orpingtons here.
Originating in Belgium in the 19th century, this chicken breed is one of the largest in the world (rivaling Jersey Giants for heft). The roosters can reach 12 pounds, and both males and females sport cuckoo-patterned feathers.
These chickens have a calm temperament, and don’t mind being picked up. They’re fair layers that produce 150 eggs per year. While there is a bantam variety, they’re not readily available.
What Is The Tallest Chicken Breed? The Maylay! While not as hefty as the Jersey Giant, the Malay chicken IS considered the tallest chicken breed in the world, reaching 30 inches in height. (Although the current “Tallest rooster in the world” record is held by a Brahma).
Developed in Europe from local chickens and birds from India and the Malay peninsula, they became popular because of their height. Maylay roosters weigh about 9 pounds, and the hens are fair layers. You can expect about 100 eggs per year. Today, they’re mostly kept for ornamental purposes.
Langshan chickens originated in China, and made their way Westward in the 19th century.
They’re feather footed, and lay dark brown eggs. They’re a hardy black chicken breed that’s heat tolerant and is friendly towards humans.
They can weigh up to 9 pounds, and lay about 180 eggs per year.
With sharply defined barred black and white feathers, Barred Rocks are an old American breed that’s been popular since the 1700s. The roosters weigh about 7 pounds, with friendly personalities. As great egg layers, you can expect about 280 eggs a year.
“Barred” refers to their feather coloring and is a dominant sex-linked gene. From the barred version, other types of Plymouth Rock chickens were developed (including white, buff, Columbian, and other combinations). You can read more about Plymouth Rock chickens here for the full list.
Also known as the “dragon chicken,” Dong Taos have a very unique appearance. Unique is actually not a strong enough word. You should check them out here, you will not believe your eyes.
Weighing in at about 12 pounds, members of this breed sport enlarged legs and feet. They originated in Vietnam, where they’re prized for their meat. Their big legs make it difficult to lay eggs and move around, so they’re not kept for their eggs.
Other Large Chicken Breeds
Rhode Island Reds
Rhode Island Red chickens are one of the most popular and well known breeds available. Although they’ve fallen in popularity the past few years in favor of ornamental breeds, they’re very cold hardy, and aside from regular feed, water, and housing, they require little care. Roosters weigh approximately 9 pounds.
Note: There are two types of Rhode Island Red breeds: Industrial strains, which are bred for high egg production, and heritage strains, which trace their roots back to the first Europeans in America. The heritage strains tend to be bigger, while the industrial strains are bred with only egg production in mind.
Delaware chickens are also popular and are very easygoing. They’re not the heaviest birds out there, topping out at about 6 to 8 pounds. They’re great egg layers, and you can expect about 280 eggs per year.
For those for whom patriotism is important, the Delaware Chicken is distinctly American. Bred and raised in the USA, it never gained the traction needed to find itself imported to other countries. To this day, it can only be found in the USA. That in itself makes this breed special.
Read more about this breed: Delaware Chickens – Nearly Extinct (Looking for a forever home!)
Australorps are gaining popularity (especially black Australorp chickens) because they’re excellent layers. Originating in Australia, their parent stock is Orpingtons. Its name is a mixture of “Australia” and “Orpington.”
Males weigh up to 10 pounds, making them fairly heavy. The average hen will lay about 300 eggs per year.
What Is The Most Aggressive Chicken Breed?
While you will likely hear different opinions from different owners. I know the Silver Laced Serama rooster is fairly aggressive and not recommended for children.
Hens can become aggressive when they’re broody and their nest is disturbed. Roosters can become aggressive in the first year of their lives (when hormones kick in) and in early spring. However, most roosters chill out as they age.
It’s been my experience that almost any breed of chickens can have an aggressive bird, while most chickens are pretty friendly. Just like people, they all have their own personalities and quirks – so you never know. It also depends on how much they are handled and if they have someone (or something) taunting them regularly.
What Chicken Lays Largest Eggs?
Breeds that lay large eggs include:
- Rhode Island Red
- Barred Rock
- Jersey Giants
As you can see, there are many large breeds out there. Some are easy to find, while others are not. One thing for sure is that if you are a chicken lover like me then you will most definitely want to try at least one or two of these largest chicken breeds. And, to be honest, I think you should . 😉
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.