There are so many chicken breeds to choose from. How do you know which one to bring home? Sometimes it is best to make a colorful choice, especially when there are so many beautiful black and white chicken breeds out there. Black and white chickens look amazing, and they are sure to become a conversation piece for whoever visits your home. Aside from that, many breeds excel at laying eggs, producing meat, or being fun companions.
This list of 15 black and white chicken breeds will introduce you to some of the most popular, so you can decide which one (or several) is right for you.
1. Barred Plymouth Rock Chicken
The Barred Rock is a white and black variation of the Plymouth Rock breed. They have a unique plumage that features straight black stripes tipping white feathers. This gives them a stunning look. Barred Plymouth Rock chickens are typically kept for their egg-laying prowess. Up to 280 eggs per year is superb, especially for those who want to sell their eggs to the community.
These chickens grow quite large — up to 9.5 pounds — and are very resilient. They will adapt well to all kinds of environments. You can also count on Barred Rock chickens to be docile and sweet. They are rarely bad-tempered, even to other chickens.
Want an eye-catching chicken? Check out the Lakenvelder, a breed hailing from Germany. Not only do they carry themselves like models or royalty, but they act like they are superior, too. That is not a bad thing, especially since the Lakenvelder is a popular breed for shows. They make heads turn.
The Lakenvelder has a white body with black necks and tails. The black feathers may be speckled or streaked with white. Their red combs and wattles are paired with white earlobes, slate gray legs, and a bone-colored beak. Lakenvelders weigh around 4-5 pounds during adulthood, and the hens can lay around 170 eggs a year, on average. Their meat is also considered high quality.
They are excellent forages, highly evasive of predators, and very active. Plus, with the right amount of socialization, they can be quite friendly.
3. Silver Spangled Hamburg
The black and white pattern on the Silver Spangled Hamburg would be better off called “polka dot,” because that is what it looks like. The Silver Spangled Hamburg has an upright tail feathers with black lacing and a couple of spots throughout. The body is spangled around the head, chest, and wings. Their appealing looks make them excellent for homesteaders and for shows.
But there is another reason to bring a Silver Spangled Hamburg hen home. They can lay up to 250 medium-sized eggs per year. Plus, the hens start laying early — around 4 months old.
The Silver Spangled Hamburg is an alert little bird that likes to forage for bugs, seeds, and any other treats you provide. They will be an economical addition to your flock.
4. Silver Laced Polish Chicken
Want a lady who will steal the show? Then the Silver Laced Polish is your hen. As the name suggests, these birds come from Poland. The appearance is both endearing and a little comical, as they appear to have an unruly head of feathers. The feathers stand on end, showing off the gorgeous silver laced pattern that continues down and throughout the body. Because of the size of their bonnet, you can barely see the eyes of a Silver Laced Polish chicken.
Of course, due to their striking look, any colorful variety of the Polish chicken breed is bound for shows.
That is not the only thing Polish chickens have that makes them a winner, though. These chickens are excellent egg layers — up to 200 eggs per year. The hens are not broody. Overall, their personality is affable but also timid around strangers.
5. White Crested Black Polish
You might think that the White Crested Black Polish also comes from Poland, but you would be incorrect. The White Crested Black Polish actually comes from the Netherlands. Just like other Polish varieties, this one is a hoot to see in person. They have a fluffy white crown on their hands that is mingled with a spread of black around the eyes. Aside from that white plume, the body is entirely black.
The White Crested Black Polish is otherwise very similar to the Silver Laced Polish chicken. Fully grown, they weigh around 4-6 pounds, and they lay between 150-200 eggs annually.
6. Russian Orloff
Despite being called the Russian Orloff, this breed originated in Persia. It is an old breed that was eventually promoted by Russian Count Orlov during the nineteenth century. Since Orlov popularized this breed, it was soon named after him. This breed also goes by the name Silver Spangled Orloff.
There is no denying that this black and white chicken breed is majestic. The spangled pattern of black and white makes them look a little like a Silver Spangled Hamburg, but the spacing between the black and white speckling is closer. Females have a fanned tail that is predominantly white with a couple dots of black. The rooster, on the other hand, will have silvery-white hackles in their tails and some iridescence among the black.
The breed is known for being resilient in all kinds of weather. This is due to their robust bodies and small combs. Those who live in colder climates will love the Russian Orloff breed. Personality-wise, these chickens are alert, intelligent, curious, and friendly when socialized.
At 24 weeks old, Russian Orloff hens will start laying eggs. They are not very productive, however. You will get around 90-100 medium-sized eggs from them. Russian Orloff chickens are more often used for their meat. Weighing at 6-7 pounds when fully grown, they are plump and delicious.
7. Black Laced Silver Wyandotte
The Wyandotte was bred primarily for egg and meat production, but they are also popular as pets. The Black Laced Silver Wyandotte is a gorgeous bird that has white feathers tipped with black, yellow legs and beaks, and red combs and wattles. They are a sight to behold. Furthermore, they grow to be between 6.5-8.5 pounds, on average. Producing around 200 years a year, Wyandotte hens know how to earn their keep. Plus, they rarely go broody.
The Black Laced Silver Wyandotte is also a docile breed that enjoys being around other Wyandottes. Although they are not known for bullying, they are also sturdy and refuse to be bossed around.
Wyandottes are friendly but not lap chickens. They like being on their own and having a small enclosure to wander around. Since they handle confinement well and aren’t as noisy as some breeds, they are ideal for smaller fenced-in yards where the neighbors are within earshot.
This video tells you all about the Black Laced Silver Wyandotte:
8. Columbian Wyandotte
Sporting white and black plumage on the beck, the Columbian Wyandotte is beautiful to see and to own. They are produced by crossing a white Wyandotte with a Barred Rock. Similar to the Black Laced Silver Wyandotte, these birds weigh between 6.5-8.5 pounds. However, their pure white plumage makes them look larger.
Columbian Wyandottes have a slightly higher rate of egg production: around 200-250 brown eggs per year!
9. Cuckoo Marans Chicken
The Cuckoo Marans is yet another chicken that resembles the ever popular Barred Plymouth Rock breed. Often, the two breeds are mistaken for one another. However, the Cuckoo Marans is from the town of Marans in French, and it has a long history. Weighing around 7-9 pounds, the Cuckoo Marans is a large chicken that can produce both meat and eggs. Hens will lay around 200 eggs a year. You can also look forward to the gorgeous chocolate color of their eggs! Plus, due to their elegant looks and friendliness, they make great show birds.
10. Dominique Chicken
The oldest breed of chicken from North America, the Dominique is a sight. Their black and white barred feathers make them similar to the Barred Plymouth Rock. These chickens weigh around 5-7 pounds, and they can lay around 260 brown eggs throughout the year. Aside from that, Dominique chickens are excellent sources of meat; their stunning feathers make them a welcome addition to poultry shows, too.
Since their feathers are sought after stuffing for pillows and mattresses, you can consider the Dominique an economical choice. They are also very self-sufficient and love to freely roam.
11. Light Sussex
Say hello to one of the ancient breeds in Europe, the Light Sussex. In fact, Sussex chickens were one of the first breeds to be put on display at a 1945 poultry show in London. Unlike many other black and white chicken breeds, the Light Sussex is mostly white. They have sleek back streaks down their necks and some black edging on their tail feathers. Hens have flat blacks and low tail feathers, as well as small combs and wattles and short orange legs.
Hardy, resistant to many diseases, and also social, Light Sussex chickens are ideal for both small and large yards and farms. You will love watching them socialize with other animals and people.
The Light Sussex breed was made to be dual purpose. They are larger birds (between 7-9 pounds) that can lay around 250-280 eggs annually. Hens tend to be a little broody.
12. Dark Brahma Chicken
Here is another of the world’s oldest chicken breeds: the Brahma. As the product of crossing a Shanghai chicken with a Grey Chittagong, you get the beautiful Dark Brahma. They have heavy feathering, including feathered legs and feet. This makes them excellent for cold weather conditions.
Being that Brahmas can reach 12 pounds when full grown, they are used often for their meat. On top of that, a Dark Brahma hen lays up to 150 eggs a year. But if you aren’t looking for a dual purpose chicken, don’t worry. Brahmas are known for their sweet disposition. You can make one of these birds your friend easily.
13. Mottled Ancona
This chicken is named after Ancona, a city in Italy, and it has a mottled pattern on its feathers. The feathers are mainly black and flecked with white on the ends of each feather. Two versions exist: standard or bantam. Both types have dense plumage that enables them to survive during cold winters. However, the standard sized Mottled Ancona has a slightly larger red comb.
The Mottled Ancona was originally bred for eggs in the United Kingdom and US. An adult weighs around 4.5 to 6 pounds. Hens are capable of producing 280-300 medium and large eggs throughout the year.
This video shows you the Mottled Ancona in action:
Since they are lovely, you can take Mottled Ancona to shows. Outside, they are resourceful and excellent at foraging for their own food — saving you some money. That said, if you are looking for a friendly breed, the Mottled Ancona may not be for you. They tend to be skittish around people and prefer flocks of their own breed.
14. California Gray Chicken
The California Gray is an American breed that was created in the 1930s. Professor James Dryden of California is credited with making this dual purpose breed. The idea was to make a chicken who could produce a high level of egg production for more than 2 years. As an auto-sexing breed, California Grays look different upon hatching. Males are lighter than the females. When full grown, hens average at 4.5 pounds, and roosters are between 5.5-6.5 pounds.
Roosters and hens look a little different, as the males stand a little taller and have thicker tail feathers. However, both have a penciled black and white pattern. The black is sometimes a dark brown. Hens and roosters both have bright red combs and wattles, white ear lobes, and yellow beaks.
Typically, California Gray hens lay around 300 white eggs a year. The eggs weigh around 58 grams each!
15. Silver Spangled Appenzeller
Originating from Switzerland, the Appenzeller chicken is common in Europe and the UK. In the US, the population is small. Appenzeller chickens are one of two types: Spitzhauben or Barthuhner. Weighing around 4-5 pounds as an adult, the Silver Spangled Appenzeller is a modest egg layer. You receive around 160 eggs. Their meat is also succulent.
Looking at a Silver Spangled Appenzeller, you may fall in love with their unique feathering. Their bodies are speckled with black and white — even their tail feathers! Upon their heads is a black and white bonnet that covers their combs. They have light pink skin around the eyes, and their wattles are small and red. This makes the breed very hardy and resistant to cold. They are also excellent at foraging and climbing, so confining them may be a challenge.
Overall, the Silver Spangled Appenzeller is a visually appealing breed with a lot of outstanding attributes. They may not produce a ton of eggs, but they are sure to put a smile on your face.
Final Thoughts on Black and White Chicken Breeds
There you have it — 15 beautiful black and white chicken breeds. Whether you want to find the next best chicken for your flock or you want to spice up the colors in your yard, any one of these breeds would be a wonderful addition. Black and white chicken breeds come in many shapes and sizes, so some breeds may be more challenging than others. However, with the right food, environment, and a touch of love, raising chickens of any kind is rewarding and fun.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.