Some people might believe that chickens are fairly commonplace and bland-looking, but the more you know about chickens, the more majestic they become. Some chickens have been bred solely for their colors and ornamentation, making them ideal for winning chicken shows. Today, you’re going to be introduced to the prettiest show chickens in the world.
Let’s get started.
The 12 Prettiest Show Chickens in the World
Take a look at some of the most colorful and gorgeous breeds of chickens in existence. To see these birds up close would definitely be the highlight of your day! Better yet, many of these breeds are very friendly and would love to be a part of your flock.
1. Yokohama Show Chickens
You may think that these chickens are a Japanese breed judging by the name, but they are actually from Germany and the UK. Yes, the origins started in Japan with the Shamo and Shokoku chicken breeds, the breed was refined in Germany then gained rapid popularity in the UK. However, the Yokohama Show chicken is a rare find today.
These birds come in a variety of colors, including blue-red, red-saddled, silver, gold, white, black buff, and spangled. They have walnut-colored combs, no feathering on their legs, and long tail feathers. Yes, even the females have wispy tail feathers that give them a beautiful look.
Yokohama Show chickens are always the star of the show, wherever they are. Many people bring these birds home just to breed them for exhibitions, but others love their delightful personalities and companionship.
This video shows you what a red-saddled Yokohama chicken looks like:
2. Barbu d’Uccle Chicken
Fluffy legs, a high head, and a U-shaped tail makes the Barbu d’Uccle a unique looking bird. They have 28 recognized coloring variations, though the most common and striking is the Mille Fleur speckling. Barbu d’Uccle chickens are more than award-winning birds at shows. They are also going to win your heart. These chickens love perching on your shoulder and eating snacks out of your hand.
Despite having low egg production, Barbu d’Uccle hens love laying on fertilized eggs and adopting hatched chicks as their own. This sweet nature makes them a popular addition to many flocks. If you have children, consider letting them care for and show a Barbu d’Uccle of their own. It will be a magical experience.
3. Cochin Chicken
Cochins are large, fluffy, thick, and strong. They are commonly called the Clydesdale of the chicken world, especially with their big legs. Those feathers, however, help insulate the Cochin against the cold. Cochins are also some of the largest chickens around. The males weigh around 11 pounds, while females reach 8.5 pounds on average. However, you can also get Bantam Cochins for your yard.
Cochins come in a rainbow of colors ranging from black, buff, blue, brown, barred, and more. You can easily show most colors, as the APA recognizes most.
Docile and non-aggressive, both female and male Cochins take to being handled well. Because of this, they are greater starter chickens for those who want to go to chicken shows.
4. Faverolle Chickens
Although Faverolle chickens were once used for meat and egg production, their looks made them a more popular option for showing. In the 1860s, Faverolles were born by crossing Houdans, Marans, French Rennes, Dorkings, Brahmas, and Flemish Cuckoos. The breeders took the chickens with the best characteristics to create Salmon and White Faverolles.
These are heavy birds, and they are rather fluffy. This makes them look much larger than they truly are. Faverolles have a unique ruff around their neck, kind of like the Elizabethan ruffle collar. This breed is gentle as can be. Even the roosters are known for their calm disposition and friendliness. The hens are rather broody, making them wonderful mothers to chicks — even those that aren’t theirs.
Since Faverolle chickens have a knack for being glamorous, it should be no surprise that they have an extra surprise. Many breeders are shocked to find that Faverolles have five toes! However, this is a breed standard and not a defect. If you want to show a Faverolle, make sure they have that fifth toe.
5. Frizzle Chickens
Did you think Silkies were the only odd birds out there? Allow us to introduce the Frizzle chicken, a whimsical little bird with a curious personality. Interestingly, Charles Darwin referred to these birds as Caffie Fowl in the 1600s. Back then, the Frizzle breed was seen largely in India. It is believed that Darwin never saw these birds with his own eyes, because he had never traveled to India or anywhere close!
So what does a frizzling mean? For birds, it means that the feathers curl upward and away from the body. The feathers may even twist, making the bird look like they put a fork on an electrical socket.
Now, here are some things you need to know about showing Frizzle chickens. Some countries, like the UK, Germany, Australia, France, and Italy have defined Frizzles as their own breed. In the US, Frizzles are a kind of plumage. This doesn’t mean you can’t show a Frizzle in the US. All it means is that you have to define the breed or parentage, such as Cochin, Silkie, or Polish.
Fun fact: If you combine a Frizzle and a Silkie, you get a Sizzle bird.
6. Brahma Chickens
Once upon a time. Brahma chickens were part of “hen fever,” a trend that happened throughout the US and UK. People bred Brahmas excessively to show them. Though the origins of the Brahma breed is unknown, they are, without a doubt, one of the more popular and pretty show breeds around.
Brahmas are multi-purpose. You can use them for meat, eggs, and as show birds. They are stocky, wide, and heavy — oftentimes the largest member of your flock. Make sure you have plenty of space for your Brahma ladies, as they are going to want to roam around the yard whenever they aren’t at exhibitions, showing off their plumage.
If you are looking for a true Mother Hen for your flock, consider a Brahma. They are docile and calm and known for adopting chickens that don’t have a mom.
There are three recognized colors to show: Light, Dark, and Buff. All Brahma chickens have a characteristic black tail. However, the Buff Brahma has buff-lacing on its black tail.
7. Houdan Chickens
Sometimes mistaken for Polish chickens, the Houdan chicken is another breed with incredible plumage. They are an old breed and have five toes. Although Houdan chickens usually come in either black or white, there are also variations that include splashes of black on white or other colors. You might find these Houdan chickens referred to as “mottled.”
The distinguishing feature of the Houdan is its fluffy plume on its head. Yet, these topknots of feathers can also make them the target of bullying the yard. If you want to raise Houdan chickens for show, make sure you have other small, docile breeds in the yard.
Houdan chickens can also be used for egg-laying. You can also expect them to be friendly, calm, and quiet when in the yard. Overall, they are a multi-purpose bird that is sure to bring joy to the flock.
8. Silkie Chickens
A well-known ornamental breed, the Silkie chicken is perfect for showing. Named for their soft, silken plumage, these silly looking birds always draw attention. Silkies are believed to come from China and found themselves as a global breed thanks to the Silk Road. Because of their egg-laying ability and unique appearance, the Silkie chicken is popular among chicken keepers and breeders. They are non-aggressive, too, so they become a great companion for children.
There are a few other characteristics of Silkies that make them interesting. For instance, did you know that Silkies do not have barbicels? A barbicel is a tiny hook that allows feathers to connect, letting them lay flat. Since Silkies don’t have barbicels, their feathers stick up all over the place. Secondly, Silkies have five toes! Most chicken breeds only have four.
If you plan on showing your Silkie, make sure they are either black or white, crested, bearded, and have that extra toe.
9. Orpington Chickens
While the Orpington chicken may not be the most colorful breed out there, they are certainly a sight to behold. This breed and all its variations also have a long history. For instance, Black Orpington chickens were developed by William Cook in 1886 by mixing Black Langshan, Black Plymouth Rock, and Black Minorca chickens. Later, Buff, Blue, and Chocolate Orpington chickens were developed.
Nowadays, there is a large range of recognized colors:
- Diamond Jubilee
What makes the Orpington an ideal candidate for shows? Their appearance is one of grace and confidence. These chickens stand upright and enjoy roaming around the yard. They are foragers who need space to stretch their legs. Furthermore, these chickens are decent egg-layers and provide a good amount of meat.
You can easily use Orpington chickens for breeding, showing, and food. And if you want a companion, these birds will curl up on your lap and sunbathe with you.
10. Polish Chickens
Despite their name, the Polish chicken hails from the Netherlands. Small with unique plumage, Polish chickens make an impression on all who see them. They have a huge crest of feathers that often covers their eyes, giving them a comical look. If you have Polish chickens not attending a show, be sure to trim this fluffy crest to help them see. Otherwise, bullies in the chicken coop will antagonize them.
There are many color varieties in both standard and bantam sizes, including:
- Non-bearded white-crested black
- Non-bearded buff-laced
- Bearded golden, silver, and white
- Non-bearded white-crested blue
The Tolbunt is another variety that was recently introduced but has yet to receive recognition from the American Poultry Association. That said, the intermingling of black, brown, and white coloring is truly stunning.
Here is a video showing Polish chickens in action:
Here is a fun fact about Polish chickens: In 1736, when the King of Poland had to flee to France, he packed up his Polish chickens in his luggage, because he didn’t want to leave them behind.
11. Wyandotte Chickens
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful breeds of chickens around, the Wyandotte is bound to turn heads. These chickens are extremely popular and dominate chicken shows across the globe. Wyandotte chickens are gregarious and have striking color combinations that also serve as the basis of many hybrid chicken breeds out there.
Wyandotte colors include silver-laced, silver-penciled, gold-laced, red-laced, black, partridge, buff, Colombian, and blue. They have clean legs, red wattles and faces, and yellow skin and shanks. Their stance and shape also adds to the visual appeal. These chickens look strong and glamorous — and they know they are fabulous, too.
If you end up raising a Wyandotte chicken or two for shows, you definitely won’t regret it. These are fun chickens to have. If you love vocal egg-layers, the Wyandotte is for you!
12. Sebright Chickens
Developed by John Sebright in the 1800s, the Sebright chicken breed is one of the oldest known bantam breeds in existence. There is no standard size of this breed, only bantam, as it was bred to have a unique, size, shape and plumage. Recognized by the APA since 1874, the Sebright chicken has been known only for show. They weigh about 20-22 ounces, have lace patterns, and come in either gold or silver.
The defining feature of the Sebright chicken is their prominent breast, which oftentimes protrudes forward and their fan-like tail that is carried around 70-degrees. Their large wings are also striking.
Despite their unique shape, these chickens are incredibly active and fast. They are friendly, too. However, you must be willing to take on the challenge of breeding them, as they produce few eggs that are very small and frail. The roosters require heat to breed, and the hens are not broody.
There you have it — a look at the prettiest show chickens in the world. Many chickens can be shown, but there are some that look better than the rest. If you want a gorgeous addition to the flock, any of these breeds are going to be worthwhile. Which breed are you going to try showing first?
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.