9 of the Largest Chicken Breeds

Decorative white chickens of the Cochin breed
These Cochin chickens may not seem terribly impressive at a glance, but on average, they weigh more than Malay chickens, which grow up to 3 feet (0.91 meters) tall. Anita Kot / Getty Images

When it comes to chickens, size is important. As the Manitoba government points out, "Hen body weight is the key to increased egg size. Bigger hens produce larger eggs than smaller hens."

So whether you are backyard chicken keepers who want to increase egg production or just curious about the largest chicken breed, this article will look at giant chickens and what they weigh.

9. Malay Chicken

Malay chickens come from Asia, particularly Malaysia, Indonesia and Northern India. Not only is the Malay on the bigger side — males weigh in at 9 pounds (4.08 kilograms) and hens at 7 pounds (3.18 kilograms) — it is also one of the tallest chicken breeds. At a whopping 3 feet (0.91 meters) tall, the Malay towers over other breeds.

8. Plymouth Rock Chicken

Plymouth Rock chickens origins trace back to Massachusetts. This calm and friendly breed makes for excellent egg layers, producing as many as 200 eggs yearly. The hens can weigh as much as 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms) and the roosters up to 9.5 pounds (4.1 kilograms).

7. Orpington Chicken

This British breed of docile chicken is dual-purpose (both a meat bird and egg layer). The males weigh in at 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and the females at 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).

6. Cornish Chicken

Also one of the large chicken breeds, Cornish chickens are muscular and have little to no down. The males weigh about 10.5 pounds (4.8 kilograms) and the females are 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms).

5. Cochin Chicken

Originally developed for meat, Cochin chickens are not typically consumed anymore. The roosters weigh about 11 pounds (4.99 kilograms) and the hens weigh 8.5 pounds (3.9 kilograms).

You can thank these chickens for the "Hen Fever" — an infatuation with poultry — that took over in the United States and the United Kingdom. Queen Victoria received seven Cochin chickens. Their elegance struck the queen, who had never seen chickens that looked like that.

She built an aviary and filled them with other birds, and the public soon followed in her footsteps.

4. O-Shamo Chicken

The Shamo chicken comes from Japan and descend from Thai chickens. Shamo chickens range in size. The O-Shamo is the biggest, with roosters weighing about 12.4 pounds (5.6 kilograms) and hens weighing 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms).

The Chu-Shamo are medium sized and the Kimpa-Shamo are the smallest.

3. Brahma Chicken

While not the tallest chicken breed, Brahmas are still an impressive size. They can measure 2 feet, 6 inches (0.76 meters) tall. The hens weigh 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and the roosters weigh 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms). This American breed lays large brown eggs.

2. Dong Tao Chicken

Dong tao chicken is a large breed from Vietnam. The roosters weigh in at about 13 pounds (5.9 kilograms) and the hens are a bit lighter at 9.9 pounds (4.5 kilograms).

This rare breed also goes by "dragon chicken" because of the red scales that cover its feet. In Vietnam, the legs are a staple among the rich during Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year.

1. Jersey Giant Chicken

This chicken lives up to its name — not only is it a large chicken breed but it also hails from New Jersey. Roosters can weigh between 13 and 15 pounds (5.9 to 6.8 kilograms) and the hens come in at 10 to 11 pounds (4.5 to 4.99 kilograms).

According to author Gale Damerow, who has raised chickens for almost five decades, the Jersey giant chickens came into existence to serve as an alternative to turkeys. However, that came with its own sets of issues.

"Raising Jersey Giants for meat production turned out to be uneconomical because they put most of their energy into developing a strong bone structure before they start fleshing out at about six months, and take as long as nine months to reach a reasonable size for harvesting," Damerow writes. "They remain popular, however, for their huge size, calm disposition and cold hardiness.”

Original article: 9 of the Largest Chicken Breeds

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