Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois

History of Breeds

America | Asiatic | English | Mediterranean | Continental | Polish | French | Games | Orientals | Miscellaneous | Bantams

Class I - American

Plymouth Rocks

The Plymouth Rock was first exhibited at America's first poultry show, in 1829 in Boston. It is believed that these original fowls lost their identity and that the progenitors of our present Barred Plymouth Rocks were first exhibited in 1869 at Worcester, Massachusetts. These were composites of several blood lines. The first and most prominent cross was that of a Dominique male with Black Cochin or Black Java females, which was originally made at Putnam, Connecticut. The Dominique male used was not the American or Rose-Comb Dominique, but rather a single-combed, hawk-colored fowl commonly found in that locality. This Plymouth Rock was recognized as a distinct breed and was admitted to the first American Standard of Excellence, in 1874.

Whether the Plymouth Rock originated from a Dominique-Black Cochin or from a Dominique-Black Java cross is a debatable question. Both have been used synonymously in show classifications.

White Plymouth Rocks were white sports of the Barred variety, other strains trace their ancestry to other white fowls.

Buff Plymouth Rocks originated in Rhode Island, not far from Fall River, Massachusetts, and were first exhibited as Golden Buffs. Buff Cochin blood was introduced in some strains in New York State.

Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks originated in the state of New York. Dark Brahma and Silver Penciled Wyandotte blood were used to produce this variety.

Partridge Plymouth Rocks are a result of Partridge Cochin, Dark Cornish, Single-comb Golden Wyandotte males, Brown Leghorns, Golden Laced Wyandottes and Barred Plymouth Rocks being amalgamated to form the new variety.

Columbian Plymouth Rocks originated in Ohio as the result of crosses between Light Brahmas, Barred Plymouth Rocks, White Plymouth Rocks and Columbian Wyandottes.

The Plymouth Rock is a dual purpose fowl for the production of eggs and meat. The color of the skin is yellow, the egg shell is brown. There may be considerable difference in the shades or tints of shell which vary from a very light to a dark brown, depending on the strain and the stage of production.


There is no reliable data on the origin of the American Dominiques. It is probably a selection from the many hawk colored or gray fowls kept in the New England States. The type of the breed indicates composite blood lines, possibly of the Asiatic and Hamburg breeds.

The Dominiques is a dual purpose, medium weight fowl, for the production of meat and eggs. The skin is yellow and the egg shell is brown.


The Silver Laced Wyandotte is the parent variety of the Wyandotte family. It originated in New York State. It was first known as "American Sebright" and "Sebright Cochin." The true origin is shrouded in mystery. The Dark Brahma and Spangled Hamburgs were used by the originator of the "American Sebright" was evidenced by the cropping out of the Hamburg comb and Dark Brahma color markings in some of the earlier Eastern strains.

Golden Laced Wyandottes originated in Wisconsin. They were produced by mating Silver Laced Wyandotte females with a cross-bred Partridge Cochin-Brown Leghorn cockerel.

The color pattern of the Sebright Bantam has been more or less of an ideal for breeders of Silver and Golden Laced Wyandottes. It is one that should conform to the larger size of the fowl by having more sharply defined and wider black lacing to harmonize with the broader oval center of the feather.

White Wyandottes originated from sports of the Silver Laced variety in New York State. The texture of feather is important in Wyandottes, especially in the White variety, where broad feathers and smooth fitting plumage are necessary to preserve the characteristic curvilinear breed type of the true Wyandotte.

Buff Wyandottes are light colored Rhode Island Reds, but though lacking in type and off in color, they laid the foundation of a Buff Wyandotte for breed, type and color. Golden and White Wyandotte crosses and Buff Cochin-White and Golden Wyandotte crosses dominated in other strains.

Black Wyandottes originated from black sports of the Silver Laced variety.

Partridge Wyandottes originated in the East and West. The Partridge Cochin furnished the color patterns for both the Eastern and Western strains, but the varieties with which the Cochin were crossed were somewhat different. The Eastern strain was the result of a Partridge Cochin-Golden Wyandotte cross; the Western strain was produced from Partridge Cochin-Cornish-Golden Wyandotte crosses.

Silver Penciled Wyandottes were produced by blending two strains; one a Partridge Wyandotte-Dark Brahma cross, the other, a cross of Silver Laced Wyandottes and Silver Penciled Hamburgs cross.

Columbian Wyandottes were named for the 1893 Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. This variety was produced by crossing a White Wyandotte and a Barred Plymouth Rock.

Wyandottes are of medium weight, dual purpose fowl for the production of meat and eggs. The skin is yellow and the eggs shells vary in color from very light to a rich brown, depending on individual, strain, and the stage of production.


Javas are one of the earliest breeds known in the United States. It is not an American-made breed, but came from the Isle of Java in the East Indies in 1835.

Javas are a general purpose fowl for the production of meat and eggs. The skin is yellow and the egg shells are brown.

Rhode Island Reds

The origin of the Rhode Island Red dates to a fowl bred in the section of New England that is located between Narragansett Bay and Buzzard's Bay. The name Rhode Island Red was given the breed in honor of the state where it originated from crossing the Red Malay Game, Leghorn and Asiatic native stock.

The earlier Rhode Island Reds sported both single and rose combs, some even having pea combs, due to their mixed ancestry and because they were being bred primarily for market purposes. This is an important dual purpose breed, capable of excellent egg production.

Rhode Island Whites originated in Rhode Island from which they took their name. They are a result of crosses of Partridge Cochins, White Wyandottes and Rose-Comb White Leghorns. The distinct shape characteristic of both Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites is the horizontal, oblong body.

Rhode Island Reds and Whites are general purpose fowls, bred for the production of meat and eggs. The skin color is yellow and the eggs shells are brown to dark brown.


An American breed originating in Ohio with the color similar to the richly colored buckeye nut. Their blood lines include the Dark Cornish, Black Breasted Red Game, Buff Cochin and Barred Plymouth Rock. In body shape, as well as comb, they resemble the early Cornish of the 1905 period with stout muscular thighs, broad and well rounded breast carried well up but without the extra breadth of shoulder of the Cornish. An active dual purpose breed.


The Chantecler is the first breed of Canadian creation. It originated in the Province of Quebec. It is the result of efforts to obtain a fowl of vigorous and rustic temperament that could resist the climatic condition of Canada, a "general purpose fowl," a good winter layer, and especially with comb and wattles reduced to a minimum.

In the production of this breed two crosses were made in 1908, a Dark Cornish male mated to a White Leghorn female and a Rhode Island Red male mated to a White Wyandotte female. The following season, the pullets from the first Class, the Dark Cornish male and the White Leghorn female, were mated with a cockerel from the Rhode Island Red and White Wyandotte cross. Selected pullets from this last mating were then mated with a White Plymouth Rock male and the subsequent matings produced the typical fowl sought for as it is today.

The Partridge variety originated in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In the production of this variety four crosses were made, Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin, Dark Cornish and Rose Comb Brown Leghorn.

This is a general purpose fowl for egg and meat production. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are brown.

Jersey Giants

The Jersey Black Giants originated in New Jersey by crossing Black Javas, Dark Brahmas and Black Langshans. In recent years, Cornish blood was introduced in some strains. As the name implies the Jersey Giants are large and a very heavy fowl.

The Jersey White Giants were sports of the Black variety.

The Jersey Giant is a general purpose fowl for heavy meat and egg production. The color of the skin is yellow and the eggs shells are brown to dark brown.


Lamonas were originated at the United States Government Experiment Station at Beltsville, Maryland. They are the result of crosses of Silver Gray Dorking, White Plymouth Rocks and Single Comb White Leghorns. A heavy breed fowl.

General purpose fowl for meat and egg production. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are white.

New Hampshires

New Hampshires developed over a period of years beginning around 1915 from a foundation of Rhode Island Reds, first brought into New Hampshire from Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts. There is no record of any outside blood having been introduced and the breed has been developed by farm poultrymen of New Hampshire by the continual selection of breeding stock for early maturity, large brown shelled eggs, quick feathering, strength and vigor during its evolution. Special meat type strains are now developed featuring extreme rapid growth and increased weights. This type has a very light shade of surface color for better dress, but extreme meat type strains do not have the egg production qualities of the dual purpose Standard New Hampshire. A very popular general purpose utility fowl for egg and meat production. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are brown.


Hollands are the offspring from previous mating of fowls imported from Holland crossed with White Leghorns, Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires and Lamonas that were selected for desired characteristics, resulting in the breed known as the White Hollands.

During the same period, selected matings of the progeny from White Leghorns, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Australorps and Brown Leghorns were bred to produce a fowl with the same characteristics with a barred feather pattern, thus the Barred Hollands were originated.

These breeds were admitted as a standard in 1949.

A heavy general purpose fowl for meat and eggs. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are white.


Delawares were first developed in 1940 from off-colored sports which occurred in the cross between Barred Plymouth Rock males and New Hampshire females. They are named for the state in which they originated. These sports lacked the black extension factor that would normally have been transmitted from the Barred Plymouth Rock male with the results they became almost white, showing a slight indication of barring in the hackle, primaries, secondaries and tail.

A dual purpose fowl with well developed egg and meat characteristics. Excellent as broilers with an abundance of vigor and fine market quality. Delaware males may be mated to New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red females and produce chicks of the Delaware feather pattern. Delaware females may be mated to New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red males, and sex-linked chicks result; the males have the Delaware pattern and the females have solid red feather pattern of the male. These day-old chicks may be separated according to sexes by their color.

Class II - Asiatic


An Asiatic breed of fowl, called Chittagongs, Gray Shanghais, and Brahma Pootras, later shortened to Brahma, thought to have been a cross of the Malay and Cochin in India. Imported from Shanghai, China, in the early 1840's, they landed in New England much later. American poultry fanciers made over and refined the original parent stock into the large stately and useful Light and Dark Brahma varieties.

The Buff Brahmas are of more recent origin.

The head and skull are important breed characteristics. Texture of the feathers is also of great importance, for the plumage, should be smooth fitting and not loose-feathered and soft as in the Cochin.

A general purpose fowl for heavy meat production. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are light to dark brown.


The Chinese Shanghai fowl came to England and America in 1845. The name of this Asiatic breed was later changed to Cochin. The earliest Cochins were more or less buff in color. Its striking appearance, due to great size and profuse soft feathering, distinguished it from all other known breeds at the time. Cochins created a sensation in England, resulting in a great boom for the "Cochin China," as it was called in the days of the "Cochin craze."

Currently, the American Poultry Association recognizes Buff, Partridge, White, Black, Silver-laced, Golden-laced, Blue, Brown and Barred varieties of the Cochin.

Both male and female are massive in appearance, with an extraordinary profusion of long, soft plumage and a great abundance of down fiber in the under-fluff, producing a rather bulky appearance and conveying the idea of even greater weight than actually exists.

Primarily bred for exhibition, the Cochin is capable of being bred as a meat type fowl. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are brown.


The Black Langshan originated in China, where it has been bred over a long period of years. Its predominant reproductive qualities indicate it to be a pure race of domesticated poultry. Black Langshans were imported from China into England by the late Major Croad, so there is a Class of "Croad Langshans" in the English Standard.

Langshans are dual purpose fowls of the Asiatic Class and are smaller than the Brahma and Cochin and more active. The male develops a large well-spread tail with feathers of great length, the sickles often attaining a length of sixteen or seventeen inches. The closely-fitting saddle feathers, full hackled neck and upright carriage give the effect of a short back. The surface plumage throughout is close and smooth. The body in both sexes should be evenly balanced on firm, straight legs, with very little backward bend at the hocks. The height of the Langshan should be gained by depth of body and erectness of carriage, and not from what may be described as stiltiness of legs.

This is a general purpose fowl for production of meat and eggs. The skin color is white and the eggs shells are very dark brown.

Class III - English


The Dorking is one of the most ancient of all domesticated races of poultry. It was brought to Great Britain by the Romans with Julius Caesar, but was known and described by the Roman writer Columella long before it became a popular breed in England. He speaks of the hens as being "square-framed, large and broad-breasted, with big heads and small upright combs," adding that "the purest breed are five-clawed."

This is a dual purpose fowl for meat and egg production. The skin color is white and the egg shells are white.


Redcaps originated in Derbyshire, England, probably from Hamburg crossed with other breeds. The very large rose-comb is the most striking characteristic of the breed. They are good producers of eggs.

The skin color is white and the egg shells are white.


The Cornish fowl originated in Cornwall, England. This was the Dark Cornish, the parent breed generally known abroad as "Indian Game," although the name Cornish is the more correct. It is a composite of several different blood lines--Asell (or Asil), Black-Red, Old English, and Malay. A distinguishing characteristic of the Cornish is that the body of both male and female is of the same conformation.

White Cornish were produced from White Malay - Dark Cornish crosses in 1890.

White-Laced Red Cornish were produced in America in 1893, from a Shamo Japanese - Dark Cornish cross.

This is a super-heavy meat producing fowl, valuable also for crossing on other breeds for the production of market poultry. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are brown.


The Black Orpington produced in 1886 at Orpington, County Kent, England, from a Black Langshan-Black Minorca-Black Plymouth Rock cross, is the original Orpington. The Buff and White varieties were produced from crosses other than those which were used to make up the Black Orpington. Cochin blood was introduced into some of the earlier strains of Orpingtons as evidenced by some of the more loosely feathered specimens. The original Black Orpington came to America in 1890.

The Blue Orpingtons were produced from crossing the Black and White varieties in 1923.

This is a general purpose fowl for heavy meat production and for eggs. The skin color is white and the egg shells are light to dark brown.


The Sussex is a very old English breed, which originated in the County of Sussex more than a century ago. It was primarily bred for market purposes, Sussex being famed for its production of table fowls.

This is a dual purpose fowl for production of meat and eggs. The skin color is white and the eggs shells are brown.


The Australorp is a production bred Australian Black Orpington, noted for its splendid egg production.

The breed was developed in Australia where it has been bred principally for egg production rather than meat as has been the case with its predecessor, the Orpington.

It is a medium weight, active bird laying a tinted egg and is a valuable fowl for those who desire an abundance of eggs without sacrificing too much value in meat quality.

Class IV - Mediterranean


The original breed came from Italy, but its many subvarieties originated or were developed in England, Denmark and America. They comprise a group characterized by great activity, hardiness and prolific egg-laying qualities. The females are non-sitters, very few of them exhibiting a tendency to broodiness. Aside from the manifold points of beauty in type and color found in all varieties of Leghorns their excellent productive qualities are valuable assets of the breed.

Especially noted for their production of eggs. The skin color is yellow and the egg shells are white.


Minorcas, originally called Red-Faced Black Spanish, are the largest and heaviest of the Mediterranean breed. The distinct characteristics of the Minorca breed are their long strong bodies, large combs, long wattles, large white ear-lobes, large and full tail moderately elevated, with firm muscular legs set squarely under the powerful looking body.

An excellent producer of large white eggs. The skin color is white and the egg shells are a chalk-white.

White Faced Black Spanish

This is probably the oldest breed in the Mediterranean Class. The large, smooth, white face and ear-lobes are distinct characteristics of this Spanish breed, but these features should not be subjected to abnormal development.

A non-sitting fowl noted for the reproduction of large chalk-white eggs. The skin color is white.

Blue Andalusians

Blue Andalusians are credited with being natives of Andalusia, a province in Spain. They originated from crossing a black fowl with one of its white sports, these two colors producing a bluish-slate fowl. In Cornwall and Devon, England, similar blue fowls were produced by crossing black and white sports. This was before Andalusians were imported into England. They resembled the earlier Andalusians in type and color. The modern Andalusian should be symmetrical, graceful, compact, medium in size, and stately in carriage. The dull and uneven blue colored fowl of the past has been transformed into the attractive, laced breed of today by years of scientific breeding.

This is a non-sitting fowl, laying large chalk-white eggs. The skin color is white.


The Anconas takes its name from the City of Ancona, a port in Italy, from which the first Anconas were shipped to England. They originated from crosses of Italian fowl common in Central Italy is evident by their close resemblance in type and size to the Leghorn breed.

Anconas came to America from England in 1888.

This is a non-sitting fowl. They are excellent layers of white shelled eggs and have yellow skin.


The Sicilian Buttercup, as its name implies, originated in Sicily, the first importation from the island coming to America in 1835. The work "Sicilian," has been dropped. The Buttercup owes its name to the cup-shaped comb, its most characteristic feature, and the golden ground color of its plumage. The eggs for hatching were not imported into America until 1892. It was from these eggs that the present stock descended.

Buff Catalans

The Catalana Del Prat first came into being as a natural breed among the farmers in the district of Prat, near Barcelona, Catalana, Spain. This breed is very popular in the Latin American Republics.

Noted for its vigor and hardiness. A dual purpose breed, producer of both meat and eggs of large size. The skin is a pinkish white and the egg shells are white or a very light tint.


The Hamburg is a very old race of domesticated poultry. The name of the breed is German, but the origin is Dutch. They were originally Classified among the Continental breeds, although, they owe their present shape and color qualities to the English fanciers, who, over a century ago, began the work of refining the "pheasant fowls" of that period into modern Hamburgs. The Black and Spangled varieties were evolved in England; the Penciled varieties came from Holland via Hamburg, Germany.

As an ornamental non-sitting fowl, they are good layers of white shelled eggs. Their skin color is white.

Class VI - Continental


The Campine originated in Belgium, where it has been bred for several centuries. The name is derived from the Campine country, where these fowls are bred largely for the production of white-shelled eggs. The two Belgian breeds are Braekel and Campine, are practically the same in all points except size, the Braekel being the larger fowl.

The English, or Standard Campine of today is a composite of two Belgian varieties with the plumage of the Campine male and female identical in color patterns.

Primarily bred for egg production, Classed as a non-sitting, utility fowl, but upright carriage and attractive color marking have made Campines popular for exhibition purposes as well. The skin is white and the egg shells are also white.


The Lakenvelder is an old established breed of German origin, having been known in the country since the 1830's. About 1860 it was bred to a considerable extent in Westfalen and the Northern part of the Rhine province and has been exhibited off and on since that time.

In America it is seen occasionally in shows. Wherever exhibited they have created interest.

It is primarily bred for egg production and is classed as a non-sitter. The skin color is white and the egg shells are white, but sometimes tinted.

Class VII - Polish

The Crested Dutch, or Polish, of early writers were imported from eastern Europe, and upon landing in England, these were called "Poland Fowls." On the Continent of Europe, the name "Padoue" is applied to crested breeds. Charles Darwin classifies all the races of fowl with top-knots as "Crested or Polish" but does not give any data regarding their origin.

Polish is a long established race of domesticated poultry. It was mentioned as a pure breed as early as the sixteenth century. It is among the most ornamental and beautiful breeds of poultry, highly prized for exhibition and the production of white-shelled eggs. The most striking characteristic of the Polish fowl is the large protuberance or knob on top of the skull from which the crest of feathers grow and the large cavernous nostrils are found only in crested breeds.

This is an ornamental fowl. It is a non-sitter. The egg shells are white.

Class VIII - French


This old French breed was known as the Normandy fowl when first imported into England in 1850. It takes its present name from the town of Houdan, located in a section of France where large numbers of Houdans were bred and raised in past years for the Paris and London markets.

In shape, the Houdan, resembles the Dorking, to which it probably owes its fifth toe. Crevecoeurs and Polish may also have been used in the original crosses. The Houdan is esteemed highly in France for its fine meat qualities and its large white eggs.

The Mottled Houdan came to American in 1865. The White Houdan originated in American, the result of crossing White Polish with Mottled Houdans.

This is a general purpose, non-sitting fowl for the production of meat and eggs. The skin color is white and the egg shells are white.


Little is known of the origin of this breed. Darwin classifies Crevecoeurs with Houdans as sub-varieties of the Polish. They originated in Normandy and took their name from a village in that country.

A general purpose fowl for the production of meat and eggs. The skin color is white and the egg shells are white.

La Fleche

La Fleche have been bred for many years in the Valley of La Sarthe, where the town of La Fleche is located. This breed originated from crossing of Black Spanish, Crevecoeur, and DuMan blood lines as evident by its high carriage, activity, large white lobes, V-shaped comb, and the trace of crest on its head, which crops out on specimens of the French breeds.

The remarkable whiteness and quality of its flesh is attributed to the rich pastures of La Sarthe, upon which La Fleche have been bred for generations, and to the system of feeding adopted by the French.

This is a general purpose fowl for the production of meat and eggs. The skin color is white and the eggs shells are white.


The Faverolle is a composite breed originating from crosses of Houdans, Dorkings and Asiatics in the village of Faverolle, France, where they were bred primarily for utility. The production of heavy table poultry and winter eggs was the main object of the French poultry keepers in establishing this breed. Unlike other French breeds of poultry, Faverolles lay tinted instead of white shelled eggs.

This is a general purpose fowl for the production of meat and eggs. The color of the skin is white and the eggs shells are light brown.

Class IX - Games

Modern Games

The Modern Exhibition Game is strictly a fancier's creation. In type it is far removed from the Old English or Pit Game bred in the days when cock fighting was the vogue of Great Britain. The ideals of breeders of Pit Games were replaced by the ideals of exhibition Game fanciers. A high-stationed Game fowl with a style and carriage peculiar to itself is the result. Modern Games were at the height of their popularity in the closing years of the 1800's.

Station in Modern Games and Modern Game Bantams is of great importance and shortness and hardness of feathers are also important. The comb, wattles and ear-lobes of the cock should be dubbed in order to have the head, lower mandible and throat smooth and free from ridges. Exceptionally large specimens are undesirable, as overgrowth tends to coarseness at the expense of form and style of carriage which are essential characteristics of the Modern Game and even to a greater degree in the Modern Game Bantam.

Old English Games

The intriguing history of the Old English Game fowl lead us right back to the misty beginning of the human race. From time immemorial, the Game fowl has stood for courage and a symbol of indomitable spirit. After cock fighting was suppressed in England in 1835 and poultry shows came into prominence, the Pit Game was bred for exhibition and became knows as the Old English Game. Blood of the Game fowl has been used in many of our most useful breeds of poultry. For hardiness, vigor and longevity no breed of fowl excels the Game.

Class X - Orientals


The Black Sumatra fowl is a native of Sumatra, and, as far as known, is as pure blooded today as when first discovered on that island in the Far East many years ago. This is a fowl of graceful form and distinct carriage, with the richest of lustrous, greenish black plumage throughout. Its particular characteristic is the long flowing tail of the male, which has an abundance of long sweeping sickles and coverts. Multiple spurs are often found on males and are to be desired. Other desirable characteristics are length and breadth of feather, extremely lustrous, greenish black plumage color and practically no wattle development.

They have yellow skin and the egg shells are white or a light tint.


The Malay, as its name implies, originated in Asia, from which country it came to England as early as 1830. A giant among other breeds of poultry, it was given considerable prominence by early writers who regarded it as one of the old pure breeds of poultry. Its chief characteristics are great length of leg, and the sinister expression caused by a broad skull and projecting beetle eye-brows, also three regular downward curves in outline from top of head to tip of tail.

Malay blood is in many of our early Standard breeds although bred primarily for exhibition now. The skin is yellow and the eggs shells are dark brown.


Cubalayas originated in Cuba where they are very extensively bred. They are an oriental breed and are traced back to birds coming from the Orient, most probably from the Philippine Islands. Stately carriage, short beaks, broad short heads, with a fierce appearance, a well spread tail and the uninterrupted line from base of neck to end of tail are typical characteristics of the breed. They are of medium size and striking in appearance.

Very hardy and their white meat is greatly appreciated by epicures.

Class XI - Miscellaneous


A very old, ornamental race of poultry, listed in the first American Standard of Excellence in 1874. Sultans came to England in 1854 from Istanbul. They originated in Southeastern Europe, but were bred in Turkey under the name of "Sultan's Fowl," the breed evidently enjoying the favor of Turkish rulers, possible due to their attractive appearance. They have for their most distinguishing characteristics, the novel features of a full crest, muff, and beard, combined with vulture hocks and profuse shank and toe feathering, along with five toes on each foot.

Bred primarily for exhibition, the Sultan is not Classed among production fowls, although the hens are good layers of medium-sized eggs. The skin is white and the egg shells are white.


Frizzles are one of our odd breeds, and little is know about their origin. Charles Darwin Classes them as Frizzled or Caffie Fowls, not uncommon in India, and with feathers curling backwards and primary feathers of wing and tail imperfect. The main points for exhibition purposes are the curl, which is most pronounced on feathers not too broad; the purity of color in plumage, correctness in leg color; i.e., yellow legs for the white, red, or buff, and yellow or willow for other varieties.

Bred principally for exhibition, but capable of being good productive fowl. The skin is yellow and the eggs shells are brown.


Bantams are miniature chickens usually about one-fourth to one-fifth the weight of their large counterparts, when such exist. Although they appear to be exact miniatures, actually they are disproportionately larger in head, wings, tail and feather size than their weight would indicate. Little is known of their origin, but it is thought they may have originated in the Orient although historians do not agree.

The popularity of Bantams has increased tremendously. Bantams are known as the flower garden of the poultry world with their many different types and unlimited assortment of colors and color patterns. Many are miniature of large poultry while others are a type and color not seen in large chickens.

The American and English Class of Bantams are excellent producers of meat and eggs, and other Bantams such as the Mediterranean and Hamburg Class are splendid layers. These small, plump, well-meated fowls, when prepared for the table, fill the needs of persons desiring a smaller quantity of meat for frying, broiling or roasting.

Bantams were formerly known strictly as a fancier's delight, for pleasure and pets, but they are now proving their commercial value and are adaptable as a backyard flock.

Modern Game Bantams

Modern Game Bantams originated in England and are a counterpart of the large Modern Games in type and color, and like the large Moderns were recognized in 1874. Known as the ultra fanciers creation, they are very striking in their many colors. Modern Games show very erect carriage, extreme length of shank and lower thigh, round bone, long slim head and neck, short trim body, small whip tail and are the possessor of our lowest weights. All specimen should be trained to pose in order to show to their best advantage.

Old English Game Bantam

Old English Game Bantams originated in England many years ago. Popularity in America has greatly increased since becoming a Standard breed in 1925 and they often are among our largest Classes in the show room. Type and color is the same as for the large Old English with the possible exception that the tail of the Bantam does not show the full development of the large Old English. The long flowing hackle of the male is commonly referred to among breeders as the shawl. They are hardy and vigorous and in addition to the usual beautiful colors, come in the very attractive Spangles and Wheaten.

Single Comb- Clean Legged - Other Than Games

Japanese Bantams present one of the extremes of the Bantam World. The disproportionately large comb, head, wings and tail of the male and the remarkable shortness of legs are striking characteristics. The male tail is further distinguished by the long sword-shaped main sickles carried slightly forward of the perpendicular, accentuating the grotesque figure of the Japanese Bantam.

The Frizzle Bantams are sometime called Peony fowl and are one of the oddities of the feathered world. They are an attraction wherever they are exhibited with their unorthodox appearance.

Rose Comb Clean Legged Bantams

Sebright Bantams were originated around 1810 in England by Sir John Sebright, the result of some thirty years of intensive breeding. They represent the greatest feat of fancier skill ever performed, for not only are they known for marvelous perfection of lacing, but even more so the fact both male and female are entirely hen-feathered, the male showing no pointed sex feathers in hackle, saddle or wing bow, nor any tail sickles.

Black and White Rosecomb Bantams are noted for perfection of comb and lobe, quality of feather, lustrous plumage color and distinctly proud and stylish type.

All Other Combs, Clean-Legged Bantams

Polish Bantams are very attractive in the striking White Crested Black, Laced Golden, Silver and Buff varieties and the solid White. The large protuberance or knob on top of the skull from which the crest feathers grows, and the large cavernous nostrils are found only in the crested breeds. Size and shape of crest and beard is of paramount importance.

Cornish Bantams are hard to surpass as a dressed bird for a small family and they are very good layers--something one does not usually find in a meat type fowl.

Feather Legged Bantams

Cochin Bantams have been a favorite in North America. Cochin Bantams originated in China and were first known as Pekins and in England are still known by this name.

Silkie Bantams are one of the oddities of the poultry world with their nearly black skin, face, comb, wattles and bones, and their hair-like plumage in which there is no web. Ancient writers referred to fowl with hair instead of feathers and they are believed to have originated in Japan although information of them also comes from India, China and the Malay states. They are further distinguished by a crest, also bearded and non-bearded varieties, and five toes.

Mille Fleur Booted were introduced in this country in 1911 from Germany where they were popular, being known under the name of Gold Porcelaines. They were also popular in Belgium and England. The name Mille Fleur (Thousand Flowers) was adopted by the Belgian Specialty Club, most prominent in promoting their advancement.

Booted White Bantams show extremely developed characteristics, such as vulture hocks, extreme foot feathering or boots, and very erect, well spread tails with prominent breast carried high. They are very ornamental.

Frizzle Bantams are prized for their degree of frizzling or intensely curled feathers and are a constant source of attraction at shows. They have long been popular in England. They must be bay, black, buff, blue, red or white in plumage color and have single combs.


Dual purpose - having a double purpose, meat and eggs

Dubbed - cut so as to make even or smooth

General purpose - having more than one use

Heavy breed - stout

Meat type strains - chickens raised for meat rather than egg production

Production bred - bred for a certain type of production

Sports - an organism that shows a marked change from the parent stock; mutation

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