Utterly Bizarre Chicken Breeds

Onagadori Sometimes being fortunate enough to be born, or hatched, into the upper classes can mean you're not just better off but fancy. Just like with dog breeds, royalty around the world have kept their own favorite chicken breeds which are too high maintenance for most of us to want to bother with. Take, for example, the Onagadori.

Polish Polish chickens aren't actually from Poland. They're a very old Dutch breed, mostly bred these days as show birds or to add a little flair to a flock. They come in an assortment of colors and are always having a 1980s sort of hair day. They have an extra piece of bone that creates a dome on the top of their skull that pushes their head feathers outward. This gives the hens a lovely bouffant and the roosters a crazy swoosh of rock and roll hair.

La Fleche There's nothing quite like a Satanic-looking chicken with a crazy name to match. La Fleche were originally bred in France for the dual purpose of providing meat and eggs, but that doesn't explain why they're most often jet-black birds with what appear to be fleshy little devil horns.

Silkie Bantams Silkie Bantams are a very weird breed indeed. They hail from China, and although they might look like dust bunnies, they're actually chickens that maintain their chick-like down feathers their entire life. Even their little legs are hairy. At the end of each leg, they have not four but five toes.

Rumpless Ever look at a Manx cat and think, "Gee, I wonder what a chicken would look like with that gene?" Here is your chance to find out! Rumpless chickens exist almost wholly within the Araucana breed. When they hatch, they are short of a few vertebrae, in particular the ones that would normally hold up tail feathers, so they end up looking more like a dodo bird than a chicken. And since they are hailed from Araucanas, they lay blue eggs.

Scots Dumpy Never has there been a more tragically titled chicken than the Scots Dumpy. Is there some reason their name is so unflattering? Well, Scots Dumpies have been around for hundreds of years. They're achondroplasic chickens, which means that they're dwarfed. Although their bodies are the same as most large fowl, sometimes exceeding seven pounds in weight, they only stand two inches off the ground. Of course, being such an ancient breed, they have lots of names: creepers, crawlies, and stumpies.

Modern Game Bantams Legs, legs, legs, that's what Modern Games have the most of. In fact, when paired with a Scots Dumpy, you can almost hear the faint sound of laughter. About 100 years ago these birds were bred for cockfighting, but that wasn't to last as cockfighting became illegal in England, their home country. They continued to be very popular in the US for fighting until Louisiana became the last state in the union to ban cockfighting in 2007.

Seramas Seramas are the teacup puppies of the chicken world. They're sweet, lovable, and come in a wild assortment of colors, feather patterns, and feather types. They're one of the few breeds that allow frizzles (curly feathers) and silkied (down feathers) onto the show table. Not allowed on the show table, but still in existence, are also booted varieties with feathered feet.

Indoor Serama RoosterCream Legbar For many years, breeders of egg-laying breeds have struggled with the issue of having too many roosters. In the old days, roosters would be raised and eaten. Today there are not that many people that like to eat adult roosters, which have the rubbery consistency of shoe leather. Besides, raising roosters comes at a cost. If you intend to raise the roosters for meat, you still have to feed them for several months before you can figure out which ones are hens and which ones are roosters.

Colorful Egg Breeds For some people, it's all about beautiful chickens. For others, it's all about beautiful eggs. Normally eggs come in white, brown, and sometimes brown with speckles, but this isn't enough for the owners of Easter Eggers. These Araucana mixes lay blue and sometimes green eggs if they are crossed with a brown egg layer.