11 Rare Chicken Breeds That Will Stand Out At The Yard

Chicken breeds are something that most people don’t know about. There are hundreds of breeds, each with unique characteristics that make them better for different purposes. Not all chickens are created equal, and there’s a whole world of rare chicken breeds out there to be discovered! I’ve been researching this topic, and I’m excited to share what I’ve found with you.

Rarest Chicken Breeds in US

In this article you’ll find photos of some of these amazing rare chicken breeds, along with descriptions of their histories and personalities, so that if you’re interested in getting your hands on one (or more) yourself someday, you can do so without feeling like you’re entering uncharted territory.


rare chicken breeds
Ancona Chicken (Photo source)

Ancona chickens are a breed that is easy for beginners to raise. They have firm white meat, and they are good layers. The hens have an average weight of 4.5 pounds and the roosters weigh in at around 5.5-6.

This rare chicken breed originated in Italy.

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rare chicken breeds

The Houdan chicken breed originated in the French town of Houdan, and is known for their large size. They were originally bred in the 1880s by French farmers to be a dual-purpose farm chicken (to produce both eggs and meat).

Houdan chickens are a stunning breed with their fluffy feathers and large, bright eyes. Houdans have an upright stance that is common among breeds like Wyandottes or Jersey Giants.

This type of rare chicken is a great choice for those who are looking to raise chickens as pets because they have a gentle disposition. They make an excellent addition to any flock because they lay on average 120 eggs per year.

Silver Gray Dorking

rare chicken breeds

The Silver Gray Dorking has been around for centuries, but it is a very rare chicken breed in North America. The Dorking chicken breed has many qualities that make it stand out from other breeds including their lovely plumage and fancy feather patterns.

This is a large chicken breed that was developed as a dual-purpose bird. The Dorking has been bred for both eggs and meat, so it can be used in any situation. They are not the best egg laying chickens because they lay around 150 eggs per year, but they have excellent meat quality!

White Wyandotte

wyandotte chicken silver laced

The Wyandotte is an American breed that was first developed in the 1800s. They have a rose comb and are very cold-hardy chickens! Originally, they were bred as an ornamental bird to be showcased at poultry shows because of their beautiful plumage.

The Silver Laced Wyandotte (the image above) is the most popular variety of this breed, however its white variety is one of the rarest chicken breeds in US.


Onagadori one of the rarest chicken breeds
Photo By onagadori.eu

The Onagadori chicken breed is a very old Japanese chicken breed. It was bred in the Tasa province of Japan and may have been introduced to Japan from China centuries ago.

The name “Onagdorit” means “Large Red Chicken,” as it resembles an older type of red jungle fowls found in Southeast Asia known for their aggression against dogs or other animals that come close.

This rare chicken breed is not typically used by commercial producers because they are slow to mature, produce relatively small eggs, and do not tolerate confinement well.

This beautiful long-tailed chicken breed is not recognized in US by APA.

Brown Leghorn

leghorn chicken - rare chicken breed

This rare chicken breed was created in Italy and England during the mid-19th century. The Leghorn chicken has a high egg production compared to other breeds, making it advantageous for commercial producers. The hens can lay a whooping 280+ eggs per year.

Leghorns come in many colors including white, black, buff, brown and more; however their feathers have an easily distinguishable pattern so you can identify which color variety they belong to. The Brown Leghorn though, is one of the rarest chicken breeds in US.

White Jersey Giant

jersey giant chicken
Black Jersey Gian

Next on the list of the rarest chicken breeds in US is the White Jersey Giant. The Jersey Giant is a breed of chicken developed in the New Jersey.

It was bred to replace the Orpington, which had become too small and delicate for the large-scale industrial farms where it excelled as a layer. The best representatives are very heavy birds with broad backs that carry their weight well on short legs, giving them an imposing appearance.

They grow exceptionally fast, roosters can reach around 13 pounds while hens can grow to about 10 pounds. Hens can produce around 180 eggs per year.

Naked Neck

rare and unique chickens

The Naked Neck (Turken chicken) is the most popular of all rare chicken breeds. They are very docile meat breed and make great pets.

The Naked Neck was developed during WWII in Germany when chickens were becoming scarce because so many people needed them for food. This helped to keep this rare chicken breed around until more people decided it wasn’t worth raising a pet that didn’t produce any eggs or meat.

Light Sussex

unique chicken breeds

The Sussex chicken breed is a superb layer of eggs, having the potential to produce up to 200 brown eggs per year. The Sussex chicken originates in Sussex, England. Obviously, we haven’t been keeping records of chicken breeding for all that long. What I do know, however, is that the Sussex chicken has been around for at least a few centuries.

It is very difficult to find Light Sussex nowadays in the United States, that is why I have put this color variant of the breed in our list of rarest chicken breeds in the US.

Dong Tao Chicken

This is one of the rarest chicken breeds around. The Dong Tao Chicken is from Vietnam.

For a long while, the Dong Tao chicken was much coveted by royalty around the world and, nowadays, because it is such a rare chicken breed with a pretty unique trait, it is still favored by the restaurants that cater to the rich. By all accounts, the Dong Tao chicken is one of the best-tasting chicken breeds in the world!

The Dong Tao Chicken typically weighs about 10-13 pounds.

Ayam Cemani

Last but not least is this all black chicken breed. The Ayam Cemani chicken is not going to be good if you want an egg-laying breed. At most, you are probably going to get 80 eggs per year from one hen.

The rooster, on average, weighs about 4.4–5.5 lb, while the hens weigh 3.3–4.4 lb.

Even though it is one of the rarest chicken breeds in the United States, I believe that this is a bird that is not going to be disappearing any time soon. After all, it has managed to be on this planet for almost 900 years!

Are There Other Rare Chicken Breeds?

There’s no denying it- chickens of all shapes and sizes exist in this world. From meaty birds to fluffy hens, there are dozens of other rare chicken breeds to explore as well: some can’t fly because they have too many feathers; others lay eggs that look like peaches or blue gems – these ones were actually bred for their appearance rather than egg production capabilities…

We’ve all seen chickens that are out in the yard, or maybe we even have a few of our own. But chances are you haven’t met any of these rare chicken breeds before!

What an interesting day exploring unusual poultry!

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