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Red Chicken Breeds

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There are a lot of factors that are to be considered when you are deciding what breed of chicken to add to your farm. But don’t worry; you don’t have to be an expert to be able to make your choice.

One common criterion, certainly not the most important, to consider is the color of the chicken breed that you want in your backyard flock. At the very least, deciding upon the breed’s color will help narrow down what breeds to choose from.

Several red hens are looking for worms in the green garden of a rural farm

If you’re interested in acquiring some stable red chicken breeds to your farm, then you may want to check out this list. You’ll find that there are various breeds of red chickens, each with separate traits and characteristics that you can decide are desirable to you or not.

To make your decision more comfortable, you’d want to determine the plans you have for the farm with the addition of red chicken breeds. This means that you’ll know if you’re interested in raising the chickens for meat production, daily egg harvesting, aesthetics display, or for raising chickens just for the fun of it.

With that information, you can now proceed to decide which red chicken breed fits into your farm best. Let’s go over some popular ones:

Top 12 Red Chicken Breeds

Chicken BreedBody Size(lbs)PurposeEgg ProductionEgg ColorEgg SizeBroody
Rhode Island Red6.6/8.6Egg, MeatGreatBrownMedium/LargeYes
New Hampshire Red6.5/8.5Egg, MeatFairBrownLargeYes
ISA Brown4.4EggGreatBrownMedium/LargeYes
Derbyshire Redcap2.7/7.5Egg, MeatGoodWhiteLargeNo
Nakin Bantam1.5Show/ExhibitionFairTintedSmallYes
Easter Egger4/5Egg, MeatGoodBlue-greenMedium, Large, Extra LargeNo
Red Cochin Bantam1.75/2Show/ExhibitionFairBrownSmallYes
Red Leghorn4.5/6Egg, Show/ExhibitionGoodWhiteMediumNo
Red Star2.5/3.6EggGreatBrownMediumYes
Red Frizzle1.75/2Show/ExhibitionFairBrownSmallYes
Welsummer2.5/3.25Egg, MeatGoodDark brownLargeYes
Whiting True Green4/7EggGreatGreenMediumYes

1. Rhode Island Red

Young Rhode Island Red hens drinking water from pot on ground
Rhode Island Red

Like its name suggests, the Rhode Island Red is the famous state bird of Rhode Island where it was created by cross-breeding Leghorn chickens with the Malay.

This breed of chicken was initially developed to be dual-purposed, which means that they are useful for both egg-laying purposes as well as meat production.

However, the Rhode Island Red has been selectively bred over time to highlight their egg production. Likely, any chicken of this breed that you find readily available is the layer type.

This Rhode Island Red has an egg-laying prowess that makes it one of the most sought after in the development of new hybrids. It can lay up to 200-300 brown-colored eggs per year that can be described as large-sized. The disposition of this red chicken breed can be aggressive.

2. New Hampshire Red

New Hampshire hen

Originated from the state of New Hampshire, this red chicken breed was developed through eras of selective breeding.

The New Hampshire Red is a dual-purpose chicken that’s more favored towards meat production due to its heavy weight. It can lay up to 240 brown eggs per year that are regularly large.

This red breed of chickens are good mothers and tends to be broody. Although they are docile, they can be aggressive among other chickens.

3. ISA Brown

ISA Brown Chicken out in nature during the day

The ISA Brown is also known as Hubbard Brown and was developed by the Intitut de Selection Animale (ISA) in France. It’s mainly used for egg production and can lay up to 300 eggs per year in just the first year of a hen’s laying.

The ISA Brown is also a breed with sex-linked coloration. The brown-feathered ones are female with a comparatively small weight and size.

4. Derbyshire Redcap

The Derbyshire Redcap is a British breed and originated from the Derbyshire county. It is a hardy breed of chicken that’s also quite active and fairs well in free-range environments.

This red chicken breed is small-sized and well-suited for both meat and egg production.

It lays a considerably good number of large, white eggs. They rarely ever sit on their eggs as they are not prone to brooding. In regards to their disposition, the males can be aggressive towards one another.

5. Nankin Bantam

Nankin bantam chicken

The Nankin Bantam is a rare right bantam breed (naturally small-sized) of chicken, and it has been around for ages. Known for its southeast Asia origin, this breed is known for its friendly disposition.

They are mainly reared for exhibiting because of their aesthetic looks.

The Nankin bantam makes for poor meat producers, although their hens lay well and are prone to brooding. Their eggs are small-sized and tinted-colored.

6. Easter Egger

cage free Easter egger chicken standing in a suburban backyard

Easter Egger is a group of hybrid chickens that possess a particular gene that makes them lay blue-green colored eggs that are reminiscent of colorful Easter eggs, hence their name.

It’s not as hard to guess as to why they are mostly preferred for egg production.

If you decide to add this breed to your farm/backyard coop, you’ll likely be obtaining a cross-bred one. This may cause your birds to lay olive-green-colored eggs, as a result of hailing from a line of hybrids of Easter Eggers and a breed that lays brown-colored eggs.

7. Red Cochin Bantam

Closeup image of a beautiful red Cochin bantam hen

The Red Cochin Bantam is a small-sized breed that originated from China. They’re known for their docile nature and their distinct look. This red chicken breed is mainly bred for ornamental purposes – for looks.

They make for great hen mothers and lay a fair amount of small-sized brown eggs. Red Cochin Bantam, just like other bantam breeds, are poor meat producers. But they are great to keep as pets.

8. Red Leghorn

The Red Leghorn breed is a rare variation of the Leghorn breed known for its graceful characteristics. This red chicken breed is medium-sized.

They are mainly bred for exhibition purposes, and they are sure to make a great addition to the backyard flock.

Red Leghorn breeds lay white-colored eggs and have excellent heat tolerance, although they rarely ever brood. They are not bred for producing meat, but make for fair egg producers (150-220 eggs per year), with a reckless disposition.

9. Red Star

Red sex link pasture raised chickens feeding in a field

Also known as the Red Sex-Link, the Red Star breed is one that’s popular for its easy sex differentiation from as early as day-old chicks. They are commonly bred for their egg-production prowess as they can lay around 310 brown, medium-sized eggs per year.

They make for terrible meat-production as they’re relatively light-weight. If you have a battery cage, then you may want to consider obtaining this breed, as they can lay eggs at a high rate.

10. Red Frizzle

 Frizzle chicken in the farm

The Red Frizzle is a variation of the Frizzle breed popular for their unconventional look. Its feathers, unlike those of other races that lie flat on their body, are grown out into twists and curls. This makes it impossible for them to fly.

These birds may look like they’ve been in a fight, but they have a rather gentle disposition. The Red Frizzle is mostly bred for their aesthetic look, as they are poor egg and meat producers. It’s possible that their scattered feathers could inhibit their eye-sight too.

11. Welsummer

Welsummer hen chicken on green grass field

This breed originates from a Dutch village known as Welcome. This bred is light-weight and small-sized. Although it’s known for its good egg production, it’s also suitable for meat production.

Welsummer hens lay up to 180 dark brown large eggs per year. This red chicken breed is not an aggressive type, and they are setters.

12. Whiting True Green

This breed was developed to fabricate feathers for fly-fishing. The Whiting True Green is known for its high-quality egg production with an expected laying of 300 medium-sized olive green eggs per year.

This breed has an impressive feed-to-egg conversion ratio. They are non-setters with a gentle disposition and not suitable for effective meat production.


These are just a few of the many red chicken breeds to consider when adding to your farm. The key thing to takeaway is that you should make your decision keeping in mind your plans for your farm, as well as the qualities that you prefer in your chickens.

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