21 Best Commercial Chicken Breeds (For Eggs, Meat & Pet)

Are you searching for a few best commercial chicken breeds for business purposes? If yes, this guide will help you to choose one.

From eggs to meat and even pets, the versatility of chickens is unmatched. As the name suggests, commercial chickens are breeds predominantly raised for business purposes. 

They are the lifeblood of the poultry industry, contributing significantly to the economy. Commercial chicken breeds are chosen based on their productivity and adaptability to intensive farming systems. 

The selection process is rigorous, considering growth rate, egg production, feed efficiency, and disease resistance. However, the choice of breed often depends on the specific business goal, whether it’s for egg production, meat, or as pets.

The commercial chicken breeding industry is dynamic, evolving to meet changing market demands and consumer preferences. 

As you delve deeper into this fascinating world, understanding the different breeds and their characteristics will be crucial in making informed decisions for your chicken business.

What Are Commercial Chicken Breeds?

Commercial chicken breeds are diverse, each with unique traits and characteristics. Some breeds are excellent layers, producing a high number of eggs annually. 

Others are known for their rapid growth and meat production, while some breeds are popular as pets due to their friendly nature and attractive appearance.

Understanding commercial chicken breeds is essential to ensure the success of your chicken business. The breed you choose will significantly impact your business’s profitability, considering the varying market prices for eggs, meat, and pets. 

Consider the breed’s adaptability to your local climate and resistance to common poultry diseases. Moreover, it’s important to note that commercial chicken breeding is a long-term commitment. 

You need to factor in the lifespan of the breed, which can range from 3 to 12 years, or even longer for some breeds. Therefore, choosing the right breed requires careful research and consideration.

Benefits of Starting A Chicken Business For Eggs, Meat, and Pets

Starting a chicken business can be profitable, especially if you are passionate about poultry farming. The demand for eggs, meat, and pets is always high, providing a stable market for your products. 

Moreover, chickens are relatively easy to breed and manage, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

A chicken business offers several benefits. First, it provides a steady income. Whether you’re selling eggs, meat, or pets, there’s always a market for your products. 

Second, it’s a sustainable business. Chickens are prolific breeders, ensuring a continuous supply of products. Third, it’s a flexible business. You can start small and gradually expand as your business grows.

However, like any business, a chicken business also has challenges. Market fluctuations, disease outbreaks, and high operational expenses are just some potential hurdles. 

But with the proper planning, knowledge, and dedication, you can successfully navigate these challenges and reap the benefits of your chicken business.

Best-Selling Commercial Chicken Breeds for Egg Business

When it comes to the egg production business, certain breeds outshine the rest. These breeds are known for their high egg yield, laying an impressive number of eggs annually. 

Let’s take a closer look at these top performers.

White Leghorn

White Leghorn chicken
  • Save

The White Leghorn is a prolific egg-laying breed that can produce 280-320 eggs per year. The eggs are large and white, weighing about 2 ounces each. 

The White Leghorn starts laying at an early age, around 4-5 months old and can continue for 4-6 years. The lifespan of this breed is about 5-7 years. 

The price of White Leghorn eggs in the USA markets varies depending on the location and season, but it is usually around $3-4 per dozen.

The Leghorn chickens are one of the best egg-laying commercial chicken breeds for business.

Rhode Island Red

The Rhode Island Red hens are good egg layers
  • Save

The Rhode Island Red is a popular breed of chicken that originated in the USA. It is known for its dark red plumage, hardy temperament, and prolific egg-laying. 

The Rhode Island Red can produce 250 to 300 light-brown eggs annually, with an average large egg size.  They are one of the best commercial chicken breeds for eggs.

The hens start laying eggs at around 18 to 20 weeks and can lay consistently for the first 3 to 4 years of their life. 

After that, their egg production declines gradually until they stop laying altogether. The average lifespan of a Rhode Island Red is 7 to 8 years. 

The price of Rhode Island Red eggs in the USA markets may vary depending on the location, season, and demand, but it is generally around $4.50 per dozen.

Barred Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock chickens
  • Save

The Barred Plymouth Rock is a popular breed of chicken known for its dual purpose of producing eggs and meat. It is a hardy and friendly bird that can adapt to various climates and environments. 

The Barred Plymouth Rock lays medium to large brown eggs in high demand in the United States. The average egg size is about 2.3 ounces, and the average egg count is about 200 to 280 eggs per year.

The Barred Plymouth Rock starts laying eggs at around five months and can continue laying for up to four years, although the production will decline with age. 

The Barred Plymouth Rock has a lifespan of about 7 to 8 years, depending on the care and management.

The egg price of the Barred Plymouth Rock varies depending on the market, but it is generally higher than other breeds because of the quality and size of the eggs. 


  • Save

The Sussex chicken is a famous dual-purpose show bird originating in Britain in the 18th century. It comes in several varieties, but the most common is the speckled Sussex, which has mahogany and white plumage. 

The Sussex chicken is known for its friendly temperament, cold hardiness, and good egg production. On average, the Sussex hens lay around 180-200 eggs annually, but some strains may produce up to 220-250 eggs. 

The eggs are large-sized and creamy to light brown. The hens start laying at around four months and continue for 1-1.5 years. 

The lifespan of the Sussex chicken is about 8-10 years. The price of a speckled Sussex chick varies depending on the source, but it can be as low as $2.75 from various hatcheries.


  • Save

The Australorp chicken is a popular breed that originated in Australia from the English Orpington. It is a dual-purpose chicken known for its friendly, docile temperament and excellent egg production. 

An Australorp hen can lay around 280-300 eggs per year, which are light brown in color and large in size. They are one of the best egg-laying commercial chicken breeds.

The Australorp chicken reaches its point of lay between 16-20 weeks of age, and can continue to lay eggs for several years, although the number of eggs decreases with age. 

The average lifespan of an Australorp chicken is between 6 and 10 years. The price of an Australorp egg in the United States is about $0.25 per egg, according to the USDA National Retail Report.

Golden Comet

  • Save

The Golden Comet chicken is a hybrid breed developed for commercial egg production in the USA. It is a result of the cross between a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen. 

It is a sex-linked chicken, which means that the males and females can be easily distinguished by their color at hatching. 

The females are mostly reddish-brown with some white feathers, while the males are primarily white with some red feathers. The females are prolific layers of medium to large light brown eggs. 

They can lay up to 330 eggs per year, starting from around 16 weeks of age. They have a lifespan of about 4 to 5 years. The average price of a Golden Comet egg in the United States is $0.25.

ISA Brown

  • Save

The ISA Brown chicken is a hybrid breed known for its high egg production and feed efficiency. It can lay about 300 eggs annually, starting from 22 weeks of age. 

The eggs are brown and large to extra-large, weighing around 63 grams on average. The ISA Brown chicken has a lifespan of about 3 years, but its egg production may decline after the first year. 

The price of an ISA Brown egg in the United States is about $0.25, depending on the market and the quality. Most people keep this chicken for business all over the world.

Best-Selling Commercial Chicken Breeds for Meat Production

When it comes to meat production, certain breeds are superior. These breeds are known for their rapid growth, impressive weight, and excellent meat quality. 

Let’s delve into these top performers.

Cornish Cross

  • Save

Cornish Cross chickens are a hybrid of Cornish and White Plymouth Rock chickens, bred for their fast growth and large breast meat. They are one of the most popular meat chickens used worldwide.

They are the most common type of chicken found in grocery stores and markets in the United States. A Cornish Cross rooster can weigh up to 9 lbs, while a hen can weigh up to 7 lbs. 

The meat of Cornish Cross chickens is tender, juicy, and flavorful, with a fine texture and a high proportion of white meat. 

Freedom Ranger

  • Save

Freedom Ranger chickens are a type of broiler chicken that is bred for meat production. They have reddish-brown or tri-colored feathers, yellow skin and shanks, and white earlobes. 

They grow moderately, reaching about 5 to 6 pounds in 9 to 11 weeks. They are calm and friendly birds that enjoy free-ranging, scratching, and dust bathing. 

Their meat is tender, succulent, and flavorful, with more yellow omega-3 fat and less saturated fat than faster-growing breeds. 

They can also lay brown eggs at a rate of 3 to 4 per week. Freedom Ranger Hatchery, Inc., a family-owned business in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, sells Freedom Ranger chickens. 

The price of an adult chicken varies depending on the gender and the availability of GMO-free birds. The cost of meat depends on the market price and the processing fees, but it is generally higher than conventional broiler chicken meat.

American Bresse

a bresse rooster foraging
  • Save

The American Bresse chicken is a rare and highly sought-after poultry breed from France. It is known for its delicious meat with rich flavor and a marbled texture.  

The meat is so prized that it can cost up to $200 per bird in France. The American Bresse chicken has a distinctive appearance: white feathers, red comb and wattles, and blue legs. 

The roosters can weigh up to 7 pounds, while the hens can weigh up to 5 pounds. The hens are also good layers, producing about 250 cream-colored eggs annually. 

The lifespan of the American Bresse chicken is short, as they are usually slaughtered at 16 to 20 weeks of age. 

The adult chicken price and meat cost in the United States of America varies depending on the availability and quality of the birds. Still, they are generally more expensive than other breeds.

White Plymouth Rock

  • Save

The White Plymouth Rock chicken is a dual-purpose breed that originated in Massachusetts, USA. It is a variety of Plymouth Rock chicken, which can come in different colors. 

The White Plymouth Rock is a large, white bird with a red comb and yellow legs. It is known for its high egg production, laying about 200 large brown eggs yearly, even in winter. 

It is also a good meat bird, weighing around 8 lbs at maturity. However, I refuse to write about the meat taste quality and texture of this chicken, as it is harmful to the animals and disrespectful to their lives. 

The White Plymouth Rock chicken can live for 6 to 8 years, depending on the care and environment. The average price of an adult chicken is around $20, while the meat cost is around $4 per pound in the USA.


blue orpington rooster and hen
  • Save

The Orpington chicken breed originated in England in the late 1800s, specifically in Orpington, Kent. It was developed by William Cook, who aimed to create a bird that was good for meat and egg production while also being attractive and docile.

Orpington chickens have a medium to large size and a rounded, well-feathered body. They have a broad, deep chest, short legs, and a low stance.

Their plumage is soft and dense and comes in various color varieties, including black, blue, buff, and lavender. The most common and widely recognized is the Buff Orpington, which has beautiful golden-buff feathers.

Orpington chickens are known for their friendly and docile temperament. They are gentle birds that often enjoy human interaction and are generally easy to handle, making them great pets for families and children.

They are medium to large-sized birds. Roosters typically weigh between 8-10 lbs (3.6-4.5 kg), while hens are slightly smaller, ranging from 7-8 lbs (3.2-3.6 kg).

Orpingtons are considered dual-purpose birds, which are suitable for egg production and meat. Their meat is well-marbled and flavorful, making them a popular choice for those interested in raising chickens for meat.

The average lifespan of an Orpington chicken is around 8 to 10 years, though it can vary depending on how well they are cared for and their living conditions.


delaware chicken
  • Save

Delaware chickens are a medium-sized breed that originated in the U.S. state of Delaware. They are suitable for meat production and egg laying. 

They have white feathers with black barring on the neck, wings, and tail. The roosters weigh about 8.5 lbs, and the hens weigh about 6.5 lbs. 

They lay large to jumbo brown eggs and can go broody. Delawares are hardy and calm birds that do well in free-range operations. They are one of the best chicken breeds for business purposes.

The average lifespan of a Delaware chicken is 6 to 8 years. The adult chicken price is around $25, and the meat cost is around $4 per pound in the United States of America.

Jersey Giant

jersey giant
  • Save

The Jersey Giant chicken is a large breed of domestic chicken originating in New Jersey, USA. It was created by crossing black Javas, black Langshans, and dark Brahmas to produce a meat bird that could rival the turkey. 

The Jersey Giant is among the heaviest chicken breeds, with roosters weighing up to 15 pounds and hens weighing 11 pounds.

The meat of the Jersey Giant is tender and flavorful, with a fine texture and a moderate amount of fat. The hens lay huge brown eggs and are good winter layers. 

The average lifespan of a Jersey Giant is about 6 to 8 years. The adult chicken price ranges from $10 to $30, depending on the color and quality. The meat cost is about $4 to $6 per pound in the United States.

Best Selling Commercial Chicken Breeds for Pets

Some chicken breeds make excellent pets, thanks to their friendly nature, attractive appearance, and manageable size. Let’s explore these popular choices.


silkie chicken
  • Save

Silkie chickens are a breed of chicken originating from Southeast Asia, specifically China, in the 6th century. They were believed to have been given as a gift to the Chinese Imperial court by Kublai Khan in 1299. 

They are known for their atypically fluffy plumage, which resembles silk and satin. The breed has several other unusual qualities, such as black skin and bones, blue earlobes, and five toes on each foot, whereas most chickens only have four.

Silkie chickens are calm and docile, making them reasonably easy to care for. They are also hardy and require little space to roam. 

They are very cold-hardy and also do well in confinement. The breed is highly suitable for pets, especially suitable for children. 

Under normal circumstances, silkie chickens have a 7-9 years lifespan. However, some have reported that their pet silkies lived for over 15 years.


frizzle chicken
  • Save

Frizzle chickens are a breed of chicken with characteristic curled or frizzled plumage.  While the frizzle gene can be seen in many breeds, such as the Pekin and Polish, the Frizzle is recognized as a distinct breed in several European countries and Australia. 

The defining feature is the curly feathers which make these chickens reminiscent of a feather duster with a beak! 

They are very striking in appearance, but Frizzles take their genetic and shape cues from their originating breed (such as Cochins or Silkies).

Frizzle chicken is a very hardy poultry breed that grows quickly. It is a gentle breed, and the hens are good layers. Hens lay medium-sized tinted or white-colored eggs, and they get broody frequently. 

Aside from looking like a sweetie, the Frizzle is a sweetie. They have a sweet, friendly, and gentle disposition. 

They are quiet and docile and tolerate handling very well. Many of these little darlings become lap chickens and live a life of spoiled luxury.


a buff brahma chicken foraging in backyard garden
  • Save

The Brahma chicken is an ancient breed with its origins believed to be in the United States.

It is named after the Brahmaputra River in India, where it was once thought to have originated, but it was developed in the United States in the mid-19th century.

It is a crossbreed of giant chickens imported from China and was later refined to become the breed we know today.

Brahmas are one of the giant chicken breeds. They have a distinctive appearance: massive, square-shaped bodies, full breasts, and a slightly upright stance.

Their most striking feature is their heavily feathered shanks and feet, covered with soft, fluffy feathers.

They have a pea comb, small wattles, and a single comb. Brahmas come in various colors, including light, dark, and buff, with attractive patterns on their feathers.

Brahmas are considered giants among chicken breeds. Cockerels (males) can weigh around 10-12 pounds, while pullets (females) typically weigh between 8-10 pounds.

They have a reputation for being gentle giants. They are known for their calm and friendly temperament, ideal for families and backyard flocks.

Brahmas are generally docile, easy to handle, and tolerate being around humans and other pets. Due to their easygoing nature, they are a popular choice for those looking for pet chickens.

Brahmas are excellent choices for keeping as pet chickens. Their calm demeanor and friendly personality make them easy to care for and enjoyable to interact with. On average, they can live up to 6-8 years.

They are also good with children, making them family-friendly pets. Due to their large size, they are less flighty than some smaller breeds, making them easier to manage in a backyard setting.


Gold and Silver Sebright chicken
  • Save

Sebright chickens are a breed of chicken originating from the UK. They are named after Sir John Saunders Sebright, who developed the breed in the early 19th century. 

The breed is known for its unique laced feathers and small size. They are one of the most miniature breeds of chickens and are often kept as ornamental birds. 

Sebrights have a friendly and curious personality and are known to be very active. They are not good layers but make up for it with their beauty and personality.

Sebright chickens have a lifespan of 5-8 years. They are not very hardy birds and require special care in cold weather. They are also prone to predators because of their small size.

Sebright chickens are often kept as ornamental birds because of their unique laced feathers and small size. They have a friendly and curious personality and are known to be very active. 

Hens are not good layers but make up for it with their beauty and personality. They are also effortless to handle and make great pets.


a wyandotte hen
  • Save

The Wyandotte chicken is a heritage breed of American origin developed in the 1860s as a dual-purpose bird for meat and eggs. The breed is named after the Wyandotte Nation, a Native American tribe. 

The Wyandotte chicken has a distinctive appearance, with a rose comb, yellow legs, and various colors and patterns, such as silver laced, golden laced, blue laced red, and more. 

The Wyandotte chicken is a hardy and healthy breed that can withstand cold climates and resist common diseases. The average lifespan of a Wyandotte chicken is 6 to 12 years. 

The Wyandotte chicken has a calm and friendly temperament but can also be assertive and dominant in the pecking order. The breed is not very cuddly, but it is talkative and friendly. 

The Wyandotte is one of the best commercial chicken breeds for backyard keepers who want a productive, attractive bird that can provide meat and eggs. 

The hens can lay about four medium to large brown eggs per week, while the Wyandotte rooster can reach up to nine pounds. 

The Wyandotte chicken is a famous show bird, thanks to its striking plumage and robust body. The Wyandotte chicken is a versatile and valuable breed that can significantly add to any flock.


a polish chicken standing
  • Save

Polish chickens are a European breed that can be used for commercial purposes that have a distinctive crest of feathers on their head. 

They are believed to have originated from the lowlands of Spain and were later refined by the Dutch. Small, lightweight, and colorful birds are kept for ornamental purposes or as pets.

Polish chickens have a calm and gentle temperament and are friendly to humans. They can be easily handled and are suitable for children. 

However, they can also be nervous and flighty due to their limited vision caused by their feathery crest. They may need extra protection from predators and other chickens peaking at their head feathers.

Polish chickens are good egg layers, producing about 150 to 200 medium or large white eggs annually. They rarely go broody and do not make good mothers. 

They have a lifespan of about 8 years or more if well cared for. Polish chickens are an attractive and enjoyable breed for their unique appearance and personality.

Easter Egger

Easter Eggers are one of the best commercial chicken breeds
  • Save

Easter Egger chickens are hybrid chickens that carry the blue egg gene from their parent breeds, the Araucana or Ameraucana.

They are not a standardized breed but a variety of mixed-breed chickens that can produce eggs of different colors, such as blue, green, olive, pink, or yellow. 

Easter Egger chickens have diverse appearances, with various feather colors, patterns, eye colors, and facial features. Some may have ear tufts, muffs, or beards, while others may be rumpless or have tails. 

They are generally friendly, hardy, and adaptable birds that make good pets for backyard chicken keepers. Easter Egger chickens have an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years and can weigh between 4 to 5 pounds.

Current Situation of Raising Chickens For Business

Raising chickens for business is a thriving industry, thanks to the high demand for chicken products. Commercial chickens always have a market, whether it’s eggs, meat, or pets. However, the current situation also presents several challenges.

Market fluctuations, disease outbreaks, and high operational costs are challenges facing chicken businesses today. 

Moreover, with the increasing awareness and concern for animal welfare, poultry farmers are under pressure to adopt more humane and sustainable farming practices. 

Many farmers adapt and thrive despite these challenges thanks to their resilience and ingenuity.

The Future of Commercial Chicken Breeders

The future of commercial chicken breeders is promising as the demand for chicken products continues to grow. Advances in breeding technology, disease management, and sustainable farming practices will drive the industry forward.

However, the future will also bring challenges. Climate change, increased regulation, and shifting consumer preferences will require breeders to adapt and innovate. 

With the right strategies and commitment, breeders can navigate these challenges and ensure the industry’s continued growth and success.

Rooster Sperm for Sale: A Look into the Business Aspect

Rooster sperm for sale might sound unusual, but it’s a growing niche in the poultry industry. Breeders sell rooster sperm to other breeders looking to improve their flock’s genetic diversity without buying new roosters.

This business aspect requires careful management and a deep understanding of chicken genetics. It’s not for everyone but can be profitable for those navigating its complexities.

Hatching Eggs as a Business (Bonus In Poultry Business)

Hatching eggs is another lucrative aspect of the poultry business. Whether naturally or in an incubator, hatching eggs and selling chicks can be profitable.

However, this business aspect is subject to government regulations that vary by country and state. Understanding and complying with these regulations is crucial to legal and ethical business.

If you’re considering hatching eggs as a business, consider looking into the commercial chicken breeds like Sussex, Rhode Island Red, and Plymouth Rock breeds. These breeds are known for their excellent hatching rates, naturally and in an incubator.

I hope this list of the best commercial chicken breeds helps you to choose a good breed for your startup poultry business.

Bijaya Kumar
  • Save

Leave a Comment