Are you searching for the best rooster breeds? This guide will help you to ease your work.
Roosters are available in different types depending on their breed and intended purpose. However, modern roosters have evolved from crossbreds of different breeds to bring out the best of their intended purpose.
Therefore, when selecting, you should consider their physical characteristics, environmental resilience, and breeding.
Top 17 Rooster Breeds With Pictures
Below is a list of the top rooster breeds you can choose from. They include:
The Brahma rooster was ultimately the largest chicken breed, often called the “King of all Poultry” before the Jersey Giant surpassed it.
Compared to other chickens, they have a broad, wide head, a skull projecting over the eyes, and a slightly overhanging brow.
In addition, they have smooth-fitting plumage that is dense in all sections, with feathers that extend down to their shanks and toes.
However, their feet tend to collect a lot of mud if the environment is muddy, thus making frostbite possible for their toes.
They have an intimidating and impressive size and weight, around 30 inches high and around 10 lbs., with the hen at 8 lbs.
They come in three colors; dark, light, and buff. Although, over the years, there have been a few other variations of colors, they haven’t been officially accepted.
A double mating technique is required for dark-colored breeds to ensure good-quality birds.
When it comes to personality, they are the most calm and docile, and they rarely make a lot of noise when you compare them to other chicken breeds, making them friendly.
However, when overly hungry, they can become bullies over their small counterparts. And due to their huge weight, they are not active flyers and scratchers like the Mediterranean breeds, making them easy to contain.
For their size, they are purposely bred for a dual purpose; egg-laying and meat. They produce the bulk of their eggs from October to May while producing 3-4 weekly eggs.
They tend to go broody in early summer but not overly broody. Their eggs are brown in color and medium to large in size.
Their densely feathered bodies make them extremely hardy both in summer and winter, and they do very well in the Northern states.
Since it is a large breed, they consume a lot of food, increasing your feed bill within a short time.
They were first bred in the 1940s for dual purposes, as they are great egg layers and relatively medium in size and weight.
In terms of physical characteristics, they are fairly tight feathered, and all white except for their hackle, tail, and wings, which are black-speckled.
They have a broad inverted triangle body with a U indentation in the back, a single comb, a yellow beak, red lobes, wattles, and combs, and their legs are quite muscular.
A fully grown Delaware rooster weighs 7-8 lbs. a hen weighs 6 lbs. With adequate care, maintenance, and regular inspection, they can live more than 5 years.
They have a gentle disposition and prefer free-ranging, making them the friendliest and most inquisitive breed, but their pecking order is the highest.
They produce 200 light brown eggs annually and expect to put out four jumbo sizes weekly. However, eggs are reduced by 10% annually as they grow older and do not go broody often.
Therefore, you cannot rely on them if you want to raise chicks. Generally, they are suitable for small farms/projects because they are low-maintenance breeds, hardy, and mature quickly.
An Australorp rooster is an Australian chicken breed with beautiful black feathers, legs, red combs, and plump bodies that are nicely dressed out.
In sunlight, their feathers produce a beetle-green sheen, which gives them a stun-looking iridescence. Besides black, they are also available in blue and white color varieties in Australia.
A mature Australorp rooster is massive, between 26 and 30 inches, and can weigh more than 8 lbs, whereas it weighs 5-7 lbs for pullets.
The average lifespan of an Australian python is between six and ten years, but it can live up to 15 years under proper care and setup.
They are quiet, gentle, defensive against predators and intruders, and well-tolerant of confinement. However, they can also be aggressive towards people when agitated, but it is rare to find an Australian that pecks people.
Pullets start laying eggs between 5-6 months of age, and in the industrial setup, they can set a record of 364 eggs annually. Normally, they can lay around five eggs per week (250 eggs).
Their eggs are light brown and medium-sized. Better yet, they are a fast-growing breed, average to good brooders, and possess good mothering ability.
The Langshan rooster is a rare and endangered rooster breed hailing from China, named after the Langshan district. They were purposely bred for their eggs, meat, and beauty.
They are available in various colors, including black, white, and blue, but the shanks and feet of both the blue and white varieties bear bluish slate, while the black variety is bluish-black.
However, all three varieties have a pinkish tint between the scales on their legs, and the bottom of the leg is pinkish-white in color.
In addition, they are tall with stunning plumage while bearing a long tail and neck and a U-shaped profile characteristic.
Both males and females can live happily in both confinement and free range. Nevertheless, they are inquisitive, moderately noisy, easily tamed, and graceful, making them friendly and rarely aggressive.
They tolerate humid and temperate conditions and can adapt to any soil type. But they are likely to be frostbitten if their legs and feet get wet, and they struggle in extreme heat because they are a dense-feathered breed.
Despite being a slow-growing breed, they start laying eggs at 6 months and can lay 150-200 eggs annually. They mostly lay their brown and large eggs during the winter and brood during the summer.
Compared to other roosters, they have white meat with excellent flavor, and their market weight is about 6.5-8 lbs, but roosters can weigh up to 9.5 lbs.
The Cochin rooster is also a large and densely fluffy breed from China with excessive plumage that covers both its legs and feet, while the skin beneath the feathers is yellow.
Roosters bear single combs with five points with red earlobes, while the hens have a small single comb. Cochin has 13 varieties: brown, blue, black, red, Columbian, brown/red, brown, buff, bared, white, silver laced, partridge, and golden laced.
However, bantam Cochin varieties are available in 17 options. A fully-grown Cochin rooster weighs up to 11 lbs and 8.5 lbs for a hen, while bantam varieties weigh 30 ounces for roosters and 28 ounces for hens.
Cochin can averagely live up to 5 years but, with proper care, up to 8 years. They are slow growers and start laying eggs at 8 months old.
They lay 2-3 brown, medium to large-sized eggs per week throughout the winter, which adds up to an average of 150-200 eggs annually.
They’re pretty quiet, laid back, and very calm in temperament, lazy and foody, but they enjoy being broody so that you can use them for foster mothering. Because of their large size, they are eaten primarily for their excellent amount of meat.
Researchers believe that the barred Plymouth Rock rooster is a cross-breed between a Black Java hen and a single-combed Dominique rooster.
They are kept explicitly for eggs and meat. If you look closely at this rooster breed, they have equal black and white barring feathers ending in a dark strip.
However, their female counterparts have black bars slightly wider than the white bars. Physically, their bodies are large, triangular-shaped with a long, broad backs, full breasts, yellowed/horned skin, beaks, and legs.
In addition, the eyes, comb, ear-lobes, and wattles are reddish, and their single combs bear five points. Roosters weigh up to 9.5 lbs when fully grown and 7.5 lbs for hens, while their bantams weigh 3 lbs for roosters and 2.5 lbs for females.
The well-known color varieties are white, Colombian, blue, barred, buff, silver penciled, and partridge.
Their large brown eggs weigh 55 grams and can lay about 230 eggs annually in the first three years of life.
They have an extraordinarily docile and flighty personality, but they are friendly towards people and other animals they know.
Besides, they can live up to 8-10 years and tolerate cold and hot conditions quite well, though they are susceptible to intestinal parasites.
They are ideal for small projects as they require little maintenance and are good brooders.
7. Barbu d’Uccle rooster
The Barbu d’Uccle is a true bantam Belgian breed, hailing from the outskirts of Brussels in the early 12th century.
This rooster breed is a crossbreed of Antwerp Belgian with a Dutch booted bantam and features a low posture, a full beard and muff, heavily feathered legs, and a single comb.
They are generally friendly, very quiet, low-fliers, easy to tame, enjoy interaction with people, and do quite well in confinement. However, males are aggressive during mating season and charming to little chickens.
Roosters can weigh between 700 and 800 grams, while hens weigh between 550 and 630 grams. They are available in 28 varieties of colors.
They lay small white eggs weighing around 30 grams and tend to broody very easily, so they are not good layers of assets. Hens of this chicken breed lay around 2-3 eggs per week.
The Welsummer rooster originated from Welsum in Holland, and its background knowledge is limited.
However, it bears the red partridge color, the standard color that is unique and does not appear in any other bird.
In addition, roosters are handsome with free-flowing hackles and saddle feathers that are chestnut brown or beetle brown.
This breed is a true egg-laying asset and can produce 4 eggs per week, which amounts to 160-180 eggs on average per year, and they stop producing eggs over the winter months.
However, they are not good brooders. They lay rich-dark brown eggs, sometimes with dark speckle pigments.
Interestingly, they are intelligent, calm, not often flier, and love foraging, making them friendly and busy chicken breeds.
Generally, they prefer colder climates but can tolerate heat provided there is somewhere cool to retreat. Males can maximally weigh up to 7 lbs., and females up to 6 lbs.
The Buff Orpington rooster is popularly known for its aggressive or territorial temperament, while hens are docile and friendly.
This bird is suitable for egg and meat-keeping purposes, but roosters’ meat is considered tougher and stringier than hens’.
At four weeks old, roosters will start exhibiting crowing indicators like squeaking and chirping sounds and sticking out their necks.
A larger specimen rooster stands 15 inches tall and weighs 8-10 lbs, and they have noticeably thicker legs to support their weight.
Moreover, they possess pointed cape feathers on the back, shoulders, and neck with bright red and larger combs and wattles than females.
This is extremely resilient in cold temperate geo-locations like the northern areas, and can tolerate confinement very well.
They can start laying eggs from the age of 5 months, produce around 220-280 large eggs a year, and are considered good brooders and mothers. The egg’s color varies from dark to light brown.
They are considered endangered species, and the bantam variety is one of the largest breeds available.
The Sebright rooster is also the true and oldest bantam chicken variety from Britain, named after Sir John Saunders Sebright, who created it for ornamental exhibition purposes.
They are small in stature, with a short back, large breasts, and down-pointing wings that create an angular and jaunty look.
Interestingly, roosters do not have long tails, necks, or saddles because they carry a mutation that causes their skin tissues to convert male hormones into female sex hormones.
Since they are purposely kept for ornamental exhibition, they are neither outstanding meat breeds nor egg layers.
The hens of this breed lay around 60-80 eggs per year. Sebright eggs are small in size and white in color.
They are mostly confined because they often fly, making it hard to keep them, but they are generally hardy. Males weigh an average of 620 grams, and females weigh 570 grams.
The breeding history and origin of the Polish rooster are unclear, but it is believed to have been brought by the Asian Mongols to Central and Eastern Europe during medieval times.
The Polish rooster is characterized by its white earlobes, bright-red wattles, and V-shaped comb hidden by the large crest of feathers.
However, they are mainly characterized by their frizzled feathers that turn and twist outward instead of lying flat.
They are available in numerous colors, mainly in white pure polished, white crested black polish, white crested blue polish, silver laced polish, golden laced, buff laced, white laced red polish, and black crested white Polish chicken.
Primarily, they’re bred for ornamental exhibitions, but originally they were productive egg layers because they rarely go broody. They’re gentle and calm birds but tend to be nervous and flighty due to their visual problems attributed to the bird’s head feathers.
12. Java rooster
The Java rooster is also among the endangered chicken breeds originating in the United States and is considered the second oldest after the Dominique.
A fully mature rooster weighs around 9.5 lbs and then around 7.5 lbs. Roosters possess a solid and rectangular build with a very long, broad back and deep breasts, small earlobes, and medium-sized wattles and combs that are red in color.
They are available in three color variations; mottled, white, and black. Despite being slow growers, they are resilient in inclement weather, docile in temperament, good foragers, tolerate confinement well, are good egg layers, and will easily go broody.
Aseel, or Asil, is a fighting chicken breed widely distributed in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
They have a long and rich history dating back to 900-1280 B.C. in South Asia and have been developed for rooster fighting. They are not fluffy like the average chicken, with almost non-existent wattles, combs, and minimalist plumage.
Instead, they have long tail displays. A mature rooster weighs around 4.5 lbs. They are well-known to be aggressive, intelligent, and confident but friendly with their handlers. Generally, they are poor egg layers, but they are good sitters and tend to go broody.
The Silkie rooster is also known as the Chinese Silk chicken because of its fluffy plumage that feels like satin and satin. It bears unusual physical characteristics, including blue earlobes, black skin and bones, and five toes on each foot.
They can be non-bearded or bearded. Hence, they are good egg layers and purposely bred for poultry shows. Hens of this breed lay around 2-3 small cream-to-tinted colored eggs per week.
Due to their brooding nature, they are exceptionally broody and protective of their young ones. It takes about 6-8 months for Silkies to reach sexual maturity, making them a slow-maturing breed.
In China, Silkie rooster is purposely fed to pregnant women and new mothers because it has healing properties to help prepare their bodies for delivery and healing from childbirth. Male Silkies can weigh up to 4 lbs., and females can weigh 3 lbs.
This French Faverolles chicken breed is believed to have a genetic composition of Houdan, Brahma, French Rennes, Flemish cuckoo, Malines, and Dorking.
Generally, they are well-known to have a friendly, entertaining, funny, and delightful personalities and are used for dual-purpose.
They lay 3-4 medium-sized eggs weekly, amounting to 180-200 annually, and the rooster will weigh 8 lbs at maturity, compared to 30 oz for bantams.
You can easily distinguish them from other breeds with their adorable fluffy cheeks and horned-colored and short beaks.
In addition, they have small wattles and red earlobes, a paler and more straw-like belly, and breast, and are quite broad and deep, which gives a short rectangular shape with a slight dip in the back.
The Sussex rooster is a dual-purpose backyard chicken breed due to its consistent egg-laying ability and large size.
They have been around since 43 AD and are available in various colors, including light, buff, silver, coronation, red, and speckled-colored.
They have a heavy and rectangular-shaped body with wide shoulders, a broad back, soft and close-fitting feathers, and a perky tail that sticks out at a 45-degrees angle.
A mature rooster can weigh up to 9.5 lbs, and 7.5 lbs for hens. Hens can lay around 4 brown eggs per week, which amounts to 180-200 annually on average all year round, and they reach sexual maturity at around 8 months old.
In terms of personality, they are docile, independent, graceful, and curious, yet confident and enjoy being pets, making them easy to handle. Better yet, they are all around hardy and thus require no special treatment to survive and thrive.
Like Sussex roosters, Rhode Island Red is dual-purpose and the most successful chicken breed bred in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in the 19th century.
Due to multi-husbandry, the RIR rooster breed has a varied color of perfection, ranging from rich mahogany to dark rust color, with black feathers in the tail and wings, orange/red eyes, and red earlobes, comb, and wattles.
A mature or large RIR rooster weighs around 8.5 lbs and 6.5 lbs for a hen, while a bantam rooster weighs around 2.1 lbs.
They are consistent and prolific egg layers, with good ones laying 200-300 eggs yearly, which converts to 5-6 eggs per week. RIR hens produce medium to large eggs that are light brown in color.
They can possess any personality type, including; docile, curious, inquisitive, rowdy at times, aggressive, or exuberant. More importantly, they can tolerate various conditions provided you ensure regular maintenance.
Which rooster breeds are rare?
According to the Livestock Conservancy, they consider birds rare if they are less than 1000 globally, and rare roosters that are rare include; La Fleche, Breda, Burmese, Scots Dumpy, Dong Tao, Onagadori Chicken, Ixworth Chicken, Naked Chicken, Modern Game Chicken, Golden Campine Chicken.
Which rooster breeds are best for meat purposes?
The best rooster breeds for meat purposes include Orpington, Jersey Giant, Rhode Island Red, Sussex, Langshan, Delaware, Brahma, Cornish Cross, and Barred Plymouth Rock.
Which are the best rooster breeds for fighting?
Roosters have no fighting genetics or lineage, but certain breeds possess excellent fighting ability depending on training and preparation. And the best roosters you can breed for fighting include; Aseel, Possum Sweater, Roundhead, Hatch Twist, Shamo, Peruvian Gamefowl, Spanish Gamefowl, Sumatra, Brown Red Gamefowl, Lemon Fowl, Old English Game Chicken, and American Game Chicken.
Which are the popular white rooster breeds?
If you prefer, you would like to breed a pure rooster breed. These are the popular breeds you may consider; White Leghorn, Rhode Island White Chicken, White Jersey Giant Chicken, Silkie, Dorking, Polish, Bresse Gauloise, White Ameraucana, White Plymouth Rock, White Australorp, Yokohama, and Sultan.
Which are the popular black rooster breeds?
Popular black rooster includes; Ayam Cemani Chicken, German Langshan Chicken, Jersey Giant, La Fleche, Silkie, Sumatra, Swedish Black Chicken, Minorca, and Orpington.
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