Chickens have long been a source of food-producing meat and eggs for centuries. Found worldwide, with more than 500 different breeds in existence today, there is something for everyone – from prolific layers to pets – and chickens can be kept by pretty much anyone who wants to give it a go. However, one thing to consider is size, and although some can be tiny, there are some giants too!
Bonus: The Largest Chicken on Earth!
The largest individual chicken on record is named Merakli, and is from Kosovo. Merakli came to fame in 2017 when a Kosovo-based Facebook group posted a picture of a nearly 17-pound rooster. His exact weight is said to be 16.5 pounds and he stands just a hair under 2.8 feet tall.
Jersey Giant Chicken
The largest chicken in the world is the Jersey Giant chicken. These huge birds originated in New Jersey in north east America and can weigh up to 13 pounds. Known for being a docile breed with an excellent temperament, Jersey giants are slow growers but make excellent pets for anyone prepared to take care of them. Their colors are usually black, white, or blue and they are known to be particularly good layers during the winter months. The hens lay large brown eggs and make excellent mothers despite their large size.
The Brahma chicken usually weighs around 12 pounds and originated in America. A Brahma chicken holds the record as being the heaviest chicken known, but on average the breed is slightly smaller than the Jersey giant which comes in at number one. Brahmas have three known colors – white with black collar and tail, buff with black collar and tail, and dark which is grey with a mixture of black and white collar and a black tail. They are a good dual-purpose chicken as they produce plenty of eggs. Brahmas do well in cold conditions due to their thick feathers. They also have a calm nature but they don’t like being cooped up and prefer to be allowed to roam around and forage for food.
The Dong Tao chicken is also known as the dragon chicken because of its exceptionally large legs and feet which can be as thick as a person’s wrist and covered in red scales. They are a rare breed of chicken from the Dong Tao region of Vietnam and can weigh as much as 12 pounds. Cockerels are usually a stunning reddish-brown while hens are usually white. Due to their large feet, the hens don’t make good mothers as they regularly stand on the eggs, so therefore their eggs are usually hatched in an incubator. Their meat was originally only served to royalty, but is now a delicacy and often found in expensive restaurants.
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