Buying Rare and Fancy Chickens
Are you bored of your common egg layers and want to try something a little rarer or more exciting? We certainly recommend raising rare breeds to help grow breeding flocks for these harder to find chickens in our country. And what's more fun than raising some fancy breeds to show at the fair or simply enjoy their exotic features around the yard?
What makes a chicken rare? Well, we classify our chickens as rare either by how commonly they are raised in the poultry community, by how many existing breeding flocks there are around the country, and also by how many we are able to hatch each season. If you can imagine, breeds that lay fewer eggs, have lower fertility, or higher mortality rates as chicks are more difficult to sustain and sell. However, many of these breeds are heritage breeds and have other qualities that are unique or in high demand, and we feel it's important to support the genetic diversity of these breeds and help grow flock sizes across the country.
Fancy chicken breeds are breeds with unusual attributes not found on most chickens. Some of these attributes that you may find on "fancy" chicken breed are:
- Crests or Top Hats - Polish, Houdan, Sultan
- Feathered Legs and Feet - Cochin, Brahma, Silkies, Mille Fleur D'Uccle, Salmon Faverolle
- Muffs and Beards - Easter Egger, D'Uccle, Belgian d'Anver, Salmon Faverolle
- 5 Toes - Silkies, Sultans, Faverolle, Dorking, Houdan
- Unique Coloration - Blue Andalusian, Speckled Sussex
- Long Tails - Phoenix, Yokohoma, Cubalaya, Jungle Fowl, Sumatra
- Unique Combs - Sicilian Buttercup, Crevecour
Many fancy breeds are raised strictly for their ornamental properties, but some also have excellent dual purpose egg laying and meat characteristics as well. For example, the Easter Egger has a muff and beard, but it's most commonly raised for being an excellent layer of blue or green eggs. Cochin and Brahma chicks are commonly raised as dual purpose breeds as well, and the Cochins are well known for their ability for their broodiness and ability to raise young hatchlings of all types of poultry.