Chicken breeds recognized by the American Poultry Association

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All chicken breeds recognized by the American Poultry Association are categorized into classes. Standard-sized breeds are grouped by type or by place of origin; bantam breeds are classified according to type or physical characteristics.

Large breeds[edit]

The large breeds are divided into six classes – American, Asiatic, Continental, English, Mediterranean, and All Other Standard Breeds – largely according to their place of origin.


A Black Java hen; the Java played a role in the creation of some of the American class breeds, such as the Rhode Island Red.

The American Class contains thirteen breeds which originated in Canada or the United States.[1]:11 All are heavy breeds, and most lay brown eggs;[1]:11 most are cold-hardy:[2]


Cochin hens (a Buff hen seen here) are renowned for their broodiness.

These three breeds originate in China; they are large, feather legged, and lay brown eggs:[1]:21


Most Continental breeds, such as the Silver Spangled Hamburg cock seen here, are lively birds that are often skilful flyers.

This group consists of eleven breeds from Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. They are mostly sprightly birds, the Faverolles being an exception:[1]:70


A Black Orpington hen

This class consists of five breeds from the United Kingdom and one from Australia:[3]


An Ancona hen; The large combs and wattles of the Mediterranean breeds, especially of the male, are highly susceptible to frostbite.

These breeds originating in Italy and Spain have white earlobes and tend to be productive layers of white eggs. In general they are flighty, and exceptional free-range birds, with both evasion and foraging skills:[1]:178

All Other Standard Breeds[edit]

A Phoenix cock and hen

Other breeds ae grouped in this class, which has three subclasses: Game, Oriental, and Miscellaneous. The Game subclass includes the non-oriental game birds, the Oriental subclass includes mainly birds from Asia; the Cubalaya, however, is from Cuba. The Miscellaneous subclass holds the remaining breeds.[3]




Bantam breeds[edit]

Bantams are grouped according to type or physical appearance into six classes: Modern Game; Game; Single Comb Clean Legged; Rose Comb Clean Legged; Feather Legged; and All Other Comb Clean Legged.[3] The American Bantam Association classifications may be different.[citation needed]

Modern Game[edit]

A Modern Game cock and hen; the cock's comb and wattles are normally dubbed for show.

This class consists solely of the Modern Game bantam.[1][3]


A pair of Old English Games

The Game class includes the remaining game bantams:[1][3]

Single Comb Clean Legged[edit]

A Red Pyle Dutch cock

This class contains all the bantam breeds with a single comb, excluding the game bantams:[1][3]

Rose Comb Clean Legged[edit]

A Golden Sebright hen

This class groups breeds with both a rose comb and featherless legs:[1]

Feather Legged[edit]

A group of Mille Fleur Belgian Bearded d'Uccle pullets and cockerels

The breeds of this class have feathering on their legs and feet:[1][3]

All Other Comb Clean Legged[edit]

An Ameraucana cock

This class includes all of the breeds that do not fall into any of the other classes:[1][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Gail Damerow (2012). The Chicken Encyclopedia. North Adams, Massachusetts: Storey Publishing. ISBN 9781603425612.
  2. ^ Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's illustrated guide to poultry breeds. North Adams, Mass.: Storey Pub. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.

External links[edit]