Who knew that in the year 2016 chickens would actually be cool? While it seems pretty far-fetched, it’s true. Chickens have become hipster territory, with Brooklynites keeping coops in their backyards and chicken breeds topics of conversation amongst twenty-somethings in bars.
Now that they’ve come into the mainstream, it’s easier than ever to check out all the different breeds of chickens there are in the world— and there are a lot. A lot of pretty magnificent ones at that! It’s pretty safe to say that these 12 chickens crossed the road not to get to the other side but because they’re so fabulous they do whatever they want.
All black everything is this goth chicks motto. And we mean everything. The animals feathers, tongue, skin, nails, meat and organs are all black as night. The uniqueness of the bird doesn’t come cheap. At $2,500 each, they’re quite a poultry investment.
Transylvanian Naked Necks
With a name like that, you’re probably not expecting anything particularly cute, even without the accompanying photo. The Naked Necks were actually originally bred in Hungary with the featherless neck being both easier to pluck and helpful in the heat. While they may look like a strange cross between a chicken and a turkey, these guys are all chicken.
These guys are definitely cute! The Chinese breed keeps their baby down their entire lives and actually have black skin underneath their fuzzy exteriors. While many in the US keep them as pets because they’re so cute and are good egg-layers, the Chinese like them for the uniqueness of their flesh color.
This Japanese breed has tail feathers that can reach 12 feet in length making them a seriously high maintenance bird. They come in a variety of colors, from Black Breasted Red and Black Breasted Silver to Black Breasted Golden.
The regal White Sultan gets its name from its Turkish royalty heritage. The breed made the trek from Istanbul to England in 1854 and has since been admitted to the American Standard of Perfection club in 1874. The breed is docile and friendly— so much so that it often gets bullied by other breeds when put together.
The Laced Polish
Look at that hair! Because of that crazy mane, the Laced Polish is actually quite an unreliable bird with erratic behavior (you would too if you couldn’t see through your bangs!). They’re known to be docile and sweet though their egg laying habits are varied. Basically, they’re cute and fun but can’t be counted on for much (sort of like your college boyfriend).
The Plymouth Rock
What a fashionable bird! The black and white stripes with the red beak is quite the style statement, is it not? In addition to their good looks, the Plymouth Rock are also known for being a calm, sweet breed who are good for pets, egg laying and meat.
Remember Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus books? This is her, just in chicken form. The bird’s frizzy feathers developed from a gene mutations centuries ago that makes the feathers stand on end, rather than lay flat against the bird’s body. It may be a mutation, but the Frizzle can totally rock it.
This Vietnamese bird is revered in its home country for its incredibly thick legs. We’re talking cankles for days with this one. Because of their large legs, these chickens have a hard time laying eggs and are instead known for their delicious-tasting meat. Either way, the chickens are very expensive and are considered one of the most rare breeds in the world.
Look at this cute little guy, no bigger than a coke can! Serama were named after a Thai king because of their amazing posture, upright and regal. Because they’re so small and cute, they’re another breed who are often kept as pets.