Top 20 Most Beautiful Chicken Breeds

Most folks don’t spare chickens even a second glance. They’re just poultry at the end of the day, and they are where our meat and eggs come from. Not much to them, right? Not if you pay attention to them, and admire them, like us chicken lovers do!

Although they aren’t ever counted among the exotic ranks of majestic swans or incredibly opulent peacocks, many breeds are remarkably beautiful birds, fit for commemoration in painting, song, and poetry.

Whether you are a long-time veteran chicken keeper or just now getting into the practice as a hobby or business venture, there are many breeds that are show-stoppingly beautiful and sure to bring some pizzazz to your property. Below are the 20 cutest chicken breeds on Earth.

Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte Hen in snow
Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte Hen in snow


An American favorite, the inquisitive Wyandotte is just as likely to follow you around and observe you as it is to put up with any touching and petting.

Not the best chicken if you want a “cuddle bug” pet, but certainly one of the most beautiful around, especially in the silver laced pattern which consists of broken white feathers on the breast, neck, head, back, and wings on top of progressively darkening black feathers underneath and behind.

This is a two-tone look that is never worn better than these chickens wear it. And, the good news is, if silver laced doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are more than two dozen different colors and patterns out there. You’re bound to find another one that you like better!


Large and in-charge cochins are friendly and extremely fuzzy. They have fluffy feathers that more closely resemble the fur of various long-haired mammals than they do your average chicken. This incredibly dense, plush feathering goes all the way from the tops of their heads down to their very feet.

No matter what color you get them in, they have a chic and trendy look that never goes out of style. Just make sure you take care if you live in a hot region, because they really do struggle to stay cool when the temperature rises.

a Speckled Sussex hen
a Speckled Sussex hen

Speckled Sussex

Another gorgeous and beloved heritage breed, the Sussex chicken is truly ancient, with records of it dating back to before the advent of the Roman Empire in the British Isles.

These chickens are sweet, docile, friendly with owners, and absolutely gorgeous thanks to their speckled coloration, consisting of a rusty brown color with black bands and off-white tips at the end of each feather.

It looks a little bit like a snowy pattern against the background of a rich, beautiful tree. With an upright and alert posture, bay eyes, and compact combs and waddles they have a reserved but dignified appearance.

bantam Ameraucana ben flanked by two feather-footed bantam roosters
bantam Ameraucana ben flanked by two feather-footed bantam roosters


Sometimes simplicity really is best, and nowhere is that more apparent than with the Ameraucana…

These bold, confident chickens come in a relatively simple color palette consisting of wheat, silver, buff, blue, black, or red, but the texture and loft of their feathers, small beards, frilly muffs, and short, tight tails give them a statuesque quality.

These chickens also have notably good instincts for foraging, and rarely do anything frantically. This bearing combined with the understated good looks gives them a simple, dignified beauty that is sure to please any chicken lover.

Appenzeller Spitzhauben

A chicken that’s instantly identifiable for its unique colors, mohawk-like crest, and the fact that is the national chicken breed of Switzerland. The Appenzeller Spitzhauben has a spiky, small mohawk on top of its head that pitches forward, and gives these birds an indefinable attitude even when they are sitting still.

And that isn’t the only novel thing about their appearance, as they come in a variety of speckled colors and patterns, including one that has mingled, bright aquamarine patches among a field of black spots. Lovely!


A heritage breed that is genuinely one of the most beautiful on our list, and specifically in the double-laced gold variation, the Barnevelder is incredibly striking.

But how to describe these magnificent feathers!? Basically imagine a rich, two-tone brown and shimmery tan chevron on each feather, each of these outlined with a dark, chocolate brown color on the edges. When these feathers are overlapping, they look very much like scales, or maybe a herringbone pattern.

This pattern stops at the neck, where the Barnevelder has a shimmering, iridescent blue-green color that’s punctuated by the bright red of the wattles and comb and their pale yellow beak. Few indeed are more beautiful than these regal birds!

Salmon Faverolles wearing hen saddle
Salmon Faverolles wearing hen saddle

Salmon Faverolles

My absolute favorite chicken, the Salmon Faverolles is incomparable. A very old, even ancient, French heritage breed it was originally developed as a utility chicken, but today they are considered ornamentals and showbirds. Nonetheless, they’ve still got plenty of chops when it comes to producing meat and eggs.

Their salmon coloration is completely unique, and no other chicken has it: Although hens tend to be a cream or off-white color with patches of the aforementioned salmon, males are truly striking, with dramatic swaths of black and also beetle-green tail feathers to complement it.

Combined with the beards and muffs, and those wonderfully feathered feet, you’ve got one photogenic bird on your hands!


The Houdan, surprisingly enough, is the chicken that the Salmon Faverolles was bred to replace in France all those long years ago.

There’s nothing really wrong with him, per se, and they were able producers of meat and eggs but they didn’t tolerate confinement well, and as the livestock industry depended more on transportation to get goods to market, these birds didn’t fare as well.

And that’s a shame because they are truly gorgeous, and arguably one-of-a-kind with a mottled, mixed white and dark gray color, and a spiky, spiny crest with a drooping beard. They also have upright and often curling tail feathers which gives them a sporty look. Originally a dual-use breed, today they are a rare ornamental.

a double frizzle rooster that may also be molting
a double frizzle (also called a frazzle) rooster that may also be molting


Frizzle chickens “suffer” from a condition caused by a recessive gene that is still extant in many species. Every now and then, this gene will manifest and give the chicken affected by its feathers that curl out away from the body, particularly on the breast, top of the head, and near the tail.

It kind of looks like bark peeling away from a birch tree, but combined with the right pattern and colors it is undeniably attractive.

In fact, other breeds that tend to produce “frizzled” chickens often command a premium in lines where it manifests more often, so if you want a truly unique bird they are worth tracking down. They’re fairly common in Europe, but unfortunately quite rare in the US.


Sebrights have a unique look that makes them instantly recognizable, a combination of their plumage, large eyes, and very upright posture.

Whichever kind of Sebring you get, it will come in gold- or silver-laced, giving them that wonderful, contrasting outline around each feather, and in the silver-laced particularly it is quite prominent on the tail feathers.

These tiny bantams stand almost totally upright, looking a little bit like they’re waiting for attention. This gives them an imperious appearance that is out of all proportion with their tiny size. They are the darlings of many enthusiast keepers, but sadly chicks suffer from much higher mortality rates compared to other breeds, so be prepared for that.

a Light Brahma rooster
a Light Brahma rooster


The big Brahma does everything boldly. These tall, stocky, and heavily built birds come in dark and light varieties, with the light variety typically being one of several shades of gray or off-white, and the darker variety being all kinds of brown, charcoal, or even jet black.

The charcoal gray Brahma gets my vote, however, thanks to the subtle pale gray speckles in the middle of every feather. It makes them look almost like they’ve been sculpted from marble, a look that is sure to beguile and please as much as their docility and stoic demeanor.

If you want a breed that is big and beautiful and equal measure, the Brahma is a great choice.


The Phoenix chicken is a hybrid, bred between one of several European heritage breeds and the little-known Japanese Onagadori.

The result is a chicken that will have the colors and patterns associated with breeds you’re probably used to seeing, but also extremely long, wispy tailfeathers, several of which will drag behind the chicken in a kind of train.

And these tail feathers get truly long, topping out at over a foot and a half! It is an impressive sight to be sure, and these designer birds are still entirely practical, being good foragers and also good layers. Finally, a novelty chicken that will pull its weight in a working flock!

Splash Silkie rooster
Splash Silkie rooster


One of the most known and beloved of the ornamental breeds, Silkies have a unique genetic mutation affecting their feathers that makes them frizzy and furry, almost like down.

They come in a huge assortment of colors, but each and every one of these chickens has black skin, scales, beaks, and eyes. If you didn’t know better, you’d say it was ominous, but the good news is that Silkies are known to be incredibly docile and patient chickens.

They make wonderful pets, and they are a regular sight on show circuits around the world. No matter which color you want, you can be sure that a Silkie is always going to be a marvelously beautiful specimen.


The independent, curious, and energetic Hamburg is a medium breed that is wonderful for large properties and for anyone who prefers to free-range their flock. Notable for a very long lifespan and coming in a truly bewildering array of colors, the black and white Hamburg is unique.

Their white plumage is a fantastically bright, almost reflective white, thanks to the close, hard set of their feathers, this light color being markedly set off by glossy, ink-black spots and patches that ripple across their breasts, wings, and underside.

And the cherry on top? Dark red eyes that give them a vaguely menacing appearance. Another one of the most striking breeds around!

Russian Orloff

Despite the name, this is not a breed native to Russia, but instead hails from somewhere in the Middle East; they only became well known in Russia in the mid-19th century.

With large, thick beards and muffs and barely-there combs and wattles, these chickens have an almost grumpy expression, but don’t let that fool you.

They are genuine sweethearts that you’ll love and admire thanks to their beautiful feathers. There are several varieties, but the various spangled ones are the most eye-catching.


Legbars are what you might describe as unconventionally cute with their small rose combs, and low, slicked-back crests. They have a sort of movie star quality that’s hard to describe. They also happen to make excellent chickens for first-timers because they are easy to handle, hardy, and excellent foragers.

My particular favorite is the cream variation, which has gorgeous intermingled bands of pale blue-gray and a salmon color set off by sooty brown tips on some of the feathers. No other chicken looks quite like them, and the other variations are quite sharp too!


Another rare breed, and one that still comes in all sorts of different colors and patterns. This is a heritage breed that goes back centuries, and we know for sure that it was around as early as the mid-17th century, and likely a lot longer than that.

Active, athletic, and good producers of large eggs, these tough birds are known to lay straight through the winter. They are also the proud bearers of many interesting and unique color variations, my personal favorite being blue-laced.

Gold Laced Polish cockerel
Gold Laced Polish cockerel


Chances are you know them, and love them. Polish chickens are famous for that over-the-top crest on their heads, forming what is basically a giant wig that almost completely blocks their eyesight to the top and sides.

This makes them a little nervous and flighty sometimes, but combined with their photogenic body plan, alert posture and gorgeous colors, this is a unique breed that is always sure to please.

As far as the more eccentric ornamental breeds go, the polish rates highly for beginner friendliness, so don’t be afraid to start out with them even if you are new.

Sicilian Buttercup

Sicilian Buttercups are an extremely rare breed of chicken that is rarely seen, and they’re made all the more striking by their plumage and unique bombs:

Buttercup chickens have a buttercup comb (named for them), which basically looks like a small crown on top of their head. There is no mistaking it, and it is truly unique. They are the only chickens that have it.

And more than this, they are sharp-looking birds, with a rusty, copper-colored base that’s laced by black and mahogany brown trim known as spangling. Combined with their fluffy feathers and voluminous tails, they have a look like no other.

Barbu d’Uccle

A tiny bantam breed with fluffy, almost ruffled feathers, these chickens would look like they just rolled out of the coop at all times if it wasn’t for their drop-dead gorgeous colors. From orange to blue gray, dove gray, cream, black and white speckled, and a lot more, each one of them is a showstopper.

They also tend to be friendly, inquisitive, and quick to form bonds with the people that care for them.

However, they can be very active and tend to be quite noisy, with hens that maintain an almost-constant low chatter and roosters being very quick to sound off. But when you look this good it stands to reason you’ve got a lot to say.

cute chickens Pinterest image

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