A Fancy Chicken is a categorization for chicken breeds that have at least one of many unusual or special physical features that clearly set them apart form other standard breeds. Most fancy chickens are raised for ornamental or exhibition purposes. However, many are also considered dual purpose for their production qualities as well.
Crests, muffs, beards, 5 toes, feathered feet, long tails, unique combs and colors are the most common fancy chicken traits. A few of the more common feather footed breeds are the Cochin and the Brahma. Cochin chickens are known for their fluffy plumage and feathered feet. However, they are also commonly used for their mothering abilities of all types of newly hatched poultry. The Easter Egger and Ameraucana chickens are fancy breeds with muffs and beards, but they are also excellent layers of green or blue eggs.
Polish chickens sport a fun crest on top of their head, making them one of the more popular standard sized fancy breeds. However, Polish are not great egg layers and are raised mostly for fun or show. Some even have “frizzled” feathers that curl outward creating quite a sight. One of the fanciest chickens of all is the Silkie Chicken. The Silkie exhibits more fancy traits than any other chicken combined. Silkies sport feathered feet, crest, black face, fluffy hairlike plumage, 5 toes, walnut comb, and beards.
Other notable fancy chicken breeds are the Phoenix, Sumatra, and Yokohama chicken breeds with their unusually long tails. The Naked Neck or “Turken” is named for it’s unusual lack of feathering on it’s neck and face. Faverolle chickens and French Marans (cuckoo and black copper) are a few others that fall into the fancy category.
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