15 Largest Chicken Breeds (With Pictures)

Chickens come in all different shapes and sizes, and as you probably already know, the larger the chicken, the greater the likelihood that it will produce a ton of meat for your dinner table.

If you are considering raising chickens for meat or eggs, you might want to consider one of these large chicken breeds for your backyard flock.


15 Largest Chicken Breeds You Will Find

Looking for the largest chicken breed on the market? Here are 15 breeds that you should consider:

1. Jersey Giant

jersey giant chicken
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Relaxed and friendly
  • Maximum Size: 15 lbs

In the case of the statuesque Jersey Giant, the name truly does say it all.

This chicken is perhaps one of the largest you will find, with roosters weighing in at up to 15 pounds.

For whatever reasons, black Jersey Giants tend to be a bit heavier than white ones.

They stand up to 26 inches tall – yes, over two feet! – and were originally developed as a heritage breed in New Jersey.

These chickens are mellow and docile, first bred as an alternative to the domestic turkey.

Today, many people raise Jersey Giants on their small farms because they are so friendly – they make excellent pets.

They are also impressive layers, producing anywhere between 150 and 200 large brown eggs each year.

2. Brahma

Brahma chicken
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (meat and eggs)
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Maximum Size: 10 lbs

Believe it or not, it’s the Brahma chicken that holds the record as being the largest chicken in the entire world.

While this isn’t necessarily the largest breed, it certainly has the greatest capacity for growing to an impressive size.

Brahma chickens can be found in various colors, such as Light, Buff, and Dark. There are also bantam versions of Brahma chicken available.

Unlike the Jersey Giant, there is no size difference between the different colors, but there is, of course, the size difference between bantam and regular versions of the breed.

Also known as the King of Chicken, the Brahma chicken makes an excellent pet, possessing a friendly disposition.

This ancient breed can reach up to 30 inches tall (although this i uncommon).

Brahmas have feathered feet and are excellent egg layers, producing up to 300 eggs each year.

3. Cochin

cochin chicken
Nightflyer [CC BY 3.0]
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (meat and eggs)
  • Temperament: Affectionate and easy to tame
  • Maximum Size: 5 lbs

Next on our list of massive chicken breeds is the Cochin chicken.

These friendly, fluffy giants not only produce impressive amounts of meat, but they also are lovely to look at.

These chickens are quite cuddly, possessing a thick layer of fluffy, downy feathers.

They love to be handled – this is especially true if you select the bantam variety of cochin, which is much smaller at only two pounds.

Cochins are easy to tame and love being fed treats. Full-sized Cochins weigh in at around 5 lbs, and they also lay eggs. You can expect around 160 eggs each year.

You can expect around 160 eggs each year.

4. Cornish

cornish chicken
  • Purpose: Meat production
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Maximum Size: 10 lbs

Cornish chickens were first developed in the United Kingdom during the 1800s.

This chicken breed is the parent stock behind the popular Cornish Rock chicken, which is commonly grown as a commercial meat breed.

While Cornish Rock chickens are also large, they are a hybrid breed that tends to be prone to a lot of health issues because they grow out so quickly – namely, they can suffer from heart and leg problems.

However, the Cornish chicken is a good compromise.

These birds tip the scales at 10 lbs and can be found in several varieties, such as White, Dark, White-Laced Red, Black, and Buff.

They are extremely docile but not often kept for their laying ability.

Although Cornish chickens are docile, they aren’t quite as outgoing as Cochins, Jersey Giants, or Brahmas. T

hey are rarely aggressive, but you should provide them with plenty of space to prevent any issues related to dominance.

They tolerate both warm and cold temperatures quite well.

5. Orpington

orpington
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Calm
  • Maximum Size: 10 lbs

Next up on our list of large chicken breeds is the Orpington chicken breed.

Native to the tow of Orpington, in the United Kingdom, this heritage breed can be found in a handful of color varieties such as:

  • Black
  • Buff
  • White
  • Chocolate Cuckoo
  • Lavender Columbian
  • Blue
  • Columbian
  • Lavender
  • Splash
  • Chocolate

Although not all of these are recognized by breed standards, there is no difference in size among the many variants.

These dual-purpose chickens are very calm and laid back. Despite their size, they do well with confinement.

Hens often go broody, making them a great choice for people who are interested in hatching their own chicks.

Orpingtons are also great egg layers. These large chickens, which weigh in at around 10 lbs, will also provide you with about 280 eggs per year.

6. Maline

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Docile
  • Maximum Size: 12 lbs

The Maline chicken is a less-common chicken breed that originated in Belgium in the 1800s.

One of the largest chickens in the world – it frequently rivals the Jersey Giant in its weight class -the roosters of this breed can reach a whopping 12 lbs!

Despite their size, Maline chickens are incredibly tender and gentle. They’re great if you have small children!

Males and females alike have cuckoo-patterned feathers.

These calm birds aren’t just prized for their appearance, either – they also lay a moderate amount of 150 large brown eggs each year.

Bantam Malines are also available, but they aren’t nearly as common as the full-sized variety.

7. Malay

Malay chicken
Zamwan [CC BY-SA 3.0]
  • Purpose: Ornamental
  • Temperament: Aggressive
  • Maximum Size: 9 lbs

The Malay chicken breed is frequently regarded as the tallest chicken breed.

Although it’s not nearly as hefty as the Jersey Giant or the Maline breed, the Malay can grow up to 30 inches in height.

It originated in Europe As a cross from chickens native to India and the Malay peninsula. There, these birds grew in popularity for their height.

When it comes to meat and egg production, these chickens aren’t too shabby – they weigh around 9 lbs.

That being said, these chickens are relatively rare and are now kept mostly for ornamental and show purposes.

It should be noted that Malay chickens can be quite aggressive.

They have thick bones and wide skulls, and grow to heights of nearly 30 inches – they will stand several inches taller than the rest of the chickens in your flock.

Because they can be more aggressive, these chickens need a lot of space. The more confident they are, the more aggressive they will be.

These chickens don’t lay a ton of eggs, producing fewer than 100 each year.

This is because the hens are seasonal layers and will shut off egg production midway through the year.

8. Barred Rock

Barred Rock chicken
Thomas Kriese [CC BY 2.0]
  • Purpose: Egg production
  • Temperament: Friendly
  • Maximum Size: 7 lbs

Barred Rocks are a classic American breed, having been around since the 1700s.

Roosters can be quite large, weighing up to seven pounds, and both hens and roosters alike have outgoing personalities.

They are also excellent layers, producing up to 280 eggs each year.

This chicken breed is also one of the most beautiful to look at, sporting defined barred white and black feathers.

9. Langshan

  • Purpose: Dual purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Resilient
  • Maximum Size: 9.5 lbs

Langshan chickens are native to China and made the trip to the United States in the 19th century.

These chickens have feathered feet, giving them a unique appearance that is prized in the show circuits.

Langshan birds lay dark brown eggs – usually around 180 per year – and can weigh up to 9.5 lbs.

They are also exceptionally tall, standing well above the rest of the chickens in an average flock.

These chickens are pretty friendly toward humans, but are often kept because they are incredibly heat tolerant.

They are hardy to most weather conditions and do well when left to their own devices.

A skilled forager, this chicken breed is great at finding its own food.

10. Dong Tao

  • Purpose: Meat production
  • Temperament: Good-natured and trusting
  • Maximum Size: 12 lbs

Dong Taos are extremely rare and originated in Vietnam.

They are listed as a threatened chicken breed and have one of the most bizarre appearances you will find in a chicken anywhere in the world.

These birds are massive, weighing around 12 lbs, and have enlarged, swollen feet and legs. In fact, their legs are about as thick as an adult male human’s wrist!

Because these chickens are so large and awkwardly built, they aren’t usually kept for egg production – they stomp on their eggs before they have a chance to get out of the nest box.

However, their meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam.

11. Rhode Island Red

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Hardy
  • Maximum Size: 9 lbs

Rhode Island Red chickens are another popular breed of chicken that is commonly kept for its large size.

Although these chickens are not designed to be ornamental breeds, they are still lovely to look at, possessing luxurious, silky red feathers.

These chickens are extremely cold hardy and require minimal care, making them a popular choice for people who want a backyard chicken that will mostly fend for itself.

There are two common strains of Rhode Island Red breeds found today: those that are industrial and bred for high egg production, and heritage birds, which tend to be much larger.

These heritage strains can be traced back to the first European settlers and while they don’t always produce as many eggs as the industrial strains, they are quite large. Roosters can weigh up to 9 lbs. 

12. Delaware

  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Easygoing
  • Maximum Size: 8 lbs

The Delaware chicken is an excellent breed to consider if you want a bird that will produce both meat and eggs.

Although they aren’t the heftiest chickens you will find, weighing only about six to eight pounds, they are phenomenal egg layers, producing around 280 eggs each year.

Delaware chickens were created as a crossbreed between Barred Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshires in the 1940s.

A popular broiler chicken for its white coloration, this breed grows quite quickly and is relatively friendly.

13. Australorp

Langshan chicken
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Hardy and docile
  • Maximum Size: 10 lbs

The Australorp is a classic chicken breed that is slowly regaining popularity in the United States.

Originally from Australia, this chicken is related to the Orpington – hence the “orp” in the name.

Roosters can be quite large, weighing up to 10 lbs, while hens hold their own by producing up to 300 eggs each year.

14. New Hampshire Red

New Hampshire Reds chicken
Photo by Dornenwolf
  • Purpose: Dual-purpose (eggs and meat)
  • Temperament: Hardy and aggressive
  • Maximum Size: 9 lbs

The New Hampshire Red is a relatively young chicken breed, having only been bred in the mid-1900s.

This chicken was designed to grow out quickly and mature as fast as possible.

Today, it’s one of the most popular breeds of chicken – and it’s also one of the largest.

Hens weigh around six and a half pounds, while roosters can tip the scales at nearly nine pounds.

These birds are dual-purpose chickens, but commonly raised for meat production.

They have thick, stocky bodies that are designed to help insulate the bird from cold weather.

This aggressive chicken is usually at the top of the pecking order, so it requires plenty of room in the coop and run.

This chicken lays about 200 large brown eggs each year.

Offering the best of both worlds, this dual-purpose chicken is a great compromise for people who want both eggs and meat from their backyard flocks.

15. Belgian

Belgian chicken
Michael16 [CC BY-SA 3.0]
  • Purpose: Ornamental
  • Temperament: Nervous
  • Maximum Size: 3 lbs

The Belgian chicken may not be the heaviest chicken breed out there, but it’s one of the tallest.

Also known as the Liege Fighter, this chicken is a lean, tall, and muscular breed of chicken.

A rare breed, it was designed for fighting and has an extremely solid build. It has a prominent brow, alert dark eyes, and minimal combs and wattles.

This chicken can be found in 10 different colors and patterns, often found in various shades of black.

This chicken also has black skin and black legs, hocks, and four-toed feet.

Standing up to 30 inches tall, this chicken is almost entirely muscle, weighing only a few pounds at the largest. 


Why Would You Want to Raise a Large Chicken Breed?

There are several reasons as to why raising a large chicken might be for you.

Large chickens tend to – obviously – produce more meat, making them a natural choice as broiler birds.

However, they are also often raised because they can have more peaceful temperaments than other breeds and also tend to be more relaxed.

If you have ever dealt with flighty birds in the past, you probably won’t have to worry too much about that sort of behavior with a large chicken breed.

Because these birds tend to have a harder time lifting their heavy weight off the ground, they will usually stay put, making them better-suited to free-ranging.

Some of these birds are also exceptionally tall, making them excellent choices when it comes to working them in your garden.

Since they will be able to reach tall brush and growth more easily, they may do a better job at keeping weeds and pests out of your growing areas.


Are Larger Chickens More Aggressive?

Chicken size is rarely correlated to behavior patterns.

In fact, larger chicken breeds often tend to be more docile, as they don’t feel the need to fight their way to the top of the pecking order.

Aggression tends to be unrelated to breed, but roosters are often more aggressive than hens.

This has nothing to do with size and more to do with gender – a rooster in the first year of his life will tend to be more aggressive, as will all roosters during the early spring season.

Otherwise, aggression will be more directly related to the specific temperament of your individual chicken.

Providing your birds with plenty of space, regardless of bird size or gender, is the best way to reduce aggression in the flock.


Do Large Chickens Lay Larger Eggs?

Larger chickens often produce larger eggs, but that’s not always the case – if you are planning on raising chickens for egg production and you are hoping to reach a commercial scale, then selecting a chicken breed based solely on its size alone may not be the right choice.

Instead, you should opt for a high egg production breed.

While there is some overlap here – for example, Rhode Island Reds are large chickens that also happen to lay a ton of eggs – the two do not always coincide.

White Leghorns, for instance, are rather small chickens that are excellent egg producers.

If you are looking for a large chicken breed that also produces a lot of eggs, you might want to consider large breeds that also lay decent quantities of large- or jumbo-sized eggs, such as:

  • Marans
  • Rhode Island Reds
  • Langshans
  • Jersey Giants
  • Barred Rocks
  • Welsummers
  • Orpingtons

Do Large Chickens Have More Health Problems?

In most cases, large chickens won’t be prone to any more health problems than smaller chickens.

As long as you maintain clean living conditions and provide your chickens with the appropriate care, you don’t have to worry about your large chickens succumbing to any size-specific illnesses.

There is one exception to his. Some large-breed broiler chickens, like Cornish Cross chickens, have been bred selectively to encourage growth rates and body mass.

This makes them more efficient to raise, as they reach their maximum size earlier in their lives and can therefore be butchered earlier.

However, these chickens grow so quickly that they reach slaughter weight after only 42 days.

They should not be fed free choice as they will eat everything in sight.

This gross overeating can cause health problems such as obesity, arthritis, gout, and heart attacks.

There is an increased likelihood of bumblefoot, infections, and impacted crops in large breed chickens, too.

In some cases, large breed chickens suffer from severe leg and joint problems because their bodies develop more quickly than their skeletal and joint systems can handle.

As a result, it is very important that you keep an eye on your large chicken – particularly if it is a hybrid broiler breed – to make sure it stays healthy.


Is a Large Chicken Breed Right for You?

Raising a large chicken is no different than raising a chicken of any other size.

However, you do need to keep in mind that there will be additional demands on your infrastructure if you choose to raise bigger birds.

For example, larger chickens demand more space in the coop and run, sturdier roost bars, and larger door openings.

You will also need larger nest boxes and, of course, more food!

If you are able to meet these demands of the larger chicken, then raising a large chicken breed could be a smart choice for your backyard flock.