The 10 Largest Chickens In The World

Written by Hannah Ward
Updated: April 21, 2023
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Key Points:

  • First bred in Germany in the 1800s, the Langshan is capable of laying about 200 eggs yearly and is docile in nature.
  • The Australorp is recognizable by its black, green, or white plumage and is capable of outdoing the Langshan with its ability to produce 300 eggs per year.
  • Easygoing and capable of growing to impressive sizes, Jersey Giants are popular among pet owners. They lay large brown eggs.
Many of the breeds on this list make excellent pets, like the Jersey giant chicken.

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Chickens have long been a source of food-producing meat and eggs for centuries. ¬†Found worldwide, with more than 500 different breeds in existence today, there is something for everyone ‚Äď from prolific layers to pets ‚Äď and chickens can be kept by pretty much anyone who wants to give it a go. ¬†However, one thing to consider is size, and although some can be tiny, there are some giants too! Here are 10 of the largest chicken breeds ranked by weight.

#10: Rhode Island Red

Two chickens on green background
Rhode Island Red chickens are easily distinguished by their rich coloring

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Originating in Rhode Island in northeast America in the late nineteenth century, the Rhode Island red has long been one of the most popular breeds of chicken due to its good nature and dual purpose.  Now found worldwide, they have excellent egg-laying ability and can reach weights of around 9 pounds, making them suitable as both an egg producer and a source of meat.  They are easily recognizable with their distinctive red plumage that can vary in shades from a light reddish-brown to almost black, and their comb and wattles are also red while their legs and feet are yellow.

#9: Malay

The Malay chicken is one of the tallest breeds of chicken, standing around 36 inches, but they are not the heaviest, weighing around 9 pounds. ¬†The breed originated in Devon and Cornwall in the UK and was developed by crossing birds imported from India and Asia. They can vary in appearance ‚Äď from white with pale brown patches to an almost black body with dark brown patches and smooth and glossy feathers. Malays are game birds that were initially used for cockfighting, but nowadays they are often used for showing and egg-laying, with the ability to produce up to 120 eggs a year, which is many more than they were originally able to produce.

#8: German Langshan

Largest Chickens - German Langshan
The German Langshan is an excellent egg layer

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The German Langshan is a large chicken that originated in Germany in the nineteenth century and weighs around 9.5 pounds. ¬†They have long legs with a large body and an unusually short tail and are generally only seen in a few colors ‚Äď black, white, blue, and black-brown. ¬†Due to their size, they are often kept for the table, but they are also good layers ‚Äď producing around 200 eggs per year ‚Äď which makes them excellent as dual-purpose birds ¬†In addition, they are a docile breed which makes them ideal for anyone wanting to be self-sufficient.

#7: Orpington

The Orpington is a British breed that was first developed in Orpington in the UK¬†by crossing three other breeds ‚Äď minorcas, langshans, and Plymouth rocks ‚Äď to create a large dual-purpose bird. ¬†Now popular worldwide, Orpingtons can weigh up to 10 pounds and stand around 16 inches tall. ¬†They have a heavy-set body that is low to the ground, often making them look quite intimidating, but despite this, they are actually a very calm and docile breed. ¬†Orpingtons have soft feathers and their colors are usually black, white, blue, and buff (golden yellow) and nowadays they are often used for showing rather than a food source.

#6: Australorp

Largest chicken - Australorp
The Australorp can produce more than 300 eggs per year!

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The Australorp is a breed of chicken that is extremely popular as it is known to be one of the most prolific egg layers in the world.  Originally from Australia, they are easily able to produce more than 300 eggs in a year, making them extremely reliable layers.  The Australorp is a large bird that weighs 10 pounds and stands at around 27 inches tall.  Their predominant color is black, although blue and white are both acceptable.  As well as being good egg layers, the hens make good mothers and are happy to sit on clutches of eggs, which makes them popular with breeders.

#5: Cornish Chicken

Largest chicken - Chicken chicken
The Cornish chicken produces fewer eggs than other breeds

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The Cornish chicken, also sometimes known as the Indian game chicken, originated in Cornwall in the UK and is now also popular in Australia and the US.  Weighing around 10.5 pounds, Cornish chickens are short-legged, but stocky with large breasts and are usually black or dark brown.  Their feathers are quite thin and smooth which makes them easily susceptible to the cold and can therefore affect breeding and hatching rates during colder months.  Although they are ideal for producing meat for the table, they are poor layers and only produce around 80 eggs per year.

#4: Cochin

Originally known as Shanghai chickens, the cochin is a calm and friendly breed.

¬©Nightflyer, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons ‚Äď License

Originally from China, Cochin chickens were initially known as Shanghai chickens. ¬†With a range of colors, including black, buff, brown, silver, and white, cochins have a stunning appearance as they are notable for the large amounts of feathers on their feet and legs ‚Äď so much so that it‚Äôs often impossible to see their feet at all because of their plumage. ¬†Often weighing up to 11 pounds, cochins are particularly heavy birds, but despite their size, they are a calm and friendly breed and make good pets. ¬†The hens make exceptional mothers as they will sit on any type of egg and hatch them out ‚Äď even duck or turkey eggs.

#3: Dong Tao

Largest chickens - dong tao

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The Dong Tao chicken is also known as the dragon chicken because of its exceptionally large legs and feet which can be as thick as a person’s wrist and covered in red scales.  They are a rare breed of chicken from the Dong Tao region of Vietnam and can weigh as much as 12 pounds.  Cockerels are usually a stunning reddish-brown while hens are usually white.  Due to their large feet, the hens don’t make good mothers as they regularly stand on the eggs, so therefore their eggs are usually hatched in an incubator.  Their meat was originally only served to royalty but is now a delicacy and often found in expensive restaurants.

#2: Brahma Chicken

Largest chickens - Brahma
Brahma chickens can exceed 12 pounds

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The Brahma chicken usually weighs around 12 pounds and originated in America. ¬†A Brahma chicken holds the record as being the heaviest chicken known (more on this below!), but on average the breed is slightly smaller than the Jersey giant which comes in at number one. ¬†Brahmas have three known colors ‚Äď white with black collar and tail, buff with black collar and tail, and dark which is grey with a mixture of black and white collar and a black tail. ¬†They are a good dual-purpose chicken as they produce plenty of eggs. ¬†Brahmas do well in cold conditions due to their thick feathers. ¬†They also have a calm nature but they don‚Äôt like being cooped up and prefer to be allowed to roam around and forage for food.

#1: Jersey Giant Chicken

Largest chickens - Jersey Giant
Jersey Giants are on average the largest breed of chicken

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The largest chicken in the world is the Jersey Giant chicken.  These huge birds originated in New Jersey in northeast America and can weigh up to 13 pounds.  Known for being a docile breed with an excellent temperament, Jersey giants are slow growers but make excellent pets for anyone prepared to take care of them.  Their colors are usually black, white, or blue and they are known to be particularly good layers during the winter months.  The hens lay large brown eggs and make excellent mothers despite their large size.

Bonus: The Largest Chicken on Earth!

Largest chickens - Brahma rooster
Brahma roosters can reach extremely large sizes!

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The largest individual chicken on record is named Merakli, and is from Kosovo. Merakli came to fame in 2017 when a Kosovo-based Facebook group posted a picture of a nearly 17-pound rooster.

While Jersey Giants are the largest chicken breed on average, Merakli is a Brahma chicken. His exact weight is said to be 16.5 pounds and he stands just a hair under 2.8 feet tall.

Summary of the 10 Largest Chickens in the World

Let’s take a look back at the chickens that make the grade as being among the 10 largest subspecies on Earth!

RankChicken
1Jersey Giant Chicken
2Brahma Chicken
3Dong Tao
4Cochin
5Cornish Chicken
6Australorp
7Orpington
8German Langshan
9Malay
10Rhode Island Red

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Largest chickens - dong tao
© Hoang Quoc Phuong/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I have been writing professionally for several years with a focus on animals and wildlife. I love spending time in the outdoors and when not writing I can be found on the farm surrounded by horses, dogs, sheep, and pigs.

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