16 Rare Chicken Breeds in the World [With Pictures]

dong-tao-chicken or dragon chicken

Certainly, there are many chicken breeds that have grown rare over the years.

If you want to learn more about these chicken breeds then you need to read this article.

Here, we have carefully selected rare chickens every breeder should learn about.

List of Rare Chicken Breeds You Should Know.

Below is a list of 16 rare chicken breeds you should know.

  • Modern Game Chickens
  • Dong Tao Chickens
  • Golden Campine Chickens
  • Onagadori Chickens
  • Crevecoeur Chickens
  • Ayam Cemani 
  • Vorwerk Chickens
  • Polverara Chickens
  • Sultan Chickens
  • Naked Neck chickens
  • Ixworth Chickens
  • La Fleche 
  • Burmese 
  • Brabanter 
  • Breda
  • Scots Dumpy

#1. Modern Game Chickens

Modern Game Chicken

The Modern Game Chickens are rare chicken breeds that are mostly used for ornamental purposes.

Therefore they are neither raised for meat nor eggs.

With beautiful model long straight legs they do pretty well in poultry shows.

Hence, it is no surprise that their main purpose is to be used for exhibition.

Furthermore, these rare chicken breeds come with a gorgeous variety of plumage.

These plumage colors add to their beauty and give them an edge during exhibitions.

However, it is worthy to note that Modern Game Chickens are not cold-hardy.

Therefore, they can’t thrive well in cold weather conditions.

Nevertheless, they do well in warmer climates.

Also, they are very friendly and are fun to be with.

Sadly their numbers have declined over time.

Hence, they are now considered a rare chicken breed.

#2. Dong Tao Chickens

dong-tao-chicken or dragon chicken

With each passing year, the Dong Tao chickens keep getting rare.

Originally, these breeds of chicken were found in Dong Tao village in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Obviously, that’s where they got named from.

In Vietnam, its meat is highly valued and sought after even at a high price.

The males weigh about 13lbs while the females weigh 10lbs.

Basically, Dong Tao has extremely large-sized legs and feet that make them smash their eggs carelessly before they are hatched.

Therefore being diligent to take out their eggs on time is a skill you should develop when raising a Dong Tao.

Moreover, the hens do not make good mothers, so there’s no need to expect them to hatch eggs for you.

To be on the safer side, you will need an incubator if you desire to hatch little Dong Tao.

Sadly, being sensitive to temperatures makes this chicken breed quite difficult to raise.

#3. Golden Campine Chickens

Golden Campine Chickens is a rare chicken breed

These birds do not mature as early and fast as other breeds, hence their decline in number.

In addition, they are not hardy and do not effectively adjust to climate changes.

Furthermore, they are not fast and efficient layers when compared to other breeds.

Nevertheless, the hens can lay about 180-200 medium-sized white eggs in a year.

Also, they are smart, alert, intelligent, and active birds.

One unique thing about them is that both the rooster and the hen have the same patterns and colors.

However, the males weigh about 6 pounds and the females weigh about 5 pounds.

Although most breeders neglect these chickens, they are not utterly useless.

Therefore no if you are able to find one, they will do well on small backyard farms.

#4. Onagadori Chickens

Black_Breasted_Red_Onagadori rare chicken

The Onagadori Chickens are large chickens that originate from Japan.

They are quite unique in beauty and the translation of their name means the honorable fowl.

Just as their name implies they are indeed honorable birds.

These birds are blessed with unique tails that grow up to 1.5 meters long.

Their males weigh about 4 pounds while their females weigh about 3 pounds.

The Onagadori Chickens are one of the most attractive birds in the world.

Furthermore, they come in three different color variations namely; black-breasted white, black-breasted red, and white.

However, the white variety is more common.

Unfortunately, this bird has become rare and today only about 250 birds can be found in Japan.

#5. Crevecoeur Chickens

Crevecoeur chicken

This rare chicken breed is majorly found in Northwestern France.

Although its exact origin is not known, it is one of the oldest french chicken breeds.

These birds are also crested breeds and are considered endangered.

Although they are bred for both meat and eggs, they are not mainly commercial birds.

This is because they do not mature quickly.

Typically, a Crevecoeur Chicken takes about 7-8 months to mature.

Nevertheless, these chickens do well as backyard coop chickens.

They are made up of dark black feathers and are also gentle and docile in nature.

#6. Ayam Cemani 

ayam cemani

Another rare chicken breed on our list is the Ayam Cemani.

These chickens originated from Indonesia.

Their males weigh about 5.5 pounds while the females weigh up to 4.4 pounds.

Furthermore, these birds have black internal organs, skin, beak, and feathers.

Majorly, because of their mysterious appearance, they are regarded as sacred birds in Java.

In addition to being rare, these birds are also one of the most expensive birds you can find.

Little wonder they are nicknamed the Lamborghini of chickens and can cost up to $2,500 per chicken.

#7. Vorwerk Chickens

vorwerk chicken breeds are rare chickens

This rare chicken breed is a cross-breed obtained from Buff Orpington, Buff Sussex, Andalusian and Lakenvelder varieties.

It was named after its creator Oskar Vorwerk.

It is a dual-purpose breed that provides both eggs and meat.

This fowl breed loves to interact with people, hence they make good backyard chickens.

In addition, they also make great adaptable and hardy birds.

#8. Polverara Chickens

White Polverara Chicken

The Polverara chickens are crested breeds.

These crested chickens originated from Polverara in Italy.

However, they are now considered extremely rare chicken breeds.

Although these birds are great to show birds, they can lay up to 150 eggs in a year.

Their origin can be dated back to the late 1470s.

Nevertheless, it was in the 19th century they began to decline in their numbers.

This decline was a result of their interbreeding with other birds.

Gratefully, some of these birds were preserved by some breeders.

Hence today they are a protected chicken breed under the European Community.

#9. Sultan Chickens

white sultan bantam chicken

These rare chicken breeds originated in the Ottoman Empire around the 14th century.

Basically, they were kept as ornamental breeds in the Sultan’s Palace.

These birds have gorgeous distinctive features such as large nares, vulture hocks, long tails, V comb, muffs, head crest, etc.

Furthermore, they come in three color varieties namely black, blue and white. 

The white Sultan is more common than other colors while the blue Sultan is the rarest.

A Standard male rooster is about 6lbs while a standard hen can weigh up to 4lbs.

Although these chickens also come in Bantam sizes they are even rarer than their standard counterparts.

#10. Naked Neck chickens

naked neck local chicken breed

The Naked Neck chicken is a special one with a unique and awkward appearance.

Indeed these chickens live up to their name.

They have no feathers on their neck and look more like a turkey.

It has even been rumored that they are crossbreeds from Turkey.

However, these rumors are not true as the Naked Neck chickens got their unique neck from their genes.

Nevertheless, more than its looks and bare necks, the Naked Neck chickens have more to offer.

Despite their awkward appearance, they are friendly and lovable.

Furthermore, they are good dual-purpose breeds for eggs and meat production.

The hens can lay up to 200-250 eggs in a year.

Apart from being bred for eggs and meat, they are also used for exhibition. 

These breeds are common in Europe but are considered very rare in North America.

See Also: Naked neck Chicken – Characteristics, Origin, Breed Info, and Lifespan

#11. Ixworth Chickens

Ixworth Chickens

These chickens come from Ixworth village in Suffolk, England.

These chickens are a rare domestic breed of white chickens.

The reason for their decline in number is that they are dual-purpose chickens.

Their meat is very delicious and tender and the hens lay about 160-200 eggs in a year.

Furthermore, because of their Docile nature, they are quite easy to handle.

The roosters can weigh up to 9 pounds and the hens weigh about 7pounds.

The Ixworth chickens have been enlisted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as “endangered maintained”.

#12. La Fleche

La_Flèche chicken

From its name you can guess that these chickens come from French.

They are great table birds and moderate layers too.

The hens can lay up to 180 large white eggs in a year.

Nevertheless, these chickens grow slowly and can take up to ten months before they are ready for use.

Their slowness in growing has likely contributed greatly to their decline in number.

And they are now considered a rare chicken breed.

Furthermore these birds love to free range and can sometimes fly.

Therefore they are not ideal birds for urban settings.

Thankfully, in recent times these birds are becoming known again.

However they are still considered rare.

In conclusion, the roosters can weigh about 8lbs while the hens can weigh up to 5lbs.

#13. Burmese Bantam

burmese chicken

These chickens are a very rare and old breed and are almost going into extinction.

They are true bantams, this means they don’t have larger counterparts.

However, because they do not have the best fertility prowess, they were bred with other similar breeds.

Gratefully, this action has helped to strengthen these birds and they continue to grow slowly.

The Burmese chickens are made up of a single comb with a slight crest of head feathers.

Furthermore, they have white plumage and vulture hocks with bright yellow feathered legs.

Because they are friendly and quiet in nature, they make a good backyard flock.

You can expect a Burmese hen to lay 3 small eggs for you in a week.

These hens also go broody at times and make great mothers.

#14. Brabanter 

Brabanter chicken

These birds have an unusual look with a beard and crest.

They are also small chickens that weigh about 4-5lbs.

These rare chicken breeds come in different color varieties such as silver, gold, cuckoo etc.

Brabanter chickens are quite old and can be traced back to the 1670s.

Nevertheless they are calm, friendly and intelligent birds.

They also love to free range but they rarely go broody.

However, you can expect their hens to lay about three large eggs in a week.

These eggs are normally white in color.

Today, the Brabanter chicken still remains rare and in need for conservation.

#15. Breda

Breda chicken

Another old and rare chicken breed on our list is the Breda Chicken.

These birds were once popular in the US before the civil war.

But around the 1800s this popularity began to fade until it disappeared completely.

Nevertheless the Dutch maintained this breed, but somehow its popularity started to decline as well.

They were also known by other names such as crow heads, Guelderlands and Kraaikops.

The Breda hen can lay up to three large white eggs in a week.

Furthermore you can find these birds in different colors such as black , white, splash, blue etc.

These rare chicken breeds have tufts of feathers on their heads and are quite cold hardy.

They have white earlobes ,vulture hocks and feathered legs.

Even though they love to free range, they are sure to come back to their home after their escapades.

They also come in Bantam sizes, which are even rarer.

At the moment, the Breda Chicken isn’t a recognized breed in the US.

However enthusiasts are eagerly working to follow the Dutch Standard of Perfection.

#16. Scots Dumpy

The name of this rare chicken breed shows that it comes from Scotland.

Although they are considered an endangered species now, they are a good dual purpose breed.

In the 1970s, these unique breeds were thought to have gone into extinction.

However a small flock was found in Kenya and found its way back to the UK.

If you are lucky to have them, you can rely on their hens to lay up to three white eggs in a week.

These birds are also good sitters too and make great mothers..

This rare chicken has a creeper gene which causes it to have abnormal short legs.

Unfortunately, this dwarfing gene in them also causes lots of embryo deaths.

Furthermore they come in four color varieties including black, cuckoo, dark and silver gray.


Now you know some of the rare chicken breeds in the world.

It is indeed a sad thing that most of these chickens are on the brink of extinction.

Therefore we should endeavor to handle the common ones well to avoid accumulating more rare chicken breeds.

Frequently Asked Questions on Rare Chicken Breeds.

  1. What is the Rarest Chicken Breed in the World? 

    The Burmese Chicken or Burmese Bantam is regarded as the rarest chicken breed in the world.This chicken has a very scarce population and very few breeders around the world.

  2. Which Chicken Breeds are Rare?

    There are many rare chicken breeds in the world.However, below is a list of sixteen rare chickens you should know;Modern Game ChickensDong Tao ChickensGolden Campine ChickensOnagadori ChickensCrevecoeur ChickensAyam Cemani Vorwerk ChickensPolverara ChickensSultan ChickensNaked Neck chickensIxworth ChickensLa Fleche Burmese Brabanter BredaScots Dumpy


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