There are plenty of reasons to add specific chicken breeds to your flock, but the most common reason people want white chickens is because they look so clean after plucking, making a beautiful chicken dinner.
Keep in mind that white chickens do best in a chicken yard because those bright white feathers are a blinking beacon for predators.
Before you decide which breed of white chicken to add, it’s worth noting that you don’t need to settle for something that doesn’t meet your needs. Determining what you want from your chickens is crucial, or you may end up unsatisfied with infrequent layers, unfriendly hens, or less meat than you were hoping for.
White Wyandottes are a beautiful and historic chicken breed with a thick layer of white plumage that makes them perfect for cooler climates. These birds are somewhat reserved and shy around people but are active foragers who love having a large yard to explore and scratch around. These birds range between 6 to 8 pounds and aren’t exceptionally broody, so you can enjoy 3 to 4 eggs a week from each hen.
As one of several colors recognized by the American Poultry Association for the Ameraucana breed, there’s no better choice for a blue-egg laying, white hen than one of these beautiful birds. They lay 200-250 medium to large eggs per year.
One of the best dual-purpose white chicken breeds is the White Plymouth Rock, sometimes simply called White Rocks. This historic breed was used to create today’s modern Cornish-cross meat bird. A Plymouth Rock can be processed at 4 months of age and will be about 4 pounds dressed. Their egg production of 200 large brown eggs annually makes them a popular homestead chicken.
Originating as a cross between the beautiful Leghorns and California Grays, the California White chicken was created as a production egg breed and can be expected to produce about 300 eggs per year. They’re particularly well suited to tighter conditions like a suburban backyard or small plot of land. While speckled with black and yellow as juveniles, these birds mature into a beautiful swan-like white plumage at around 20 weeks old.
If you are looking for a chicken with a classical appearance, there’s no better choice than the White Leghorn. This bird has a large, upright tail, and floppy bright red combs, which are especially prone to frostbite.
There are different strains of Leghorns in the US — an industrial or production strain and a heritage strain. Egg production can vary between the strains from 150 to more than 300 eggs per year. The most prolific egg layers tend to have lifespans of only 4 to 6 years whereas most heritage chickens can live 10 years or longer.
Cochins are one of the largest breeds of chickens, and with their abundant feathers, they look even larger than their mature weights, which can top out at 11 pounds for a rooster and 8.5 pounds for hens. Since they are so heavy, they are easy to keep fenced in because they can’t fly at all.
If you want hens that go broody, the Cochin is probably your best bet. You can also count on them to lay about 150 to 200 large brown eggs per year.
You’ll love the Rhode Island White chicken if you’re partial to the Rhode Island Red. This is an entirely separate breed, descended from White Leghorns, Wyandottes, and Cochins. This bird looks similar to White Leghorns but has a beautiful rose-shaped comb and a wonderfully friendly temperament. While the population of these birds has unfortunately been in decline, raising a flock of them is a wonderful opportunity to revive this unique chicken breed.
The Austra White is a hybrid cross between a black Austrolorp and a production white Leghorn, which creates an excellent egg layer that is a little larger and calmer than the Leghorn.
The Austrolorp is available in three colors in its native Australia, including white, although only the black variety is accepted by the American Poultry Association in the US. It was originally a dual-purpose chicken, but around 1900 the focus of the “Australian Orpington” breeding programs shifted to becoming the world’s best egg laying chicken, and around that time, the average was 304 eggs per year.
The Austra White is available from hatcheries in the US, and there are a few specialty breeders that raise White Austrolorps.
White Jersey Giants are a truly stunning sight to see as one of the three color varieties of the breed approved by the American Poultry Association. These birds have dense, beautiful plumage and willow-colored shanks. Jersey Giants are incredibly large, weighing an incredible 11 to 15 pounds. The hens weigh 2 to 4 eggs per week but aren’t particularly good brooders due to their tendency to accidentally break eggs. If you decide to breed these birds, you should anticipate using an incubator.
One of the most eye-catching breeds you can raise is the White Silkie. With fur-like feathers and black skin and meat, there’s no mistaking this bird for any other breed. If you decide to raise Silkies, you’ll quickly adore their fluffy crown of feathers and endearingly sweet temperament. Silkies are perfect for children but are so gentle that other breeds may bully them. They lay a modest 2 to 3 eggs per week and tend to go broody.
The black skin and meat may be considered a negative by some, but it could also serve a specialty market for people who want to buy unusual food products. As a bantam breed, however, one chicken will only feed one or two people.
If you want a really show-stopping chicken on your homestead, the White Phoenix rooster is sure to please. Unlike most chickens whose tail feathers reach a certain length and stop growing, the tail feathers of the Phoenix rooster keep growing. Some have been reported to be 4 to 5 feet long. The hens are not prolific egg layers and are reported to go broody.
White Japanese Bantam
Japanese bantams, which have been around since the 1700s, come in a variety of colors including solid white. They have a very upright stature with upright tail feathers in both roosters and hens. They have short legs and single combs. Like most bantams, they weigh less than a pound a half and are not great layers.
The APA recognizes 24 standard-size solid white chickens and 26 bantam-size chickens. Finding white birds in certain breeds might be challenging, but it’s safe to say that even with the constraint of choosing white birds, your possibilities are endless.
Struggling to find funny chicken names? Check out 500+ Funny Chicken Names.
Are you thinking about getting chickens or do you already have a flock? Check out this post – A Beginner’s Guide to Chickens which includes some of Thrifty Homesteader’s most useful posts and videos about keeping chickens.