11 Red Chicken Breeds, One Breed Has The WORST Temperament

​Looking for red chicken breeds? There are several that you can choose from and some are beautiful and lay well but don’t have as good of a temperament. Then there are some that are middle-of-the-lane egg layers but at least don’t have the “backyard bully” mentality as my dad would put it. 

Before you choose which breed you like best think about the goals you have for keeping chickens. Do you want good egg layers, do you want a dual-purpose chicken breed, do you care if the chickens have friendly temperaments, or do you just want a chicken that does the job? 

There is no right answer but its important to know what you are looking for before you get your heart set on a breed but then it doesn’t serve the purpose you had in mind. — Just because a breed is one of the most popular chicken breeds doesn’t mean it has a good temperament or is good for everything. Caugh, caugh… I’m looking at you rhode island red chickens. 

So take out a piece of paper and write down everything you want in your flock before reading through this red chicken breed list.

Red Leghorn Chickens – Egg Layer

The Red Leghorn are a rare breed and not easy to find. BUT leghorns in general are arguably the best egg-laying breed you can get if lots of farm-fresh large eggs are your focus.

Red leghorns are a medium-sized breed of chicken well-suited for any backyard flock. These birds are known for their excellent heat tolerance because of their slender body, making them a perfect choice for hot climates. They have a non-brooding nature, which means they do not frequently go broody and are more focused on egg production.

Egg Laying: Red Leghorns are good egg layers, BUT not quite as good as the white leghorns so keep that in mind. Red Leghorns have an average yearly egg production of around 180-220 eggs a year whereas the white leghorns have an average of 280-320 large white eggs. 

Size: The weight range for Red Leghorns varies from 4 to 6 pounds, with males generally being slightly heavier than females. These birds are readily available and widely recognized for their hardy nature and adaptability to different climates and environments.

Temperament: Not so great. Leghorns, in general, are a flighty bird and that makes them defensive and the roosters can be quite bossy. Your hens will also be on the aggressive side so an experienced chicken keeper would be best for this breed. If you are just going to keep them contained and not have to go into the area to feed them like through a feeding trough you won’t have to deal with too much annoyance. But they would not make great pets if that is the goal.

Overall, Red Leghorns are an excellent choice for backyard chicken enthusiasts and those interested in raising chickens for their high egg production. Their medium-sized bodies, heat tolerance, non-brooding nature, and availability in various colors make them a popular breed among chicken keepers.

If you are interested in buying this breed you can find them here.

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Red Sex Link

Let me first be clear that I am no pro when it comes to chicken genetics. But I do want to make sure that you realize that while some red sex link chickens are not an actual true pure breed of chicken. Just like the “Labradoodles” are not a true breed of dog. Sorry, not sorry. 

A pure breed of any species means that two parents of the same breed can be bred together and you will get the same look from the offspring. The only allowable variance being color. But the body shape will still be the same.

They are a mix of chicken breeds that produce the desired outcome. 

Red sex link explained: Red sex link means that there are some breeds where the hens are red and the roosters are white (or some other shade) at hatching and at maturity. Making it easy to know what gender of chicks you have without getting it wrong. 

Breed Combos to get the Red Sex Link chickens: Rhode Island and New Hampshire Reds with White Rocks, Wyandottes, Delawares, and Rhode Island Whites. 

This unique combination has resulted in a breed known for its exceptional egg-laying abilities, calm demeanor, and hardy nature.

  • These birds are highly prolific layers, with the capability of laying up to 300 large, brown eggs per year.
  • These chickens are also well-known for their hardiness. 
  • They are adaptable to various climates and can withstand both hot and cold temperatures. This makes them suitable for backyard coops in different regions.

The one thing I can’t say they are super good at is temperament. The ones that we have had in the pest tend to be pretty flighty and are not afraid to peck you if you are doing something they aren’t happy with. — Like feeding them fast enough or are not thrilled with you being in their space. 

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ISA Brown Chicken – Egg Layer

The ISA Brown breed is a popular choice among chicken keepers, known for its exceptional egg-laying abilities. 

With an average yearly egg production of around 300 large brown eggs and they are a nice small hen that lays large eggs so they have a great feed to egg output ratio.

This makes them a top choice for those who prioritize egg production in their flock. Additionally, these birds have a friendly temperament, making them suitable for beginners or families with children.

Physically, ISA Browns have a light chestnut brown color throughout their feathers, which adds to their aesthetic appeal. They have a small to medium size, weighing around 4 pounds. Their single comb, yellow legs, and medium-sized wattles complete their distinctive appearance.

ISA Browns are also known for their adaptability to different climates and environments. Whether you have a backyard coop or a larger setup, these birds are sure to thrive.

NOTE: This breed converts A LOT of their consumed protein into eggs. SO if they are not fed a HIGH protein food their feathers will suffer and they will not look as good. There’s nothing completely wrong with it but keeping them well-feathered will keep them warm in the winter and protected from the heat in the summer.

Golden Comet – Cinnamon Queens

The Golden Comet and Cinnamon Queen chicken breeds are renowned for their exceptional qualities in both body development and egg production. Bred through a hybrid process, these chickens possess a unique combination of genetic traits that contribute to their remarkable performance.

Size: Depending on the strain (genetic lines and breed crossings)  Golden Comet – Cinnamon Queen breeds have fast body development and can be anywhere from 4-7 pounds. These birds reach maturity and size quickly, while you won’t get as much meat as some other breeds they are better dual-purpose birds than the ISA brown which are very slender.

Thanks to their hybrid breeding, the Golden Comet – Cinnamon Queen breeds begin laying eggs at a younger age compared to many other breeds. They can start laying on average around 20 weeks but some can start laying as early as 16 weeks old. —  This early onset of egg production makes them a popular choice for those seeking prolific layers.

cinnamon queen red chicken

Rhode Island Red – **Don’t Skip This**

The Rhode Island Red is a popular breed of chicken known for its dual-purpose nature as an excellent egg layer and meat producer. Originating in Rhode Island in the mid-1800s, this breed quickly gained recognition for its exceptional qualities. 

One of the main reasons for the Rhode Island Red’s popularity among backyard chicken keepers is its hardiness and adaptability. These birds are incredibly resilient and can withstand various climates and environments. Whether you live in a hot or cold region, the Rhode Island Red is a good choice if egg production and the option to eat them at the end of their production time is what you are looking for. 

Size: They have a medium to large size and are quite robust in build. The rhode island red rooster will weigh around 8.5 pounds and the hens will weigh about 6.5 pounds.

Eggs Production: When it comes to egg production, Rhode Island Reds are exceptional layers. They produce about 250 large brown eggs a year.

Temperament: ok let’s talk. Every single “mean chicken” I’ve run into or heard stories of 9 times out of 10 when people describe the chicken they are describing the rhode island red breed. The R.I.R chickens we have had are never nice and often very bossy. — We have taken them in twice from different people who had to move and the second time the rooster actually came after our Saint Bernard! — He had never been kicked at by a chicken in his life and the shock on his face was hilarious😅It was one of those funny but not funny moments at the same time. Thankfully the rooster didn’t even make contact but let’s just say if he was willing to go after a large dog it wouldn’t be long before that roster decided to come after a human so he didn’t stay long. 

rhode island red chicken

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Buckeye Chicken

The Buckeye Chicken is an American breed that was created by Mrs. Nettie Metcalf in the late 19th century. One of the standout features of the Buckeye Chicken is its lustrous red color, which is why it is often referred to as the “Buckeye Red.” These birds have a distinct appearance with their deep red feathers, red wattles, earlobes, and combs.

Size: Hens will be about 6.5 lbs and Roosters can be quite large birds at 9 lbs.

Egg laying: They will produce about 180-260 eggs each year. They also do well at continuing to lay well into the winter months if provided with enough light and high-protein food. — They are also known for their adaptability, being able to thrive in various climates and environments.

Temperament: Buckeye Chicken also has an active but gentle temperament, making them a popular choice among backyard chicken keepers.

But what truly makes the Buckeye Chicken special is its dual-purpose nature. They are excellent both as egg layers and a source of quality meat. With their impressive productivity and attractive appearance, the Buckeye Chicken is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to raise a versatile and beautiful breed.

red chicken

New Hampshire Red Chickens

The New Hampshire chicken breed, originally from the United States, is known for its outstanding dual-purpose capabilities. These birds are highly regarded for their large brown eggs and exceptional meat production.

New Hampshires have a friendly temperament, making them a popular choice among backyard chicken enthusiasts. They are known for being docile and easy to handle, which makes them suitable for families with children. — However, it is essential to note that some individual birds may exhibit food aggression, so proper feeding practices should be maintained to avoid any behavioral concerns.

Egg Laying: When it comes to egg production, New Hampshires are exceptional layers of large brown eggs. At about 280-300 eggs per year. 

They are known for their consistency in laying, providing a steady supply of eggs throughout the year.

Size: Hens are about 6.5 pounds and roosters are about 8 pounds. They have well-developed bodies and grow at a relatively fast rate, making them a good choice for those looking for chickens that can be raised for meat.

Production Red

The Production Red is a modern hybrid chicken breed that has been specifically developed for exceptional egg production. It is the result of a crossbreeding program between Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds, resulting in a robust red chicken.

Eggs: One of the standout characteristics of the Production Red is its remarkable ability to lay between 200-280 large brown eggs per year. This makes them highly sought after for their prolific egg-laying abilities. Whether you’re looking to stock your kitchen with fresh eggs or considering starting a small-scale egg business, Production Reds are an excellent choice.

Size: Hens are about 7 pounds and the roosters are about 9 pounds.

Cherry Egger

The Cherry Egger is a hybrid chicken breed that is derived from the Rhode Island Red, known for its exceptional egg-laying production. These chickens are highly sought after for their ability to lay large, brown eggs, making them an excellent choice for backyard chicken enthusiasts.

One of the standout characteristics of the Cherry Egger is its remarkable egg-laying capability. They will lay about 250 eggs on average per year.

Cherry Eggers are an active breed so they could be a bit bossy if they sense that you’re timid. But they do have a curious temperament. Making them a great choice for families and those looking for an interesting addition to their backyards. They are generally well-suited to various climates and can thrive in winter with proper shelter, making them a hardy breed.

Black Laced Red Wyandotte

Black Laced Red Wyandottes have become a popular choice to both chicken enthusiasts and exhibitors. They are considered a large, round, and heavy-bodied bird, further enhancing their visual appeal. This breed also features a distinct rose comb atop their heads, adding to their unique appearance.

Black Laced Red Wyandottes are valued for their dual-purpose nature. They are both egg layers and meat producers. However, they are not super fast growers so the ability to add them to the freezer after they are past laying should just be a bonus. Not a reason for choosing the breed.

Egg Laying: Hens of this breed lay a respectable quantity of large brown eggs of 180-260 eggs per year. 

Temperament: I have had several different colors and varieties of Wyandotte and they are always a very calm breed and rarely kicking up a fuss with other chickens. They are also good mothers and broody hens.

Size: The hens are about 6.5 pounds and the roosters will grow to be about 8.5 pounds.

Rare Red Chicken Breeds

Rare Red Chicken Breeds are a unique and captivating addition to any flock. While they may not have the same level of egg production as some other popular breeds, their rarity and distinct appearance make them highly sought after by chicken enthusiasts. 

Their ornamental value and rarity make them a favorite choice for those looking to add a touch of uniqueness to their backyard coop. While they may not be the most prolific egg layers, Rare Red Chicken Breeds are still a valuable and cherished addition to any flock.

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Black Breasted Red Phoenix

The Black Breasted Red Phoenix chicken breed is a visually stunning bird with a fascinating origin story. This breed was created in Germany through the crossbreeding of long-tailed fowl from Japan. The purpose of this crossbreeding was to revive and revitalize the dwindling population of long-tailed fowl in Europe.

The Black Breasted Red Phoenix chickens are known for their elegant and pheasant-like appearance and BEAUTIFUL long tail. They have a striking black coloration on their breast feathers, contrasting beautifully with their deep red plumage. These birds also have long, flowing tails that add to their overall grace and beauty.

Temperament: They are a VERY flighty bird so if you are going to free range them make sure to keep them closed up in the coop where you want them to sleep for at least a week or two before letting them out so you can train them. Because if you don’t you are not going to catch them. – They are also not friendly and want to be left to their own devices.

Oh and PSA. Their crow is LOUD. So if you live in a small area or where they are close to the house. Yeah just don’t get the breed unless you like noise markers. 

Size: They are a small bird hens are about 3-4 pounds and the roosters are about 5 pounds.

Egg Laying is poor.

They are good foragers and love to roost high up in trees or barns.

Red Shouldered Yokohama

I love this breed but they are pretty much good for looks and thats about it. The Red Shouldered Yokohamas are a unique and captivating breed of chicken that traces its origin back to Germany and Japan. 

One of the most notable features of the Red Shouldered Yokohamas is their exceptionally long tails, which can reach an impressive length of three to four feet. These elegant tails, combined with their slender bodies and beautiful plumage, make them a striking addition to any flock.

However, when it comes to egg production, they are somewhat indifferent layers, often laying a small number of eggs before going broody. This means that their focus may be more on hatching and caring for chicks rather than consistently laying eggs.

Yokoyama rooster

Red Cochin Bantam

The Red Cochin Bantam is a delightful and charming breed of chicken that is known for its unique and eye-catching appearance. One of its most distinctive features is the fluffy leg feathers that give it a fluffy, puffy look true to the cochin breed. 

While primarily considered an ornamental breed and a popular choice for show birds at exhibitions, the Red Cochin Bantam is also a good egg layer. Despite their small size, they can still produce a fair number of eggs, making them a practical choice for those who want both beauty and utility in their flock.

Beyond its utility in egg production, the Red Cochin Bantam is known for its broody nature. They have a strong instinct to nurture and care for their chicks, making them excellent mothers. This makes them a great addition to any flock that intends to breed and raise chicks.

Other red chicken breeds to look into. 

  • Nankin bantam
  • Derbyshire redcap
  • Red Star Chickens
  • Red frizzle cochin bantams.

There are lots of different breeds you can choose from if you want a nice variety of red backyard chickens. Make sure to choose wisely and have a goal in mind for your chickens so you don’t end up feeding a lot of birds that are not serving a purpose for your backyard flock. Otherwise you will end up disappointed and burnt out. 

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