Have you ever wondered how much a chicken weighs? They are cute and fluffy. Some are big and some are small, but how many pounds are they? Of course, we are not talking about cooking weight. This post is all about how much live chickens weigh.
Chicken Weights by Breed
There are a variety of factors that will contribute to a chicken’s final, full-grown weight. Some chickens are just naturally very large. Likewise, some are very small. Within both of those distinctions, there is a range.
Even the largest breeds of chicken, for example, will have some members that are smaller and some that are larger comparatively. Different strains or lines of chickens might have wider differences in size as well.
Selectively breeding for large or small chickens takes years of work by dedicated breeders. Whether you are trying to figure out which breed of chicken to get or, are trying to figure out how much your chickens might weigh, these chicken weight tables will help give you an idea.
For each breed, only the breed is listed. Each breed may have varying colors. Cochins, for example, come in a wide variety of colors including blue, black, splash, white and buff to name a few. For the purposes of the charts, they would just be listed as “Cochin”.
|Ameraucana||6 lbs||5 lbs|
|Ancona||5.7 lbs||4.4 lbs|
|Andalusian||7.5 lbs||5.5 lbs|
|Araucana||6.6 lbs||5.5 lbs|
|Australorp||8 lbs||5.9 lbs|
|Ayam Cemani||5 lbs||4 lbs|
|Barnevelder||7.2 lbs||5.7 lbs|
|Bielefelder||7.7 lbs||6.6 lbs|
|Black Star||7.7 lbs||5 lbs|
|Brahma||12.1 lbs||9.9 lbs|
|Buttercup||6.5 lbs||5.5 lbs|
|Campine||6 lbs||5.7 lbs|
|Cochin||10.5 lbs||9 lbs|
|Cornish||10 lbs||5.7 lbs|
|Cornish x Rock*||4.4 lbs||4.4lbs|
|Crevecoeurs||6.6 lbs||5.5 lbs|
|Delaware||8.5 lbs||6.5 lbs|
|Dominique||7 lbs||5 lbs|
|Dorkings||9.5 lbs||9 lbs|
|Egyptian Fayoumis||3.3 lbs||2.8 lbs|
|Faverolles||11 lbs||9.4 lbs|
|Hamburgs||5 lbs||3.7 lbs|
|Jersey Giant||13 lbs||10 lbs|
|Lakenvelder||5.5 lbs||4.5 lbs|
|Legbar||7.5 lbs||6 lbs|
|Leghorn||5.7 lbs||5 lbs|
|Marans||8.3 lbs||4.4 lbs|
|Minorca||7 lbs||6 lbs|
|New Hampshire||8.5 lbs||6.5 lbs|
|Orpington||13 lbs||10 lbs|
|Plymouth Rock||7.5 lbs||6.5 lbs|
|Polish||6 lbs||4.4 lbs|
|Red Cap||7.5 lbs||6.1 lbs|
|Rhode Island Red||8.6 lbs||6.6 lbs|
|Sumatra||5.5 lbs||4 lbs|
|Sussex||9 lbs||7 lbs|
|Turken||8.6 lbs||6.6 lbs|
|Welsummer||6.6 lbs||5 lbs|
|White Faced Black Spanish||6 lbs||5 lbs|
|Wyandotte||8 lbs||6 lbs|
|Yokohama||5 lbs||3.3 lbs|
All of the above weight ranges were obtained from the Wikipedia article for the respective breed.
Bantam breeds are the miniatures of the chicken world. These birds are small in size but have huge personalities. Some breeds are true bantams, meaning they don’t exist as large fowl chickens. Other varieties have both a large fowl and a bantam strain.
|Belgian Bearded D'Anver||26 oz||22 oz|
|Buff Brahma||38 oz||34 oz|
|Buff Orpington||40 oz||36 oz|
|Cochin||30 oz||26 oz|
|Cubalaya||26 oz||22 oz|
|D'Uccle||26 oz||22 oz|
|Dominique||28 oz||24 oz|
|Easter Egger||35 oz||31 oz|
|Japanese Bantam||26 oz||22 oz|
|Old English Game||24 oz||22 oz|
|Phoenix||30 oz||28 oz|
|Rhode Island Red||34 oz||30 oz|
|Rock||40 oz||36 oz|
|Rosecomb||26 oz||22 oz|
|Seabright||22 oz||20 oz|
|Serama||16 oz||14 oz|
|Silkie||36 oz||32 oz|
|White Faced Black Spanish||30 oz||27 oz|
|Wyandotte||40 oz||36 oz|
All of the above weights were obtained from Cackle Hatchery breed pages.
The National Chicken Council has a handy chart for US Broiler weight. Broiler weight is the weight of the live bird just prior to being processed for human consumption. Not surprisingly, market chickens get heavier every year.
In fact, today’s broiler chickens are now more than double what they were back in 1925. Their weight has grown from an average of 2.5 pounds in 1925 to 6.26 pounds in 2018. That is a huge difference!
Broilers, though, are their own entity. Most of us will never work for or own a commercial poultry facility. More than likely, you came here wondering how much a particular breed of chicken might weigh. I’ve scoured the internet for answers, and here is what I found!
Largest Chicken Breeds
When it comes to chickens, we can see that some breeds are just naturally larger than others. If you want a large hen, the largest breeds of chicken are:
- Jersey Giant
Most of the above breeds have a variety of different colors available. I personally have had four of the six breeds on this list. I really couldn’t choose one over the other when I had them, but, if I had to pick one today, I would probably choose to have Buff Brahmas again.
Smallest Chicken Breeds
We know that bantam chickens are the smallest variety of chickens, but which breed of chicken is truly the smallest?
The Serama is the smallest breed of bantam chicken with roosters typically weighing in at 16 oz and hens normally reaching 14 oz.
The eight smallest chicken breeds are:
- Belgian Bearded
- Japanese Bantam
- Old English Game
Difference Between Bantam and Large Fowl
Bantam chickens were bred to be ornamental. While they do lay eggs, their eggs are relative to their size. They are perfectly sized for smaller areas. Because of their small stature, you could have as many as 10 bantam chickens in the same space you would normally keep 3 large fowl chickens.
Large fowl chicken breeds are the normal sized chickens most people think about. Throughout history, they have been bred for production. Whether meat or eggs, most large fowl breeds serve a purpose.
That, however, doesn’t mean that enthusiasts don’t appreciate different colors and other fun characteristics like beards and feathered feet.
The difference between bantam and large fowl chickens is size. Bantam breeds were bred to be under 2.5 lbs at the largest whereas large fowl chickens can weigh 13 lbs or more depending on the breed.
How To Weigh A Live Chicken
Are you wanting to start tracking some more data on your flock? Maybe you are breeding for larger birds or just want to see how your chickens are growing. Weight is a great number to track. It is easy, and cheap to do for your entire flock.
I personally have used three different methods. To start, you’ll want to buy some kind of a digital scale. They aren’t expensive (I like this one on Amazon.com) and they are super portable for weighing right at your chicken coop where they are most comfortable.
Method 1: Weigh the Chicken on a Food Scale
- Zero the scale.
- Place the chicken on the scale.
- Record the weight
This method is much harder if your chickens are not used to being handled but is what I typically do for baby chicks.
I’ll generally use a food scale with a stainless steel platform to make it easier to clean up any accidents. That makes it easy to wipe down and keep clean. Keep in mind that if you have large fowl chickens you need a scale that can accommodate larger birds.
I use this scale on Amazon.com with a 13 lb capacity which works great for my birds.
This method is best for smaller birds, like chicks, or those that are particularly calm and likely to sit still long enough to get a reading.
In fact, here is a great video of this method in action.
Method 2: Placing in a Sack
- Hang a soft cotton sack from the scale empty and tare the device.
- Place your chicken gently inside the sack and close.
- Weigh the chicken in the sack.
- Remove the chicken gently.
With this method, the chicken can stay in an upright position. The bag will “hug” the chicken on the sides making them feel more secure and the darkness will help them stay settled while you weigh them. This process takes a little longer but results in accurate weights as well.
Method 3: Hanging Upside Down
- Tie a string or cord around your chicken’s feet.
- Gently flip them upside down
- Hook the end of the cord to the scale.
- Get your weight.
- Gently release the chicken.
The whole process takes less than a minute. This is how I weigh my adult chickens because it is quick and easy. If you do it gently there should not be much stress for your birds at all. I tend to do it at night when they are easy to catch, weigh, and put right back in to roost.
Whether you want large chickens, small chickens, or something in between, there is a breed of chicken right for you. Weight is a perfect tool to give you an idea of how big your chicken will get when fully mature.
Tracking weight among your own birds can help you both monitor a specific bird’s health (is she gaining or losing weight) as well as to make breeding decisions if you are trying to increase or decrease the size of the birds in your flock.