If you want to add red chickens to your backyard coop, you are in luck! There are several exceptional red chicken breeds to pick from and finding the right one to fit your farm’s need should be a breeze.
Red chickens are a staple on many farms, and while they often look similar because of their color, each one is unique.
Finding the right red chicken breed or breeds for your farm is much easier than you may imagine.
This breakdown will help narrow down your search and even introduce you to some red chicken breeds you may have never heard of before!
Table of Contents
1. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Red chickens originated in the United States and are one of the most well-known red chicken breeds in the country.
The breed is considered an ideal option for a backyard chicken and can be found on farms across the country.
They are hardy, excellent egg layers that can withstand a variety of environmental conditions. Rhode Island Red chickens have a gorgeous deep red color, and they lay large, brown eggs.
They are considered a dual-purpose chicken that is used for meat as well as egg laying.
2. New Hampshire Red
A spin-off from the Rhode Island Red breed, the New Hampshire Red is a breathtakingly beautiful, light red chicken.
They are good egg layers, producing up to 280 large brown eggs annually.
New Hampshire Reds are medium-sized chickens that are also used in meat production due to their plump size.
They tend to be a broody chicken, so they will set their own eggs regularly. New Hampshire Reds also can sometimes be a little more aggressive than other chickens.
3. ISA Brown
The ISA Brown chicken hybrid breed was designed to be a prolific egg layer. They are a mixture of multiple breeds, but the specifics are a long-kept secret.
The abbreviation ISA stands for the Institute de Selection Animale, the company in France that created the breed.
They are deep red in color with some white feathers popping out from underneath.
ISA Browns are red sex-linked chickens, meaning that they were bred together so that males and females are more easily distinguishable as hatchlings.
An ISA Brown hen can lay up 300 eggs in a single year! They lay large brown eggs and tend to have a calm demeanor, making them excellent backyard chickens.
4. Red Star
Red Star chickens are red sex-linked chickens that are similar to the ISA Brown. It is not known if they are from the same breed combination. Red Stars are also called Cinnamon Queens.
Like the ISA Brown, Red Star chickens have gorgeous red feathers with white interspersed underneath.
They are a hardy breed and a dual-purpose chicken used for both egg and meat production. They lay large brown eggs and are great egg producers.
5. Production Reds
Another red sex-linked chicken, Production Reds are the result of crossbreeding between Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshire Reds.
They can range in color from light to dark red. Production Reds can sometimes be broody, but it can vary between hens.
Production Reds have excellent egg production rates, laying up to 280 large brown eggs every year.
They tend to be friendly and are dual-purpose, used mainly for egg production but also for meat production.
6. Derbyshire Redcap
The Derbyshire Redcap is a hardy chicken breed that originates from the United Kingdom. They are medium-sized chickens that have varying shades of red, black, and brown feathers.
Derbyshire Redcaps are dual-purpose chickens kept for meat and high egg production.
The hens typically are not broody, but they are good egg producers, laying a high number of large white eggs.
Derbyshire Redcap chickens tend to flighty and enjoy being free range over being housed in enclosures.
Welsummer chickens have elegant red and black feathers as well as gorgeous, long tails. The Welsummer chicken breed originated in Holland in the early 1900s, so they are well-established.
Welsummer hens can sometimes be broody. They tend to be active, friendly chickens that are used mainly for their egg production.
They lay up to 280 large dark-brown eggs annually. Welsummers are rare in the United States, but they will make a great addition to any farm.
8. Red Leghorn
Red Leghorns are the red variety of the Leghorn chicken breed and considered to be rare. They have gorgeous deep red feathers.
Red Leghorns are good egg producers, laying medium-sized white eggs, but are not ideal for meat production. They do not tend to be broody and do not regularly set their own eggs.
9. Whiting True Green
While their name may suggest otherwise, Whiting True Green chickens have red feathers, not green ones.
They were developed to help produce ideal feathers to be used in fly-fishing.
The result was a quality, red feathered chicken that produces a large amount of unique-looking green eggs.
Whiting True Green chickens are used mainly for their excellent egg production. Eggs are typically medium in size. They are hardy chickens that fare best in free range environments.
10. Red Cochin Bantam
Red Cochin Bantam chickens have deep red feathers and tend to be very calm and friendly. They are small, compact chickens and have an abundance of feathers covering their legs.
Red Cochin Bantams tend to be very broody, willing to set on their own eggs and the eggs of other chickens.
They are good layers, producing small, brown eggs. Due to their small size, Red Cochin Bantams are not ideal meat producers.
11. Nankin Bantam
A vintage chicken breed, the Nankin Bantam chicken is small but hardy. They are a deep chestnut red color and have black tail feathers.
The Nankin Bantam chicken breed was used as a base breed for many of the Bantam breeds that exist today.
They tend to have calm demeanors and are often broody. Nankin Bantams can be used to not only hatch their own eggs but also the eggs of other, less broody chickens. Nankin Bantams lay small, cream-colored eggs.
12. Red Frizzle Cochin Bantam
Red Frizzles are eye-catchingly gorgeous little, red chickens. They have dark red frizzled feathers, meaning they curve outward on the ends. This gives these chickens a messy, frizzled look that is undeniably adorable.
A Red Frizzle Cochin Bantam’s unique feathering is cute but can cause it to freeze or drown more easily than other chickens.
Red Frizzle Cochin Bantams have fair egg production, laying small brown eggs. They are too small to be used in meat production, but they do tend to be broody.
It is important to make sure they have adequate shelter away from the rain.
13. Red Shaver Chickens
Red shaver chickens make wonderful pets and their high egg production comes as a bonus. This sex-linked breed was developed in Canada by Shaver Poultry Farm to be an amazing egg producer.
In fact, they are reported to lay over 300 eggs per year by the time they are 1 1/2 years old. You won’t have to wait that long for eggs though as most are laying one egg every other day by 4 months old.
Since the breed is sex linked, they will not breed true. The males are white and the hens are brownish red. In fact, though their common name is “Red Shaver”, Shaver Poultry Farm actually calls them Brown Shaver Chickens.
As a highly commercial breed, it’s nearly impossible to get the parent stock needed to produce purebreds. Most back yard Red Shaver chickens are actually offspring from hens retired from commercial laying facilities.
14. Red Silkies
Have you ever seen the fluffy little chickens running around with puffy heads and puffy tails. Silkies are one of the most highly sought after bantam chicken breeds and they just happen to come in red!
You can get purebred red silkie chickens as well as red “showgirl” silkies (Silkie x Turken).
Silkies aren’t know to be great egg layers but they definitely add some pizazz to your flock!
Any one of these red chicken breeds would make a great addition to a backyard farm. Whether you are just looking for some pretty, red chickens or you want great egg layers, you have plenty of options to choose from. And don’t count the Bantams out either; while they lay small eggs, they do serve as excellent replacement setters for less broody chickens.