Most Popular Back Garden Chicken Breeds in the UK

Most Popular Back Garden Chicken Breeds in the UK

With the current interest in organic foods, local sourcing, and sustainability, it’s no wonder that more and more people are starting to consider keeping a fowl or few. Whether you’re looking for a reliable source of fresh eggs, a garden guardian against plant devouring pests, or you’d just like to have a novel outdoor pet, chickens can be quite useful, and often make remarkably charming companions. Here’s an introductory list of some of the most popular breeds in the United Kingdom.

Plymouth Rock

Large, black-and-white checkered chickens with a friendly disposition, Plymouth Rocks are an excellent choice for a novice keeper. They are comfortable with human contact, and easy to tame. Hens lay once every other day, and produce about 200 eggs per year.


These birds are crosses between pure-bred parents. While their pedigree may be mixed, hybrids are bred to obtain the best qualities of their stock. They tend to be especially alert, robust, have a good egg yield, and are usually less expensive: all attractive qualities for those new to raising chickens.

Rhode Island Red

A well known favorite among beginners, Rhode Island Reds are beautiful russet birds with a hardy constitution. Their temperaments is generally good, and they are prolific layers. The average hen may be able to lay up to 300 eggs per year.


The iconic white bird with brilliant red crest, the Leghorn chicken is another popular breed. As with Rhode Island Reds, they produce about 300 eggs per annum, though they are a bit smaller. Those on the skittish side might want to avoid Leghorns, however, since they can be a bit nervous and difficult to control.


The Light Sussex is probably the most commonly kept of this breed. As with the other chickens on this list, they are an easy bird to care for. They enjoy foraging, (making them excellent pets for the garden), are reliable egg producers and good meet producers. For those with space considerations, Sussex chickens are also available in bantam size.

15 Facts about Chickens

From Visually.

Top 5 Hardy Chicken Breeds for Cold Weather Climates

Top 5 Hardy Chicken Breeds for Cold Weather Climates

Whether you raise chickens commercially or recreationally, if you live in a cold climate you’ll know that not all birds can survive the bitter winter temperatures. Here are five of the top cool-weather breeds that do well in northern regions.


A dual purpose breed of chicken, Sussex chickens are good producers of meat, and can generate between 240 and 260 eggs each year. These birds are alert and adaptable. They are at home in confinement and enjoy being around people, but they are also vigorous foragers who will gladly hunt outdoors.


These adorable little chickens do lay small eggs, but they are also extremely broody, and mostly kept as pets. Their distinctive pom-pom plumage isn’t just attractive, it forms a warm barrier against the cold. Silkies are also some of the most friendly chickens around, and often enjoy snuggling up to a human companion.

Rhode Island Reds

This prolific layer can produce an impressive 280 medium to large eggs annually. Male and female adults weigh about 8.5 pounds and 6.5 pounds respectively, making them a respectable meat bird as well. With their robust build and thick plumage, they do well indoors or out.

Plymouth Rocks

Plymouth Rock chickens were specifically bred to be outdoor foragers, and they do well in colder regions. They weigh between  7 and 8 pounds, and are quick to mature. The original Plymouth Rock, developed in late nineteenth-century New England, is now available in a wide range of breed variations.


A bird with its origins in the Netherlands, Welsummer chickens lay large, healthy eggs at about 180 per year. They mature slowly, but are sturdy birds that can handle the cold. Active and intelligent, they enjoy foraging outdoors. However, they do have a reputation for being on the noisy side.

Whatever breed you’re caring for, during the winter months you should be especially vigilant that your coop is kept clean and dry, and that your chickens are well fed and watered.