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Beautiful Black and White Chicken Breeds
Once you start learning about chickens, one thing that might surprise you is the vast variety in colors and breeds that you can choose from. Not all chickens are the same and they all offer different qualities, some of which you may or may not be on your list.
If you have your heart set on finding the perfect black and white chicken breed for your farm, you have come to the right place!
Each of these 11 breeds of chicken has stunning black and white plumage that will add a hint of style to your backyard coop. They are all hardy breeds that have solidified their place in the poultry world.
Not only are all these chicken breeds gorgeous, they all could make great additions to almost any farm! Whatever you are looking for, you will definitely find a black and white chicken breed that suits your fancy.
Different Patterns on Chicken
Chickens that have more than one color on their plumage also tend to have patterns of colors on their feathers. For reference purposes, here are just a few of the most common patterns that you might see on a black and white chicken.
When you hear the word ‘barred’ to describe the color-pattern on a chicken, that simply means that it is stripped. Granted, it is not perfectly defined stripes when you look at the chicken, however, when you view a single feather on its own, you will see noticeable stripping.
If a chicken has a laced pattern, that means that their feathers are trimmed in a darker color than the rest of the feather creating a defining ‘lace’ effect.
When a chicken is described as having a spangled pattern, that simply means that they have relatively round spots of color on their bodies.
Chickens that have a Columbian pattern have what is referred to as a black restrictor, meaning it inhibits the expression of the color black on certain parts of the chicken. The black color is left on their necks, tails, and a little on their wings while the rest of their bodies remain white.
Similiar to laced chickens, a penciled chicken will have feathers that have an outer trim as well as an inner trim. The dark brahma or silver penciled rock are great examples of this!
Black and White Chicken Breeds
|Chicken Breed||Body Size (lbs)||Purpose||Egg Production||Egg Color||Egg Size||Broody|
|Barred Rock||7.5-9.5||Eggs, Meat||Great||Brown||Large||Yes|
|Black Laced Silver Wyandotte||6.5-8.5||Eggs||Good||Brown||Medium||Yes|
|Columbian Wyandotte||6.5-8.5||Eggs, Meat||Great||Brown||Medium||Yes|
|Dominique||5-7||Eggs, Meat||Good||Brown||Med to Large||Sometimes|
|Black Sex Link||6-9||Eggs||Great||Lt. Brown||Large||No|
|Dark Brahma||9.5-12||Eggs||Fair||Brown||Med to Large||No|
|Silver Spangled Hamburg||4-5||Eggs, Show||Good||White||Medium||Sometimes|
|White Crested Black Polish||4.5-6||Eggs, Show||Good||White||Medium||No|
|Silver Laced Polish||4.5-6||Eggs, Show||Good||White||Medium||No|
|Cuckoo Maran||7-9||Eggs, Meat||Fair||Dark Brown||Large||Sometimes|
1. Barred Rock (Barred Plymouth Rock)
A staple of chicken breeds in America, the Barred Rock chicken is a member of the Plymouth Rock chicken family of poultry. It is a large chicken with a black and white barred pattern on its feathers.
The stripped barring on their feathers is straight, unlike the distinctive v-shape of a Dominque chicken’s stripes. The Barred Rock is a hardy chicken breed that can weigh between 7.5 to 9.5 pounds when fully grown.
Barred Rocks are used most often for their egg production, but they also make a suitable source of meat as well. Barred Rock chickens lay large brown eggs and they have a rather good production rate, sometimes producing a respectable 280 eggs annually. They do tend to be broody.
2. Black Laced Silver Wyandotte
A member of the American Standard of Perfection, the Black Laced Silver Wyandotte is a gorgeous chicken with exquisite black laced white feathers that feature a silvery gleen.
The Black Laced Silver Wyandotte has a lovely black tail and it is a very hardy chicken. Black Laced Silver Wyandotte chickens tend to be friendly and can weigh from 6.5 to 8.5 pounds.
They lay medium-sized brown eggs and hens tend to be broody. They are good egg producers and can lay between 180-260 eggs annually.
3. Columbian Wyandotte
The Columbian Wyandotte chicken is a striking bird that has a mostly white body of feathers with striking black feathering in the tail, neck and wing area. They are a very friendly chicken that will weigh around 6.5 to 8.5 pounds as adults.
They have good egg production, producing up to 260 eggs each year. Columbian Wyandotte’s lay medium-sized brown eggs and tend to be broody. They are most often used to produce eggs but sometimes as a meat source as well.
Often called a dominecker, the Dominque chicken breed is often confused with the Barred Rock breed. Both breeds look similar with black and white stripes, however, Dominique chickens have a noticeable v-shape in their color pattern.
They weigh between 5 and 7 pounds when fully grown. They have good egg production levels, often producing an impressive 260 eggs each year. Dominique chickens lay medium to large-sized brown eggs and are sometimes willing to set their eggs.
Dominique chickens are typically raised for egg production, but some farmers use them as a meat source.
5. Black Sex Link
Black Sex Link chickens are the result of a cross between Rhode Island Red chickens and the Barred Rock chicken breed. The Black Sex Link chicken has roosters and hens that look different from one another.
Typically, roosters will be mainly black with white a barred pattern. Hens have black bodies with reddish-brown neck feathers. These chickens can weigh between 6 and 9 pounds as adults and have excellent egg production, producing up to 280 eggs annually.
Black Sex Link chickens lay large light brown eggs but do not like to set their own eggs. They are most often used for their high egg production and are not likely to be used for meat.
What Can my Chickens Comb Color Tell Me?
The health of a backyard chicken can often be determined by the color of her comb. Monitoring your flock’s health can often be as easy as watching their combs.
A chicken’s comb is an external indicator of chicken health, overall condition and most importantly her circulation. A healthy chicken will normally have a bright, rosy red comb.
What Can my Chickens Comb Color Tell Me?
The comb’s most important function is to act as a radiator, expelling body heat during the hot summer months.
The comb helps keep the chicken cool, which is why the Mediterranean breeds such as Andalusians, Penedesencas, Ancona and White Faced Black Spanish have such large combs.
Each chicken is different, and each breed different, so gauging changes in comb condition and color is the best way to determine what’s normal and what’s not.
Pale Pink Comb Color
If a normally rosy comb turns pale pink, that can be a sign of anemia in the chicken, often caused by mites or lice. But before you panic, if it’s molting season, that could be the culprit.
During a molt, a hen’s comb will lighten up considerably.
A pale comb can also signal heat exhaustion, so keep an eye out on extremely hot days and provide lots of cool water, shade and water-laden treats like watermelon and cucumber slices.
Non-laying pullets that are not fully developed yet also tend to have pale combs. In fact, one sign that eggs might be in your near future is the deepening of the comb color, especially when accompanied by the submissive squat.
Incidentally, when a chicken lays an egg, her body draws blood to her vent, and as a result, her comb will get pale, but immediately turn red again once she lays her egg.
A pale comb can also indicate the presence of internal worms, especially when accompanied by watery droppings and a drop in egg production
A worm treatment is highly recommended if you confirm a case of internal parasites through a fecal test by your vet.
Purplish or Dark Red Comb Color
A purplish comb signals a lack of oxygen in the blood, poor circulation or respiratory/breathing issues.
Your chicken could have something caught in her throat if you notice her comb suddenly turn purple. In extreme cases, it can be the indication of a stroke or heart attack.
If you suspect your chicken has suffered a stroke, consulting a vet is your best course of action.
Avian flu is another possibility if accompanied by other symptoms such as lack of coordination, soft-shelled eggs, decreased appetite, lack of energy, diarrhea, swelling of the comb, head and eyelids, nasal discharge, decreased egg production or coughing and sneezing.
Brown or Black Spots or Crusty Comb Color
One black spot on a single chicken’s comb is normally not cause for alarm. It might merely be a scab from a pecking incident, scrape or other minor injury.
However, multiple black spots or patches that start white and then turn black, especially along the edges of the comb and appearing during the cold weather, generally signal frostbite.
A coating of coconut oil or Sierra Sage Green Goo can help prevent further frostbite and also help heal the currently afflicted areas
If you are battling frostbite, be sure your coop is well-ventilated. Moisture in the air will cause frostbite before the cold will.
Brownish or black spots on the comb that appear in the warmer months can signal a case of fowl pox in your flock, especially when accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite and weight loss, and if the scabs start off yellow, then darken, and appear on other unfeathered areas of the body, such as the eyelids or in the mouth.
There is a vaccine against fowl pox, but fowl pox can be carried by mosquitoes, so keeping your chicken run and yard free of mosquitoes and your chickens’ immune systems healthy is the best preventive.
White Spots on Comb
White spots could be a bit of fungus or just a dry area. Dabbing the area with some apple cider vinegar might help, then applying some coconut oil or Green Goo to help the area from drying out further is beneficial.
Rosy, Deep Red Comb Color
The sign of a healthy, happy laying hen or mature rooster!
Keeping an eye on your chickens combs can help you pinpoint possible health issues before other symptoms become evident. Remember, dark pink or red combs are healthy combs!