The Six Classes of Chickens

by Meghan H

Published July 22, 2019

Standard breeds of chickens are broken down into six (6) different classes. They are known as American, Asiatic, Continental, English, Mediterranean, and All Other Standard Breeds. Let’s explore the different classes and the common traits of these breeds that are a part of them.

Part of the journey into poultry ownership is researching what breeds would work best for your desires. It’s good to know if a breed of chicken will work well for your climate and whether or not their personality is what you are looking for. The act of choosing different chicken breeds goes deeper than simply their feather coloring.

Golden Laced Wyandotte Day Old Chick Meyer Hatchery


The American class are breeds of poultry that originate within the United States or Canada. They are heavier breeds that typically lay brown eggs. These breeds are great if you are looking for a friendly brown egg layer that is cold hardy.

  • Buckeye
  • Chantecler – White, Partridge
  • Delaware
  • Holland- Barred, White
  • Java- Black, Mottled
  • Jersey Giant- Black, White, Blue
  • New Hampshire
  • Plymouth Rock – Barred, White, Buff, Silver Penciled, Partridge, Columbian, Blue
  • Rhode Island Red – Single comb, Rose Comb
  • Wyandotte– Silver Laced, Golden Laced, White, Black, Buff Partridge, Silver Penciled, Columbian, Blue
Partridge Cochin Hen Meyer Hatchery


The three breeds in this class have three things in common. They are heavy breeds that are feather legged and lay brown eggs.

  • Brahma – Light, Dark, Buff
  • Cochin – Buff, Partridge, White, Black, Barred, Silver Laced, Golden Laced, Blue, Brown, Dark, White,  White Laced Red
  • Langshans- Black, Blue, White

We offer several varieties of Cochins and Brahmas, but do not currently offer the Langshan. For Cochins and Brahmas, they are an excellent choice if you are looking for a breed that will go broody and be exceptionally wonderful mothers. They are friendly and docile. They are wonderful pet type chickens if you are looking for a chicken that will like to come up and enjoy some treats out of your hand.

Barnevelder Hen Meyer Hatchery


These breeds originated in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. They are known to often be full of energy. The Salmon Faverolle is one exception, as it is a little more laid back. They are unlikely to go broody.

  • Barnevelder
  • Campine- Silver, Golden
  • Favorelles- Salmon, White
  • Hamburg- Golden Spangled, Silver Spangled, Golden/Silver Penciled, Black, White
  • Houdan- Mottled, White
  • Le Flech- Black
  • Lakenvelder
  • Marans– White, Black Copper, Wheaten
  • Polish– Bearded: Golden, Silver, White, Buff Laced; Non-Bearded: White Crested Black, Golden, Silver, White, Buff Laced, White Crested Blue, Black Crested White
  • Welsummer
Speckled Sussex Chicken Breed - Meyer Hatchery


This class contains different breeds that originate from Australia and the United Kingdom. The Orpingtons are a great breed to pick if you are looking to find a hen that goes broody and has great mothering skills.

  • Australorp – Black
  • Cornish- Dark, White, White Laced, Buff
  • Dorking SC- Silver Gray, Colored, Cuckoo, Red
  • Dorking RC- Cuckoo, White
  • Orpington – Buff, Black, White, Blue
  • Redcap
  • Sussex– Speckled, Red, Light
White Leghorn Meyer Hatchery Day Old Chick


Are you looking for the most exceptional foraging and escaping from predator skills? These breeds might be of great interest to you. Originating in Italy and Spain, these breeds are very productive layers of white eggs. They can be flighty and will not likely want to sit in your lap like a pet chicken. 

  • Ancona– Single Comb and Rose Comb
  • Andalusians – Blue
  • Catalanas- Buff
  • Leghorns (single comb): Dark Brown, Light Brown, White, Black, Buff Silver, Red, Black Tailed Red, Columbian, Golden; RC- Dark Brown, Light Brown, Buff, Silver, Black, White
  • Minorcas (single comb)- Black, White, Buff
  • Minorcas (rose comb)- Black, White
  • Sicilian Buttercup
  • Spanish- White Faced Black
Ayam Cemani Chicken an all black chicken Meyer Hatchery Day Old Chicks

Miscellaneous (All Other Standard Breeds)

These breeds are still wonderful but do not otherwise fit into one of the above classes of birds.

  • Ameraucauna – Black, Blue, Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, White
  • Araucana- Black, Black Breasted Red, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing, White
  • Aseel- Black Breasted Red, Dark, Spangled, Wheaten, White
  • Cubalaya- Black, Black Breasted Red, White
  • Malay- Black, Black Breasted Red, Red Pyle, Spangled, Wheaten, White
  • Modern Game- Birchen, Black, Black Breasted Red, Brown Red, Golden Duckwing, Black, Red Pyle, Silver Duckwing, Wheaten, White
  • Naked Neck- Black, Buff, Red, White
  • Old English Game- Black Crele, White, Spangled, Self Blue, Red Pyle, Brown Red, Lemon Blue, Black Breasted Red, Blue Breasted Red, Blue Golden Duckwing, Blue Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing
  • Phoenix- Golden, Silver, Black Breasted Red
  • Shamo- Black, Dark, Black Breasted Red, Wheaten
  • Sultan – White
  • Sumatra – Black, Blue
  • Yokohama – Red Shoulder, White

I hope that this identification of the 6 classes of chickens helps you to gain an idea of some of the groupings within the poultry world. 

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