Now, crested chickens come by many names. While some refer to them as chickens with mohawks, others call them chickens with afros. The fancy tuft of feathers above their heads makes them stunning and eye-catching. Combining their crests with brightly colored plumage makes these chickens a favorite choice to most farmers and enthusiast chicken breeders.
Chickens with crests above their heads come in different breeds and sizes. While some are bantams, others are excellent layers while some are just raised for ornamental use. While some have cute fluffy bonnets, others have a messy “just got out of bed hairdo”. So, with that said, this guide will walk you through 10 different chickens with an afro from the weirdest to the most sensational.
10 Crested Chickens Breeds at a Glance
But, before we commence, we would like to give you a summary of what we’ll be discussing in the form of a table. This table will include the specs of each of the 10 crested chicken breeds.
|Name of Breed||Origin||Main Purpose||Temperament||Physical Features|
|Appenzeller Spitzhauben||Switzerland||Eggs & Ornamental||Active & Adaptable||V-Comb, Small to Medium Sized Body & Spiky Erected Crest|
|Kosovo Longcrower||Kosovo||Eggs, Crowing Contests & Exhibition||Docile & Friendly||V-Comb, Olive Green & Grey Shanks & Black Feathers|
|Burmese||Myanmar||Eggs & Ornamentation||Calm & Friendly||Single Comb, Pure White Feathers & Yellow Feathered Legs|
|Polverara||Italy||Eggs & Ornamentation||Docile, Active & Hates Confinement||V-Shaped Comb, Willow-Green Sheens & Black or White Feathers|
|Brabanter||Belgium & Netherlands Border||Eggs, Meat & Ornamentation||Docile, Calm, Sweet, Friendly & Intelligent||V-Shaped Comb, Blue-Slate Legs & Blue, Black, Silver, Gold, & White|
|Sultan||Turkey||Ornamentation||Calm, Docile & Friendly||V-Shaped Comb, Muffs, Beards, Feathered feet with Blue Shanks & A Fifth Toe|
|Houdan||France||Meat, Eggs & Exhibition||Broody, Polite & Gentle||V-Shaped & OAK Leaf Combs, Muffs, Beards & Fifth Toe|
|Polish||Netherlands||Exhibition & Pet||Shy, Polite & Docile||V-Shaped Comb, White Earlobes & Yellow Shanks|
|Crevecoeur||France||Meat, Eggs & Exhibition||Docile & Cheerful||V-Shaped Comb, White Skin, Long Tail & Upright Stance|
|Cream Crested Legbar||England||Meat & Eggs||Docile, Friendly, Free-ranging & Chatty||Single Comb, Cream Body with Salmon Spotting, White Earlobes & Erected Tails|
Top 10 Crested Chickens in the World
So, are you planning to raise some chickens with afro or are you just looking to learn the different chicken breeds with crests on their heads? Well, whatever the case is, this guide will list some of the breeds that are blessed with this hairdo including their temperament, challenges, and physical characteristics.
1. Appenzeller Spitzhauben
The Appenzeller is among those birds that are classified to belong to the dalmatian breed of chickens. This chicken has a dalmatian-like appearance that consists of slate legs, white skin with black spots, and finally, the famous mohawk and V-shaped comb. It’s erected crest that slightly slants forward is the main feature that makes the Appenzeller an amazing bird.
But, despite its spiky crest, the Appenzeller has a beautiful plumage that comes in different color varieties. However, Black, Silver, Blue, and Golden Spangled are some of the recognized colors you’ll find on most farms.
Now, just like other chickens, crested chicken breeds are also hailed for their egg-laying prowess. As for the Appenzeller, this chicken lays around 150 eggs annually, which is a decent attempt. It has a standard weight of 4 – 5.5 pounds, which according to most is quite fair for a medium-sized chicken.
The Appenzeller is also known as the Spitzhauben, a name that was derived from a woman’s hat. This bird has an active and adaptable temperament, which comes naturally largely due to its free-ranging nature. So, if you’re looking for birds that dislike confinement and rather love to free range around the backyard, then the Appenzeller is a superb pick.
The Appenzeller is a small to medium-sized chicken that’s recognized as the national bird of Switzerland. This chicken loves to free range in the mountainous regions of Appenzell Canton in search of seeds, worms, and insects. It’s an established egg layer that doesn’t do well in confinement. The best thing about its crest is that it’s erected meaning it doesn’t block its vision.
2. Kosovo Longcrower
Just as its name suggests, the Kosovo Longcrower is a chicken breed that’s native to the Drenica region of Kosovo. Its second name, the Longcrower, is a nickname offered to this chicken due to its characteristic long crowing. Due to these facts, this bird is sometimes called the Drenica or the long crowing chicken.
Speaking of its long crows, the Drenica can crow for an average of 20 to 40 seconds, with adult roosters, lasting for up to a minute. This feature is considered the main characteristic of this chicken. But, other than its long crows, the Drenica has another unusual feature—a crest of black or grey feathers on its head.
The crest usually slopes forward leaving the V-shaped comb slightly hidden. The Drenica has a yellow or white beak with either grey or olive-green shanks. About the plumage, the Kosovo Longcrower is available in the black variety with roosters boasting red or golden flecks on the wings.
Just like any other chicken with afro breed, the Drenica is a prolific layer that manages around 160 eggs annually. The worst thing about this breed is that egg production lowers remarkably to just 50 – 70 eggs annually as they age.
While most chickens are bred for ornamental use, the Drenica is among the birds that are specifically bred for crowing contests. That’s because this bird produces one of the longest crows that lasts for 20 – 40 seconds. But, other than its characteristic crow, this bird is hailed for its beautiful dark or grey mohawk.
The Burmese is a true bantam chicken that doesn’t have a standard-sized variety. This chicken is native to Burma, now recognized as Myanmar. Looking back at its history, the Burmese is a chicken with an afro that almost went to extinction.
Thankfully, in the 1880s, a British officer posted in Burma sent several original Burmese chickens to a friend back in Scotland. Although the hens died due to the hostile climate, the rooster survived and was subsequently bred with other related feathered breeds such as the Silkie, Cochin, Bearded U’ccle, and White Booted Bantams in an attempt to recover the breed.
The resulting offspring are charming and reliable birds that have noticeably cool features. Some of these features include feathered bodies including the shanks and toes. They’re also white in color with red earlobes, single combs, and individual crests on their heads. As bantam breeds, Burmese chickens are very calm and friendly making them excellent pets.
The Burmese chicken is an excellent layer of small brown eggs. The hens are good brooders that make excellent mothers. Both male and female Burmese chickens have pure white feathers. Since they’re considered ornamental birds, their white feathers are a huge challenge as they must be kept clean at all times.
The Polverara is among those chickens that are specifically bred for ornamental use. This bird comes in many names such as Schiatta or Schiata. It’s named after its region of origin, which is the town of Polverara in Italy. The Polverara is considered a traditional Italian breed that has been around for a long time.
Now, looking at the Polverara, you’ll notice that this bird is very similar to the Brabanter, which is a Dutch chicken breed bred for poultry exhibitions. Now, the Polverara is gifted with a V-shaped feathered crest that sits on its head like a crown.
Just like the rest of the afro chickens we’ve listed, the crests on their heads are not too fluffy to a point of covering their eyes. Instead, they’re erected and never block this chicken’s vision at any given time. This is a huge plus when it comes to the security of this chicken.
Other than their beautiful crests, Polverara chickens have V-shaped combs and small wattles. They have white earlobes, red faces, willow-green sheens, and medium-sized bodies with roosters weighing 5.5 – 6.2 pounds and hens weighing 4 – 4.6 pounds.
Regarding breed varieties, Polverara comes in only black and white colors. Although they’re specifically bred for ornamental use, these birds double up as excellent egg layers managing up to 150 eggs annually.
The splendid looks and unique physical features of the Polverara are what make it a magnificent show bird. Although it comes in two varieties, black and white, other shades of colors have now been evidenced due to crossbreeding. These chickens lay around 150 eggs despite being poor brooders.
The Brabanter is among those chicken breeds that are considered rare and unique. To those that are yet to see it, this bird is among the few breeds whose presence brings a majestic and glorious air around. They come in both standard and bantam varieties, with the bantams being extremely rare to find.
Now, starting with their origin, the Brabanter chickens originated in Northern Europe, in a region between Belgium and Netherlands. They’re hardy breeds that tolerate cold climates. One of the features that allow them to survive in such cold regions, is their V-shaped combs that are less susceptible to frostbites.
Another feature is their fluffy feathered bodies that keep them well insulated. Speaking of the feathers, the Brabanter is a chicken with afro. I think this feathered gene is due to the region it resides, as it serves as insulation.
Now, the vertical forward-facing crest, also known as a shaving-brush crest, is not the only feature of the Brabanter. This chicken has other cool features such as beards, big nostrils, white earlobes, and three protuberances, two behind the beak and one in front of the comb.
Brabanters are also excellent egg-laying chickens that manage 150 – 200 eggs annually. They’re good for meat production with roosters weighing 7.5 pounds and hens 5.5 – 6 pounds.
With its blue slate legs, three protuberances on the face, and a vertical forward-facing crest, the Brabanter is a chicken breed that has an interesting appearance. This bird can make an excellent ornamental bird despite being a none recognized breed by the APA.
The Sultan is among the most unique and rare chicken breeds that have a decorative look. Also known as the Serai Tavuk or Serai Taook, the Sultan originated in Turkey where it was a popular chicken breed for the royals of Turkey. The name Serai Taook means a “Fowl of the Sultan’s Palace” while its Sultan name came as a result of being raised in the royal gardens.
So, from its background, it’s evident that this chicken with afro is one with immense value to any breeder. Now, what makes the Sultan such a gorgeous chicken breed? First, this chicken has pure white feathers all over its body. Its head is covered with a bulging crest that hides its V-shaped comb.
It has puffy muffs and beards that hide the wattles leaving just a small section of the reddish face exposed. The fluffy feathers don’t stop there. They extend to the neck, wings, and feet where they hide the shanks from being exposed. But, other than the puffy feathers, the Sultan is also recognized for its characteristic blue shanks, huge nostrils, and fifth toe.
Now, unlike the rest of the chickens we’ve discussed, the Sultan is the only breed that lays the least number of eggs—around 50 annually. This chicken comes in both standard and bantam varieties with the standard variety weighing 4 – 6 pounds and the bantam 1 – 2 pounds.
The Sultan is among the few chicken breeds that are specifically raised for exhibition purposes. Due to its low egg production, this bird is sadly listed as being near extinction unless they’re raised in huge numbers. Although white is the standard color, the Sultan is also available in Blue and Black. Keepers of this chicken should groom it often and avoid raising it in dirty coops.
If you’re planning to raise a chicken with hair on head, then perhaps you can start by keeping the Houdan chicken breed. Why did I recommend this chicken? First, the Houdan is among the heaviest breeds available with roosters weighing up to 6 pounds and hens 5.5 pounds. With such a weight, this chicken can work as a table bird.
In fact, in the 19th Century, this chicken was used by the French (its homeland) as a table bird where people enjoyed its delicious meat. Apart from producing one of the best meat, the Houdan doubled up as an egg layer where it laid around 150 – 180 eggs annually.
But, other than its high meat and egg production, the Houdan became popular around 1865 when it was brought to North America. Its incredibly beautiful plumage and tons of incredible features made it earn its first APA recognition in 1874.
Ever since the Houdan has been hailed for its outstanding features that include a massively looking full crest that covers the entire face. It comes in either a V-shape comb or oak leaf/strawberry-shaped comb with the former being the standard shape recognized by APA.
The Houdan also has muffs and beards, pale shanks, and a fifth toe that’s only available in a selected number of breeds.
The Houdan is available in a variety of colors that include Black Molted, White, and Levander, with Black Molted being the recognized color. Although it’s a recognized breed, this chicken comes in many different variations. Perhaps the main reason for this is due to breeding it with other show birds such as the Polish, Dorking, and the Crevecoeur.
The Polish chicken is a breed that boasts of owning a striking and distinctive appearance. In fact, this bird is among the many chicken breeds with an afro that’s the easiest to recognize. With its origin in the Netherlands, the Polish chicken is famous for its wild and messy-looking crest that sticks above its head.
The hens have an amazingly neat afro while the roosters have a spiky untidy crest that hides their short V-shaped combs and sometimes the eyes. Speaking of the cluttered crests, these crests often block the vision of polish crested chickens making it hard for them to detect ground and air predators.
Although this setback is a blessing to kids who catch the chicken easily, caretakers are advised to keep these chickens in confinement to save them from attacks. Otherwise, their messy afros are just one of the reasons why Polish chickens are considered excellent exhibition birds.
Now, when it comes to the production department, Polish chickens are not reliable. With weights that range from 4.5 – 6 pounds and egg production of 2 – 3 eggs each week, these birds aren’t the best backyard chickens in terms of produce.
Nonetheless, Polish breeds are gentle, docile, and very friendly making them great pets. In fact, if you’re a fan of raising ornamental breeds, the Polish can be paired with Silkies, Cochins, and Orpingtons. These birds are available in Blue, Silver, Golden, and Buff Laced.
The Polish are a chicken breed that attracts attention from any chicken enthusiast. Keeping this breed in your backyard is fun as it’s friendly, shy, and docile. The only problem with this breed is the puffy messed up crests that block their vision. So, unless you’re raising it for exhibition, perhaps trimming some of the feathers around the eyes is advised to improve its vision.
The Crevecoeur is a French chicken breed that has a bizarre history. While most of the crested breeds we’ve discussed were used in royal palaces, the Crevecoeur was raised as a fighting breed. The breed was famous in the French region of Crevecoeur-en-Auge in Normandy, a region that was considered less fertile.
Although its less popular outside of France, the Crevecoeur was recognized as a standard breed by the APA in 1874. Today, The Livestock Conservancy has listed the Crevecoeur as a rare chicken breed with a global population of just under 1,000 chickens.
But, despite being a near-extinct breed, the Crevecoeur doesn’t just leave us with nothing to mention. This breed is among the crested chicken breeds that have squeezed their way into our list. It has a beautiful crest that appears neater than most breeds we’ve discussed, a V-shaped comb, a long tail, short legs, an upright stance, and a solid black plumage.
Regarding meat and egg produce, the Crevecoeur lay around 120 – 150 eggs annually, which is considered fair by most farmers. Their weight ranges from 7 – 8 pounds, which again is decent. With such stats, the Crevecoeur can double up as an ornamental bird and a chicken that can be used for both meat and egg production.
Perhaps the upright stance of the Crevecoeur is what made it a fighting chicken back in the 18th Century. Thankfully, with more enthusiasts recognizing its unique rare features, this bird was shipped to the USA where it was largely used in exhibitions and poultry shows. Today, the Crevecoeur is listed as a rare chicken breed that needs more enthusiasts to raise it.
10. Cream Crested Legbar
Finally, we have the Cream Legbar chicken. With origins in England, the Cream Legbar is a chicken breed that was developed after an experiment by Michael Pease. Alongside Professor R.C. Punnett, the two crossed the Gold Leghorn and the Danish Brown Leghorn to form a chicken breed that had a unique cream color, a crest, and laid blue eggs.
Unlike other crested breeds, the Legbar’s crested feathers appeared as if they sprouted from the back of the head giving it a Mohawk appearance. This chicken has a single large comb with six points, yellow shanks and beak, and a cream color with salmon stains on the neck and breast.
The roosters have tails that stand erect at a higher angle than the hens. They also have larger combs and wattles as compared to the hens. About egg laying, Crested Cream Legbar chickens are considered excellent layers with the ability to lay over 200 eggs each year. The roosters weigh around 7.5 pounds while the hens manage a decent 5.5 pounds.
Now, unlike most of the chicken breeds we’ve discussed, the Legbar is lucky to have a short-erected crest that doesn’t block their vision. Since they’re excellent foragers, caretakers don’t have to pay too much attention when it comes to keeping an eye on them.
The Legbar is a chicken that’s considered to be overly alert, curious, and self-sufficient. This breed can sometimes be aggressive and very alert about the surrounding. It’s also considered noisy and very loud making it a bad option to keep as a backyard chicken in urban settings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Color Eggs Do Polish Crested Chickens Lay?
Polish chickens are a medium-sized breed that lay white medium to large-sized eggs. These birds begin laying at 5 months with the number of eggs being around 150 – 200 eggs annually. Although they’re considered good layers, Polish crested chickens rarely go broody.
Q2. How to Tell Sex of Crested Chickens?
Now, there are many ways one can tell the sex of crested chickens. One way is to compare the plumage where males tend to have a slightly different plumage as compared to females. Another way to tell the difference is to look at the comb and wattles. As usual, males will have bigger combs and wattles than females.
Finally, you can check the crests. In most cases, females will have a smooth and very sleek afro while males will have a fluffy messed up the crest.
Just to mention, the Cream Legbar chicken is among the sexlinks chickens that are available. With these breeds, you can easily identify the sex of the chicks when they’re hours old. The females have grey plumage with white dots on their heads while males have a lighter color with dark spots on their heads.
Q3. How Many Incubation Days Are Needed for Polish Crested Chickens Eggs?
Now, just like other chicken breeds, Polish chickens take approximately 21 days to hatch. However, there’s a problem. Polish chickens rarely go broody. For this reason, you should prepare an incubator or get another chicken to sit on the eggs.
Q4. Are Crested Chickens Aggressive?
No, they’re not. Most crested chickens such as the Polish are known to be gentle, calm, and very friendly. One reason that makes them such friendly is due to their parentage where most are bred from other docile birds. Another reason for their calmness is due to their puffy “pom pom” crests. Since the fluffy crests sometimes block their vision, these birds remain calm as they’re not able to see clearly.
Q5. Can You Trim the Crests of Crested Chickens?
Yes, you can. However, before you trim them, you should ensure that your chicken with an afro is not participating in any poultry exhibition. Otherwise, trimming a chicken bred specifically for poultry shows might interfere with its features leading to a disqualification. But, if it’s just a backyard pet, then it’s advisable to trim some of its feathers, especially those around the eyes.
As you can see, crested or afro chickens are quite a catch if you can add them to your backyard flock. Their crests come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, each with its own unique appearance. For this reason, most of these birds are specifically bred for poultry shows and exhibitions.
Other enthusiasts raise them as pets and ornamental birds at the back of their backyards. If you live in urban areas, these birds are easy to raise as most of them are quiet, calm, and very friendly. Most of them also double up as egg layers meaning you’ll enjoy a clutch of eggs daily while still enjoying their beauty.
But, from what we’ve discussed, crested chickens have several flaws too. Sometimes, their fluffy crests tend to block their vision making them easy targets to predators. Since most of them have huge amounts of feathers in their entire bodies, including the legs, they can easily attract parasites such as lice and mites.
Lastly, crested breeds with feathers on their legs require a clean coop at all times to keep their feathers clean. With that said and done, which chicken with afro breed did you like the most?
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Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!