Are you homesteading, and do you want to keep something beyond the norm? You can consider raising chicken breeds with feathered feet and legs.
Such chickens are known for meat and egg production and are also used as show birds. They are also a source of wonder for small children and make great pets.
Here are some of the best chicken breeds with feet for you to choose from.
Cochins are typically feathered from their heads to the toes. Therefore, you can hardly pass by them and fail to admire their appearance.
These birds were first discovered in China in the 1940s. They belong to an Asian class of breeds of chicken, including Brahma and Langshans.
They were originally known as Cochins-China because of their origin before becoming referred to as Cochins.
Breeders created the breed to provide eggs and meat. The American Poultry Association recognized it in 1874.
These lovely birds are tall and feathered all through. They are sometimes referred to as head-to-toe feathered chickens.
Their feathers are fluffy and soft. You will need to carry them and part the feathers in order to see their legs.
They have yellow eyes while their earlobes, single combs, and wattles are red. They also have five well-defined points on their combs and large wings. However, they can hardly fly.
A Cochin hen weighs about 8 pounds, while roosters weigh about 10 pounds. They come in different colors such as Red, Blue, Brown, Columbian, Birchen, and Barred.
Cochins are generally calm birds. You will always find them where they are kept. Unlike other chicken breeds, they are not good at foraging.
Therefore, they can be easily domesticated. These calm birds are also good mothers and prolific at brooding. Because of their size, you will have to keep a close eye on them so that they do not break their eggs.
The birds are healthy and can lay about 160 eggs or more every year. They are cold-hardy because of their feathered bodies.
However, they can be vulnerable to heat. You should keep them in a ventilated and well-lit area to deal with heat.
Although they are not very active, they eat a lot and require high amounts of protein. You should also make sure that they do a lot of exercise so that they do not become obese.
Faverolles originated from the French cities of Faverolle and Houdan in the 1860s. They were created by crossing Cochins, Houdans, and Dorkings.
They are dual-purpose chickens that come in two varieties: White and Salmon. The White Faverolles were recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1981.
Salmon Faverolles were recognized in 1914. The breed was exported to America in the 1900s.
The Faverolles have almost all the rainbow colors on their bodies. They have beards on their fluffy faces with small wattles and red eyes.
You will also find five points on their single combs. They have broad and deep bodies, which makes them more prominent.
Cochins have five toes on each of the feathered legs. They have pink beaks and white skin. Their bodies are cream-colored, while their undersides are gray. A hen can weigh 6 pounds, while a rooster weighs 8 pounds.
The Faverolles is one of the best chicken breeds for a chicken breed that is both curious and comical.
They are adorable birds that enjoy human contact most of the time. These birds are also easily pliable, and you will rarely find them to be aggressive.
If you are raising your Faverolle chickens together with other chicken breeds, then you will have to keep an eye on them so that other chickens do not take advantage of their docility.
Although they like to forage, they can also do well under confinement. They are prolific layers and can lay about 200 eggs in a year.
These birds can be susceptible to parasites because of their feathered bodies. Therefore, be sure to check for parasites that may hide under their feathers regularly.
Aside from that, they are healthy birds without any other. They will, however, need plenty of food and water to stay healthy and in clean conditions all the time.
The Brahma is among the main Asia chicken breeds. The other two are Langshans and Cochins.
The breed came from the Brahmaputra River in India and was created by crossing Chittagong and Shanghai.
It is considered a heritage chicken and comes in five varieties: black, bluff, light, white, and dark.
The American Poultry Association recognized only the dark and light varieties before the end of the 20th century.
The Brahmas are often referred to as the King of Chickens because they are large-sized with wide and elongated bodies.
They have tightly fitted feathers on every part of their bodies. Their beaks are strong, and some flesh hangs over their eyes.
Light Brahmas have white feathers with black tones. They also have black tails. The Buff variety has buff body parts with several color tones.
On the other hand, the Dark variety has black body parts. However, the wings and breasts are gray. The standard weight of a mature Brahma rooster is about 11 pounds, while a hen weighs 8 pounds.
Although the Brahmas are large, they are sweet-tempered and docile. You will hardly find them proving difficult to handle or being aggressive.
They love to forage and are not good at flying. Because of their size, they will tend to quickly get more food in a flock.
However, they do not bully small chicken breeds in the flock for food. Sometimes they will defend the flock against any disturbance.
Cochins have thick feathers that allow them to cope in cold climates. You will have to check them from time to time because their feathered legs and feet can house parasites such as mites and lice.
They can also gather a lot of dirt and mud. You Cochins will also eat a lot and will need high amounts of protein. They are born healthy chicken breeds without any hereditary issues.
Silkies have unique feathers that make them primarily show birds. They are believed to have originated in China in the 13th century. They are all through their bodies, and their name came from their silky plumage.
Silkies are bantam chickens. This means that they are small-sized. You will find some varieties of this breed with beards. They have black combs and wattles, while their earlobes are bright blue.
They have black feathers, and you may also surprisingly see black skin underneath their silky feathers.
Their feathers can also be gold, white, black, or blue. One of the distinct features of the silkies is the presence of a lot of hair on their heads.
Therefore, you can quickly recognize a silky chicken from a distance just by having a glimpse of its fuzzy head.
Generally, Silkies are effortless to breed, non-aggressive and love to play with children. They are not noisy birds and can live with human beings as pets.
This makes them perfect for homesteading and good backyard chickens. In addition, Silkies are peaceful birds and will hardly start a fight in the flock.
However, it can be very difficult for your Silkies to be natural selves if they are kept together with aggressive breeds of chicken in the same.
Therefore, it would be best if you raised your Silkies with chicken breeds that are peaceful. These birds are cuddly and will enjoy it if you pet them on your lap until they sleep.
Silkies are good mothers to their chicks. Although they are not aggressive, they will tend to be aggressive if they feel their chicks or themselves are threatened.
They love to brood eggs, including those that are not theirs. Therefore, if you have other chicken breeds that do not go broody, you can use your Silkies to hatch their eggs.
Like roosters of other chicken breeds, you can expect the roosters of your Silkies to be aggressive too. However, they are not as aggressive as most roosters of other breeds.
Silkies are born healthy birds without any hereditary health issues. They are healthy chickens and tend to have a longer lifespan as long as they are supplied with plenty of food.
However, like most other chicken breeds, they can be vulnerable to various poultry diseases. They will be healthy once they are vaccinated.
Therefore, you must ensure that they have been vaccinated on time against various poultry diseases.
They have fluffy feathers that do not protect them from cold. This means that Silkies are not cold-hardy.
You will have to treat them regularly and keep a close eye on them during cold seasons. Also, ensure that their coop is clean and in good condition all the time.
Your birds will live a longer and more productive life with proper care.
Chicken breeds with feathered legs can be a fantastic addition to your flock. They will make your flock more colorful and attractive.
However, your chickens will require some special attention and care because the high amounts of feathers make them susceptible to various parasites such as mites and lice. You should ensure that the feathers are not wet most of the time and trim them.