Choosing chickens with the color you desire is very good. A black and white chicken is eye cuddly with the beautiful and unique plumage.
There are several of these chicken breeds and it would be good if you add them into your flock. Some have a friendly demeanor sitting on your lap to cuddle or even taking treats from your hand.
These chickens will not only add color in your backyard but they will also make a good and cheap source of eggs and meat.
Selling some can also add some amount of cash in your pocket. We cannot forget that they will also help enrich your garden with their nitrogen rich poop to grow those tasty vegetables for your family.
In this article, I am going to take you through some of my favorite black and white chicken breeds I have on my backyard.
Ancona chicken breed originates from the Marches region in Italy. They are named after the town of Ancona the capital of Marches.
These birds became very rare and in 2000, but numerous conservation efforts began in Italy to help breed these chickens and popularize them again.
The first Ancona chickens were exported to England in 1851 where they were extensively bred for their mottled plumage.
In 1888, these chickens found their way to the United States and in 1898 the Ancona breed was recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Their feathers are black mottled with white with each feather tipped with a V shape white mark. The tail feathers and sickles of these birds have white tips too.
This breed is very hardy, rustic and will range extensively and can take flight easily because they are easily scared chickens. The reason they easily fly is because they are not heavy birds.
Ancona roosters weigh 2.5 to 2.8 kg while hens weigh about 1.8 to 2.1 kg. There are also bantam Ancona varieties.
Ancona chickens reach maturity at 5 months meaning they are an early maturing breed. In a year the hens lay 220 white eggs but have minimal chances of going broody.
Silver Laced Polish
The exact origin of this black and white chicken remains clearly unknown but some sources say that they originated from the Netherlands. They are popular for having a crest of feathers on their heads.
The Polish chicken was introduced to America between 1830 and 1840 and became recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1874.
In France they were kept for their eggs but were later replaced by other Industrial chickens that have better egg laying abilities.
Their skulls have a bony lump that resembles a bump which makes these crest feathers pop out of their heads. Sometimes these crests get too long blocking their vision making them vulnerable to predator attacks.
Polish chickens have small combs that are not easily seen as they are tucked in their crest feathers. Their earlobes are white in color and the wattles are red. Today they are kept as ornamental chickens for their unique and beautiful crest feathers.
They are layers of white eggs but rarely go broody and they make rotten mothers
Dominique chickens are also called Dominicker or the pilgrim fowl. The pilgrims were then ones who brought this breed to the United States.
These chickens were a good dual purpose chicken breed. They were adored for their feathers which were used to stuff pillows and mattresses.
Dominique chickens originated from South England from where they found their way to the Northeast region in the United States.
Their popularity went down after the development of Plymouth Rock chickens which was accepted and widely kept. Sometimes in 1970s this breed was categorized as an endangered species due to rarity. After much breeding effort, they are now back again.
They have a rose comb that makes them hardy being able to withstand frost bite and the cold weather of the North. Their combs, wattles and earlobes are red in color.
They are good layers of 4 brown eggs per week making the number of eggs laid per year to 270. These birds have short stout legs that are yellow in color with four toes on each foot and the legs are featherless. It is ironical to say that hens make good mothers but rarely go broody.
Light Sussex chicken
The Light Sussex is a black and white chicken breed that traces its root from Europe. They have white bodies with black markings. The edges of their tail feathers have black tips.
They are classified as dual purpose chickens for they can offer much meat and lay a good number of eggs. When well taken care of, Light Sussex hens will lay a clutch of 280 eggs in a year. However, they are not short on broodiness and make reliable mothers.
These chickens are very hardy and easy to keep. They easily adapt and are not prone to common poultry diseases.
Light Sussex chickens make good friends as they are calm birds and are good when kept as show birds for their beautiful plumage.
This breed is not related in anyway with the known Wyandotte chickens from the North America. It was developed after crossing the White Wyandotte with the Barred Rock chickens.
They have beautiful white bodies with sporting white and black feathers on the tail, wing ends and the neck area. These chickens appear large because they have loose feathers. Mature birds can weigh between 7 to 8 pounds.
Columbian Wyandotte chickens are hardy birds that continue laying eggs even during winter. Their meat tastes so good and they offer much of it hence kept as a dual purpose breed.
In a year, the Columbian Wyandotte hen can lay between 200 and 250 brown eggs.
Barred Plymouth Rock
Barred Rocks are beautiful birds with feathers that are loose and well defined with black and white strips. They have single combs with five peaks while their skin and legs are yellow in color.
There are four toes on each foot and the legs are featherless. The breasts of these birds are huge and the backs are long and broad.
Barred Plymouth Rocks are prolific egg layers and good table birds as they can offer much meat. This makes them qualify as a dual purpose chicken breed.
In a year, Barred Plymouth hens will lay a clutch of 280 brown eggs. They are hardy and maintain their laying curve even during winter.
They are very calm and easily get along with kids and make good pets. Mature Barred Plymouth Rocks weigh between 8 to 9 pounds.
These non-aggressive birds originates from Asia and first set foot in America in the 1800s. They are large chickens with silvery white and black feathers.
There is a slight difference between the Brahma hens and the roosters in terms of feather coloration. The hens have dark grey and black penciled feathers while the cocks have black under bellies and tails.
Brahma chickens are a dual purpose breed as they are good egg layers and can offer much meat. Female Dark Brahma chickens will lay a bunch of 200 eggs in a year and are not affected by winter as they continue to lay.
Dark Brahmas are hardy chickens that withstand cold. They are large and can’t easily fly. Roosters weigh 12lbs while hens weigh 9lbs.
The Cuckoo Marans chickens closely resemble the Barred rocks but have orange eyes and white pinkish legs with the soles of their feet being white.
They originate from France. Marans chicken come in a variety of colors like wheaten, white, black, Columbian and the golden cuckoo. These birds are not cold hardy since they were developed in a warm climate area.
These chickens can lay between 150 to 200 large dark brown eggs. Their eggs are so brown such that some refer to them as chocolate eggs. They offer a fair amount of high quality white meat but not as much as Jersey giant roosters can offer.
Black Laced Wyandotte
The Wyandotte chickens are a dual purpose chicken breed that is very popular in the United States from where it originates. These chickens have white feathers edged with black markings.
Black Laced Wyandotte chickens are very calm and also very friendly getting along easily with children. However, they are not cuddly and will not allow you to sit them on your lap like other chicken pets.
They are heavy birds and can offer enough meat and lay a good number of eggs. In a year, Black Laced Wyandotte hens will lay 250 large brown eggs.
These birds seldom get broody and make awful mothers. Wyandotte chickens can easily bully other breeds as they want to maintain dominance on the pecking hierarchy. They are very quiet and handle confinement very well.
Lakenvelder chickens are a very rare breed and those who keep them do it for egg production because they are faithful layers. They are a unique black and white chicken breed that lacks spots.
Their bodies are lined with white feathers but around the heads, necks and tails are made up of black feathers. They are very friendly to their kind and this may also extend to humans. However, they can be somewhat aggressive and dominant.
Additionally, these chickens are easily scared and will fly and jump high when alarmed. The Lakenvelder chicken breed will do well when around to forage and are predator savvy.
The black and white chicken breed is among the best choice for your barnyard. These birds will add color, lay eggs, offer meat and some will make good chicken pets.
In addition to that, some are adept foragers and will help control insects pests and worms in your garden. Raising black and white chickens will not only be fun but also be a source of income too.