How Much Does The Average Chicken Weigh? (Farm Animal 101)

Keeping chickens is a rewarding experience. Not only do they produce tasty eggs for the kitchen table, but chickens have surprisingly vibrant personalities and are very social animals. They can quickly start to feel like a member of the family.

But while a tiny chicken running around the backyard might seem like no problem at all, some chickens can get rather big. Exactly how big depends on their specific breed. Larger breeds can weigh as much as 10 pounds, while small bantam chickens can weigh less than two pounds. How big your chickens will get will dictate how many you can comfortably keep in the space you have.

With that in mind, we’ll look at the average size of the most popular chicken breeds, using weight as an indicator of size. We will also go through how much space you need to keep a chicken well, based on their size.

Chicken Breed Size Guide

Breed NameSize ClassificationAvg. Hen SizeAvg. Rooster Size
CochinLarge8.5 pounds11 pounds
BrahmaLarge8 pounds10 pounds
OrpingtonLarge8 pounds10 pounds
AustralorpLarge8 pounds10 pounds
Plymouth RocksLarge7.5 pounds8.5 pounds
Rhode Island RedStandard6.5 pounds8.5 pounds
WyandottesStandard6 pounds9 pounds
ISA BrownStandard5 pounds6 pounds
PolishStandard4.5 pounds6 pounds
SilkieBantam1.5 pounds2.5 pounds
JapaneseBantam1.1 pounds1.3 pounds

Chicken Breed Size Overview By Breed

A summary of the average size of hens and roosters of the most popular chicken breeds is provided in the table above. Below you’ll find a more detailed discussion for each breed.

Cochin Chickens

Cochin chickens are known for their friendly manner and puffy plumage. They tend to be lazy, so they don’t need too much space, and they enjoy getting attention from people of all sizes. This has made them popular pets, even though they only lay one or two eggs a week.

They are one of the giant chicken breeds, with the hens weighing around 8.5 pounds on average and the roosters an average of 11 pounds 

They have a life expectancy of between five and eight years.

Brahma Chickens

Brahma chickens are often known as gentle giants because they are big but friendly birds. They have soft feathers that you can snuggle up against, and this also helps them do relatively well in colder climates. They look regal with their large size and beautiful plumage, plus they will produce three to four eggs for you per week.

Brahma hens reach a respectable eight pounds in weight, while roosters are noticeably larger at around 10 pounds. Specially bred bantam versions of this chicken are sold, also. 

The full-size birds generally have a lifespan of around eight years.

Orpington Chickens

Orpington chickens are known to be both docile and broody, so they will sit on their eggs all day. But they are also very social and love attention so will enjoy being part of a family. They are known for the interesting colors of their plumage with pallets such as jubilee diamond and lemon cuckoo. They are good egg layers,producing between three and five eggs each week.

This is another very large breed, with hens averaging around eight pounds and roosters around 10 pounds. Bantam versions of the breed are also widely available. 

They have a life expectancy of around eight years.

Australorp Chickens

The Australorp, which is basically the Australian version of the Orpington, is majestic with its jet-black feathers with purple and green sheens. They are robust but docile poultry, but can struggle in humid climates. They are prolific layers, producing around five eggs each week.

This is another large breed with hens growing to around eight pounds and roosters to around 10 pounds, though bantams are also available. 

They have an average life expectancy of eight years.

Plymouth Rock Chickens

Plymouth Rock chickens are slightly smaller birds and extremely hardy. They can live in most weather conditions and seem to thrive even when they don’t have the best nutrition — though you should still feed them well. They produce around four eggs per week throughout the year.

These birds are still pretty big, with hens reaching around 7.5 pounds in weight and roosters around 8.5 pounds. 

They have a healthy life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.

Rhode Island Reds

Rhode Island reds are one of the most common chicken breeds because they are excellent egg layers. They lay five to size eggs a week and start producing young from about four months of age. They are hardy animals that do well in cold weather.

They are still fairly large birds, with hens reaching around 6.5 pounds and roosters 8.5 pounds. 

Hens keep producing eggs well into old age, but they have a short lifespan of 4-5 years.

Wyandotte Chickens

Wyandottes are extremely attractive chickens with feathers that look a bit like scales since they are often a solid color with a different color outline. They come in colors such as silver lace and blue-laced red. 

They are hardy chickens that pretty much look after themselves but are docile and will appreciate some love and attention from the family. They lay a healthy four to five eggs per week.

Wyandotte hens grow to be around six pounds in adulthood, while the male roosters are significantly bigger at around nine pounds. 

They have a lifespan of between five and 12 years.

ISA Brown Chickens

ISA brown is another extremely popular chicken breed because they will lay around six eggs a week year-round in the first two years of their life, and then produce three to four to week regularly for the rest of their lives. But they do have a relatively short lifespan of just four years.

These are medium-sized chickens with hens reaching around five pounds and roosters around six pounds. They look like your classic chicken and have a gentle and docile temperament.

Polish Chickens

Polish chickens, originally from the Netherlands, are known for the impressive band of plumage they have on their heads. This has led them to be mostly show birds, despite producing a respectable two to four eggs per week. Their eggs are also noted for the whiteness of their shells.

These docile birds are of medium size, with hens racing between four and five pounds and roosters around six pounds. 

They have a life expectancy of around eight years.

Silkie Bantams

Silkie bantams are adorable little chickens with a soft and furry appearance that children will want to snuggle up against. This breed is docile and friendly, so kids can safely handle them. While they produce two to three eggs per week, they are mostly considered ornamental chickens.

These little hens reach only around 1.5 pounds, while the roosters reach around 2.5 pounds. 

They have a life expectancy of seven to eight years.

Japanese Bantams

Japanese bantams, also called Chabo, are tiny birds known for their upright tails that reach high up over the bird’s head. They are friendly and relatively trainable, and will even ride on shoulders if shown how to from a young age.

These little hens reach only about 1.1 pounds in weight, while the roosters reach around 1.3 pounds.

How Much Space Do My Chickens Need?

How much space your chickens need to live comfortably depends principally on their size, but temperament can also make a difference. Lazy chickens who prefer to sit for most of the day and that are docile can deal with a little less space than active chickens or those with a more aggressive nature. But size can be used as a strong guide for determining the amount of space you need.

Chickens can be divided into three main size categories: There are large chickens, which are hens that weigh around eight pounds and up;standard, which are hens that weigh between four and eight pounds; and bantam, which are the little ones less than four pounds but with hens that usually weigh less than two pounds.

Each individual chicken will need a minimum amount of coop space, which is the enclosed space where they do their laying, and a minimum amount of run space, which is where they are active and will do their eating. This is usually measured in square feet, and you can see a summary of the required space for each size category in the table below.

Bird SizeCoop SpaceRun Space
Large8 square feet15 square feet
Standard4 square feet8 square feet
Bantam2 square feet5 square feet

It’s important to remember that many large and standard-size chicken breeds are also bred in bantam size specifically for backyard coops. Confirm with the breeder the expected size of the adult birds.

Learn about the benefits of raising backyard chickens here.

What Is Your Preferred Breed?

Eggs are a hugely valuable source of nutrition, and unfortunately, this has led to chickens being mistreated for years due to mass production. Fortunately, though, the tide is turning and most people are aware of the need to keep chickens in humane conditions. 

For small-time owners, one of the most important questions is having enough space for your chickens. The size of your chicken is the easiest way to predict the amount of space you will need to keep them happy and healthy.

Read our complete guide to raising backyard chickens here.

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