Breda chickens are a rare breed of European origin and are the national bird of the Netherlands. They are very hardy in cold weather and are the only breed of chicken in the world with a complete lack of comb. They are best known for their wonderful temperaments but have recently become endangered.


Quick Facts about Breda Chickens

Breed Name:Breda chicken, Breda fowl
Place of Origin:The Netherlands
Uses:Eggs layers, table birds
Rooster (Male) Size:6½ lb (3 kg) or more
Hen (Female) Size:5 lb (2.25 kg) or more
Color:Black, white, blue, cuckoo, mottled
Lifespan:5 – 10 years
Climate Tolerance:Cold tolerant
Care Level:Beginner
Production:Eggs, meat

Breda Chicken Origins

The Breda chicken is a composite breed that likely hails from crested ancestry, though it does not have one of its own. Their feathered legs suggest their ancestry could be linked to the Malines breed.

Although the Breda chicken has been recognized in the Netherlands for several centuries, the breed’s true origins are unknown. Poultry experts have concluded that it is most likely that the breed was developed in the Netherlands. But this does spark some debates, as some have theorized the Breda could have begun in Belgium or France.


Breda Chicken Characteristics

The Breda chicken is a large, robust bird and is the only breed of chicken in the world that lacks a comb. They are incredibly cold hardy and adaptable to weather conditions.

The Breda are excellent foragers that do great as free-range birds. Their calm, docile nature makes them kid and animal-friendly. They are generally very alert and curious about people and their environment.


Breda chickens are a dual-purpose breed that is known for their egg productivity, with hens producing up to 180 eggs per year. They are also used as table birds. Their wonderful temperaments make them great barnyard companions as well.


Appearance & Varieties

Full-sized Breda chickens are medium-sized with large bodies and prominent breasts. Black is the most common coloration of Breda seen in the Netherlands though they do come in white, blue, cuckoo, and mottled coloration as well.

They are broad-backed with an upright posture with fully feathered legs complete with vulture hocks. Breda’s heads are shaped similar to a crow and they have large nostrils and curved beaks. They sport a tufted crest behind the forehead that noticeably lacks a comb.

Population, Distribution & Habitat

Breda’s have always been a rarer breed that is not commonly seen outside the Netherlands. There are some found throughout Europe but not in large numbers.

Due to their lack of crest, they do very well in colder habitats, which is necessary considering their home country. The Breda breed has recently reached an endangered status, but poultry keepers are working diligently to increase their numbers.


Are Breda Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Breda chickens are not aggressive and have wonderful temperaments, so they do well around children and other animals. Not only do they make great backyard companions, but the hens also have great egg productivity.

This breed is commonly dual purpose and is used for meat in addition to eggs. Their rarity and endangered status do not make them an easy breed to come by for small-scale farming. If their numbers were better and they were a more widespread breed, they would be ideal. Unfortunately, this wonderful breed of chicken has reached endangered status.

Overall, the Breda chicken is a great-tempered and unique chicken breed that is not seen much outside of the Netherlands. They are great egg producers and are also used for meat purposes. 

This is a breed of chicken you can rest assured will do well in the company of other animals and they are very tolerant of children. Unfortunately, due to their lack of numbers and distribution, they are now an endangered breed. 

Featured Image Credit: NataKo1, Shutterstock