The Pavlovskaya chicken is one of the rarest and most beguiling chickens in the world. Native to Russia, the Pavlovskaya is famed for its plumed crest, feathered feet, and rich history. Eating the Pavolvskaya’s meat isn’t encouraged due to its rarity, and instead, these chickens are usually acquired for decorative purposes.

In this article, we’re going to dig a little deeper into the Pavlovskaya chicken’s origins and explore what makes it such a special breed.

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Quick Facts About the Pavlovskaya Chicken


Breed Name:Pavlovskaya
Place of Origin:Russia
Rooster (Male) Size:4 lbs
Hen (Female) Size:3–4 lbs
Lifespan:5–8 years
Climate Tolerance:A range of temperatures
Care Level:Low–moderate
Production:None—eggs are sometimes sold so enthusiasts can raise chicks

Pavlovskaya Chicken Origins

The Pavlovskaya originates from Russia or, more specifically, the Pavlovo, a village approximately 200 miles away from Moscow to the east. The breed’s existence was first recorded in the 18th century, and, according to one myth, the Pavlovskaya’s ancestors lived in Queen Catherine II of Russia’s poultry yard.

By the closing of the 19th century, the breed was starting to vanish, and eventually, only two Pavlovskaya’s remained—two roosters. By breeding one rooster with hens of similar genetic makeup and then back-breeding to the father, farmers managed to save the Pavlovskaya breed. The breed remains incredibly rare today, even in Russia.

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Pavlovskaya Chicken Characteristics

The Pavlovskaya is rather striking, with one of its most distinctive features being the little spray of feathers that sits atop its round head. They are famous for having attractive, elegant features. Despite this, they’re still considered a hardy breed with the capacity to withstand a range of temperatures, including cold Russian winters.

In terms of personality, the Pavlovskaya is known to get along well with humans as a rule, which increases their popularity further. They are generally easygoing and docile in temperament and hens make excellent mothers. They’re reputed to be a little bossy and even haughty at times, though—they must be fully aware of their own beauty!

Another aspect that contributes to the rarity of Pavlovskayas is the fact that hens only lay around 70 to 90 eggs per year on average. These eggs tend to be white, creamy, or beige in color and medium-sized.


Pavlovskaya chickens aren’t really used for meat or eggs, and the people who acquire them usually do so due to the Pavlovskaya’s special appearance and rarity. Eating Pavlovskaya meat is not encouraged, nor is selling their eggs for eating as efforts are still ongoing to preserve this breed.

Pavlovskaya Chicken
Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

Pavlovskayas come in a variety of colors, including silver, gold, fawn, black-gold, red, and white and they are sometimes, but not always, speckled. Their tails are also very eye-catching, are carried high, and come in a mix of colors.

They have a red face, broad shoulders, an arched neck, and are quite petite in comparison to other breeds. They are slightly plump around the middle and have feathering around their feet similar to grouses.

Population, Distribution & Habitat

The approximate number of Pavlovskayas in the world is unknown—all we know is that they’re rare. In terms of habitat, they need an open space as they enjoy spending time roaming freely outdoors. Though they do well in a range of climates, they do need some form of shelter—a safe space that they know they can go to if it’s especially hot or cold.

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Are Pavlovskaya Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

Not really. These chickens aren’t usually kept for meat or to sell eggs for eating. More often, people sell some of their Pavlovskaya eggs, chicks, or fully-feathered chickens to other enthusiasts who appreciate the Pavlovskaya’s unique appearance.

Our research has shown that Pavlovskaya eggs and chicks cost around $50 on average, and fully feathered Pavlovskaya chickens sell for around $80. This depends on the breeder, though.

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The regal and rare Pavlovskaya is truly a sight to behold. If you’re looking for some Pavlovskayas to add an extra touch of class to your farm, ranch, or backyard, there are certainly some breeders in the U.S. Eggs are few and far between, though, with only around 70–90 being laid every year, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to get them at any given time.

Featured Image Credit: Irina Korozor, Shutterstock