Black and white chicken breeds are very striking in their appearance. Their solid white or solid black feathers, or combination of black and white, make for a stunning display in your backyard.
Interestingly, some chicken breeds with black feathers have white meat while certain breeds with white feathers have black meat. The blackest of the black have black bone and almost black blood.
Some of these stunning chicken breeds are raised for show purposes only, while others are raised for egg production or dual purpose both egg and meat production.
If you’re looking for attractive chickens to raise in your backyard for show, meat and/or egg production, consider some of these 20 black and white chicken breeds.
Pure Black Chicken Breeds
Originating in Australia, Australorps have black feathers that have a green and purple sheen to them. This breed is prized for both egg production and meat. Hens produce around 250 light brown egg per year. They will go broody a couple times each year. Living to around 8-10 years of age, one Australorp hen can provide you with 2,500 eggs in her life time. This breed holds the record for most eggs produced in one year. The record holding hen laid 364 eggs in one year.
Adults weigh between 7-8 pounds and will adapt to living in either confined spaces or free range. Australorps are shy until they get to know their owner, then they will happily follow their owner around like a puppy.
Native to Indonesia, the Ayam Cemani chicken is the blackest of all breeds. A genetic condition of hyperpigmentation causes this breed to have black feathers, skin, beaks, claws, and meat. Even the blood from this chicken is almost black. The perfect black ones have a very high value in Indonesia, because it is believed that they possess mystical powers.
The eggs of the Ayam Cemani are white, however, they are not big egg producers and will have times when they stop laying eggs. Expect about 80 eggs per year from this black chicken breed.
Adult hens are small and weigh about 4-6 pounds. They have long, featherless legs and sharp spurs.
Black Shumans originated in Bulgaria and are rare, with only 350 accounted for worldwide. The deep black feathers have a green sheen and the head is topped off with a very prominent red comb. The meat of this chicken is white.
Adult Black Shumens will weigh between 3-4 pounds. Hens are good layers and will produce around 150 large white eggs per year. They rarely go broody.
Hens mature early and begin laying large, grayish eggs at the rate of 170 per year. Black Shumans weigh between 4-6 pounds when mature.
This all black chicken has black feathers, black comb, black eyes, black meat and even black bones. The appearance of the cooked meat from this black meat chicken might take some getting used too, but the nutritional value exceeds all other white meat chicken breeds.
This solid black chicken is highly prized for its nutritious meat. High in protein and low in fat and cholesterol, this black meat chicken is raised in backyards primarily for meat production.
Adult Kadaknath chicken will weigh 4-6 pounds. Hens will lay around 100 white eggs per year. They are poor setters and rarely hatch their own eggs.
Originating in Spain, the Minorca is a large chicken breed typically raised as an ornamental breed. However, they are good eggs producers. Minorca hens will lay around 120 large, white eggs per year. The hens start laying eggs at 26 weeks and rarely get broody. Some strains of the Minorca will produce more eggs, up to 230 per year.
Minorcas are a hardy breed that will adapt well to any climate, soil condition and to confinement.
Graceful and energetic, Minorcas are a great addition to a backyard farm for both appearance and egg production, Also known as Red Faced Black Chickens, they have light red faces and the comb of the hens fall forward.
Originating in England in the 1800s, this black chicken breed has short, fluffy feathers that make the chickens look much large than they really are. The thick, soft, puffy layer of feathers allows this chicken breed to stay warm in cold climates. Underneath the black feathers is a layer of white skin.
Bred for both meat and eggs, Orpingtons lay around 150 large brown eggs per year. Adults weight between 8-10 pounds. Orpingtons do come in other colors, but black is the most striking.
This black chicken breed is soft and fluffy, with a gentle nature that makes them excellent pets. Chatty and sweet, Silkies are an excellent pet choice for children or for first time breeders.
Silkies have some very unique characteristics: they are not water proof like other chicken breeds; they have black faces and black skin; they have five toes instead of the usual four and their meat is a dark gray-blue color.
Silkies will lay around 100 white eggs per year and try to hatch every one of them. They are not good layers, but they are excellent mothers and will set on any clutch of eggs and ‘mother’ any little chicks in the chicken coop.
Originating in Sumatra, this black chicken breed is known for its long flowing tail and fighting capability. This breed was once used only for fighting, but is now bred as a show chicken. While the breed has lost much of its fighting capability, it has retained its flying ability and a tall fence will be needed to keep this chicken breed in your backyard.
Sumatra chicken will weigh 3-4 pounds when mature. Hens lay around 100 small white eggs per year.
Sumatras are flighty and skiddish, not a good choice for pets or eggs. The long flowing tail feathers which touch the ground make them best raised as show chickens.
This chicken is cross between the Ayam Cemani and local Swedish chickens. It has all the same black pigmentation, including a black tongue, but it’s smaller than the Ayam Cemani. Adult hens will weigh between 5-7 pounds.
These chickens have a calm nature and are good laying hens. Swedish Black hens will produce about 150 cream colored eggs per year.
Originating in Italy in the early 1900s, this breed has deep black feathers that have a green sheen. Large bright red comb makes this breed highly noticeable among a flock of hens.
Hardy breed known for its high quality meat and egg production. Adults weigh between 4-5 pounds and hens will produce around 200 white eggs per year when they are five months old.
Valdarnos are strong, rustic chickens that were bred for life outdoors. Ideal breed for large, open backyards where chickens can forage on the free range.
Black and White Chicken Breeds
An attractive black and white chicken breed that has solid black feathers with white tips. Every fifth feather has a white tip which gives this breed a speckled appearance.
Originating in Italy, Anconas are very popular in the United States and England.
This hardy breed is an excellent egg producer, laying over 200 eggs per year even in cooler winter temperatures. Hens rarely go broody, are excellent foragers and can fly well also.
Black feathered body with white head, the Black Cochin originated in China and is noted for its massive appearance. The fluffy underlayer of feathers make this black and white chicken breed look much bigger than it really is.
This breed is hardy and handles cold weather well. Calm and friendly nature, great for children’s pet.
Hens will produce around 200 eggs per year, continuing to lay even during winter. They will go broody a few times per year.
Attractive black and white chicken that appears to have stripes. Originating in Massachusetts, the Barred Rock is a sweet, friendly highly productive egg layer that will produce around 300 eggs per year.This breed is a dual purpose breed, raised for both eggs and meat.
Calm and friendly nature, this hardy bird will adapt to most any situation. Cold hardy and ideal for raising in areas that have harsh winter weather.
White Crested Black Polish
Attractive show chickens, the White Crested Black Polish is an ornamental breed that originated in Poland.
This breed is gentle and meek, making it ideal for a pet. The attractive white crest on top of its head looks more like hair than feathers, but the crest also impairs its vision.
This unique chicken breed is not known for its egg production, although one hen will provide you with 200 eggs per year. For its safety and happiness, keep White Crested Black Polish chickens in a confined space. Keep this bird dry at all times, especially in winter, to prevent head feathers from freezing.
Originating in Wisconsin in the 1800s, the black and white Golden Wyandotte has black lace feathers and black tail, topped off with red comb, ear lobes and wattle.
This breed is calm and docile, excellent for backyard chicken breeding. Hens will lay around 120 brown eggs per year and will occasionally go broody. Golden Wyandottes are happy raised in confinement or free range.
White Chicken Breeds
Originally from Italy, White Leghorns are a backyard must-have for egg production. This breed will begin laying eggs at 16 weeks old and provide you with almost 300 eggs per year.
The breed is nervous and flighty, but adapts to a life confined to a fenced area. Adults will weight between 5-7 pounds.
Originating in Canada in the 1900s, a monk named Wilfrid Châtelain, developed a practical chicken that would be suited to Canada’s climate, and be an excellent dual-purpose bird. A few years later, the Chantecler white chicken breed was born.
Large white chicken that will produce 200 eggs per year and has tasty meat. Calm and tame nature, but dislikes confinement. You will need a large roaming space to keep this bird happy.
Native to Turkey, but arrived in England in the mid 1800s. This is a unique looking white chicken breed, with feathered shanks, a V-shaped comb, five toes and large nostrils.
They have a happy disposition, and despite their small size they lay large white eggs. Egg production is minimal, typically one egg per week. Sultans are also good meat birds.
Sultans prefer hot weather and confinement. They don’t fare well in cold climates or as free range birds.
Native to France and must be raised within the historic region of Bresse, France. This white chicken breed is declared to be the best tasting chicken in the world.
The raising and selling of this chicken breed is strictly controlled by the French government so the high quality can be maintained.
The Bresse is the same color as the French flag – white body, red comb and blue legs. Very attractive, and very costly chicken, with a price tag of over $20 per pound. Birds are raised as free range and legs are banded to denote authenticity.
This is a young American chicken breed that has only been around since the mid 1900s. A cross between New Hampshire Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks was made to develop a chicken breed that would be an excellent egg layer and be good for the table.
This relatively new breed is calm, friendly and large, weighing up to 8 pounds when mature. This breed starts laying eggs when only a few weeks old. Eggs will be large and brown.
Delaware chickens enjoy colder climates and do not like hot, tropical climates. Adjusts well to life in confined spaces.