Different breeds of chickens, as well as different strains within a breed, will vary in temperament and production capacity. The 'perfect' breed for your operation will depend on your management and production needs.
Chicken breeds are grouped according to classes. The classification for large chicken breeds is based on their place of origin - American, Asiatic, English, Mediterranean, Continental, and Other (including Oriental). Bantams are classified according to certain characteristics - whether or not they are game breeds, by their comb style, and the presence or absence of leg feathering.
Selecting the right chicken breed (University of Kentucky)
Selecting chickens for home use (University of California)
Henderson's Handy-Dandy Chicken Chart (An alphabetical list of more than 60 chicken breeds with comparative information)
My Pet Chicken - This is a tool to help poultry newcomers determine which breed(s) of chicken are best suited to their needs/wants
Specialty chicken (University of Kentucky)
Bantam chickens (North Central Regional Extension Publication)
Bantam breeds: Fun to raise, easy to keep (Backyard Poultry magazine)
Photos of different chicken breeds (Agripedia - University of Kentucky)
The History of Chicken Breeds (University of Illinois)
Some historic breeds are better adapted to cold weather (Backyard Poultry Magazine)
Heritage chickens defined (American Livestock Breeds Conservancy)
ALBC chicken breed comparison sheet (American Livestock Breeds Conservancy)
The cochin chicken - "Cochins are gigantic with an abundance of feathers and calm disposition. The eggs of the Cochin are extremely large, and the majority of them come during the winter. Cochins are an ideal choice of chicken for colder climates."
The Brahma chicken - "Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”, the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. Brahmas are large chickens with feathers on shanks and toes, pea comb, smooth fitting plumage with dense down in all sections, and broad, wide head with skull projecting over the eyes. They come in three color varieties – the Light, the Dark, and the Buff."
Leghorn - white
Leghorn - nonwhite
Manx Rumpy (aka Persian Rumpless)
Naked Neck (aka Turken)
Silkie (aka black-skinned chicken)