Roosters are found in nearly all parts of the world. This is due largely to the worldwide popularity of chickens for eggs and meat. Hundreds of breeds of roosters exist, many with distinct characteristics that determine popularity.
Of the hundreds of types of roosters, the United States is home to many. Some are named after their home statse, including the California Gray, Delaware, Iowa Blue, New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock and White Plymouth Rock. The Barred Plymouth Rock is one of the most historically grounded, recognized in 1874 as a distinct breed by the American Standard of Perfection. These roosters are commonly used as backyard chickens and are known for their nonconfrontational demeanor.
Europe is home to many breeds. Belgium and Austria see Altsteirers and Sulmtaler roosters, while Germany is home to Bergischer Long Crowers, East Frisian Gulls and others. The UK has many breeds including Old English Games, Marsh Daisies and Frizzle Fowl. The Buff Orpington is one of the most common, recognized as a distinct breed in 1901. Also known as Golden Beauties, Orpingtons are known for quiet natures and plump, juicy meat. Other European roosters include Polish roosters, which despite their name are from the Netherlands.
Other Parts of the World
Canada, Chile, India and other countries have their own ranges of rooster breeds. The Chinese Silkie chicken has gained a reputation as a medicinal food. This is due in part to its black skin, bones and meat, which were believed to enhance immunity and protect against diseases like diabetes and anemia. The Silkie was popularized by Marco Polo in the 13th century and was officially recognized in the Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Several hybrid rooster breeds exist, developed by crossing purebreds. Hybrid strains tend to lay eggs that are durable in the cold, and begin producing eggs at a younger age. Cinnamon Queens and Cherry Eggers are both known for one or both of these traits. Other hybrids include the Red Sex Link, a cross between a Rhode Island Red and Delaware Chicken, and the Black Sex Link, a mix between the Rhode Island Red and Barred Rock Chicken.
Sarah Whitman's work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, websites and informational booklets. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in nutrition, and her projects feature nutrition and cooking, whole foods, supplements and organics. She also specializes in companion animal health, encouraging the use of whole foods, supplements and other holistic approaches to pet care.