Whether you have chickens for laying eggs or meat production, it’s important to keep an eye on their weight. Knowing how much each breed of chicken should weigh helps you to estimate how much feed it’s going to need and also spot any possible illnesses or diseases within your flock.
Of course, the average weight of a chicken will depend on the breed and age of the bird. But, on average, a healthy chicken will weigh around 5.7 pounds.
In general, there are three different sizes of chicken breeds. Small, medium, and large. One of the smallest chicken breeds is the Sebright bantam. This miniature bird will only reach a normal weight of around 20 ounces.
Medium-sized chickens include the Leghorns, which weigh around 4.5 pounds. Other common breeds in this size range include the Rhode Island Reds, Wyandotte, Delaware, and Australorp breeds that have a normal weight of around 6.5 pounds.
Then, there are the larger breeds, such as the Plymouth Rock, Sussex, Brahma, Jersey Giants, and Orpington. These can achieve a normal weight of around 7 to 10 pounds.
Here’s a handy chart that lists the average standard weights of a variety of different chicken breeds.
|Chicken Breed||Standard Average Weight|
|Ameraucana||4.5 to 5.5 pounds|
|Ancona||4 to 5 pounds|
|Araucana||3.5 to 4 pounds|
|Aseel||4 to 5.5 pounds|
|Australorp||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Barnvelder||5 to 6 pounds|
|Blue Andalusian||4.5 to 6 pounds|
|Brahma||8 to 10 pounds|
|Buckeye||5.5 to 8 pounds|
|Buttercup||4 to 5.5 pounds|
|Campine||3.5 to 5 pounds|
|Catalana||5 to 6.5 pounds|
|Chantecler||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Cochin||7 to 9 pounds|
|Cornish||6.5 to 8.5 pounds|
|Crevecour||5.5 to 7 pounds|
|Cubalaya||3 to 4.5 pounds|
|Delaware||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Dominique||4 to 6 pounds|
|Dorking||6 to 8 pounds|
|Egyptian Fayoumis||2 to 3 pounds|
|Faverolle||5.5 to 7 pounds|
|Hamburg||3.5 to 4 pounds|
|Holland||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Houdans||5.5 to 7 pounds|
|Java||6.5 to 8 pounds|
|Jersey Giant||8 to 11 pounds|
|La Fleche||5.5 to 7 pounds|
|Lakenvelder||3.5 to 4 pounds|
|Lamona||5.5 to 7 pounds|
|Langshan||6.5 to 8 pounds|
|Leghorn||4 to 5 pounds|
|Malay||5 to 7 pounds|
|Manx Rumpy||4 to 4.5 pounds|
|Maran||7 to 8.5 pounds|
|Minorca||6.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Modern Game||4 to 5 pounds|
|Nankin||22 to 24 ounces|
|New Hampshire||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Old English Game||3.5 to 4 pounds|
|Orpington||7 to 8.5 pounds|
|Penedesencas||4.5 to 5.5 pounds|
|Phoenix||3.5 to 4.5 pounds|
|Plymouth Rock||6 to 8 pounds|
|Polish||4 to 5 pounds|
|Redcap||6 to 7.5 pounds|
|Rhode Island Red||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Rhode Island White||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Russian Orloff||6.5 to 8.5 pounds|
|Sebright||18 to 20 ounces|
|Shamo||6 to 9 pounds|
|Spanish||5.5 to 6.5 pounds|
|Sultan||3.5 to 5 pounds|
|Sumatra||3.5 to 4 pounds|
|Sussex||6 to 7.5 pounds|
|Welsumer||5 to 6 pounds|
|Wyandotte||5.5 to 7.5 pounds|
|Yokohama||3.5 to 4.5 pounds|
What Factors Can Affect A Chicken’s Weight
Apart from breed, there are other factors that can affect a chicken’s weight. These include changes in the weather and a change to its diet. If a chicken experiences stress in the coop or has become broody, this can also affect its weight.
Chickens can become stressed quite easily, and this can reduce the amount of feed that they’ll consume on a daily basis. It’s also important that you treat your hens regularly for parasites, as these can live in the digestive tract and reduce their appetite.
If you’ve recently increased the size of the chicken run, or you’re letting your hens roam around the yard for longer, they may be getting more exercise than they used to. While this may reduce their weight, you can stop this from happening if you increase how much feed you offer them.
Why Is Correct Weight Important For Raising Healthy Chickens?
Just like humans and other animals, chickens can suffer from a fluctuation in normal healthy weight. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your hens to ensure that they are a consistently healthy weight.
Underweight hens will lay smaller eggs and may suffer from health conditions such as a parasite infestation or a more serious illness.
On the other hand, overweight chickens can have difficulty laying eggs or develop the fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome. If this happens, it can be fatal to the hen as the liver becomes fragile and could be prone to bursting.
Obese chickens can also suffer from heat exhaustion because they are unable to regulate their body temperature well.
How Can You Help Your Chickens To Maintain A Healthy Weight?
Feeding your chickens a healthy diet of layer pellets can ensure that they maintain a healthy weight. How much you need to feed them will depend on the breed and also whether your hens are allowed to forage around in the yard or garden.
Commercially available layer pellets have been specifically formulated to ensure that they contain all the nutrients that your chickens need on a daily basis. This will help you to give your hens a great diet that will keep them happy and healthy.
Limit any treats, even healthy ones like fruits and vegetables, to a maximum of 5 percent of their daily diet. However, it’s not absolutely essential to give your chickens treats as the pellets contain all the nutrition that they need.
If at all possible, allow your hens to roam around the yard or garden. This not only gives them a chance to forage for some of their own food but will also give them plenty of exercise.
If this is not possible, consider increasing the size of the chicken run so that your hens can enjoy a healthy amount of exercise on a daily basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if my chicken is overweight or underweight?
You can use a scale to weigh your chickens on a regular basis to ensure that their weight is not fluctuating too much. You can also compare the weight to the average for your breed.
Can chickens lose weight like humans?
Just like humans, chickens can lose weight with a change in diet and regular exercise. However, if a chicken loses weight rapidly for no apparent reason, this could be a sign of illness.