Revealed: What is a Large Chicken Called?


🌟Life, Love, and Gastronomy 🍷

a large chicken called broiler

Chickens have been a part of human history for centuries, providing us with food, companionship, and even entertainment. But have you ever wondered about those particularly large chickens you might have seen at a farm or in videos? What are they called? This article delves deep into the world of these giant birds, shedding light on their names, history, and significance.

What is a large chicken called?

A large chicken is often referred to as a “broiler” or “roaster.” These terms are commonly used in the poultry industry to describe chickens that are bred specifically for their size and meat production. Another term for large chickens, especially those bred for show or for their impressive size, is “giant chicken breeds.” Examples of giant chicken breeds include the Jersey Giant, Brahma, and Cochin. These breeds are known for their substantial size compared to standard chicken breeds. There are several types of large chickens, each with its unique features. If you’re keen on understanding the different breeds, dive into the 3 main types of chickens that are popularly known.

The World of Chickens

Chickens come in various sizes and breeds. From the petite bantams to the majestic Jersey Giants, each breed has its unique characteristics. But when we talk about large chickens, we’re often referring to specific breeds known for their size. One such breed that stands out is the Cornish hen. Learn more about the Cornish Hen Recipe and how it’s a favorite in many households. The history of large chickens is as fascinating as the birds themselves. Did you know that fried chicken, a dish loved by many, has its roots traced back to various cultures? Discover who truly invented fried chicken and how it became a global sensation.

Benefits of Raising Large Chickens

white brahma hen with feathers on the feet in the henhouse

Large chickens, often referred to as heavy breeds or giants, have been a part of poultry farming for centuries. Their impressive size and stature make them a favorite among many poultry enthusiasts. But what are the real benefits of raising these giants? Let’s delve into the advantages of keeping large chickens.

More Meat Production

One of the most obvious benefits of raising large chickens is the increased meat yield. Due to their size, these chickens produce more meat compared to their standard-sized counterparts. This means that farmers and backyard poultry keepers can get more meat per bird, making it a more efficient choice for those looking to maximize their meat production. Large chickens, given their size, often end up as the star of the dining table. One popular way to cook them is by frying. Explore the art of making a whole fried chicken and why it’s a favorite in many cultures.

Stronger and Healthier Birds

Large chickens are often more robust and hardy. Their size gives them an advantage in fending off predators, and they are less likely to get injured. Moreover, many large chicken breeds have been selectively bred for their strength and resilience, making them less susceptible to common poultry diseases.

Better Egg Production

While large chickens are primarily known for their meat, they are no slouches when it comes to egg production. Many large breeds are consistent layers, producing large eggs that are perfect for families. Their eggs are not only bigger but also have a richer taste, which is a delight for many egg enthusiasts.

In conclusion, raising large chickens offers a plethora of benefits, from increased meat and egg production to the resilience and strength of the birds. Whether you’re a seasoned poultry farmer or a beginner looking to start your flock, large chickens are undoubtedly worth considering.

Challenges with Large Chickens

Raising large chickens, while rewarding, comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some of the primary concerns and issues associated with keeping these oversized birds:

Dietary Needs:

Due to their size, large chickens often require a specialized diet to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for growth and maintenance. This can mean higher feed costs and the need for specialized feed formulations.

Space Requirements:

Larger chickens naturally require more space. This means they need larger coops, nesting areas, and roaming spaces. If confined to tight spaces, they can become stressed or develop health issues.

Health Concerns:

Their size can sometimes lead to specific health problems. For instance, they might be more prone to leg issues or joint problems due to the weight they carry. Heart conditions can also be a concern.

Breeding Difficulties:

Larger breeds might face challenges during breeding. The size difference can sometimes make the process more complicated, leading to lower fertility rates.

Slower Growth Rate:

Some large chicken breeds have a slower growth rate compared to commercial broiler breeds. This means longer waiting times before they reach a marketable size or begin laying eggs.

Temperature Sensitivity:

Due to their size and feather density, some large chicken breeds might be more sensitive to extreme temperatures, requiring additional considerations for shelter during hot or cold weather.

Potential Aggression:

While not exclusive to large breeds, some big chickens can be more assertive or even aggressive, especially if they feel cramped or threatened.

Higher Maintenance Costs:

Larger birds can mean higher costs, not just in terms of food, but also when considering medical care, housing, and other necessities.

Transportation Issues:

Moving large chickens, whether for shows, sales, or medical reasons, can be more challenging due to their size and weight.

Integration with Smaller Breeds:

If you have a mixed flock, integrating larger chickens with standard or bantam breeds can be tricky. There’s a risk of the larger birds bullying the smaller ones, leading to stress or even injury.

In conclusion, while large chickens can be a joy to raise and offer several benefits, potential poultry keepers should be aware of the challenges they might face. Proper research, preparation, and care can help address many of these issues, ensuring that both the chickens and their keepers have a positive experience.

Caring for Large Chickens

Raising large chickens, often referred to as heavy breeds or giants, requires a unique set of care practices to ensure their health, happiness, and productivity. While many of the basics are similar to caring for standard-sized chickens, there are some nuances to consider when dealing with these larger birds. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to care for large chickens:

Proper Nutrition

Balanced Diet: Large chickens have greater nutritional needs due to their size. It’s essential to provide them with a balanced diet that meets their protein, energy, vitamin, and mineral requirements. Look for high-quality poultry feed specifically formulated for heavy breeds.

Supplements: Occasionally, you might need to supplement their diet with additional calcium, especially if you notice thin eggshells. Oyster shells or crushed eggshells can be a good source.

Fresh Water: Always ensure that your chickens have access to clean and fresh water. Large chickens consume more water than smaller breeds, so check their water supply frequently.

Adequate Shelter

Spacious Coop: Due to their size, large chickens require more space in the coop. Ensure that each bird has at least 4 square feet of space to move around comfortably.

Strong Perches: Large chickens are heavier, so their perches need to be sturdy and well-secured. Ensure they are placed at a comfortable height for the birds to roost.

Protection from Predators: Their size might deter some predators, but it’s still crucial to secure the coop with predator-proof latches and hardware cloth to keep out potential threats.

Regular Health Check-ups

Routine Inspections: Regularly inspect your chickens for signs of illness or injury. Check their eyes, beak, feathers, and feet. Early detection can prevent more severe health issues.

Parasite Control: Large chickens can still be susceptible to external parasites like mites and lice. Regularly clean the coop and consider natural or commercial treatments if an infestation occurs.

Vaccinations: Consult with a veterinarian about recommended vaccinations for your flock. Keeping up with vaccinations can prevent many common poultry diseases.

In conclusion, while large chickens are a joy to raise and offer numerous benefits, they also come with their own set of challenges. By providing them with proper nutrition, adequate shelter, and regular health check-ups, you can ensure that your large chickens thrive and live a happy, productive life.

The Economic Impact of Large Chickens

Large chickens, specifically bred for their size and meat yield, have had a significant impact on the poultry industry and the broader economy. Here’s a closer look at the economic implications of these oversized birds:

Increased Meat Production:

One of the primary reasons for breeding large chickens is the increased meat yield. A larger bird means more meat per chicken, which can lead to higher profits for poultry farmers and meat processors.

Efficiency in Production:

While large chickens might consume more feed, the ratio of feed to meat production can be more efficient in certain breeds. This efficiency can translate to cost savings in the long run.

Consumer Demand:

With the growing global demand for chicken meat, large chickens have become increasingly popular. Their size makes them suitable for family meals, and they often feature prominently in restaurants and fast-food chains.

Specialty Markets:

Large chicken breeds, especially those known for their taste or organic rearing methods, can fetch premium prices in specialty or niche markets.

Job Creation:

The demand for large chickens can lead to job creation in various sectors, from farming and feed production to processing, transportation, and retail.

Innovation in Breeding:

The desire for larger birds has fueled research and innovation in poultry breeding. This has led to the development of breeds that grow faster, are more disease-resistant, and can thrive in various environmental conditions.

Impact on Feed Industry:

The dietary needs of large chickens have influenced the feed industry. There’s a demand for specialized feed formulations to cater to these birds, leading to growth and diversification in the feed sector.

Cultural and Tourism Impact:

Some regions have festivals, shows, or competitions centered around large chickens or poultry in general. These events can attract tourists and boost local economies.

Challenges for Small Farmers:

While large-scale poultry operations might benefit from the economies of scale with large chickens, small farmers might find it challenging to compete. The costs associated with raising large breeds and meeting their specific needs can be prohibitive for smaller operations.

Environmental Considerations:

Large-scale production of big chickens can have environmental implications, from feed production and waste management to water usage. These environmental factors can have indirect economic consequences, such as the need for waste treatment facilities or water conservation measures.

In conclusion, large chickens have undeniably left their mark on the economic landscape. Their influence spans multiple sectors, from direct poultry production to ancillary industries and even cultural events. As with any industry, there are both benefits and challenges, but the economic significance of large chickens in the global market is undeniable.

Cultural Significance of Large Chickens

Throughout history, chickens have held a prominent place in various cultures around the world. Large chickens, in particular, have been revered, celebrated, and integrated into cultural practices and folklore. Their impressive stature and unique characteristics have made them symbols of strength, prosperity, and more. Let’s explore the cultural significance of large chickens across different societies.

Large Chickens in Folklore and Mythology

Symbols of Strength: In many cultures, the size and strength of large chickens have made them symbols of power and resilience. They are often associated with warriors and leaders, representing courage and might.

Harbingers of Good Fortune: Some societies believe that the presence of a large chicken, especially a rooster, brings good luck to the household. Their crowing is thought to ward off evil spirits and usher in a new day filled with possibilities.

Creation Myths: In certain cultures, chickens, especially large ones, play a role in creation myths. They are sometimes depicted as creatures that brought forth the world or as intermediaries between the heavens and the earth.

Festivals and Celebrations Featuring Large Chickens

Cockfighting: While controversial in modern times, cockfighting has ancient roots in many cultures, from Asia to Latin America. Large roosters were prized for their strength and agility, and the sport was often associated with religious ceremonies or festive occasions.

Harvest Festivals: In some agricultural societies, large chickens were sacrificed during harvest festivals as an offering of thanks to deities for a bountiful yield. Their size made them suitable for communal feasts, symbolizing abundance and communal unity.

Rituals and Ceremonies: Large chickens have been used in various rituals, from rites of passage to healing ceremonies. Their significance can vary, but they often serve as offerings or symbols of transformation.

In conclusion, large chickens have been more than just sources of meat and eggs in many cultures. Their cultural significance is deeply rooted in ancient practices, beliefs, and stories that highlight their importance beyond the coop. Whether seen as powerful symbols, participants in rituals, or central figures in folklore, large chickens have left an indelible mark on human history and culture.


What is a male chicken called? A male chicken is called a “rooster” or “cock.” They’re known for their crowing and often have more vibrant plumage than females.

What is a small chicken called? A small chicken is often referred to as a “chick.” Additionally, “bantam” is a term for miniature chicken breeds.

How big are Brahma chickens? Brahma chickens are among the largest breeds, with males weighing 12-18 lbs and females 9-12 lbs. They’re known for their size and feathered legs.

Is a hen a turkey? No, a “hen” typically refers to a female chicken. In the context of turkeys, a “hen” is a female turkey, but they are distinct from chickens.


In the vast realm of poultry, understanding the distinctions and nuances is essential. From the crowing roosters to the petite bantams, each bird plays a unique role. While Brahma chickens impress with their size, it’s crucial to remember that hens and turkeys are distinct entities. As we navigate the world of poultry, this knowledge not only enriches our experience but also deepens our appreciation for these fascinating creatures.

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