Anatomy Genetics

Trivial Pursuit: Chicken Genetics Edition

When I sit down to write I tend to favour being wordy. I’m an educator by trade and often seize the opportunity to convey as much information as I can on a subject in a thousand words or so.

I’m aware that not everyone has the time or inclination to wade through long reads so occasionally I’ll post short quizzes or learning tips on my Facebook page. Here are four that are related to chicken genetics. The answers are at the bottom of the page.

Quiz Time


Most of my birds have some kind of a crest, inherited from their mother, father or both of them. The crest is a dominant gene so even if only one parent is crested their offspring will have one – sometimes smaller than their parent’s. Here are some members of my flock.

How many crested chicken breeds can you name?


There are 9 recognized types of combs (in addition there are duplex or combination combs). The first bird is Funky, one of my hens named for her interesting comb.

What are the different types of combs?  

Five Toes

Polydactyly is a genetic mutation causing extra toes. There are several chicken breeds where five (not four) toes is the standard (and a requirement of the Standard of Perfection).

What breeds have five toes?

Feathered Feet/Legs

Most chicken have clean legs but there are several breeds in which lightly or fully feathered feet and/or legs is the standard. What are they?


Crested birds include: Altsteirer; Appenzeller Spitzhauben; Brabanter; Breda; Burmese; Crevecoeur; Houdan; Icelandic; Legbar; Owlbeard; Pavlovskaya; Polish; Sanjak; Silkie; Sulmtaler; Sultan and Swedish Flower.

Comb types: Buttercup, carnation, cushion, pea, rose, straight, strawberry, V and walnut.

Five-toed breeds include: Dorking, Faverolle, Houdan, Silkie and Sultan.

Feathered Legs/Feet include: Belgian d’Uccle, Booted Bantam, Brahma, Breda Fowl, Cochin (also called Pekin), Croad Langshan, Faverolle, Hedemora, Marans, Silkie and Sultan.

I’m sure there are more breeds that fit the bill in some of these categories. If you know of any please leave the answer in the comments and I’ll add them to the list. If you haven’t heard of some of these breeds google them to check out some cool looking chickens from other parts of the world.

Photo credits: Bitchin’ Chickens; Backyard Chickens; My Pet Chicken.

3 comments on “Trivial Pursuit: Chicken Genetics Edition

  1. I learn something new everyday. Thank you

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Native Colors Noelle

    You forgot single combs. Or this that straight in a different part or the world?

    Liked by 1 person

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Everything You Need To Know About Small Flock Chickens & More

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