Chickens vary in size depending on breed, age and gender. The average adult chicken weighs between 5 and 10 pounds. Roosters are usually larger than hens, and egg-laying chicken breeds are usually smaller than meat or mixed type breeds.
The weight of a chicken may not seem all that consequential on the surface. But when you open the door of an industrial chicken shed, it’s clear that a chicken’s size amounts to a lot. A lot of weight. A lot of pain. A lot of disease. A lot of suffering. Their breasts are bigger, their thighs are plumper, and often, they can hardly stand under the weight of it all. But due to selective breeding practices, forcing chickens on factory farms to grow heavier than ever before—simply to satisfy the human demand for more white meat.
Taking into account all of the weights of the different breeds of chickens in existence, the average weight of a chicken tends to be around 5.5 pounds (2.5 kg) for hens and 7.5 pounds (3.4 kg) for roosters. However, there is a lot of variability in this number, with some chickens weighing under 4 pounds and others weighing well over 10 pounds.
What Are The Largest Chicken Breeds?
The largest chicken breeds include the Jersey Giant, Brahma, Cochin, and Orpington. All of these birds average between 8 and 10 pounds in weight. They are also primarily known for being docile and easy to handle. Orpingtons are especially popular multi-purpose chickens that can be used for both meat and egg production.
What Are The Smallest Chicken Breeds In The World?
Some of the smaller popular chicken breeds include the Leghorn, Polish and Game Hen. All of these breeds have hens that tend to weigh less than 5 pounds and roosters averaging about 6 pounds in weight.
However, you can get much smaller birds by raising bantams. A bantam chicken is essentially a miniature chicken, and many breeds come in both standard and bantam varieties. For example, an Ameraucana hen might weigh 5.5 pounds, but a bantam Ameraucana might weigh as little as 1.6 pounds. Most bantam breeds weigh under 2 pounds.
How Much Does A Hen Weigh?
No two chickens are the same of course, and average weights vary between breeds.
Typically, standard adult hens should be between 2.5kg and 4kg. Bantams (smaller chickens) are usually around 1kg.
We’ve included a handy breakdown below of the most common UK breeds and their expected weights to give you a better idea.
How Much Do Chickens Weigh?
Speaking in more broad terms, chickens usually weigh between 4 and 10 pounds (1.8 kg to 4.5 kg) with roosters weighing a pound or two more than hens.
What’s The Average Size Of A Chicken?
There are hundreds of breeds of chickens living all around the world, yet in industrial factory farms, there is far less diversity. These recognized breeds are largely grouped into two categories: large and bantam, with the bantam breeds tending to be smaller.
In the US, nearly all of the chickens raised for meat and eggs are on factory farms in the most dire and dirty of conditions. Behind closed doors, they suffer moment by moment and day by day—notably because their bodies can’t support their oversized weight., Within these industrial farms, it’s typical to find two main types of chicken breeds. Hybrid White Leghorns are used in egg production, while chickens raised for meat are commonly a hybrid between Cornish hens and Plymouth Rock breeds.
What’s The Average Chicken Weight?
Though chicken breeds vary in size and shape, with some featuring bigger plumage or weightier muscles, their average weight is around 5.7 pounds. However, in factory farms where they are selectively bred to grow so big, so fast, their average weight can be closer to 9 pounds when they are just two months old—more than four times the size of chicken raised for meat just 60 years ago.
How Much Does A Newly Hatched Chick Weigh?
Newly-hatched chicks are some of the cutest babies around, with fluffy yellow feathers and sweet chirping voices. Tragically, in egg production, all male chicks are considered useless since they cannot produce eggs, so many millions are killed, often within a few hours of being born.
Those chicks who survive gain weight rapidly. One study of Rhode Island Red chicks found that at about a day old, they weighed approximately 38 grams. By two weeks old, they were up to around 60 grams, and by a month old they can be 115 grams. Another study looked at broiler chicks and found that one-day-old chicks weighed around the same as the previous study, with a slight deviation when the chicks came from birds of different ages.
How Big Is A Full-Grown Chicken?
The average weight of roosters and hens can vary wildly depending on the breed. The information below comes from this list illustrating some of the more popular breeds of chickens and their respective weights.
Have Chickens Always Weighed the Same Over Time?
Natural selection and evolution mean that chickens in their current form have not necessarily always weighed the same. Factors such as natural interbreeding, climate change, and food availability can gradually affect the size of various bird species.
But because of human intervention, there are some breeds of chickens whose weight has drastically changed over a much shorter time.
What Has Changed?
Rapid-growth chickens have been selectively bred by humans to reach a full-grown weight at only six weeks of age, much faster than regular chickens, for whom it takes around 12 weeks to become fully grown.
Chickens today grow more layers of white meat, rendering them essentially morbidly obese when compared with chickens who evolved without human intervention. They grow pectoral muscles (known as breast meat on menus) that are nearly 70% bigger than they should be. They also grow plumper thighs with bigger drumsticks in order to satisfy consumer demand for these meat products.
How To Weigh A Chicken
Now you know how much your chicken should weigh. But how do you find out how much they actually weigh? You can invest in some specially designed animal scales if you like, but there is a simple way if you have your own accurate bathroom scales:
First, take your scale out to your chicken run and find a flat, stable surface
Stand on the scale and make a note of the weight.
Don’t panic! Remember, you’re wearing clothes and shoes (we assume) so your actual weight will be lower.
Next, grab your chicken and get back on the scale and make a note of the new weight.
Finally, subtract the first reading from the second reading and you have your chicken’s weight!