The Coolest Types of Barnyard Birds… and What Their Eggs Look Like​

The Coolest Types of Barnyard Birds... and What Their Eggs Look Like

When someone has a barnyard with all kinds of poultry, people usually think of chickens. But there are all types of barnyard birds who are colorful, beautiful, cool, interesting, funny-looking, friendly – they can all boost the variety of our unique barnyard, plus give us delicious eggs. 

Yes, they also lay eggs that we can eat, or utilize in other ways. These poultry eggs can be smaller, bigger, fatter, thinner, pointier, lighter, darker…  they have so many different kinds of health benefits, you wouldn’t believe it. 

quail, chicken, duck, Guinea Fowls, emu, bantam eggs

Which poultry eggs belongs to which barnyard birds?

It begs the question: What do these different poultry eggs of different species look like? How can we identify all these odd-looking types of poultry eggs based on their different shapes and colors? To identify poultry eggs, we should first learn about the birds that lay them.

Yes, when these barnyard birds are all in one yard, it’s hard to know which eggs come from which types of poultry. You can’t really sit by the nest and wait for each of them to lay their eggs… Well, you could, but since I didn’t have the time to do this, I decided to start taking pictures and notes of all the poultry eggs that came to us for hatching. Then, I started writing this article, so others don’t have to be confused like I was. 

What types of barnyard birds can we have in the backyard?

The first few types of poultry that pop into anyone’s mind, when thinking about a barnyard is the different-looking chickens. Yes, chickens are the most regular kinds of barnyard birds. Luckily, even chickens have different breeds.

But there are so many other types of barnyard birds!

Some birds are kept for their eggs and meat. These are called dual-purpose breeds. Some other birds are purely for the eyes, such as peacocks. Some are used in races like pigeons, and others are great at destroying pests around the garden like ducks. The list could go on.  

What is the benefit of having barnyard birds?

To live an eco-friendly life, one of the most important goals is to reduce waste – zero waste means zero problems, right? Having a barnyard full of poultry in our backyard helps us reduce waste tremendously in ways we wouldn’t even think of. I have a whole article about it here.

And let’s not forget about the eggs! All these types of barnyard birds lay eggs, and these poultry eggs have different looks, tastes, health benefits, and purposes. 

The Coolest Types of Barnyard Birds we can have in our Backyard... and what their eggs look like

Before we go into all those different and exciting species, let’s talk about chickens a little bit more. Chickens are the most common types of poultry, but did you know there are hundreds of different breeds and varieties of them? 

GOOD OLD REGULAR CHICKEN

Chickens are one of the most common domesticated animals, and have a double purpose – They are kept for their eggs and for their meat.

There are many types of chickens around the world and they usually differ in sizes and colors of their feathers. The most common type is the regular chicken with brown feathers. 

Chickens are very curious animals, they love to peck around the ground, and love bathing in the dry dirt. 

types of barnyard birds chicken

BRAHMA CHICKEN

They are about 50% bigger than regular chickens, no wonder they’re called “King of Chickens”. Despite the size, their eggs are about the same size as a regular eggs.

poultry brahma chicken size compared to regular chicken
types of barnyard birds brahma chicken

BARRED ROCK CHICKEN ​

Black and white striped chickens are very confusing to identify because they have many names throughout the history.

All “Rock” chickens are called Plymouth rock chickens. 

Plymouth Rock chickens have many varieties, includingher  in the photo, and she is called the Barred Rock Chicken.

They are dual-purpose chickens, kept for their eggs and meat. They are one of the oldest breed of chickens.

types of barnyard birds

They look very similar to Dominique Chickens, but the structures of their combs look different.

All Plymouth rocks’ have one single comb on their heads, however  Dominique chickens have many combs next to each other, and that is why they are called “rose combed”. 

AMROCK CHICKEN ​

Amrock chickens are also a variety of the Plymouht rock chicken breed.

While the Barred Rock Chickens’ feathers look mostly black-and-white striped, Amrocks’ look more white-and-black”. They are also a bit bigger than barred rocks, However, Amrocks can also be bantam chickens – a smaller breed than regular chickens. Keep reading, we will get to them soon. 

These birds have a strong immune system, which means we don’t have to worry about many common, but  dangerous health issues.

types of poultry amrock chicken

NAKED NECK CHICKEN

They originally come from Transylvania and Hungary, now they are very popular in France, England, Germany, and all over Europe.

They have about 50% less feathers than regular-looking chickens, so for some people, they look kind of scary.  However, this quality helps them to be the best in many things.

They need less protein for their feathers – because the have fewer – so they can use all those nutrition for their meat and eggs. 

types of barnyard birds - naked neck chicken

Also, they are good egg layers, and their meat tastes great. Since they have fewer feather than regular chickens, it’s easier and faster to pluck them, which means more efficiency in meat production.

Finally, a great news for beginners: Since they have fewer feathers, and most parasites attack birds through those, it’s less likely for them to get sick. 

CHICKEN EGGS

Chicken eggs are the most common and known types of poultry, they are very rich in nutrients, protein, minerals, have vitamin A, B2, B5, B12, D, E, Omega 3.

Chicken eggs are good for the heart, the eyes, aging, diabetes. Naturally, the effects depend on the origins of the eggs, plus the amount we eat, but if we have the possibility to own a barnyard, we can make sure those eggs come from the best possible place.

Thinking about having a barnyard full of poultry? Check out my reasons why it’s great to have them.

poultry eggs - chicken eggs

BANTAM CHICKENS

There is a whole breed of smaller chickens, specifically for people who don’t have the capacity to maintain a classic full-size barn. These chicks are called bantam chickens. Basically, they look the same, only in smaller sizes. 

Bantam basically means the tiny version of a regular-sized chicken. The word comes from its origin, Bantam, Indonesia. There are some chicks who only have Bantam versions, these are the “True Bantams”.

There are about 400 different types of bantam chickens. A lot of breeds look very similar. They come in many many colors, plus, a lot have more than one name. So it’s pretty hard to keep up. However, since they are smaller, they are perfect for people, who only have a small space for a coop.

Their eggs are a bit smaller than regular chicken eggs though.

types of barnyard birds - booted bantam

BOOTED BANTAM CHICKEN

Originally they come from the Netherlands, and are one of the rare and true bantam breeds.

The name “booted” came from the fact that they have those pretty feathers around and behind their feet and hock joints. They basically look like tiny spurs, officially they are called vulture hocks.

These little chickens are very likable, and popular in smaller coops – even indoor. 

They come in many different colors, and can live up to 10 years!

types of barnyard birds

BANTAM MARANS

The Maran breed came from a little town names Maran in France. 

Their most popular quality is that their eggs are very dark. However, if they lay the eggs regularly on 2-3 days basis, the color will be lighter. After they have their break from laying eggs, the eggs will be darker again, and the cycle begins again…   so it’s kind of a controversial quailty. 

They are quite friendly, and get along with other barnyard animals as well. They love big spaces where they can run and peck around all day. 

types of barnyard birds - Andalusian Chicken

ANDALUSIAN BANTAM CHICKENS

These pretty blueish-silverish chickens are Mediterranean breeds and came from Spain. Andalusian chickens can live up to 5-8 years. 

They need lots of space because they are constantly moving around pecking, finding treasures in the ground. If they don’t have enough room, they get aggressive. They also don’t like touching and petting, they are pretty hard to catch.

They prefer forage over seeds, so they are really cost-effective.  

poultry eggs - bantam eggs

BANTAM CHICKENS' EGGS

Since bantams’ sizes are different, their egg sizes and colors change as well.

They are just as delicious as regular chicken eggs, maybe have a bit stronger flavor. They are highly nutritious and have beautiful gold yolk and smooth white. The yolk-to-white ratio is a bit higher than chicken eggs. 

Their eggs on average are about half the size of chicken eggs. If you decide to cook with them, you should use 3 bantam chickens’ eggs for 2 regular-sized eggs. 

GUINEA FOWL

These wild birds are part of the pheasant family. They have been domesticated, but even though they are ground-feeding, they can fly.

So if you want them in your barnyard, you need to close the top of it, or first, you need to teach them what home is. 

Besides their delicious meat and nutritious eggs, they are a great alarm system in the coops. Their voice is very loud and high, and continuous, which is good for scaring off foxes, rodents, or any kinds of living creatures that want to harm a barnyard. 

types of barnyard birds - Guinea Fowl

GUINEA FOWL EGGS

The guinea fowl eggs are smaller and pointier than chicken eggs. They are more delicate than chicken eggs, creamier, tastier, and very healthy.

The shell is weirdly hard to crack, but when it’s done, you can see that the yolk is bigger than the white.

These eggs contain lots of vitamins like B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, 12, magnesium, zinc, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, copper, fat, and omega-3 acids. They are rich in protein, cholesterol, fat, and provide essential amino acids for the body. It has great benefits for the brain. 

poultry eggs - Guinea Fowl eggs in nest

DUCK

Ducks love to hang out together but are also friendly with other barnyard animals. 

Unfortunately, they are very messy, love eating mud, and love to hang out in any amount of water. We don’t need a whole pond or pool for them, they will have fun even in a smaller dish. However, we need to keep in mind that the water needs to be freshened up many times during the day, especially during the summer, because it gets stinky and dirty real fast. 

There are several domesticated duck breeds, right now I am showing you the ones that we have:

Indian runner ducks, also known as penguin ducks are really fast runners, but terrible swimmers. They are excellent pest controllers, especially if it comes to snails and insects. 

Aylesbury ducks are a really calm, quiet, lovable domesticated breed, if anyone wants a quiet or secret barnyard, they are the perfect choice. 

types of barnyard birds indian runner duck couple
types of barnyard birds, ducks
poultry eggs - duck eggs in nest

DUCK EGGS

Duck eggs are about 50% larger than chicken eggs, and taste stronger. Also, the shells are harder, and once we cracked them, we will notice that the yolk is darker, and about twice as big as the chicken eggs’.

They also contain high-quality protein, amino acids, vitamins like A, B12, and minerals. They are rich in fat and cholesterol and have especially good effects on the brain. 

Duck eggs can be cooked, baked, and boiled, prepared in the same way as regular chicken eggs.

GOOSE

Goose are large birds compared to other types of poultry. Therefore, I don’t really recommend keeping them in the same barnyard as the rest of the birds.

They are very very loud and very inconsiderate, they step on anything that is in their way. 

Their digestive system is super fast. Once they eat something, it takes only a few minutes for them to drop the feces.

On the other hand, they are a great symbol of a union – they are always together, they go around following each other, and do everything simultaneously.

barnyard birds goose

GOOSE EGGS

Just as duck eggs, goose eggs are also pretty similar to chicken eggs only larger. Actually, you need 3 regular eggs to even out 1 goose egg.

One other difference is that the egg white is hard to be whipped up.

Since the eggs are bigger than chicken eggs, People tend to think are unhealthy because it has more cholesterol. However, they also contain more vitamins and minerals, protein, iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. 

Goose eggs also are great for any brain-related issues.

poultry egg - goose egg in nest
types of barnyard birds - turkey

TURKEY

Turkeys are misunderstood animals, lots of people are scared of them, especially the males, although they’re very intelligent, and warm birds. They are ground-dwelling birds, wild turkeys fly up to the trees to sleep. 

They are exceptionally good at brooding, and caring for their young ones. Some people use them to brood other – less caring – birds’ eggs as well. 

Interesting fact: Turkeys can change the color of their heads:) The angrier, or more intense they get, the darker their head color changes. 

poultry eggs - turkey eggs in nest

TURKEY EGGS

Their eggs are large, about 50% bigger than regular chicken eggs. The flavor is a little stronger, and the texture is creamier. 

People tend to think they are not edible because it’s rare on the market, but it’s only because turkeys don’t produce as many eggs as chickens or ducks. Therefore, these eggs are mainly used for hatching.

The eggs are very high in cholesterol, but they contain plenty of vitamins, mainly B9, and 12, and many kinds of minerals, especially iron and selenium. 

QUAIL

Quails in my experience are not smart birds, but their eggs and meat make up for that.

They are ground-dwelling birds just like turkeys, and when they do fly, it’s aimless and sometimes dangerous, because they tend to fly into walls or anything around them. 

They love to bathe in the sand, stretch their tiny feet and wings, love tiny spaces where they can sit around, and love to eat. 

The males make a very distinctive sound, so once they are mature, it’s easy to spot them.  

types of barnyard birds, quails bathing in sand
types of barnyard birds, quail sitting in nest

QUAIL EGGS

Their eggs are tiny, but the health benefits are huge! They are called superfoods. Some say quail eggs are 5 times healthier than chicken eggs.  They are rich in nutrients, antioxidants, minerals, vitamin D, B12 selenium, choline, iron, riboflavin.

It helps reverse cellular damage, treats allergy symptoms, improves metabolism, promotes bone strength, and the list is so long, you wouldn’t believe it.

There are many scientific articles on the internet, where you can see actual studies about the benefits. 

poultry eggs - quail eggs in nest

It is recommended to eat raw eggs if you have the stomach. Since quails’ body is warmer than chickens, they destroy all bacterias while laying the eggs, so you don’t have to worry about salmonella. If you boil them, like regular chicken eggs, they taste exactly the same.  

The bottom line is, that if you eat at least 2 quail eggs per day, your general health will improve for sure.

PEACOCK

Peacocks are originally from Asia, but nowadays they can be found all around the world. Once they settle, they like to hang around the same places, that is why we can see lots of them in zoos and parks walking amongst us. They can live up to 25 years, and the males make very funny sounds, which reminds me of a donkey’s hee-haw mixed with a new-years-eve blowout. 

They are usually kept for their beauty, and not their meat, although some places do serve peacock dishes.

Males have the beautiful, sometimes even 1-meter long (3 feet) tail – or even longer, that we all know and are awed by, and it takes years to grow it.  They come in many different colors, although the blueish-greenish is the most popular version. 

Interesting facts, in the English language “peacock”, is referring to the males, and the females are actually “peahens”, but only a few use the word.  Together they are called peafowls.

barnyard full of poultry peacock
types of barnyard birds, white peacock
types of barnyard birds, grey peacock
poultry eggs - peacock eggs

PEACOCK A.K.A PEAHEN EGGS

Their eggs taste and work familiar to turkey eggs: They are edible, nutritious, and contain less white, which tastes the same as chicken eggs. However, the yolk is bigger, and tastes sweeter and stronger.  Also, their eggs are super expensive since they only lay around 20 eggs per year. 

Therefore they rather use these coveted eggs for hatching more peacocks.

Some say eating these eggs are good for pregnant women, because it increases breastmilk production.

EMU

Emus can be farm birds as well! Their meat is supposed to be tasty, and the eggs are edible. 

Emus don’t fly but are extremely fast, can run up to about 50 kilometers (30 miles) per hour. Their feet have 3 dinosaur-like toes, allowing them to drip the ground, making it possible to run real fast. They are also very strong, and their kicks are really memorable. 

The female and male emus don’t really look different, however, the female makes sounds like a bass guitar, kind of like thumping, that can go for miles. They do it to signal their territory when somebody is around them. 

types of barnyard birds - emus
types of barnyard birds, emu foot with toes

EMU EGGS

Emu eggs are a bit tastier than regular chicken. One emu egg is equivalent to about 10-12 chicken eggs.

They contain more fat but have high amount of good cholesterol, and nutrition. One egg contains about 700 calories. 

Although it tastes similar to chicken eggs, it’s not that popular to eat. Even so, some cultures do eat them on regular basis.

If you decide to eat a boiled emu egg, it needs to be cooked for about an hour and a half, before it’s done.

poultry eggs - emu eggs

PIGEONS

PIGEON EGGS

SO, SHOULD WE HAVE A BACKYARD WITH THE COOLEST TYPES OF BARNYARD BIRDS?

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle and aiming for zero waste in our homes is a very hard goal, but if we have a barnyard, it makes a big difference.

Not only do we leave less food waste, we actually get things back in return. Not to mention, the way we feed our barnyard birds affects the taste and nutritiousness of their eggs and meat, so we can be responsible for our own food.

Did you know eggshells can also be reused, or as I like to say repurposed? Check out the different ways you can use eggshells around the house.

If you are still on the fence about having birds around the house, here is an article to help you decide if it’s worth it to have a barnyard full of poultry in the backyard.

types of barnyard birds eating in barnyard

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