Each chicken has its own needs and weather preferences, so not all poultry birds are suitable for a warm climate. Then, what are the best chicken breeds in the Philippines?
Whether you’re planning to build a start-up poultry business or explore homesteading, it’s crucial to determine what chicken suits your local area to ensure success in your new venture.
So, in this article, we’ll explore the following:
- The best egg-laying chicken breeds in the Philippines
- Heritage breeds from the USA and the native birds worth checking out
- And the best free-range chicken breeds in the Philippines
Without further ado, let’s dive right in and get to know about the best chickens to raise in this tropical country.
The Best Chicken Breeds in the Philippines
1. Rhode Island Red
This large majestic fowl and clean-legged breed with colors ranging from rich mahogany to dark rust color is an excellent chicken to raise in the Philippines. They’re hardy, a little pushy, but generally friendly.
Rhode Island Reds can produce 200 to 300 medium to large-sized brown eggs yearly. They can lay as early as 16 weeks old, and the size increases over the years, just like the hens.
And these RIR roosters can weigh approximately 8.5 lb, while the hens can grow up to 6.5 lb.
However, the downside is the low supply of Rhode Island Red chicks in the Philippines which causes the price to skyrocket.
The most popular variety, mahogany, costs 150 to 230 Philippine pesos per day-old chick, while the production red chicks cost around 100 to 150 pesos.
2. Barred Plymouth Rock
One of the best breeds in the Philippines that can compete with Rhode Island Red is the Plymouth Rock. As its name suggests, it’s characterized by black and white bars and red ear lobes, combs, and wattles.
They can produce approximately 200 eggs yearly and grow around 7.5 lbs (females) to 9.5 lbs (males).
They can lay for up to ten years, but their egg productivity declines in their third year.
Plymouth Rock chickens are generally curious, mellow birds but are family and kid-friendly. Their chicks cost around 150 to 180 pesos, but the best lines can cost over 250 pesos.
3. Black Australorp
Australorp is a contraction of Australian Orpington, thus, indicating its origin. This Australian breed is a gentle giant with weights ranging from 6.5 to 8 lbs for hens and 8.5 to 10 lbs for males.
This gorgeously- clothed giant can charm anyone with its stunning black feathering and iridescent sheen. But they’re more than just the physical.
These Australorp chickens can also perform well in the egg-laying department, with an average of 250 light-brown eggs per year.
But they can produce more eggs in industrial and controlled settings due to lighting and feed.
Day-old Australorp chicks’ price ranges from 150 to 230 pesos, but unfortunately, there’s a very low supply in the country.
4. Buff Orpington
This fluffy chicken breed, the Buff Orpington, is an irresistible beauty that comes in large and bantam versions and can produce 200 to 280 eggs yearly.
Female Orpingtons weigh around 8 lbs, while males can grow up to 10 lbs. On top of that, they’re very gentle and docile.
No wonder why it’s the favorite breed of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother.
They can tolerate warmer climates but need lots of shade and water in hot temperatures.
Fluffy Orpington’s price for day-old chicks ranges from 180 to 250 pesos.
5. Light Sussex
Light Sussex is the next breed worth mentioning in this list of the best chicken breeds in the Philippines, which may look similar to Light Brahma due to its black neck and tail feathers.
Their roosters weigh around 9 lbs, while the hens’ average is approximately 7 lbs.
They can lay 4 to 5 large brown eggs per week, and the best thing is they continue to lay during the cold seasons in the US when most hens shut down production.
Sussex chickens are easy to care for, friendly and hardy, especially in the cold. They can tolerate heat as long as there’s a shady spot they can rest in and accessible cool water.
But it’s worth noting that this breed comes in two types–the original and Dominant CZ.
The original breed’s chicks cost around 180 to 250 pesos, while the Dominant CZ line is cheaper, with prices ranging from 100 to 130 pesos.
This list of the best chicken breeds in the Philippines won’t be complete without the King of the chickens, the Brahma. This regal breed is almost as large as the Jersey Giant and visually similar to Light Sussex.
Despite their large stature, the Brahmas are friendly, docile, and easy to contain.
These birds can produce approximately 200 eggs annually, and the hens can grow up to 8lb while the roosters average 10lb.
However, their foot feathering can be a problem in wet and muddy areas. Their toes can develop tiny mud balls that can damage the toe when not dealt with properly.
The Brahmas are the most expensive on this list, with day-old chick prices starting at 800 pesos. Three Brahma ready-to-lay breeders cost around 10,000 to 13,000 pesos.
But we must say that when taken care of properly, this breed is worth the cost as it can excel in shows with its beautiful feathering and egg and meat production.
7. Jersey Giant
Landing on the seventh spot in the list of the best chicken breeds in the Philippines is the largest heritage breed in the United States, the Jersey giant.
They’re generally docile, and even the roosters are mellow and unproblematic. Male Jersey giants weigh around 13 to 15 pounds, females are about 11 pounds, and the black variety is typically heavier than the white.
Jerseys can produce a decent amount of eggs ranging from 150-200 brown eggs per year. But they were bred mainly and stand out in meat production. However, they’re not quickly maturing birds since it takes six months before a rooster hits ten pounds.
Their young chicks are around 350 to 500 pesos, so they’re generally cheaper than Brahmas.
But since the breeds above aren’t always available in the Philippines, you may be looking for local heritage breeds that thrive in free-ranging.
Best Heritage Chicken Breeds in the Philippines
These heritage chicken breeds that are locally available are smaller than the breeds above, but they’re excellent foragers with a greater chance of booming in the country. So here they are:
Banaba is the original Filipino cock fighting bird with black breasts, beaks, legs, and toes hailing from Southern Luzon.
This breed boasts red to yellow plumage, red earlobes, and red or orange hackles. Banaba chickens are active and highly spirited.
Furthermore, they can perform impressive flight and resist fowlpox and other respiratory illnesses.
Since they’re good fighters, layers, and broilers, they sell for high prices, especially the ones who have built a good reputation and won several contests.
The Paraoakan may not be the most visually-appealing heritage chicken on this list, but it’s the largest, with mature males averaging at 2.5 kg (5.5 lbs) and hens at 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs).
Its roots can be traced to Malaysia, and it usually has black plumage, long legs, a bigger body, and a long neck. Paraoakan can offer good meat, with some chickens topping out at over 5 kgs.
This chicken breed from Panay island is a kilogram lighter than Paraoakan, with cocks only averaging 1.3 kg and hens around 1.1 kilograms.
Still, they’re prized for being used in Mang Inasal, a renowned barbecued chicken fast food chain in the Philippines.
It provides unique, lean, smoky, and flavorful meat, perfect for barbecues and the famous Filipino chicken soup called Tinola.
Joloano, also known as Basilan, is a heritage breed from Mindanao, the southernmost island group in the Philippines. Male Joloano weigh about 2.20 kg, while mature hens are around 1.50 kg.
The roosters show off deep orange plumage with black tails, sometimes speckled white, while hens are usually dull buff brown with pale yellow legs.
This excellent free-range heritage breed is a pride of Pangasinan.
With its good broiler and layer potential, this breed is poised to get more spotlight as the government promotes using Bolinao to generate alternative livelihood opportunities for inmates from Batac.
As you probably noticed, heritage breeds take a long time to grow, so if you’re planning to start a poultry meat business, they’re not the ideal birds for that purpose.
What are The Best Chicken Meat Breeds in the Philippines?
The broiler chicken industry has been growing over the past decades, so there are many opportunities that you can explore in this industry.
And these are the best chicken breeds in the Philippines that boasts faster growth rates and conversion ratio that can guarantee higher success rate in meat production.
1. Arbor Acres Broilers
2. Red Hubbard
Hubbard, a French business now a part of Aviagen, was the company that initially invented the Hubbard broilers.
They are supplied by Tyson Agro Ventures in the Philippines, where their free-range chicken meat is popular in the meat production business.
3. Shaver StarBro
One of the elder breeds is the one developed by the Canadian business Shaver.
It’s a popular breed in the Philippines due to its low feed intake, and it is supplied by Universal Robina Farms.
4. Ross Broilers
The Ross broilers, among the most well-known broilers in the world, are a part of the portfolio of brands owned by Aviagen.
This is not surprising given that they produce great meat and have a particularly high breast yield.
As a result, they will reward you with exceptional performance and profitability if they are managed appropriately.
5. Cobb Broilers
Cobbs is an all-rounded broiler that can thrive in diverse Philippine settings.
They can be raised in a normal system, but alternative poultry production methods, including free-range, let them thrive even more.
What is The Best Laying Chicken in The Philippines?
If you want to focus solely on egg production, don’t worry! We got a list of chickens that don’t disappoint in the egg-laying department!
And they’re available locally, so it shouldn’t be hard to source them.
1. Lohmann Layers
One of the most prevalent and “classic” layer breeds in the Philippines and the rest of the world is the Lohmann.
They were originally bred in Germany by Lohmann Tierzucht, and you can buy them through San Miguel, among other businesses in the Philippines.
It’s one of the best-laying hens in the Philippines, as it can produce 290 to 320 eggs per year when they’re 72 weeks old.
Lohmann brown chickens start laying 14 to 19 weeks earlier than other breeds of chickens and can produce up to 380 eggs yearly at their peak.
2. Dekalb White
We’re wrapping up this list of the best egg-laying chickens in the Philippines with an efficient and excellent-performing breed in the egg-laying department, the Dekalb white.
This astonishing white chicken breed can produce 500 eggs in 100 weeks. They’re prized for their extended production cycles and superb persistence.
They were created by the US business Hendrix ISA and had qualities that make them one of the most well-liked layers and one of the best ones for raising in the Philippines.
Dekalb White layers have a calm temperament. That’s why it’s a prized layer breed in the country.
Tips on Choosing the Best Chicken Breeds in The Philippines
Before purchasing a chicken breed, you need to consider the purpose and conditions of your farming venture.
There are three types of chickens in general: commercial layers bred for egg production, commercial broilers for meat production, and native or heritage breeds.
Heritage chickens are generally dual-purpose and ideal for free-ranging and organic farming systems.
If you need prolific layers, consider the color, size, and average number of eggs a breed can produce yearly.
But if you want to venture into chicken meat production, you need to weigh in the amount of muscles and fat the chicken can gain, their survival rate, and growth speed.
On the other hand, native and heritage breeds are perfect for homesteading.
The next thing to consider is the environment or conditions where you’ll raise your chickens. Since the Philippines is tropical, you must choose chickens that prefer and thrive in warm weather conditions.
Do you live in the city or rural areas? Wherever you reside, you need to consider the street noise and the amount of space you can provide for each bird.
Frequently Asked Questions About Chicken Breeds in the Philippines
What is the most ideal breed of chicken under Philippine conditions?
Darag, one of the Philippines’ native chicken breeds, along with Paraoakan, Joloano, Banaba, and Bolinao, are ideal chickens for the Philippines’ weather conditions because they’re hardy and accustomed to warm weather.
What are the 3 popular poultry species in the Philippines?
The country’s three most popular poultry species are Banaba, Bolinao, and Darag.
They are native chickens that are used in cockfighting and meat production.
What is the best chicken for free range in the Philippines?
The best chicken breeds for free-ranging that are locally available are Red Hubbard and Dekalb chickens and heritage chickens like Banaba, Paraoakan, Darag, Jolano, and Bolinao.
What is the most expensive fighting rooster breed in the Philippines?
The most popular and expensive breed of fighting cock rooster in the Philippines is the Peruvian gamefowl, developed by crossing Oriental with Old English Games and Spanish gamefowl.
Best Chicken Breeds in the Philippines: Final Recap
To summarize, the best dual-purpose chicken breeds to raise in the Philippines are Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rock, Black Australorp, Buff Orpington, Light Sussex, Brahma, and Jersey Giant.
Yet those breeds aren’t always available, so local heritage breeds such as Banaba, Paraoakan, Darag, Joloano, and Bolinao may be the more accessible options.
But if you want poultry birds with fast growth and high feed conversion rates, Red Hubbard, Shaver StarBro, Arbor Acres, Ross, and Cobb Broilers are the most suitable breeds for your start-up.
However, if you’re goal is to infiltrate the poultry egg production industry, the Lohmann Brown and Dekalb breeds are the ideal breeds to start with.