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Commercial Chickens Breeds are sorted into 4 major productive classes: Asiatic ChickensEnglish ChickensAmerican ChickensContinental Chickens and Mediterranean ChickensBantam ChickensIndian Chickens and Junglefowls remain outside any of the other categories. There are also a few Other Standard Chicken Breeds that are not categorized. 

Specific chicken breeds, whether Commercial Chicken Breeds or Heritage Chicken Breeds, generally fall into one of the 5 classifications.  American Chickens are used primarily for meat production. Mediterranean Chickens are mostly egg-layers. Our focus here in the Basic Proteins Lesson will be on Chickens as a ProteinLesson 5: Simple Breakfast covers Eggs in depth.

If our grandparents were not selecting their own birds from their back yard, the external features of a Chicken—plumage (breed), feet, tail (male/or female), skin color, comb (age of rooster), and spurs (age of rooster)— would tell them the life story and value of each distinctive Heritage Chicken bought at market. The old way of identification is gone, sacrificed at the altar of efficiency and economics.

Modern birds are not as distinctive or flavorful, but also not as labor intensive to prepare. It used to be an all-day affair to prepare Chicken, from the time Granddad dispatched the fowl to the time Grandma spent plucking, cleaning and cooking the bird.