Niederrheiner Chicken: All You Need To Know

By Chicken Fans Editorial Team

Introducing the Niederrheiner chicken, a heritage breed known for its large brown eggs, excellent meat production, and stylish appearance. Whether seeking a productive addition to your flock or a delicious meat bird, these versatile chickens will surely delight poultry enthusiasts.

  • Niederrheiner hens lay around 3 to 4 eggs weekly
  • Heritage breed, considered rare
  • Very friendly and docile
  • Originating in Germany
Eggs200 eggs yearly
Egg ColorLight brown
Egg SizeLarge
Weight6.5 – 8.5 lbs
HardinessCold & heat


The Niederrheiner is a visually striking breed with unique characteristics. Originating from Germany, this heritage breed exhibits a range of plumage options, including crele, silver, lemon cuckoo, blue cuckoo, and birchen.

These variations add to the breed’s charm and appeal, making them a favorite among chicken enthusiasts.

Niederrheiner chickens are a large breed, making them a dual-purpose breed, suited for both meat and eggs. Both roosters and hens are large, with the males weighing around 8.5 pounds and the females measuring slightly at 6.5 pounds.

a niederrheiner rooster
Credits Image: @brandy_l_m_ (IG)

The bantam version of the breed, known as the Zwerg-Niederrheiner, follows a similar pattern with smaller but equally proportioned birds.

One notable physical characteristic of the Niederrheiner is its clean legs. Unlike some other chicken breeds, the Niederrheiner lacks feathering on its legs, giving it a sleek appearance. This characteristic makes them easier to keep clean, particularly in muddy or wet conditions.

Egg Production

The Niederrheiner chicken has good egg production. Niederrheiner hens are reliable layers, producing approximately 200 cream or light brown eggs per year. These eggs are large in size.

While the Niederrheiner hens are not known for being exceptionally broody, they exhibit some tendency towards broodiness. There is a moderate likelihood that they may exhibit the desire to sit on eggs and hatch them. However, it’s important to note that individual hens within the breed may vary.

Meat Production

Niederrheiners are renowned for their excellent meat production. Originally bred as a meat chicken, this breed offers superior meat quality.

One of the key characteristics of the Niederrheiner breed is its fast growth rate for a heritage breed. The chickens reach maturity relatively quickly, typically taking around 22 weeks to reach the desired market weight. This is longer than real fast-growing meat birds, like Cornish chickens, but still at a relatively fast rate.

The meat of the Niederrheiner chicken is known for its fine white flesh and succulent taste.


Niederrheiner chickens are docile and calm, making them delightful additions to any backyard flock. They are known for their easygoing nature and are generally well-behaved and friendly towards their humans and other chickens.

Credits Image: @brandy_l_m_ (IG)

The Niederrheiner demonstrates excellent tolerance to both cold and heat. They can adapt to various climates. In colder temperatures, they can withstand the chill and continue to thrive.

Similarly, they exhibit a good heat tolerance, allowing them to endure warmer climates without significant distress. This hardiness makes them suitable for various environments and ensures their well-being in different seasons.

Breed History

The Niederrheiner has an interesting history that traces back to Germany, specifically the Niederrhein or Lower Rhine region. It originated in the early twentieth century and is named after the region where it was created.

The breed’s ancestry can be attributed to the North Holland Blue chicken, developed in Holland at the beginning of the century.

It was through the efforts of two breeders, Friedrich Regenstein and J. Jobs, that the Niederrheiner breed came into existence. Regenstein and Jobs crossed the North Holland Blue chickens with various other heavy and light breeds to develop the unique looks of the Niederrheiner.

The breed gained official recognition in Germany in 1943.

Despite its recognition and initial popularity, the Niederrheiner breed faced challenges over the years. In 2001, it was listed as “endangered” (gefährdet) in Germany.

However, the breed’s conservation status has fluctuated. In 2007, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) listed the Niederrheiner as “not at risk,” indicating a stable population. In more recent times, in 2022, it was reported as “at risk,” highlighting the need for continued efforts in preserving this heritage breed.


The Niederrheiner chicken is a heritage breed known for its elegant appearance and dual-purposness. It excels in both egg production, with large brown eggs, and meat quality, offering fine white flesh.

With its docile temperament and adaptability, the Niederrheiner is popular for poultry enthusiasts seeking a versatile breed.

Credits Featured Image: @brandy_l_m_ (IG)

Chicken Fans Editorial Team

The editorial team consists of 3rd generation chicken owners Kat, journalist, editor-in-chief, and Nick, working with illustrators and specialists in the field.