A chicken genomic library was screened with a cDNA probe containing the 3' coding and noncoding portions of quail fast-twitch skeletal muscle myosin heavy chain (MHC). This probe hybridized to seven to nine bands on Southern blots of chicken genomic DNA, and 17 clones that hybridized to this probe were obtained from the genomic library. Partial restriction maps were constructed and probable orientation of transcription was determined for each of the 17 clones. These maps indicate the presence of at least 14 unique MHC genes or pseudogenes. Dot-blot hybridization analysis using DNA complementary to RNA from a variety of chicken tissues demonstrated that these genes are all related to the gene for sarcomeric MHC, and permitted tentative assignment of the tissue of expression for several of the MHC isoforms. To substantiate further the dot-blot data, a subclone of one of the genes (4b1), which showed significant homology with adult breast muscle RNA but which also showed weaker hybridization to RNA from other tissues, was sequenced. The sequence data verified that the clone contains a portion of a MHC gene, that it contains both 3' coding and noncoding regions, and that its predicted amino acid sequence is identical (with 96% nucleotide homology) to that of the 75-bp quail fast MHC cDNA clone published by Hastings and Emerson (1982). Thus, clone 4b1 contains a portion of one of the genes that is expressed in adult chicken breast skeletal muscle tissue.