Host defense peptides (HDPs) are an important first line of defense with antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. Selection for increased body weight is hypothesized to be related to reduced immune response. We studied the relationships among body weight, age, and the HDP expression patterns in intestine and immune organs. We used chickens with marked differences of body sizes. The non-selected Daweishan mini chickens showed the highest indexes of immune organs and the lowest concentrations of the plasma immune parameters C3, C4, IgA, and IgY, while the commercial Avian broiler showed the opposite results. The Daweishan mini chickens showed the highest mRNA expressions of HDP genes in small intestine followed by the semi-selected Wuding chickens. Compared with local breeds, broiler chickens showed higher mRNA expression of HDP genes in spleen, thymus, and bursa. Body weight and HDP expression levels were negatively correlated in the intestine and positively in the immune organs. Our results indicated that the HDP immune regulatory roles in small intestine acted as first line of defense in innate immunity in local breeds, and as an adaptive immunity in broiler chickens. Selection was associated with different expression expressions of HDP genes in breed-, age-, and organ-specific manners.