Chicken Breed Focus
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Though most famous for its blue eggs, the Araucana is a unique-looking bird, recognizable by its feather ear tufts. The rest of the standard varies by country, (muffs, beards, and tails are allowed or required in some countries but disqualifications in the US and Canada), all standards require the bird to have ear tufts and lay blue eggs. Originating in Chile, the Araucana is said to descend from various ancient breeds or landraces native to Chile and is thought to be of pre-Columbian origin.
The Blue Andalusian aka Andaluza Azul is an ancient breed, originating as a landrace in south-west Spain in the region of Andalusia from whence it takes its name. The municipality of Utrera is considered the heartland of the breed. The exact make up of the Andalusian Breed is unknown, but the Castilian chicken breed was probably used as the root stock.
There are a bewildering number of chicken breeds available, each with its own set of qualities and characteristics. Some are great egg layers, some are fair layers, and great table birds. Others are cute lawn ornaments that lays only occasionally. To help especially the new chicken keepers pick the breeds that are best suited to their needs, this week I would like to hear your thoughts and recommendations on chicken breeds for the purpose of egg-laying, table birds, etc.
Chicken owners would love nothing more than to open their nest boxes and see a gorgeous array of eggs representing every color of the rainbow. Although you won't be able to find any purple eggs anytime soon, there are easy ways to ensure that you'll have chocolate, pink, blue, and green colored eggs - yes, other colors besides the standard tan and white!
Chickens and children are a perfect match. Chickens are an easy animal to take care of and most school-age children should be able to care of a small flock on their own with little help from adults. Not only do kids get the satisfaction of caring for an adorable pet, but they also learn that with responsibility comes reward in the form of eggs in the nesting box. DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE CHICKEN BREED POSTER NOW!
A small bantam sized bird from Sweden, Olandsk Dwarfs are a rare breed developed on the island of Olands, from landraces known as British garden hens common to the area. They are an attractive ornamental breed, make good pets, and are a good choice for someone with limited space looking for a friendly little bird. They are said to be quite flock oriented. The hens are fair layers of small white eggs, they will go broody and make good mothers. Now let's go into detail about this rare breed.
The Ohiki is a breed of long-tailed true bantam, originating on Shikoku Island, Japan, during Edo Period. Its name literally means "tail drag" or "small dragging". One of the Japanese long tailed breeds, it is a single combed bird with a white earlobe and red-brown eyes. Legs should be olive or willow green. The tail should drag behind at a 30 degree angle and can range from 60-150 cm (22- 55 inches) in length. In this article we explore this beautiful breed.
The Norwegian Jaerhon is the only chicken breed that is considered truly Norwegian in origin. It was developed around 1920 near the town of Stavanger on the Southern Atlantic coast of Norway, and was introduced to the US about twenty years ago. While a small breed, with the hens only around 3.5 pounds, it is a good layer and the hens lay medium to large white eggs. They are an active and hardy breed, that is rather reactive in temperament and good at avoiding hawks.
The Norfolk Grey originated from Norfolk, England, around 1910. They are believed to have been developed from Silver Birchen Games and Duckwing Leghorns, by a breeder named Frederick W Myhill of Hethel, Wymondham under the name "Black Maria". Continue reading to learn more about this elegant breed.
Nankin Bantams (aka Nankeen bantams) is one of the oldest known bantam breeds. It’s origins are obscure, but it is thought to have originated in Southeast Asia in the Nankin or Nanking region of China. The breed is believed to have arrived in England prior to the 1500’s, where it found use on the country estates of Britain for its ability to hatch and rear game bird chicks. Read on to find out more about this exceptional chicken breed.
The largest of the Mediterranean breeds, Minorca, aka Moorish Fowl are most excellent layers of large white eggs. They are extremely heat tolerant, very good foragers and free rangers, all together a very tough and hardy breed. They are quite active and very good flyers, though they generally do well in confinement and are still used in commercial egg production in some parts of the world. Read on to learn more about this beautiful breed.
The Marans, or French, Poule de Marans, is a French breed of chicken from the port town of Marans, in the département of Charente-Maitime, in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. It was created with the local feral chickens descended from fighting game chickens carried from Indonesia and India. Read on to find out more about this intruiging chicken breed.
The Manx Rumpy, also known as the Rumpless Game, or Persian Rumpless, is a British breed of chicken, thought to be originating from the Isle of Man. Like the Araucana and Barbu d'Everberg breeds, the Manx Rumpy lacks the uropygium, from which the tail grows. Read on to find out more about this interesting breed.
The Leghorn appears to derive from light breeds originating in rural Tuscany, though the origins are not clear. The name Leghorn was derived from Livorno, the Tuscan port from which the first birds were exported to North America. The date of the first exports is variously reported as 1828, "about 1830" and 1852. They were initially known as "Italians" and they were first referred to as "Leghorns" in 1865. Want to learn more about this fascinating breed? Read on...
The Legbar breed was the second autosexing chicken breed created in the early twentieth century by Reginald Crundall Punnett and Michael Pease at the Genetical Institute of Cambridge University (the other being the Cambar, which was created in 1929). The Legbar was created by crossing Barred Plymouth Rocks, Leghorns, Cambars, and in the case of the Cream Legbar, Araucanas. The Araucana blood in the Cream Legbar is reflected in its crest and blue to blue-green eggs.
The Lakenvelder breed originated in the Nordrhein-Westfalen area of Germany and neighbouring areas of the Netherlands, notably the Utrecht area. Both regions follow a slightly different breed standard. They are thought to be a distant relative of the Brakel and Campine breeds, as well as some local rare breeds of the era. Read on to find out more about this interesting chicken breed.
The Kraienköppe breed was created on the border between Germany and The Netherlands and are thought to have been created from crosses between Malays, Leghorns and local farmyard fowl in the early part of the 19th century. They are even-tempered, usually friendly birds, very active foragers that thrive if kept in an free range environment and the hens are excellent and frequent broodies, as well as good egg layers. This article explores the history and characteristics of this rare breed.
The Java breed, which shares a name with the island of Java, was developed in the U.S. from chickens of unknown Asian extraction. It is one of the oldest American chickens, forming the basis for many other breeds, but is critically endangered today. The Java breed is the second oldest American breed, after the Dominique. In this article we discuss the history and other details of this interesting breed.
The (Blue) Isbar is a rare, relatively new breed, that was developed in the 1950s in Sweden, by the Catholic monk, Martin Silverudd. It is a single combed green egg layer, that was meant to be a productive breed and the hens are excellent layers, laying around 200+ large eggs (of various shades of green) a year. They are a smallish breed and is fairly cold hardy. They have a relatively docile temperament, are thrifty easy keepers, and are good foragers. Read on to find out more about this breed
Houdan is an old French breed, once known as the Normandy fowl. Details of their origin is unknown as they predate modern agricultural writing, but it is believed they were bred from Crevecoeurs, Polish and possibly Dorkings. In this article we explore the origins and history of this mysterious chicken breed.
The Hamburg breed was derived from spangled rose-combed birds that were imported from Turkey into Europe in the 1300’s. The breed as we know it today originated in Europe, in Holland and Germany, later taking their name from Hamburg, Germany in the early 1840s. Learn more as we delve deep into this beautiful breed's history.
The Norwegian Jaerhon is the only chicken breed that is considered truly Norwegian in origin. While a small breed, with the hens only around 3.5 pounds, it is a good layer and the hens lay medium to large white eggs. They are an active and hardy breed, that is rather reactive in temperament and good at avoiding hawks. They are excellent foragers, good and persistent flyers bordering on escape artists, and will roam widely if given the chance.