Chicken Breeds

Dual Purpose (eggs & table)

Eggs

Table

Ornamental

 

Dual Purpose (eggs & table)

  • Ausaberger- This German light breed is fairly rare. The breed originated from crossings between La Fleche, Minorca and the Rheinlander appearing around 1870 in Augsburg in the Black Forest.
    The breed is basically an all black bird with an elongated cup shaped comb or two lines of spikes. Plumage is black with a greenish sheen throughout. The comb is similar to a Buttercup comb: although after the first couple points it should split into two 'single' combs. The result resembles a cup comb, but should consist of two separate blades touching each other the rear. Face, comb and wattles are bright red, and the ear lobes are smooth and white. Legs and feet are slate.
    Available in white and as a bantam but rare both in the UK and Europe.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers - 180 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Australorp Rooster copyright AnjwalkerAustralorp - Generally a very good egg producer with a fairly meaty body of intermediate size.
    Developed in Australia from Black Orpington stock. It is smaller than the Orpington with a trimmer appearance. Australorps are good egg producers and hold the world's record for egg production with one hen having laid 364 eggs in 365 days under official Australian trapnest testing.
    It is a medium weight, active bird laying a tinted egg and is a valuable bird for those who like eggs without sacrificing too much value in meat quality.
    It is a deep, long bodied, placid bird with a full breast compact wings and very pronounced eyes within a clear unfeathered face. Large and miniature available.
    Egg colour – tinted brown
    Egg numbers - 200 per annum
    Breed contact: Ian and Louise Simpson. Tel: 01636 814958
  • Barnevelder copyright Outback hensBarnevelder - This breed originated in the Barneveld district of Holland just prior to the First World War (1914-18) and stock was imported in 1921 with the deep egg colour being its main attraction many in the early trials laying around the 200 per year mark. The most popular colour is called Double Laced although they are standardised in Black, Partridge and Silver. It is an alert upright bird, with the appearance in profile of a concave back line. Wings are short, the head smallish with a single comb. All varieties have very prominent orange eyes and very yellow legs. They are hardy birds and good layers of large brown eggs. Placid good backyard egg layer.
    Egg colour – tinted brown
    Egg numbers – 180 per annum
    Breed contact: 01630 638630
  • Dark Brahma hen copyright Art-BromageBrahma – A very heavy fowl for the production of heavy roasters or capons. Fair egg layers.
    Although named after the Brahmaputra in India they are accepted as being created in the USA from the Shanghais where they were crossed with Malay types which put in the pea comb and brow. They were imported into New York in 1846 and stock first reached England in 1853 where they caused a great stir.
    The head and skull are important breed characteristics. Texture of the feathers is also of great importance, for the plumage, should be smooth fitting and not loose-feathered and soft as in the Cochin.
    It is a huge, very good natured and docile bird that can make super pets. A general purpose fowl for heavy meat production. They are not great egg layers, but very children friendly.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 140 per annum
    Breed contact: The Brahma Club of Great Britain Facebook page
  • Croad-Langschan copyright Outback hensCroad Langshan - originating from the Langshan region in Northern China, they were imported into Britain by Major F.T. Croad in 1872.
    The original colour was black with a bottle-green sheen, and that is the main colour today, although some whites have been bred from the blacks. Langshans are a delight to keep because the birds are inquisitive, intelligent, and graceful – but generally docile, including the cockerels.
    Egg colour – pinkish plum
    Egg numbers – 180-200 per annum
    Breed society: www.croadlangshan.org.uk


  • Derbyshire Redcap - The Redcap originated in the Derbyshire and Pennine area of England and is one of our oldest dual-purpose utility breeds. The name comes from its exceptional rose comb. The males have red earlobes and the cockerels plumage is deep red to black with dark orange neck and saddle hackles. The tail feathers are black and the legs are a blue-grey while the eyes are red. The female has a beautiful red brown plumage and each body feather ends in a black spangle. Their combs are around half the size of the males. They make good table birds with an excellent gamey flavour and the hens also lay around 150-200 large white eggs per year. They are comparatively rare these days but still have a following in the Derbyshire area.
    They are at their happiest free ranging as they are terrific foragers and good fliers so require a lot of space. They have good longevity and will continue to lay for a good many years.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 150-200 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.derbyshireredcapclub.org.uk
  • DorkingDorking – A good, general purpose fowl for producing meat and good-sized eggs. It was developed for its especially fine quality meat. The Dorking is one of the oldest British breeds being descended from stock brought to Britain by the Romans.
    The Dorking has a rectangular body set on very short legs. It is five toed and has a relatively large comb, thus requiring protection in extremely cold weather. Dorkings are good layers and are one of the few instances where a bird with red earlobes lays a white shelled egg.
    The Dorking is a hardy bird and is quiet in nature. They are large foraging birds that require space as they are very active. This is a docile bird to keep.
    There are five standard colours for the Dorking - Silver grey, dark, red, cuckoo and white. The silver grey is the most commonly found. The silver grey hen is a delicate shade of silver grey, with darker grey pencilling. The dark is a darker version of the silver grey all but a black crescent on the salmon breast and back. The red is very dark. The white is pure white with no straw tinge. The cuckoo has fuzzy bands of grey and dark grey across each feather. All colours have red eyes, combs, wattles and earlobes with white legs and feet.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 140 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.poultryclub.org/dorkingclub
  • Faverolles cock and hen copyright stephen-jonesFaverolle - The Faverolle is a composite breed originating from crosses of Houdans, Dorkings and Asiatics in the village of Faverolle, France where they were bred primarily for utility.
    They have a broad, square body with small wings, a single upright comb, short neck, a striking beard and muffling. They come in a variety of colours - black, blue (laced), buff, cuckoo, ermine, salmon, white.
    They are quiet, friendly, gentle birds that can actually become very affectionate towards their keepers and are an ideal breed for children. They thrive in a run and are not good fliers so the fencing doesn't have to be very high.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers – 160 per annum
    Breed contact: http://www.faverolles.co.uk/
  • German-Langshan copyright F Kunz---GreifensteinGerman Langshan – The original Langshan originated from the Langshan region in Northern China, and were imported into Britain by Major F.T. Croad in 1872. These were then imported into Germany from England in 1879 where they were selected for the clean legged form. They had black Minorca added for egg capacity and this altered their form to a more upright stance.
    The male develops a well-spread tail with the sickles often reaching sixteen or seventeen inches. The closely-fitting saddle feathers, full hackled neck and upright carriage give the effect of a short back. The surface plumage throughout is close and smooth. The body in both sexes should be evenly balanced on straight legs, with very little backward bend at the hocks.
    They are a strong, robust breed that lay many eggs of an impressive size. Bred in black, blue laced, and white.
    Egg colour – cream
    Egg numbers – 180 per annum
    Breed society - 07624 484222
  • Houdan - An old French breed that was known as the Normandy fowl when first imported into England in 1850. It takes its name from the town of Houdan, located in a section of France where large numbers of Houdans were bred and raised in past years for the Paris and London markets.
    In shape, the Houdan, resembles the Dorking, to which it probably owes its fifth toe. The Houdan is rated highly in France for its fine meat qualities as is the Bresse and its large white eggs. The White Houdan originated in America, the result of crossing White Polish with Mottled Houdans.
    Bred in a limited number of varieties - black mottled, white and lavender. Houdan are extremely docile in nature and like to be handled especially if they have been raised from young. Hens make the best pets and will live 7-8 years.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 160 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Ixworth - Developed by Reginald Appleyard in 1932 taking as their name the village in Suffolk where he lived. They were intended to be a good table bird that could lay. Their genetic make up included White Sussex, White Orpington, White Minorca, Jubilee, Indian and a white game. The bantam version was stabilised and released in 1938 but has virtually disappeared.
    The combination has produced a fine white skinned, broad-breasted bird for the table. It is another very rare breed. The plumage is always white and the birds possess a pea comb, orange to red eyes, pinky-white legs and beak. They are only slightly behind the Light Sussex in egg production and egg weight.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Jersey Giant copyright TroubadixJersey Giant – Worlds largest chicken breed. The Jersey Black Giants originated in New Jersey in 1870 by crossing Black Javas, Dark Brahmas and Black Langshans. In recent years, Cornish blood was introduced in some strains. As the name implies the Jersey Giants are large and a very heavy fowl. They are rugged birds but because they grow a large frame first and have little meat until about 6 months, they have not been used in industry, which prizes a rapidly growing bird.
    The Jersey Giant is a general purpose fowl for heavy meat and egg production. The colour of the skin is yellow and the eggs shells are brown to dark brown.
    These large birds need a lot of space but are unable to fly so boundaries do not have to be particularly high to keep them confined. They aren't really good pets for small children because of their great size though.
    Egg colour – brown – dark brown
    Egg numbers – 160-180 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • La Fleche - Bred for many years in the Valley of La Sarthe, where the town of La Fleche is located. This breed originated from crossing of Black Spanish, Crevecoeur, and DuMan blood lines as evident by its high carriage, activity, large white lobes, V-shaped comb and the trace of crest on its head, which crops out on specimens of the French breeds.
    The whiteness and quality of its flesh is attributed to the rich pastures of La Sarthe, upon which La Fleche have been bred for generations, and to the system of feeding adopted by the French.
    The La Fleche is a good forager and is happy to free range but will adapt equally well to confinement. They are flighty and will fly over 2 metres so fencing needs to be high to keep them contained. They are active birds but avoid human contact and will not generally allow themselves to be tamed. They are good layers, producing around 200 white-shelled eggs per year. Males weigh 8-9lbs while the females are 6-7lbs.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 180-200 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • MaranMaran - Marans take their name from the town of Marans in France. They were imported into the UK around 1929. They were developed for both meat and eggs.
    Marans are easy to look after and if given the space will be active. They are a disease resistant breed. Marans will produce deep brown eggs and are normally quite placid in nature. As a breed they are very quiet but can be temperamental so watch with smaller children until the character of your birds are known. The majority of the Marans we see today in the UK are cuckoo coloured, ranging from a very dark grey colour down to silver. They have bright orange eyes and white legs.
    Egg colour – dark brown
    Breed society: http://www.themaransclub.co.uk/
  • Naked neck rooster copyright DemontuxNaked Neck (Transylvanian) - They originate from Hungary but it was in Germany that the breed was perfected and the lack of feathering on the neck is due to a dominant gene. They actually possess half the total number of feathers in other breeds which makes them much quicker to pluck than other table birds.
    They are heavy birds with long, elongated bodies. The legs are featherless and slate blue in dark feathered breeds or yellow in the paler feathered varieties with four toes on the feet. The neck is totally without feathers and this bare skin continues right up to the crop. The top of the head has feathers on and they usually have a single comb or sometimes a rose comb and large wattles.
    They are good layers, producing brown eggs and are hardy, vigorous birds. They are happy to free range or be confined in runs and are not known as being particularly good fliers. They need protection in extremely cold temperatures because of their lack of feathers but can cope remarkably well in very hot climates. They are easy to tame and are very placid, calm birds.
    Egg colour – brown
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • New Hampshire Red Cockerel copyright BodlinaNew Hampshire Red - Developed over a period of years beginning around 1915 from a foundation of Rhode Island Reds. There are no records of outside blood being introduced and the breed was developed by farm poultrymen of New Hampshire by continual selection of breeding stock for early maturity, large brown shelled eggs, quick feathering, strength and vigour during its evolution.
    The colour of the New Hampshire Red is a medium to light red and often fades in the sun. The comb is single and medium to large in size.
    The hens lay well and are placid and friendly and are therefore easy to tame. They thrive in a run or wandering free and as they are not good fliers, they do not need particularly high fencing. They are not aggressive towards each other and are tolerant creatures
    Egg colour – brown / tinted
    Egg numbers - 120 per annum
    Breed contact: http://newhampshireredpoultryclub.com/
  • Norfolk Grey - Originating in Norwich, the Norfolk Grey was first shown in 1920 under the name of Black Marias. They are now very uncommon and are rarely seen at Poultry shows.
    They have a single comb and a red face with black eyes while the legs are slate or black. Plumage is attractively marked and the male has a beautiful silver hackle striped with black as is the neck, back, saddle and wing feathers while the rest of the plumage is black. The hen's hackle is similar to the cockerels but she has an otherwise rich black feathering all over apart from the throat which is silver laced.
    The Norfolk Grey produces tinted eggs and is capable of attaining a good carcase size for meat production if allowed to mature slowly.
    They are a rare breed and almost disappeared in the early 1970s but fortunately a private flock was found to contain 4 birds in 1974 and the breed was revived.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • North Holland Blue - Very like Marans with feathered legs. The male is normally of a lighter colour than the female. They are judged more on their utility properties than on markings. This breed was very popular before the last war due to its quick maturity and rapid growth.
    Sex linkage as with Marans in that when crossed with an unbarred male the male chicks have a large white / yellow head spot.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Old English Pheasant Fowl - Originally know as the Yorkshire Pheasant, and Old fashioned Pheasant, this is a rare breed. Renamed around 1914. Despite being classed as a light breed they actually make a good utility bird and are ideal as a backyard or farmyard fowl.
    They are very hardy and frequently take to roosting in trees. Available in Gold or Silver with a bantam occasionally seen.
    Egg colour – white
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Buff OrpingtonOrpington – First produced in 1886, the Black Orpington was created from a Black Langshan / Black Minorca / Black Plymouth Rock cross. The Buff (1894) and White (1889) varieties followed later.
    Orpingtons are birds which like to be free range and have small eggs. They are greedy birds and need exercise to keep fit. Their wingspan is short therefore they can be kept in areas with low fences.
    Egg colour – light to dark brown
    Egg numbers - 160 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.orpingtonbantams.co.uk
  • Barred Rock hen copyright Thomas-KriesePlymouth Rock - Originating from Plymouth, USA in 1829. It is believed that these original fowls lost their identity and that the progenitors of present Barred Plymouth Rocks were first exhibited in 1869 at Worcester, Massachusetts. These were composites of several blood lines – a Dominique male with Black Cochin or Black Java females. This breed has always been popular owing to the intricate barring on the feathers. If you look closely you will see that every feather should end in a black tip.
    They are large, long lived chickens and the hens have a deep, full abdomen which is a sign of a good layer. They have a broad, deep and well-rounded breast and bright yellow legs. The face is red with red ear lobes, a bright yellow beak, bay coloured eyes and a single medium sized comb.
    They are friendly birds which are easy to tame and are vigorous and hardy birds which don't need a lot of space but do appreciate the chance to run free, They are not good fliers so do not require high fencing.
    There are several varieties of Plymouth Rock, including the barred, white, buff, multiple pencilled, triple laced, pencilled partridge, multiple pencilled silver partridge, Columbian, buff Columbian and blue laced.
    Egg colour – cream / tinted
    Egg numbers – 160-200 per annum
    Breed contact: http://www.theplymouthrockclub.co.uk/
  • rhode-island-redRhode Island Red - Originally from Rhode Island (New England, USA) and the result of crossing the Red Malay Game, Leghorn and Asiatic native stock.
    It is a dual purpose medium heavy fowl; used more for egg production than meat production because of its dark coloured pin feathers and its good rate of lay. Rhode Island Reds are a good choice for the small flock owner. Relatively hardy, they are probably the best egg layers of the dual purpose breeds. Reds handle marginal diets and poor housing conditions better than other breeds and still continue to produce eggs.
    The Rhode Island Red enjoys foraging on grass, are bright and alert but at the same time quiet. They make great pets and are relatively hardy. They will produce a large amount of brown eggs a year.
    The plumage is a dark rich glossy red in the male, being slightly less glossy in the female. The male should only have black in his wings and tail and the female the same but can have black on her neck. The body is broad and deep and oblong in its shape. It has a broad flat back with a medium sized tail.
    Egg colour – brown to dark brown
    Egg numbers – 180 per annum
    Breed contact: 01364 732946 / e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Blauwe sumatra coptright Wanda-ZwartSumatra - A native of Sumatra, from which it gets its name. Because of its double spurs, it was originally desirable for cockfighting purposes. However, due to poor timing, it arrived in England in the early 1900’s at about the same time that legal cockfighting was abolished.
    They have rather long tails carried low enough to appear drooping. They have multiple spurs on each leg, dark purple faces and a high degree of greenish lustre on jet black plumage.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 130 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Light SussexSussex – Originating from the county of Sussex, this is one of the oldest breeds that are still in existence today.
    The original colours were brown, red and speckled. Today the colours found in Sussex chickens are brown buff, light red, speckled, silver and white.,
    One of the best of the dual purpose chickens, a good all-around farm fowl. Sussex are alert, attractive and good foragers. Whilst they are quite happy to be free range, they will also be fine if kept in a confined space.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 180 - 260 per annum
    Breed contact: 01364 653182 / E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Sussex Star – A hybrid bird created by crossing a Light Sussex and a Rhode Island Red. A utility bird that manages to look good with a lovely calm nature. They are an attractive white bird with a black collar and tail feathers. They will lay about 250 light brown eggs.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 250 per annum
  • Vorwerk copyright RimshotVorwerk- Developed in Germany in 1900, and imported into Britain in the 1980s.
    This is a medium size attractive bird that thrives quite happily on smaller rations than many other breeds of the same size. They are alert and active but not timid. They make an ideal utility and smallholder bird as they lay well. They are very well marked, are good layers of large eggs are rare. Numbers are so small that there is no specific breed club at present.
    Egg colour – cream / tinted
    Egg numbers – 170 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk

  • Silver Laced Wyandotte copyright Holly-from-AshevilleWyandotte – Originally from America, the Silver Laced variety was developed in New York State and the others in the north and northeastern states in the latter part of the 19th century and early 20th century.
    Wyandottes are a good, medium-weight fowl for small family flocks. Their rose combs do not freeze as easily as single combs and the hens make good mothers. Their attractive "curvy" shape, generally good disposition and many attractive colour patterns make them a good choice for fanciers as well as farmers.<
    Varieties include, White, Blue, Buff, Red, Black, Barred, Partridge and Silver Pencilled, Silver, Gold, Blue and Buff Laced, and finally Columbian which has similar markings to the Light Sussex.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 180 per annum
    Breed contact: http://www.wyandotteclub.moonfruit.com/

 

Eggs

  • Amber Lee - A hybrid bird that is a prolific egg layer. The Amber Lee is a beautiful cream colour, some having a champagne appearance. Ideally suited for the garden or allotment this breed makes a great pet with a friendly and inquisitive nature. Laying an average of 330+ brown eggs in the first year, this breed is equal to the Bovan Goldline in the laying scale.
    Egg colour - brown
    Egg numbers - 330 per annum

  • Ancona - A small fowl that lays a fair number of rather small eggs.
    Named after the province of Ancona in Italy from where specimens were brought to the UK and shown in 1851 (for the Great Exhibition). Believed to be closely related to the original Mottled Leghorn.
    The comb should be single or rose with long wattles as in other Mediterranean breeds, with a white ‘v’ shaped tip to the feathers and beetle green metallic sheen to the feathers.
    Available as large and miniature. Can be flighty. Bold active birds excellent foragers. Very good laying average with a good food / egg conversion due to light body weights. This is a non-sitting fowl. They are excellent layers of white shelled eggs and have yellow skin. The cockerels are slow and difficult to fatten. Supreme layers in relation to food consumption.
    Egg colour - white to cream
    Egg numbers - 160 - 180 per annum
    Breed contact: 01904 468387 / Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Andalusian BlueAndalusian - Named after the Province of Andalusia in Spain and is one of the oldest Mediterranean breeds.
    They originated from crossing black and white birds, these two colours producing a bluish-slate fowl. The incidence of Black birds was increased with crossings with the Black Spanish and Minorca which substantially altered their shape from that of the early birds. The modern Andalusian should be symmetrical, graceful, compact, medium in size, and stately in carriage. The dull and uneven blue coloured fowl of the past has been transformed into the attractive, laced breed of today by years of scientific breeding. Show birds are blue with lacing, black and splash colours are also produced but are not permitted to be shown although the splash females are worth using within a breeding programme.
    They typically carry a long body and tail at an angle of 45 degrees with each feather lightly laced with black edging.
    The Andalusian is an active forager; good backyard layer plus superb show bird, quieter than many Mediterranean's. Good winter / spring layer. Available as large and miniature. The females of this breed will often lay at almost impossibly early ages. Very fast runner.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers - 160 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Appenzeller Spitzhauben copyright Alice-WilkmanAppenzeller Spitzhauben - There are two main types of Appenzeller the Spitzhauben and the Barthuhner. Although bred in Switzerland for centuries they have only been shown in the UK since 1982. They were named after the local lace bonnets worn by the ladies of Appenzellerland as apart of their traditional dress. The most popular colour in the UK is the Silver Spitzhauben.
    The Appenzeller has a well rounded body with good tail held a right angles to the body. The crest is held forward over the face with two spiked horn comb with no side sprigs. It is a good forager and a reasonable layer.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers - 150 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.appenzellerspitzhauben.co.uk/
  • Araucana hen copyright Jes-DennettAraucana - Originated from the province of Arauca in Chile. They were developed to make lavender and other coloured birds in Scotland in the 1930's. The birds are unique in that the blue green colouring permeates the shell rather than having a white inner layer.
    There is a Rumpless variety of Araucana that has unique 'ear tufts' and lacks a 'parsons nose' hence the tail just falls down instead of being held aloft.
    They are a long, deep bodied bird with tail and sickles carried at 45 degrees. Small pea comb face covered with thick muffling with no wattles. Compact crest. there are various colours; white; lavender; blue; black-red; silver duckwing; golden duckwing; blue-red; pyle; spangled; cuckoo; black etc.
    Egg colour – blue or green
    Egg numbers - 180 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.araucana.org.uk
  • Black Star – A hybrid bird from Holland. A superb free range egg layer. The egg shell quality is superb, laying nearly 300 brown eggs per year. Colour ranges from all black with a beautiful green tint to others with copper feathers round their neck and chest. Being extremely hardy, this is the perfect free range bird, disease resistant and can withstand all conditions.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – up to 300 per annum
  • Bluebell – A hybrid bird created by crossing a Rhode Island with a Maran. They come in all varieties of grey colour from almost violet to dark grey. They have a very placid and sweet nature and will lay about 250 brown eggs that are described as having a plum blush.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 250 per annum
  • Bovan Goldline – A hybrid bird created by crossing a Rhode Island Red with a Light Sussex hen, and is a very friendly breed. They lay an enormous amount of eggs - 330+ brown eggs in the first year. A very hardy hen with beautiful shades of brown and cream feathering, it is ideally suited for first time and young keepers.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 300 per annum
  • Dutch-Bantam copyright Oakdene-CoopsDutch Bantam - The breed first appeared in the UK around the early 1960's. There are at present thirteen colours standardised although Holland has considerably more.
    Dutch bantams are hardy, active and lively. These gentle and quaint little birds often display attachment to their owners and are characterized by their smallness and elegance. Dutch birds are good layers, good setters, and good broodies. Egg production is limited to the summer months and eggs take only 20 days to hatch instead of the usual 21 days for other breeds. Dutch bantams are jaunty little birds and need to be protected from the winter weather. They also need good fencing as they are good fliers. They are upright little birds with short backs, and a high full breast.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Breed society: http://www.dutchbantamclub.co.uk/
  • Fayoumi - Originally an ancient breed from the Egyptian city of Fayoum, bred for egg production. They are hardy, early maturing, excellent flying and escape capacity, scream like a banshee when captured and often seem to have more in common with guineas than chicken. They come in gold or silver. They were introduced into the UK in 1984 by the Domestic Fowl Trust.
    Egg colour – white / cream
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Friesian - One of the oldest Dutch breeds kept as a layer and developed in the Friesian area of Northern Holland. The large version of this breed often get mistaken for bantams. The bantam version is in fact the size of a Dutch. They are in at least thirteen colours in Europe including Silver Penciled, Golden Penciled, Yellow Penciled, White, Black and Cuckoo.
    The Friesian is a small breed but at the same time a very good layer. It can produce around 230 eggs per year. Being small they do not require so much feed to be given to them. This breed is not a broody one.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 160-230 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • Gingernut Ranger – Designer Breed. The Gingernut Ranger is a Rhode Island Red crossed with a Light Sussex. They have a deep breast, neatly tucked wings and an upward pointing tail. The legs are featherless and are pale yellow. They have four toes. The comb is a medium size and the face is smooth and red with medium wattles and earlobes.
    The Gingernut Ranger is a prolific egg layer and lays large brown eggs. They are placid, friendly and inquisitive. They are also exceptionally easy to tame and will follow you around when you are in the garden. They are hardy birds who are very happy free ranging and love to forage. They make excellent pets for children due to their gentle nature and friendliness. The plumage of the Gingernut Ranger is rich red with either black or white tail feathers.
    Egg colour – brown
    Breed society C/O: http://www.poultryclub.org
  • Lakenvelder cockerel copyright Chris-PackardLakenvelder - An old established breed of German origin, having been known since the 1830's. They are fairly small birds and are good layers, producing white shelled or occasionally tinted eggs.
    They have a medium sized single comb, white almond shaped ear lobes and an orange-red eye. The legs are featherless and slate blue and they have four toes. They are a slightly built breed with an elongated body and a tail which is carried high. They make a very good utility bird and have white skin and a particularly plump breast.
    They tend to be rather flighty and wild so need to be contained carefully with suitable fencing as they can manage a 2 ½ metre flight. They are confident, robust birds which tend to avoid human contact and are able to adapt to being kept in confined spaces but prefer to be allowed the freedom to free range.
    The Lakenvelder is generally seen in the black and white form known as Belted but there is also a blue variety which is described as Blue Marked.
    Egg colour – white/tinted
    Egg numbers – 160 per annum
    Breed society C/O: http://www.rarepoultrysociety.co.uk
  • LegbarLegbar - The Cream Legbar was developed in the 1930s and originated as a cross between Brown Leghorns and Barred Rock with a bit of Araucana blood in them, shown in the crest and the blue eggs they lay. Other Legbars are the Gold and Silver.
    The Legbar is an autosexing breed where the chicks can be sexed at hatching by the colour of their down.
    Egg colour – blue
    Egg numbers – 180 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.creamlegbarclub.com/
  • White Leghorn copyright Steven-WallingLeghorn - The original breed came from Italy, but its varieties originated or were developed in England, Denmark and America. Characterised by great activity, hardiness and prolific egg-laying qualities. The females have a double folded comb, a deep abdomen and a whipped tail. The eyes are prominent and the beak is short and stout. Earlobes are well defined and the wattles are long, thin and fine in texture. Their legs are long and featherless with four toes on the feet with a long straight back toe and the feathers on the body are soft and silky.
    They are a small, sprightly, noisy bird with great style, Leghorns like to move about. They are good foragers and can often glean much of their diet from ranging over fields and barnyards. Leghorns are capable of considerable flight and often roost in trees if given the opportunity.
    Leghorns are prolific layers that rarely go broody and are non-sitters unless left undisturbed. Eggs are white and of good size and are laid throughout the year. They are sprightly, alert birds and can be tamed but not enough to allow handling and prefer to remain rather aloof.
    Varieties of Leghorn include black, blue (not laced), brown, buff, cuckoo, golden duckwing, silver duckwing, exchequer, mottled, partridge, pyle and white.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 200 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.theleghornclub.com
  • Marsh Daisy - Originating in Marshside near Southport, Lancashire, the Marsh Daisy was developed by John Wright in the 1890s and continued by Charles Moor in the early 1900s. The breed is an amalgam of Black Hamburgh, White Leghorn, Cinnamon Malay, Old English Game bantam, Pit Game, and Sicilian Buttercup. The Marsh Daisy is a good bird on free range it is quite hardy and will forage well.
    Colours are Brown, Wheaten, and Buff, with a rose comb and pale willow green legs.
    Currently classed as ‘endangered’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Breed society: http://www.marshdaisy.org.uk/
  • Minorca copyright Erik-FitzpatrickMinorca - Originally called Red-Faced Black Spanish, they are the largest and heaviest of the Mediterranean breed. The distinct characteristics of the Minorca breed are their long strong bodies, large combs, long wattles, large white ear-lobes, large and full tail moderately elevated, with muscular legs set squarely under the solid body. Available as black, white, blue and as a bantam.
    Good Minorcas are stately, impressive birds and can give a fair return in eggs.
    Egg colour – chalk white
    Egg numbers – 170 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.poultryclub.org/minorcaclub
  • Scots Grey – An old breed dating from the 16th Century. It is known for its hardiness and its ability to thrive in any climate conditions. It is a good all round layer of large whitish eggs. It is quite a vigorous breed and an excellent forager, therefore needing plenty of space. They also prefer to roost in trees.
    The Scots Grey is a long legged, upright standing bird. It is possible that it may have both Dorking and Game blood. Its markings are very similar to that of the Barred Plymouth Rock. The only colour and pattern in the Scots Grey is barred.
    Egg colour – white / cream
    Breed contact: 01361 882965 / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scotsgreypoultryclub
  • Speckled Star – A hybrid created from crossing a Maran with a Barred Plymouth Rock. The Speckled Star is a very docile hen. It is an excellent layer of dark chestnut brown eggs which are usually speckled.  Silky and soft to the touch they have a beautiful full plumage. The Speckled Star will lay around 270 eggs a year.
    Egg colour – brown
    Egg numbers – 270 per annum
  • Speckledy - A modern hybrid that comes from a Rhode Island Red crossed with a Maran. The feathering closely resembles that of a Maran but it is a far more prolific egg layer.
    The Speckledy is a docile, easily handled bird. They are excellent and reliable layers of dark chestnut brown eggs which are usually speckled. The eggshells are particularly strong and the yolks deep yellow. They are well suited to free ranging and enjoy foraging. Speckledys are cuckoo coloured with the colouration ranging from very dark grey to silver.
    Egg colour – brown
  • White StarWhite Star - A hybrid breed. The White Star is a beautiful snow white hen that lays around 320 large china white eggs in the first year.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers – 320 per annum



     
  • Welsummer-cockerelWelsummer – Named after the village of Welsum in Holland. First imported into the UK in 1928 and for its large brown eggs.
    An excellent back garden egg layer normally good with children. They are friendly, easily handled birds which love to free range and forage for food but can also be kept in runs quite happily. They are productive for 3 years of their 9 year lifespan. Both males and females look attractive. Many people describe them as 'What a farmyard chicken should really look like'.
    Egg colour – dark terracotta brown
    Egg numbers – 160 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.welsummerclub.org

Table Birds

  • Cornish-Hen copyright Misty-LundbergCornish (Indian Game) - Developed as the ultimate meat bird. Its muscle development and arrangement give excellent carcass shape.
    The Cornish has a broad, well muscled body. Its legs are of large diameter and widely spaced. The deep set eyes, projecting brows and strong, slightly curved beak give the Cornish a rather cruel expression.
    Cornish need adequate protection during very cold weather as their feathers offer less insulation than can be found on most other chickens. Because of their short feathers and wide compact bodies, Cornish are deceptively heavy. There are a number of varieties, including dark, jubilee and blue-laced.
    The Cornish / Indian Game is both sensible and tame and very confident in character. Their strange shape does make them vulnerable to lice and mite infestation as they find it hard to preen under their tails. As its purpose is mainly cross breeding for meat it does not lay that many eggs. It can become broody and protective. A full grown bird can become tricky to pick up due to its width. They do need to have low perches and large pop holes to get through.
    A hen may lay up to 100 tinted eggs a year, so they are not great layers.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers – 80-100 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.indiangame.co.uk/
  • Ixworth - takes its name from Ixworth in Suffolk where this breed was created by Reginald Appleyard (now famous for Silver Appleyard Ducks) in 1932. The Ixworth was created from White Orpington, White Sussex, White Minorca and various varieties of Indian Game with the intention of creating a white skinned table bird. The Ixworth was standardised in the UK in 1939. The bantam variety (which we believe have now died out in the U.K) was created after World War II. There is no breed club for the Ixworth.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers – 160-200 per annum
  • Hubbard - slow-growing and bred for free range, produce a particularly well textured meat. They give good results for both smallholders and commercial growers 

Ornamental

  • Asil copyright EniwajAseel / Asil - The Aseel is probably the oldest known breed of gamefowl, having been bred in India for its fighting qualities for over 2000 years.
    Such was the fitness, durability and gameness of the contestants that individual battles could last for days. This style of fighting produced a powerful and muscular bird with a strong beak, thick muscular neck and powerful legs, together with a pugnacious temperament and stubborn refusal to accept defeat.
    The Aseel is bred in various colors of plumage, including Black, White, Duckwing, Red Spangled, Pyle, etc. It has yellow or white skin, small head appendages with pea shaped comb; The females lay eggs with tinted shells, and are sitters. Desired weights are about 6 lbs. for cock and 5 lbs for hen. Aseels are being bred principally by British fanciers.
    Egg colour – tinted
  • Buttercup - A small breed from Sicily, with the chief distinguishing feature being their cup-shaped comb. They are rare birds and the males and females have very different plumages. Males have rich deep orange feathers with a greenish black tail while the females are a wonderful gold with black spangles running in parallel rows producing an almost spotty appearance. They are small attractive birds
    Buttercups are nonbroody, and not a prolific egg layer, only producing a small number of small, white eggs per year. They are kept strictly as ornamental fowl.
    They are flighty, active birds and do not like being kept in confined runs, preferring to be out free ranging where possible. They are prone to frostbite on their elaborate combs so care needs to be taken when the temperatures drop below freezing. They don't really like human contact and tend to keep their distance.
    Egg colour – white
    Breed society C/O: http://www.poultryclub.org
  • Campine Silver copyright Cirasa-GiovanniCampine – Originating in Belgium, it is an ancient breed available in both gold and silver colouration. The name is derived from the Campine country, where these fowls are bred largely for the production of white-shelled eggs. The two Belgian breeds are Braekel and Campine, are practically the same in all points except size, the Braekel being the larger fowl. The English, or Standard Campine of today is a composite of two Belgian varieties with the plumage of the Campine male and female identical in colour patterns.
    The golden Campine's body, wings and tail are black, barred with dark orange and gold. Their necks are a striking burnt orange colour. They do have pure white earlobes and their legs are slate blue. The Campine is a small tightly feathered bird. They are mainly bred for ornamental purposes but they will lay a fair number of medium white shelled eggs.
    Egg colour – white
    Breed society C/O: http://www.poultryclub.org
  • Partridge Cochin cockerel copyright Sammy-DavisCochin - Mainly an ornamental fowl. The Chinese Shanghai fowl came to England and America in 1845. The name of this Asiatic breed was later changed to Cochin. The earliest Cochins were more or less buff in color. Its striking appearance, due to great size and profuse soft feathering, distinguished it from all other known breeds at the time.
    Many varieties of Cochins have been recognized. They are Buff, Blue, White, Black and Partridge.
    Both male and female are massive in appearance, with an extraordinary plumage and a great abundance of down in the under-fluff, producing a rather bulky appearance and conveying the idea of even greater weight than actually exists.
    They like to be kept on short grass and will not venture onto longer vegetation as this damages the feathers on their feet. They take up remarkably little room and like to be contained with fencing. They make remarkably good pets and a pet Cochin should live between 8-10 years.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers - 120 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.cochinclub.co.uk/index.php/about-us/
  • Frizzle Chicken copyright Jean---Just-ChaosFrizzle - Bred principally for exhibition, but capable of being good productive fowl. The feathers curl backwards and primary feathers of wing and tail are imperfect. Each feather is moderately long and curls backwards towards the bird's head. The individual feathers have a rather ragged appearance and the neck has abundant frizzled feathers. The main points for exhibition purposes are the curl, which is most pronounced on feathers.
    They are hardy birds which grow quickly. The chicks appear to be normally feathered when they are hatched but the wing feathers soon start to grow and turn outwards. They are gentle birds and are good layers.
    The Frizzle has been bred in several different colours :- self or single coloured black, blue, buff, white Columbian as in the Wyandotte, duckwing, black-red, brown-red, cuckoo, pyle, spangle as in the Old English Game and red as in Rhode Island Red. All colours have red eyes, a single, medium sized comb and earlobes but the leg colour varies and is usually darker with darker feathered birds.
    There are three types of plumage - frizzled, over frizzled and flat-coated.  However frizzled plumage is only desired in exhibition birds.
    They are now considered to be a rare breed.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers - 120 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.thefrizzlesocietyofgreatbritain.co.uk
  • Hamburg copyright Ospr3yyHamburg - The Hamburg is a very old race of domesticated poultry. The name of the breed is German, but the origin is Dutch. They owe their present shape and colour qualities to British fanciers, who, over a century ago, began the work of refining the 'pheasant fowls' of that period into modern Hamburgs. The Spangled type was kept in Yorkshire and Lancashire three hundred years ago. The Black and Spangled varieties were evolved in England; the Penciled varieties came from Holland via Hamburg, Germany.
    Hamburgs are active, flighty birds. They are trim and stylish with delicate features, and wild in nature. They forage well and are capable of flying long distances. Although good egg producers, their eggs are often very small.
    Egg colour – white
  • Japanese Bantams copyright PutneypicsJapanese Bantam – This breed presents one of the extremes of the Bantam World. The disproportionately large comb, head, wings and tail of the male and the remarkable shortness of legs are obvious characteristics. The male tail is further distinguished by the long sword-shaped main sickles carried slightly forward of the perpendicular, accentuating the typical shape.
    The Japanese is an ideal bird for people who are fond of their lawns and gardens because they are not good diggers as their short legs stop them from damaging the ground. As they are such small, light birds, some can be very good fliers so boundaries need to be secure. They lay few eggs and these tend to be very tiny indeed. They are long-lived birds and therefore make excellent pets. They are ideal birds for children as they are generally friendly, calm and trusting but the cocks can be aggressive.
    Egg colour – cream
    Breed society: http://home.roadrunner.com/~jbba/JBBA.html
  • Modern Game – Now an ornamental breed, the Modern Exhibition Game is far removed from the Old English or Pit Game bred in the days when cock fighting was the vogue of Great Britain.
    It is a tightly feathered bird with long legs and neck, which give it a tall, slender appearance. The feathers of Modern Games should be short, hard and held very close to their bodies. They do not stand cold weather well because of their short feathers and need plenty of exercise to maintain muscle tone.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers - 90 per annum
    Breed society: http://www.moderngameclub.co.uk
  • Nankin - A true bantam with no large fowl counterpart. It gets its name from the colour of Nankeen cloth.
    The Nankin is a hardy bird that is slow to mature. They lay a tiny creamy white egg. Nankins are able to tolerate being kept in confinement. Some are fliers, some are friendly. The cocks tend to be aggressive. The body of a Nankin is a buff colour with black main tail feathers. The comb can be either single or rose. The legs are blue or white in colour.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Breed society C/O: http://www.poultryclub.org
  • Old English Game – Originally known as the Pit Game, this is another breed (as with the Modern Game) that was initially bred for cock fighting, and is now an exhibition bird. They are small birds with a tightly feathered plumage. The head is small with a big, strong beak, single comb, small thin earlobes and wattles and large eyes. The wings are large and powerful and the legs are strong and short. They have four toes ending in long, curved nails.
    They are hardy and vigorous birds and can be extremely active and very noisy! They make good foragers and like to be out free ranging as they don't really tolerate confinement. They can fly to around two metres so care needs to be taken with boundaries.
    There are two varieties, the ‘Carlisle’ and the ‘Oxford’, and have over thirty different colours between them.
    Egg colour – tinted
    Egg numbers - 120 per annum
    Breed contact: 01792 984433
  • Pekin Bantam rooster copyright SelbymayPekin Bantam - This little bird arrived in Great Britain around the middle of the last century. It took its name from its place of origin in China. These imported birds were then crossed with other breeds and are now know today as Pekin Bantams.
    They make good pets especially for children as well as good show birds as they have a docile nature and are very easy to tame. Brilliant mobile slug hoovers for fruit gardens That require little space.
    They are good layers of small eggs but are broody, making them great mums. Pekins can look rather pale if not allowed on grass to forage, but do not tend not to scratch around in flower beds. They are normally a robust and long-lived bird that loves company.
    Egg colour – white / cream
    Breed society: http://www.pekinbantams.com/clubs.asp / 01484 841008
  • Poland (Crested Dutch, Polish) - imported from Eastern Europe, and upon landing in England, these were called 'Poland Fowls'. The Poland is a long established race of domesticated poultry. It was mentioned as a pure breed as early as the sixteenth century.
    The most striking characteristic of the Poland is the large bump on top of the skull from which the crest of feathers grows and the large cavernous nostrils are found only in crested breeds.
    They need plenty of space to avoid damaging each other's crests by picking. Ice forming in their crests from drinking water can be a problem in cold weather. And sometimes their crests restrict vision and cause them to be easily frightened.
    They lay a good number of white eggs. Mites need to be looked out for, as they cannot preen themselves very easily to remove them.
    Colours of the Poland are very varied. The best known being the white crested black with its black body and white crest. The other two similarly patterned colours are white crested blue and white-crested cuckoo. These three colours do not have a beard and have wattles; all the other colours have a beard with no wattles. Other colours include chamois, gold and silver which are all laced.
    Egg colour – white
    Egg numbers - 120 per annum
    Breed contact: 01935 827845
  • Rosecomb Bantam – This is an old breed of bantam, originating in Britain, but little is known about the history of the breed. They have a large rose comb with striking white earlobes. They come in the following standard colours: black, blue and white.
    They are pretty hardy in both heat and cold and the cocks can be rather aggressive. They are good fliers but will tolerate being in a confined space. They tend to be very friendly birds and make good pets.
    Egg colour – white / cream
    Breed contact: 01257 451575
  • Scots Dumpy – (Creepies, Bakies, Daidies and Hoodies) One of the oldest and rarest breeds in the UK – reported to go back to Roman times. The main attraction is in the history of the breed plus their quaint waddling action and quiet nature.  The waddling is due to their very short legs. There is no definitive colouring for the Scots Dumpy. It can be seen in black, cuckoo, white, brown, silver and gold.
    The Scots Dumpy requires an easy ground to live on as their legs are so short. They like to be able to free range but care with diet needs to be taken as they can get fat easily.
    Egg colour – white
    Breed society: http://www.scotsdumpyclub.org.uk/
  • Sebright copyright LatropoxSebright - Originated around 1810 in England by Sir John Sebright, the result of thirty years of intensive breeding. They are a cross between a common bantam and a polish fowl.
    They are difficult birds to raise and therefore are not suitable for the beginner. The adults are hardy and active and like to free range. If there are trees around them they do like to roost in them. They do not lay many eggs but the ones they do are small and white. Sebrights are very upright birds that like to strut around.
    There are now two recognised varieties, Golden and Silver (resembles white). The Sebright is famous for the quality of the lacing in its feathers. Each feather is edged with black, making the ground colour appear brighter and more striking.
    Egg colour – white
    Breed contact: 01403 255762
  • Partridge Silkie hen copyright Boris-BartelsSilkie - Thought to have originated in India, China or Japan the Silkie arrived in Europe around 200 years ago
    The Silkie bantam is the only breed of bantams with black pigmented skin. The feathers are without the usual forms of webs, resulting in a lack of adhesion of the barbs to one another which give the appearance of down or silky hair. Another distinguishing feature is turquoise blue ear lobes.
    Despite being rather poor layers, Silkies are calm, friendly, trusting and rather lively birds which are unable to fly so can be kept with very low fencing. They also do very little damage to the garden. They have a lifespan of around 9 years and can be tamed and considered a real pet which makes them especially suitable for children.
    Colours include black, blue, gold, white, partridge, triple laced partridge, triple laced silver partridge, grey, cuckoo, red and buff.
    Egg colour – tinted / cream
    Egg numbers - 80 per annum
    Breed society: www.thesilkieclub.co.ukEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/thesilkieclub
  • Sultan copyright EuniceSultan – Originally from Turkey, it is said that this breed used to live in the Sultan’s castle gardens in what was called Constantinople and they were originally known as Sultans Fowl.
    They are strictly an ornamental fowl of very distinctive appearance. They have a large crest, muffs and beard, together with profuse feathering of the feet and legs.
    Sultans are best kept in small runs as they are rather poor foragers, and they find it very hard to cope with poor weather. They are calm birds and can be handled easily so make excellent pets. Sultans are good fliers and can manage two metres easily so care needs to be taken with fences.
    The only recognised form for the Sultan is the white variety, even though there has been blue and black varieties produced.
  • Yamato Gunkei – From Japan, this is the largest of the small Shamo breeds, and could be considered an intermediate size (with the Chibi Shamo being its bantam equivalent). However it is shown as a bantam.
    It is an ancient ornamental breed, and the aim is to be as thick-set, exaggerated and full of character as possible within the weight limits. The main feature is a very heavily wrinkled face, which gets more and more grotesque with age.
    Egg colour – tinted / white
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