COLUMBIAN ROCKS
 Columbian Rocks feature the striking Columbian color pattern of black on white. Our strain is particularly nice and originated from one of the country's leading breeders. They are reasonably good layers of large brown eggs, will set, and are very nice for show as there are not too many Columbian Rocks around.
Minorcas are the largest of the Mediterranean Class and the Blacks are perhaps the finest examples of their class. They lay large white eggs, are non-setters.

 Sultans are a very old breed which originated in Southeastern Europe. They get their peculiar name because they were once favored by the rulers of Turkey. Sultans came from Istanbul to England in the 1850's. This extremely rare breed has a crest, muff, beard, feathered shanks, and a fifth toe.
 This is one of the best varieties for the exhibitor as it is quite rare and makes an outstanding show bird. The highly colored male has black hackle and saddle feathers with an edging of rich brilliant red, a lustrous greenish black breast and body touched with reddish bay on the wings. The females are completely different with their brown plumage and distinct pencilings of black following the outline of each feather. These are fairly good sized birds though not quite as large as their cousins, the Barred and White Rocks. The yellow skin and plump body make a nice eating fowl, and the hens lay brown eggs, and are considered one of the best setters and broody hens. The baby chicks are a rick dark brown resembling the color of an expensive fur coat.
Famous as layers of good sized white eggs, non-setters, these beautiful chickens have lustrous black plumage with white tips on every few feathers. The are about the same size to a little heavier than Leghorns. The dark color and active temperament make them a good bird to raise where hawks, owls, and animal predators are a problem because they do not show up like white breeds; and they are very quick and alert. They are an old breed in the Mediterranean Class, coming from the area around Ancona, Italy via England to the United States by the late 1800's. Baby chicks are very bright and snappy looking with their approximately half and half combination of black and white patches.
DOMINIQUES
 This breed is distinctly American, dating way back to the early days in New England. Pioneers brought these west with them and in the old days amost any black and white barred plumage chicken was referred to as a Dominiker, They have rose combs, medium sized bodies, prominient tales, and the black and white barred plumage.

 These small, active, lovely chickens have been raised along the Nile River in Egypt for centuries, and even though quite common there, are practically unknown in this country. We got our start of this very rare breed from one of the state universities whose poultry department was using them for special studies in genetics. No other breed matures quite so quickly as these do and the young pullets are apt to start laying their small tinted white eggs at 4 to 4-1/2 months while the cockerels will start to crow at an unbelievable 5 to 6 weeks. They are attractively marked with silvery white hackle and white bars on black background throughout the body plumage. Leg color can be either willow green or slate blue. Baby chicks are highly colored in brown, black, and white markings on the back and a brownish purple head color.
 
The original name of this large breed is Jersey Black Giant. Black does not mean the colour but comes from the originators the brothers John and Thomas Black from Jobstown, Burlington County, east of Philadelphia in the State of New Jersey. To create larger 'roasters' for the local and nearer markets they started crossbreeding darker feathered large breeds between 1870 en 1880. An old breeds the American Java Fowl (nearly extinct now), Dark Brahma's, Partridge Cochins, and at a later stage, the Black Croad Langshans and the Indian Games formed basis. Also, the Plymouth Rock was used at certain moments. At those time farmers experienced that black feathered poultry was more resistance against diseases and the climate in New Jersey. That was the main reason to create this breed, next to their size. Giants were developed to high level and weights between five and six kilograms were more common than and exception. 
In the twenties of this century, Marcey Farms owned by Ulmer Meloney from Matawan, New Jersey pushed this breed to a high level. Around 1930 this was one the most important breeds in New Jersey. When Ulmer Meloney passed away the best Jersey Giant breeders were send to the Miller Family Farm, Bern, Kansas which still breeds them. (At he moment of writing this book Mrs. Golda Miller is up in nineties and still involved in this chickens! Yes, a healthy activity). In 1922 the breed was recognised in the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association APA and 1947 the White variety. Also, a self-blue variety exists. 
In the autumn of 1921, first export to the United Kingdom took place where Christopher J. Turtle and G.F.J. Buvington founded a special breed club in 1922. They never became popular in England because the great competition with the large Orpington and Langshans. It still is in England but he number of them is very small. Nowadays they are kept more for pleasure than for utility. They are very well spread around the whole world. In Europe - with Belgium, Germany and Holland as the centre - is an increasing interest for them.

Description

Type of this black feathered, heavy and compact breed is large, broad, long and deep with a pretty large and broad head. The round and full eyes are dark brown of colour in the black variety; on the white variety they are brown-blackish They have a dark horn coloured short, stout and well-curved beak which has a yellow shading at the end. The red single comb is rather large, upright and straight with six nicely defined and evenly serrated points. The blade follows the line of the head. Wattles are red and moderate developed. The fairly large earlobes are bright reds. Its neck is fairly long, full and well arched. The reasonable broad back line slopes downwards a little, with a short sweep to the tail.
The broad and deep breast is full and carried well forward. Both wings are well folded carried nearly horizontal. The primaries and secondaries overlap each other in a natural way. Shoulders are as wide and broad as is possible in harmony to the type. The tail is moderate large, full and well spread and carried 45 degrees above horizontal. Sickles are just long enough to cover the main tail feathers. The latter are broad and overlapping each other. Tail coverts are moderating abundant and medium in length. Legs are set well apart and are black in the black variety and willowgreen for the whites. Toes are well spread and black or willowgreen - depending on the variety- of colour while the soles of the feet - in both varieties - should be yellow. Its plumage is bright greenish-black with a slate under-colour.

Characteristics

A quiet, general purpose fowl for heavy meat and reasonable egg production with a yellow skin. Egg production is in the area of 120 - 150 per bird, per year, which weigh between 60- 65 grams each. The eggshell is brown of colour. Food conversion could be better than expect. Baby chicks mature fast but they feather very slow. For exhibition purposes, the breed takes eighteen months to reach their final large size and weight. Most of the Jersey Giants become easily broody and are good mother hens. Because their seize they are good for hatching larger eggs such as ducks, peafowl or turkeys.

 

One of the most beautiful English breeds is without any doubt the Orpington, of which the Buff coloured is the best known and spread around the world. The original variety was the Black, however, which was developed between 1875 and 1885 from Minorca cocks, Black Plymouth Rock hens, and later on, Langshan cocks. William Cook who named the breed after the village Orpington in Kent where he lived created the breed. His aim was to create a breed with a good egg production that was also suitable for exhibition. Cook also created the White Orpington as well as the Buff coloured for which he used Buff Cochins, Dark Dorkings and Gold Spangled Dutch fowl. It is claimed that he also used Lincolnshire Buffs, which are closely related to the Cochin. They were first shown at the Orpington Club Show in 1894 after which they quickly spread round the world.

Their main qualities are good egg production, reasonable meat production, a pale meat colour, fast maturing and a quiet character. Other colour varieties were bred from crossings that are not identical to crossings of the original Orpington. That is why they still vary in type.

Description

The Orpington is a large, bold bird with a deep, broad and cobby shape. The length, width and depth of the body are almost equal. The cock has a U-shape back line when viewed from the side, whereas the back of the hen is slightly rising to the tail. The profuse, fluffy, soft plumage and round shape, as in the Wyandottes and Cochins, only accentuate the type. The head is of medium length and fairly broad above the eyes, the face is bright red. The moderate small, single, red comb with five points is firmly set on the head and upright. The bold, round eyes range from orange red to very dark depending on the variety. The well rounded, red wattles are slightly oblong, as are the earlobes.

The short neck has full neck hackles that reach to the shoulders. The cobby body is broad and deep. The broad back is of medium length, flat and broad between the shoulders. The wings are small, compact and carried closely to the body. The small size of the wings makes it impossible for them to fly. The medium long tail is well spread in the cocks, rich in feathers and carried medium high. In hens, the tail is slightly open, whilst the main tail feathers are short. The breast is well rounded. The legs are almost hidden by the body feathers, but should be well visible. The toes are medium long and well spread. The colour of the legs are black in Blacks; white-flesh coloured in Whites, Speckled, Reds, Buffs and Mottleds and slate blue in the Blues, in other words the leg colour follows the colourvariety.

 

The Leghorn is one of the best-known poultry breeds in the world because of its enormous egg production. Originating from the Mediterranean, the breed dates back about 3000 years. It is known that several Roman emperors kept Leghorn-type fowl. At the beginning of the 19th. century partridge coloured fowl was exported to America from Livorno in Italy. At the time, the impression prevailed that these were crossbreeds from partridge coloured game birds and white Minorcas. Research carried out later revealed that these birds represented a breed that was centuries old, but not very uniform and had been kept on a large scale in the Italian countryside. These birds looked totally different from present day Leghorns.
Their name is derived from the English name for the seaport of Livorno. In the middle of the 19th. century several colour varieties were developed in America after direct importation of white Leghorns from Italy in 1828 and 1829. In 1835, N.P. Ward from New York City imported the first brown Leghorns into America, which he bred with great success in partnership with J.C. Thompson of Staten Island. The black Leghorn was imported by Reed Watson from East Windsor Hill, Connecticut in 1871. Around 1850, the high egg production Leghorns were imported into Europe from America, especially into England and Denmark where they became very popular and productive! The desired uniformity had still not been achieved and even today poultry standards mention the American, English, German and Dutch type in Leghorns - all of which carry the main Leghorn characteristics, but are different from each other in minor details. This breed has had an enormous influence world wide on the development of utility breeds.

Description

This description of the Leghorn is a general description without going into detail of minor differences between the Standards of certain countries. The Leghorn is an upright, very lively, active, graceful, strong and fast bird. The plumage is glossy, full and tight. It has a slender body, but is broad in shoulders and tapering towards the tail. The head is strong, broad and in good harmony with the comb.

There are two types of combs in this breed, namely the medium size, red, single comb with five or six spikes and the red rosecomb that tapers towards the back and ending in a well-developed leader. The white or cream coloured, almond shaped ear lobes are equally matched and of medium size. The long, thin, red wattles are equally symmetric. The beak is short, stout and curved at the point and yellow in colour, whereas the dark coloured varieties have a horn coloured beak. The face is red without any white. The moderate large eyes are orange-red. The long neck is slightly curved with plenty of neck hackles. The breast is full and broad, well rounded and carried forward. The back is long and straight.
The wings are large and well tucked up against the body. The legs are moderately long and yellow in colour as well as the toes. The tail is large, long, and carried at an angle of 45 degrees. The sickles are well developed and well curved.

 

Originally, this breed was known as the Paduan and even today, this name is still used. The breed had been known in the Netherlands for centuries and it was not until 1850 that they really became popular and were spread around the world. The most likely place of origin is the southeastern part of the former Soviet Union. There are lots Russian breeds with muffs and beards and the well-known Crested Siberian only differs from the Bearded Poland in that they have leg and foot feathering. The Russian Pavlowskajas resemble the Bearded Poland fowl the most. It is quite possible that selective breeding developed this breed. There is a close link to the Non Bearded Poland, although both breeds differ genetically on certain points. In some countries, the two breeds are considered as one in two varieties, with and without muffs and beard. They are available in very high quality in Europe and notably the Netherlands. A very active speciality breed club was formed in the Netherlands to promote the breed in 1980. This club has helped many new fanciers both in the Netherlands and abroad to acquire sound breeding stock. In 1990, the frizzled varieties were recognised in Holland in all standardised colours of this breed.

Bearded Polands also exist in bantam form, which have become much more popular than the large fowl. Certain colours are very rare. The situation in some countries is that the Bearded Polands in certain varieties are in danger of extinction! Serious expectations are that if no conservation measures will be developed they will die out soon. It is to be hoped that more people do start keeping and breeding this lovely breed.

Description

Instead of the comb, this breed has a full crest of feathers on the well-developed skull knob. Sometime a rudimentary comb is shown in front of the crest. The hens have oval-shaped feathers in the crest, whereas the cocks have elongated, pointed feathers. The crest needs to be circular and compact. The face is covered by muffs and the beard is just under the beak. Very small wattles are allowed in some countries but are an international preference for no wattles. Bearded Poland weighs more than the Non Bearded Poland and the types are slightly different as well. The type of the Bearded Poland is higher, the body and neck slightly longer and the plumage is looser. The back slopes down towards the tail. A rudimentary comb is sometimes seen. The wide-open nostrils are placed higher on the beak as in the Dutch Kraaikoppen (attn. NOT German Kraienkoppe - a total different breed!) The eye colour is red-brown and the ear lobes are small and white, although the muffs mostly cover them. The large wings are carried close to the body and sloping backwards towards the ground. The tail is well developed and is carried medium high; very characteristics are the beautifully curved sickles. The full, broad and rounded breast is carried slightly forward. The legcolour is dark to slate blue, depending on the variety. Cuckoo-coloured have white legs.

Characteristics

The husbandry is identical to the Polands. Bearded Polands are very friendly and tame. They make excellent show birds. To be successful with the breed, they need to be kept in dry and sheltered environment. They lay fewer eggs than other breeds, approximately around 125 a year. Bearing in mind that the white eggs are rather large for the breed. Bearded Polands rarely get broody.

Weight

Their body seize have been getting smaller of late, making the weight all-important! For bearded Poland it should be between 1500 and 2300 grams depending on sex and age.

Varieties

The following colours are known: Golden- and Silver Laced, Chamois or White Laced Buff, Black, White, Blue Laced, and Cuckoo as well as the Frizzled varieties. The bantam variety is as said before better known than the large variety. 

 

The dark red Rhode Island Red is one of the better known breeds no less through its good egg production. The breed was developed on the coast of the Narragansett Bay, centred in the towns as New Bedford, Little Compton, Tiverton and Westport in the state of Rhode Island in America. It was in the middle of the last century and red coloured Asiatic fowl, like Malays, red Javas and the Shakebags, a Cochin related breed, were crossed with local farm breeds. Later on, brown Leghorns and Wyandottes were introduced to improve the egg production - notably through the wintertime - and to produce brown eggs. Brown eggs fetched a higher price from the egg dealers in Boston in those days. The forerunner of the Rhode Island Reds, which already looked very much like them, was first exhibited in Philadelphia under the name of Golden Reds in 1891 and 1892. Initially the birds were not very uniform in exterior and it was not until the end of the last century that real breeders began to take an interest in the breed and agreed on a reasonable breed description. The first breed club was formed in 1898 and in 1901 and 1902 the first breed descriptions were recorded. They are recognised by the American Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association since 1904. At the turn of the century, the first Rhode Island Reds came to Europe via England. At the beginning of this century, the white rosecomb variety was developed from white Wyandottes and rose comb white Leghorns. They never became as popular as the original red variety and these days they belong to the group of rare breeds.

Description

Rhode Island Red is a medium heavy breed with a horizontal, almost oblong type. Breeders refer to this as "brick shaped". The body looks longer as the neck is carried forward and the tail is carried fairly backward and at an angle of 20 degrees above horizontal. The main tail feathers are black and the sickles beetle green-black. The medium sized head is broad, slightly long and rather flat on top. The single, medium sized bright red comb is broad at the base and has five points. The reddish eyes are prominent and have a lively expression. The bright red wattles are medium sized and of equal length. The red ear lobes are slightly elongated. The neck is long and the body is deep, straight and well forward concerning the legs. The large wings are well folded, tucked against the body and carried horizontally. The medium long legs -which are placed well apart- and toes are a rich yellow in colour; the toes have a reddish, horn coloured overlay, which is more of a red colour on the sides of the legs.

 

The history of the Wyandotte is so extensive that it would take many specialised books to cover it all. Such books do exist around the world, by the way. This story will have to be restricted to highlighting the history. The first known Wyandotte was the Silver Laced that was developed from the Silver Sebright and the White Cochin in the state of New York in the second half of the last century. Initially these were called "Sebright Cochins". Around the same time, Silver Spangled Dutch Fowl - Hamburghs - were crossed with solid Buff Cochins. The offspring of the first and second generations were then bred together and the following generation was called "American Sebrights" and "Sebright Wyandottes". By breeding these back to the offspring of the combination of Silver Spangled Dutch Fowl and the dark Brahma, called Eureka's, the original Silver Wyandotte was bred.

The hotbed of the variety was in Ontario, to the south east of Rochester, NY. Later on, breeders in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Michigan took the breed up as well. There was no uniformity of type as yet, and it took until 1883 when they were recognised in the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Society. The breed was exported to England and Russia, but there was not a great deal of interest yet. Their popularity began when the Golden Laced, Whites, Buffs and Blacks were created. In 1905, eight varieties were known. The White was the most popular of all in those days, because of the uniformity in type and the good egg production. Even though, the appearance of the breed was subject to changes and different opinions. These were solved around 1925. The breed played an important role as a good layer until the arrival of the true utility breeds. Since the beginning of this century, the Wyandottes has spread around the world and many different colours have been created in various countries.

The Wyandotte, especially the bantam, is without any questioning one of the most popular exhibition breeds these days. In the United Kingdom there is a renewed interest in the pure bred, pedigree utility White Wyandottes again.

Description

The Wyandotte is a medium heavy and medium sized bird that is rounded all over which is emphasised by the breast that is carried forward. The neck arched backwards and the abundant plumage throughout the whole body. The head is relatively small, broad, rounded and short. The low and slightly hollow, bright red, rose comb conforms to the shape of the skull. The face is bright red as well as the oblong ear lobes and medium long wattles. The beak is short and well curved. The colour of it in most varieties is yellow, sometimes with a horn coloured overlay. The eyes are reddish golden-brown. The body is of medium length and depth, the back short and broad rising to the short tail that is carried at an angle of 40 degrees in cocks and 30 degrees in hens. The breast is deep and well rounded.
The wings are of medium size and are carried slightly sloping towards the ground and not too close to the body. The legs are well placed apart and right in the middle underneath the body. The colour of legs and toes is mostly yellow.

 

No Pic Yet History

The predecessor of the blue Andalusian originated in the province of Andalusia in Spain and belonged to the group of Mediterranean breeds. The breed has not become known under this name in Spain, however.
The Andalusian was developed from black and white Spanish fowl that included the black Minorca and its white sport offspring. The Minorca has played an important part in the further development of the breed.
Towards the middle of the last century, blue Andalusians were exported to England where they were given their name and further developed.

Andalusians are not the easiest of breeds for a novice poultry-breeder, because the colour blue does not breed true and breaks up into three different colours in the offspring.
Blue x blue will breed 25% black, 50% blue and 25% splash-white offspring. Breeding the splash-whites and blacks together will result in 100% blue offspring. Breeding black x blue will result in 50% black and 50% blue offspring. The above is called intermediate inheritance. Some genetic knowledge is needed to be able to breed as many blue offspring as possible.

Description

Apart from the smaller comb, wattles and ears and 10% less weight, the type of the Andalusian is similar to that of the Minorca.
A typical Mediterranean breed with a full, round breast, the body is long with a broad back tapering to the tail. The head is moderately long with good width with a slate, horn-coloured beak.
The single comb is upright, bright red and large with preferably five points that are deeply serrated. The comb of the hen falls with a single fold to one side. The eyes are large and are red-brown in colour. Very typical are the slightly elongated, almond shaped white ear lobes. The red wattles are fairly long.
The longish neck is slightly curved and well covered with hackle feathers in the cockerel. The big wings are fairly long and broad. The wing bays and bars are broad and overlap each other. The tail is large in comparison with the body and is carried at an angle of 35 to 40 degrees. The slate coloured, long shanks are straight and positioned slightly apart under the body. The plumage is close, compact, and the down short.

Characteristics

The Andalusian is an active, vivid and hardy breed that will produce an average of 150 white eggs of about 60 grams a year. They do not often become broody.
The chicks grow quickly and possess good resistance against diseases. This active, enterprising breed needs fairly spacious accommodation. They are not very suitable to be kept free range, as they tend to fly.

 

No Pic Yet History

The Braekel or Campine as it is known in English speaking countries belongs to the group of the Belgian Continental Fowl breeds. They are closely related to the pencilled poultry that can be found in nearly all the countries on the west coast of Europe, for example the Bresse in France, the Braekel in Belgium, the Hamburgh in Germany and the Friesian in the Netherlands.

Braekels differ from these in that the breast, thighs and belly are pencilled, as are the wings of the cockerels.
The breed is very old and was around during the Roman Conquest of Western Europe. Ulysses Aldrovandi (1522 - 1605), Bologna, Italy, describes a breed - the Gallus Turcicus - in his publication 'Ornithologia' of 1599 AD that resembles the Braekel.
It is known that Braekels were marketed in 1400 AD in the surrounding area of Oudenaarde and Nederbraekel in Belgium. The breed became very well known in the middle of the last century for its high egg-production of albeit small eggs.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were two types in Belgium, namely the heavier Braekel and the lighter Campine. Eventually the two types were amalgamated.
Around the same time, the Braekel-Campine poultry suddenly appeared which are known for their heavier, wider barring and these are now known as Campines in England and America. The undercolour is white in the silver Campines and golden-bay in the gold Campines. The plumage is more developed in the Braekel than in the Campine, which is hen-feathered in the male. Therefore, the hens and cockerels are almost identical in colour.

Description

The Braekel belongs to the Continental Fowl group and is of medium height and upright type. The elongated body, the wide and deep breast and well-developed hindquarters are typical of the breed. The roosters are upright in type than the hens, which are more horizontal.
The head is small in comparison to the body as is the slightly curved, horn-coloured beak. The single, upright comb has five or six points and sometimes has dark pigment spots. The medium long, well-rounded wattles are red, whereas the ear lobes are white. The iris of the large eyes is black.
The neck is moderately long and slightly arched. The body is broad, deep, long, and sloping slightly to the tail. The large, well-developed tail with the long, well-curved sickles is carried at an angle of 45 degrees above horizontal. The breast is deep and well rounded.
The fairly long legs and the toes are lead-blue in colour. The spurs of the cockerels are usually well developed.

Characteristics

Braekels are hardy, active and lively poultry. They are equally happy 'free range', where they will find their own food, as well as being kept in a hen house. They do not want too much food, as their egg production will decrease when they become too fat.
They start laying at an early age and can produce up to 200 white eggs, that weigh around 60 grams, a year. In the second and third year, the egg production remains very good, which is different from other breeds. They rarely go broody.
They are not very suited for shows through their very active nature, although they are beautiful.

 

No Pics Yet Brahma

History

The Brahma is a very old, Asiatic large breed that originated near the mouth of the river Brahmaputra in Lakhimpur, Eastern Bengal in India.
It was exported to the USA and Europe in the first half of the last century under various names, such as Shanghais, Chittagongs and Brahmaputras. The Shanghai and the Brahmaputra are the actual forerunners of the Brahma, as we know it today. There is much confusion about the Chittagongs as it is actually a Malay type of poultry.
Brahmas were very large, upright fowls that were unknown in those days in other parts of the world.

There are two versions of the history of the Brahma. The first is that Brahma-type poultry were imported into the USA around 1845 where they were developed into the present day Brahma along the east coast in states such as New York, New England, Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This version states that the Brahmas were imported in their original shape.
Whichever is true, a fact is that the well-known breeder, Virgil Cornish at the first American poultry show in Boston, Massachusetts in 1850, showed already light Brahmas. Another breeder by the name of John C. Bennett had already shown a few at a local show in Fitchburg to the west of Boston at an earlier date. Around this time, Brahmas were also located in England from where they were dispersed around Europe.
Initially they were kept as a rarity as people had never seen such big birds. The egg production was good for that time. The yellow-brown eggs weigh about 55 grams.
Brahmas were extensively used for the creation of new breeds, especially for dual-purpose breeds that produce many eggs as well as good meat. Brahmas make good broodies and mother hens.

Description

The Brahma is an aristocratic, upright, large breed that is high as well as deep in body shape. The description below is for the Light or Columbian variety.
The plumage is very profuse making the bird look bigger than it actually is. The bright red, so-called triple or peacomb is small and close fitting. The head is fairly small, short and broad in comparison with the body and has pronounced eyebrows. The eyes lie deep and are orange-red to red-brown in colour. The short, powerful beak is curved and yellow with a horn-coloured overlay. The red wattles are small and between them is a small dewlap. The earlobes are also red.
The medium long neck has abundant hackle feathers. The body is broad and deep with broad shoulders. The small wings are carried high and horizontally and are well tucked under the saddle feathers. The back is short, very broad, slightly flat or hollow between the shoulders and rises towards the tail. The tail is of medium length and carried fairly upright. The short sickle feathers are carried a little spreaded. The main tail feathers are placed, seen from behind in a sort of upside down V-shape. The breast is very broad and carried slightly forward.
The yellow legs are placed well apart, the thighs are richly feathered and the hocks amply covered with soft, rounded feathers. The toes are also yellow, whilst the middle and outside toes are well feathered.

Characteristics

Brahmas are placid and aristocratic birds that can become very tame. Their adaptability is enormous. They do well, either free range or housed in pens.
More than 150 eggs a year are normally produced. Their production is hampered by their frequent broodiness. For the size of the bird, they lay relatively small eggs, which weigh about 60 - 65 grams. The egg colour varies from white to light brown according to the colour variety.
They are unable to fly because of their weight and small wings and the perches should be placed low.

Weight

A cock weighs between 4500 to 5000 grams and a hen around 4000 grams.

Varieties

Brahmas are the best known in the following colours: Light (-Columbia), Dark (- a sort of Silver Pencilled), and Buff (-Columbia) but other, rarer varieties exist.

History

This breed was developed from Rhode Island Reds on the East Coast of America in the state of New Hampshire between 1915 and 1935. The aim was to produce a bird that possessed early maturity, quick feathering, good egg production, great egg quality and a good resistance against diseases - an aim that was certainly reached! The shape is more rounded than that of the Rhode Island Red and the colour is between the Rhode Island Red and the Buff-colour. Meat qualities were added to the breed at a later stage, but this had a negative effect on the egg production. 
They were officially standardised in America in 1935. They were exported largely from Rhode Island and Massachusetts into the whole world. Around 1950, a white variety was developed in America and Germany, which never took off. They have often been used for crossbreeding in the utility breeds. These days, New Hampshires are mostly kept as show birds and are very popular as such.

Description

The New Hampshire is a well-developed, deep red brown utility breed with a broad, deep breast and a back that sweeps up to the tail. They are full but not loose feathered. The head is moderately long and inclined to flatness on top. The single, upright, red comb is fairly big, set firmly and has five even spikes. The earlobes and wattles are red. The medium long neck is well arched and the hackles flow onto the shoulders. The wings and the tail in the hens contain darker coloured feathers and the lower neck feathers are distinctly tipped with black. The darker feathers only occur in the wings and tail in cocks. The body is of medium length, broad and deep and the breast is carried well forward. The wings are fairly large and horizontal and tightly carried. The tail is of medium length, well spread and carried at an angle of 45 degrees above horizontal. The medium long, warm yellow legs are placed well apart. A little reddish horn colour on the sides, which is also carries in the toes, is allowed.

Characteristics

Apart from the excellent laying qualities of 200 and more dark brown eggs a year that weigh around 60 grams, the early maturity and meat quality are also excellent. They lay right through the winter. The food intake is fairly high, though. Broodiness is fairly rare. From the second year onwards, the egg production decreases.

Weight

The weight of young cocks and hens is between 2500 and 3250 grams and in adult birds between 3000 and 3750 grams.

Varieties

New Hampshire Reds are renowned for their red-brown colour. Very rarely, the white variety is spotted. In some countries a variety is recognised whereby blue feathers have replaced the dark and black feathers.

 

   
   

       Little is known of the origin of the Araucana and what has been passed on is that some came from South America near northern Chile.  The very term Araucana was applied to the hybrid offspring of the two breeds raised by the Araucana Indian called Collonca (rumpless, blue egg producing) and Quetro (tufted non blue egg producing). The esteemed Dr. Castello who had originally mistaken the tufted rumpless as the "true" type  was not informed until after his initial announcement that his Gallus Inauris "Araucana" was the result of a hybridization program and they existed only on a farm of Dr. Bustos in Valparaiso, Chile.

         The Araucana has several distinct features. The most prominent features are it's rumplessness, ear whiskers "Tufts", pea comb , virtually no wattles and they have the distinction of laying Turquoise or blue shelled eggs . Rumplessness means that the birds, both male and female, do not possess a tail. It is not simply a bird with missing tail feathers, rather, the entire coccyx is missing. The ear whiskers that are present on the breed are called tufts. They are feathers that grow from the ear lobe region . These feather "tufts" can grow many different ways such as straight up , downward , rearward etc.. They can also vary in size from small to large. The tuft characteristic should not be confused with beards/muff . Although beards/muff may resemble small ear tufts, they are not tufts. The Blue color laying characteristic should permeate right through the egg shell.   This is unlike brown-shelled eggs where the coloring is just on the surface of the egg. Because of genetic contamination, many Araucana do not lay sky-blue colored eggs. 

The Araucana was first imported in the United State and breed successfully by Mr. Ward Brower Jr. , according to the story his correspondence with the Department of agriculture showed that not a single living Araucana existed in the US but that two breeders were known to have own them but their birds had all died. He then decided to import them from Chile, in autumn 1930 He received  3 sad looking chickens more dead than alive. He describe them as a rooster with obvious Dominican blood a hen with RIR and the other with RIR and Barred Plymouth Rock one was rumpless and all had the feather "whisker" trade mark of the Araucana.

The Araucana is very difficult to breed.  By hatching only eggs that are sky-blue and have the blue color all the way through the shell, the poultry breeder can be more certain of hatching quality offspring. Brown or white eggs should not be hatched as birds who lay those eggs possess a high degree of genetic contamination.  It is also said that the odds of getting a show quality bird is very low even if you start with two show quality parents. Due to the Araucana genetic make-up you will end up with some offspring being as describe in the standard; some having tail modifier, some with tuft some without and some with only one tuft or uneven tuft. The tuft gene can be lethal  leading to some of the hatching chicks being still-born (dead in the shell) .

Economic Qualities

        Bred primarily for its novel characteristic of blue/Turqoise eggs, the Araucana  is, nevertheless, a dual-purpose fowl that carries a plump, well-fleshed carcass.  The hens are good layers of medium-size eggs.

 

The Silkie is an ancient Chinese breed that already was described by the Venetian explorer Marco Polo (1254 - 1324). He found them near the South Chinese town of Quelinsu, but its history goes back further than the first century. The Swiss professor Konrad Gessner described the breed in his "Animal Book, - Section Birds" as early as AD 1555 as a snow white fowl with blue skins. The German Dr. M. Bechstein mentioned the fact that he had spotted Silkies or Wool Fowl in the Netherlands, France and Germany around 1800. In the nineteen century, Darwin described them as Negrofowl and spoke about three varieties the Siamese, the African Cafferfowl and the rumples. The Standard Chinese Silkies are actually semi-bantams, but in Europe, they are classed as large fowl. Apart from the large fowl, there are very small and popular bantam Silkies throughout the whole world. They came to the West via former Ethiopia. The main feature of the breed is the hair-like plumage through the lack of barbs and hooks in the feathers. Other typical features are the purple skin and meat, the fifth, hind toe, pointing slightly upwards. Also, varieties with crests, beards and the foot feathering exist. The breed is only recognised in a few colours of which the white is the best known. The bantam version comes in more colours. The legs have to be short, but due to a variable gene, (too) long legs occur fairly regularly. Silkies were used to create or to improve breeds or varieties such as Cochin-, Brahma-, varieties of the Polands, Wyandottes and Sultan Fowl. They also were known as a bird used for genetic research in poultry and much is published about that as for example the Dutch written excellent book 'Zijdehoenders' by Ing. J. Ringnalda of Holland.

Description

The most important characteristic is the silky feathers they have, because the lack of the little hooks in the feathers they have very fluffy, hairy feathers. The Silkie is a small, slightly cobby bird with a rich silky plumage, with or without crest and beard, five toes and moderately feathered legs. The middle and outer toes are feathered. The purple skin colour and the bluish flesh are typical. The head is moderately broad, short and neat and adorned with the circular, mulberry comb carried on the forehead very near the beak and sometimes covering the beak. The eyes are dark brown and the wattles; beak and comb are purple to dark blue coloured. The crest and beard are medium sized. The neck is short rather than long. The back is broad, short and almost U-shaped. The wings are rather short and are carried horizontally and somewhat loosely. The tail is short and high. The short shanks and toes are purple coloured.