American Game Bantams have been around as far back as the 1890s, although at that time they were bred mainly for pitting and were usually referred to as Pit Game Bantams. They also became very popular as an exhibition breed in the 1930s, and although they were remarkably consistent in type, size and plumage colors, there was no breed standard for them at that time. They were shown with a variety of different leg colors and with both red and white earlobes. Frank Gary, of New Jersey, made the assessment that the breed was lacking too much in length of hackle, saddle and sickles to make a truly attractive show bird. He decided to work on improving the breed in this respect and in getting it listed in the Standard. He purchased a Red Jungle Fowl male in South Carolina in 1940 that was well furnished in these areas and crossed the bird with a BB Red Pit Game Bantam female. The introduction of this male's bloodline increased feather length in these sections. By selection, the desired characteristics continued to be enhanced. Approximately 5-6 years were required to bring the fowl to the state of perfection required. Gary approached the Standard Committee of the APA in the late 1940s to see if this new bantam could be admitted to the Standard of Perfection. A mandate was made that neither yellow, willow or pinkish white legs would be acceptable because these colors would conflict with Brown Leghorn, Modern Game and Old English Game. Eventually bluish slate was developed and became predominant. After coordination with other breeders, qualifying shows were held in New York City. Shape and color descriptions were listed in the 1950 ABA Yearbook. First varieties were Black and Black Breasted Red, but other varieties have become listed in the Bantam Standard since then. The American Game Bantam never gained the popularity of the other Game Bantam breeds during the mid 1900s, and eventually became very rare. It is not known just how many individuals were still raising American Game Bantams during the last few decades of the 1900s, but there were a few dedicated breeders who kept the breed from extinction. In 2001, the American Game Bantam Club was formed to unite breeders and promote the breed. Since that time more breeders have taken a serious interest in them, and the breed has grown in popularity, with stock being supplied to numerous Game Bantam fanciers around the country  

Compared to Old English Game Bantam

American Game Bantams differ from Old English Game Bantams in that they are larger and have different standard leg colors with the exception of a few varieties. Bluish slate is the standard leg color for most, but not all varieties of American Game Bantams. American Game Bantams are required to have a higher tail carriage, more feather length and longer sickles with more curve or curl than Old English Game Bantams. They are also required to have a medium length back, whereas Old English are required to have a moderately short back. American Game Bantams tend to be more vigorous, less prone to mite infestations and lay more eggs than most Old English Game Bantam strains today. Old English Game Bantam males' tails tend to come back shorter each year with each molt as they grow older, with their tails being the longest their first year. American Game Bantam cockerels usually gain feather length when they molt into cocks and continue to retain that length every year thereafter.
Compared to Miniature Pit Games
Game Bantams that have been bred for "pitting" are generally referred to as "Miniature Pit Games," "Miniature Game Fowl" or "Pit Game Bantams," and they are typically 4 to 12 ounces heavier than the weights listed for American Game Bantams in the Bantam Standard. Miniature Game Fowl may come in a variety of non-standard leg and plumage colors and with either single or pea combs. Some breeders have originated show quality American Game Bantams from Miniature Game Fowl strains or from crosses of Bantam Games with Standard Game Fowl by selectively breeding for the traits outlined for American Game Bantams in the Bantam Standard.
Summary
The American Game Bantam is a hardy, vigorous, pugnacious bantam that is majestic, graceful and alert in the male and sedate in the female (Gary). American Game Bantams are highly recommended for both beginners and long-time bantam fanciers alike, as they are typically very easy to raise and are not prone to mite infestations. Fertility of the males is usually excellent even through the winter months, and the females are particularly good layers, sitters and mothers. When properly bred, the males are particularly attractive because they possess broad, well-curved sickles and lesser sickles and broad main tail feathers with an abrupt break at the juncture of back and tail. They exhibit an abundance of hackle and saddle feathers.
Brief Specs
Standard Weights: Cock- 1.8lbs, Hen- 1.6lbs, Cockerel- 1.6lbs, Pullet-1.5lbs.
Standard Varieties: Black, Black Breasted Red, Blue, Blue Red, Brassy Back, Brown Red, Birchen, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing, Red Pyle, Wheaten and White.Comb Type: Single; 
males must be dubbed for exhibition.
Leg Color: Bluish slate is the predominant leg color with the exception of a few varieties: Blacks, Brown Reds and Birchens have black legs; Red Pyles and Whites have pinkish slate legs.
Eye Color: Red on all varieties except Black, Blue, Brown Red and Birchen, which have brown eyes. 
 Note: By American Bantam Association rules, American Game Bantams are included with Old English Game Bantams in the "Game" class, therefore show officials are urged to coop the two breeds in the same section of the showroom whenever possible for ease of judging the class.



Bourbon Red Turkey

The Bourbon Red turkey is named for Bourbon County in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region where it originated in the late 1800’s. It was developed by J. F. Barbee from crosses between Buff, Bronze, and White Holland turkeys though the initial steps actually took place in Pennsylvania, where Buff turkeys of darker red hues – called Tuscarora or Tuscawara – were bred and then taken west with settlers bound for Ohio and Kentucky. These dark Buff turkeys would be the primary foundation for the new variety.
After some years of selection, Mr. Barbee was able to produce consistently good-sized dark red turkeys with white wing and main tail feathers. He christened these “Bourbon Butternuts.” For some reason, perhaps because the name did not appeal to the public, the birds did not attract attention. Barbee rechristened them “Bourbon Reds,” Bourbon for his home county and red for the rich, chestnut color of the plumage. The name change seemed to work, and better sales were reported.

The Bourbon Red variety was recognized by the American Poultry Association in 1909. It was ambitiously selected and promoted for utility traits, including a production-type conformation with a heavy breast and richly flavored meat. Early breeders of the Bourbon Red also claimed that their birds would grow as large as any Mammoth Bronze, a precursor to the Broad Breasted Bronze. The Bourbon Red was an important commercial variety through the 1930s and 1940s. As time went on, however, it declined in popularity as it was unable to compete with the broad breasted varieties. Since 2002, renewed interest in the biological fitness, survivability, and superior flavor of the Bourbon Red has captured consumer interest and created a growing market niche.

Bourbon Red turkeys are handsome. They have brownish to dark red plumage with white flight and tail feathers. Tail feathers have soft red bars crossing them near the end. Body feathers on the toms may be edged in black. Neck and breast feathers are chestnut mahogany, and the undercolor feathers are light buff to almost white. The Bourbon Red’s beak is light horn at the tip and dark at the base. The throat wattle is red, changeable to bluish white, the beard is black, and shanks and toes are pink. Standard weights for Bourbon Reds are 23 pounds for young toms and 14 pounds for young hens. Since, however, the Bourbon Red has not been selected for production attributes, including weight gain, for years, many birds may be smaller than the standard. Careful selection for good health, ability to mate naturally, and production attributes will return this variety to its former stature.

The Bourbon Red is an attractive bird for either exhibition or just for the backyard. They are active foragers, and would probably do well in a pasture production system, either as purebreds or when crossed with white turkeys. They also present an attractive carcass when dressed, since the light pinfeathers leave no residue of dark pigment showing the feather follicles as with the Bronze. Unfortunately there is no recent information on growth rate, feed conversion or egg production for any of the rare varieties. Documentation of performance information is urgently needed so that this variety can be promoted for use in sustainable agriculture as well as for backyard breeders.




~*~Princess~*~



Naked neck aka Turken


Who knew turkeys and chickens could interbreed? This bird looks like a turkey due to its "naked neck", but it's all chicken! It was bred this way to be easier for cooks to pluck. Strangely, Turkens are said to fare very well in the cold despite their feather shortcomings and big combs (though these features do help them in the heat). They have an unusual look that some people don't care for, but they are also calm, very friendly and one of the easiest chickens to tame. Relatively rare in North America, Naked Necks are very popular in Europe, especially France and Germany.
Turkens are classed as "All other breeds" and their type is large fowl and bantam. Males of the large fowl variety can reach 7 lbs and bantam males will reach 5-6lbs. Females will reach 6lbs for standard and 4-5lbs for bantam.
They are a fairly common breed and easily aquired. they are classified as "Dual purpose" birds meaning they can be used for both meat and eggs.
The APA/ABA recongizes black,white, buff and red colored birds.
When these birds start laying they are a far layer (2-3 eggs per week), the egg is medium sized and light brown.
They are surprisingly hardy in winter though prone to frostbite on exposed flesh and they bear confinement fairly well and are not very flightly.

 Hens of this breed will brood especally well and they are extremely docile and like attention and are easily tamed down if they become highstrung and jumpy.




~*~ Princess~*~

A Dark Brahma Hen https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahma_chicken

The Lakenvelder is thought to originate from the Westfalen area of Germany as long ago as the 1830s. The name, however, is Dutch and is believed to mean a shadow on a sheet and describes their striking black and white plumage. There is also a bantam version and a blue variety which was developed in the Netherlands and brought to the UK. 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 are seen quite rarely in the United States but always attract attention.


They are fairly small birds and are good layers, producing white shelled or occasionally tinted eggs. The hens are not good sitters and tend to be rather flighty and wild so need to be contained carefully with suitable fencing as they can manage a  7ft high flight. Chicks mature quickly and grow vigorously but they don't gain their characteristic markings until they have been through their third moult. 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. Males weigh around 5-6 lbs while the females are from 3-4 lbs.


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.

Ixworth Chickens:


Uses: Originally utility – meat and eggs.
Origin: Ixworth, Sussex U.K.
 Eggs: 160 – 200 tinted.
Weight: Cock: 4.1 Kg. Hen: 3.2 Kg.
Bantam Cock: 1.02 Kg. Hen: 790g.
Colors: White only.
A large rare breed that is alert and active and still a useful dual purpose bird for eggs or for the table, becoming more popular with smallholders and small-scale producers.The Ixworth chicken 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 I believe have now died out in the U.K) was created after World War II. There is no breed club for the Ixworth and it is the Rare Poultry Society that covers this breed. There are no breed clubs outside of the UK for this breed.


The Sebastopol goose originated in southeastern Europe. While sources do not agree on the precise location, they all point to the region around the Black Sea. They were named after Sebastopol, a Russian city from which they were imported to the United States. The breed was developed from the wild Graylag goose which is native to Europe, and was recognized by The American Poultry Association in 1938.

The Sebastopol is readily identified by its feathers. Long, soft-quilled, curling feathers drape elegantly from its wings, body and tail. This modification in plumage is an example of breeding for a specific trait. The white variety of the Sebastopol is best known. Both males and females have pure white feathers that contrast with their bright blue eyes and orange bills and feet. Juveniles often have traces of gray. There are also gray and buff color varieties.

Sebastopols are medium-sized geese, weighing 12 - 14 pounds when mature. They have large, rounded heads, prominent eyes, slightly arched necks, and keelless breasts. The plumage of the head and upper two-thirds of the neck is normal, while that of the breast and underbody is elongated and well-curled. The soft, fluffy feathers of the back, wings and tail have flexible shafts, are attractively spiraled, and in good specimens are so long that they nearly touch the ground. The curled feathers prevent flight making them easier to confine. Sebastopols produce 25-35 eggs annually. They have a quiet and pleasant disposition.

Whenever a domestic animal is selected for an unusual characteristic, great care must be taken to insure that vigor and fertility of breeding stock is not overlooked. Robust health and adequate size should be the foremost selection attributes. Secondarily, select for birds with well-curled breast feathers, flexible flight feathers, and back and tail plumes that are long, broad and spiraled. Avoid selecting breeding stock with crooked toes and slipped wings.

To keep Sebastopols looking good, clean water for swimming should be made available. While Sebastopols are hardy and are being raised successfully in cold climates, it is a good idea to provide more protection during wet, cold, and windy weather than normally afforded other breeds, as their loose fitting feathers do not provide as much warmth, nor do they shed water as well. Ganders can be mated with one to four geese. If low fertility is experienced, clipping the long plumes of the back and tail and the feathers around the vent is sometimes helpful. Sebastopols produce good quality meat for roasting.

~*~Princess~*~

The Friesian is an ancient breed of chicken from the Netherlands, and in particular Friesland. Though they appear in many colours within the Netherlands and Germany, varieties are limited elsewhere. Friesian cocks weigh 3lbs–3.5lbs and hens 2lbs–2.5lbs.The Friesian is a flighty breed that has retained many of its wild instincts, such as strong flight and foraging abilities; however, one feral trait it has not kept is a high susceptibility towards broodiness. It shares these behaviors with other Light Continental breeds such as the Campine, and Lakenvelder. Even though the breed lays smallish eggs, it is quite productive. This breed is a layer of white eggs. Known also in  Germany as Ostfriesische, East Frisian Gulls are a landrace that evolved as excellent free range birds known for their egg laying ability. There are two stories about how the East Frisian Gull derived its name: The hens share a profile that is uncannily like that of a seagull, and the chicks have the thick down seen on hatchling seagulls. At any rate, like their seafaring avian counterparts the East Frisian Gulls descend from that coastal region of the same name that encompasses the northern areas of the Netherlands, Germany, and Denmark that border the North Sea. This rare breed is found in three color varieties: silver, gold, and lemon. In 2014, Greenfire Farms imported these birds from their native land in both gold and lemon, and this initial breeding group of birds produced the occasional silver chick. "In 2015, we imported unrelated birds of the silver variety. So, we are now breeding all three varieties with good genetic diversity in our flocks." Says GreenFire Farms Owner (was not able to find name) 
East Frisian Gull hens lay about 180-200 white eggs each year and usually will not go broody. East Frisian Gulls are exceedingly rare in their native range. A recent census put their total number at about one thousand. They are rarely seen outside the Frisian coastal area; a pity given the striking beauty of both the rooster and hens. But, American hobbyists now have a rare opportunity that poultry hobbyists around the world can only envy: the ability to experience this remarkable breed of chicken in their own backyard

~*~Princess~*~

The Faverolles is a French breed of chicken. The breed was developed in the 1860s in north-central France, in the vicinity of the villages of Houdan and Faverolles. The breed was given the name of the latter village and the singular is thus also Faverolles, not Faverolle.
Faverolles were originally bred in France as a utility fowl, used for both eggs and meat but are now primarily raised for exhibition.

When Faverolles reached the UK in 1886, the breed was further altered to meet exhibition standards, British breeders developed a type of Faverolles with longer, higher raised tail feathers than their German and French Cousins.


Faverolles are classified as a heavy breed and have a beard, muffs, feathered feet and five toes per foot, rather than the usual four. Faverolles are well adapted both to confinement or free range. When battery cages began to be used at the very beginning of the twentieth century, Faverolles tolerated the close confinement better than the Houdan breed. Thus, the Faverolles was the primary breed which produced eggs for the Paris market during the early part of the century. Although primarily kept today as an ornamental and exhibition breed, it remains an excellent layer, as well as a fine meat chicken. The most common color is Salmon. The plumage of salmon females is mainly brown and creamy white. The males are darker, with black, brown, and straw-colored feathers.

Other varieties, including white, black, ermine, cuckoo, splash and blue also exist. Hens are good winter layers of medium-sized, light brown to pinkish eggs. Some cocks are the quietest of all breeds and Faverolles are also known for their extreme docility. As a result, they tend to get bullied in a mixed flock for being so gentle and friendly. They thrive in groups with other Faverolles, or perhaps, with other docile breeds such as the Sussex.

Because of their gentleness Faverolles have become a popular breed of chicken to keep as a pet, especially for children. They are also enjoying increasing popularity with people who keep small home flocks, who favor dual purpose breeds which are well suited to both egg production and use as meat. Faverolles are considered to be very good layers, a well-cared for Faverolles hen will lay approximately four eggs per week.

According to the standards of the Poultry Club of Great Britain, British Faverolles cocks weigh 9–11 lb, cockerels 7.5–10.0 lb, hens 7.5–9.5 lb and pullets 7–9 lb bantam cocks weigh 1130–1360 g and hens 907-1133 g. The Australian and United States standards call for a slightly smaller bird, but still a relatively large chicken. The Australian standard specifies that cocks weight from eight to ten pounds, hens six and a half to eight and a half pounds. The American Poultry Association standard for cocks is 8 lb and for hens is 6 lb. In comparison, the French masse idéale for a cock is 8–9 lb and for a hen is 6–8 lb.




~*~Princess~*~




Shamo is an overall designation for gamefowl in Japan. It generally describes a breed of chicken of Japan which originated in Thailand.
The name "Shamo" was a corruption of the word "Siam", which means Thailand, during the early Edo period. Even though the breed was originally from Thailand, it has been selectively bred for several hundred years and is very different from the original stock. In reality, the Shamo is a strain of the Asil, taken to Siam (Thailand) and Taiwan and from there to Japan. Its real place of origin is Sindh, Pakistan, secondary place of origin present day India (Hyderabad Dakkan and Rampure). The breed is used as fighting cocks for naked heeled cockfighting in Japan cockfights, where it is still legal. It is also bred all over the world for its show quality and unique upright posture.
O-Shamo and Chu-Shamo are designations for different weight categories of large fowl, whereas the Nankin-Shamo is a bantam chicken. The Ko Shamo, unlike O-Shamo and Chu-Shamo, is merely an ornamental breed not used for cockfighting, although it is bred to be temperamental and show the spirit of a fighter. While it is not related to the other breeds, it is often assumed to be because of the similarity of their names.

The Shamo chicken’s ancestors are believed to have arrived in Japan during the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1867) from Siam (Thailand). As with many other Oriental fighting breeds, the Shamo chicken was designed with strength in mind for striking and endurance for sustained combat; qualities necessary in the naked-heel “boxing” form of fighting practiced in the Orient. Without a doubt, Japanese breeders admired many qualities of the original birds and applied much care into enhancing those qualities. The end result of their efforts was a breed uniquely Japanese.
Across Japan the Shamo can be found in some variety of colors and sizes according to region – different regions favoring fowls of different sizes for boxing. The O-Shamo is a large bird with males weighing 12.4 lbs and females 7.5 lbs. The Chu-Shamo is a medium bird with males weighing 8 lbs and females weighing 6 lbs. The Kimpa Shamo is a smaller bird with males weighing 4 lbs and females 3 lbs. Kimpa-Shamo males are also hen-feathered, that is the plumage of their hackles, saddles, and tails have wide, blunt feathers like a hen, lacking the classic well-furnished tails typical on roosters.
The first documented Shamos outside of Japan were noted by German poultry author Bruno Duringen. He wrote that the first breeding pairs of Shamos arrived in Germany in March 1884 and were owned by the Countess of Ulm-Erbach. It is not until 1953 that a second importation of Shamos to Germany is recorded; this time the owner of the Hagenbeck Zoo was able to obtain birds from the Tokyo Zoo.
In 1941, to protect the breed from possible extinction, the Japanese government placed the breed under protection of law. The first Shamos known in America returned home with G.I.s after World War II; some probably being transported as eggs in a pocket. In America’s south, the breed was admired and became popular for crossbreeding to produce superior fighting stock. Even today the majority of Shamos in America can be found in southern states.
In appearance, the Shamo is a large, tall chicken with upright, nearly vertical, body carriage, well-muscled thighs, wide, muscular body, and hard, closely held feathers that often do not completely cover their bodies. Shamos have pea-shaped combs, pearl colored eyes, and exhibit a rather cruel expression. In temperament the breed is quite friendly to humans, though considerably pugnacious to other chickens of the same sex.
Shamo chickens are fair to poor egg layers but are devoted mothers. The meat is noted for being excessively firm, even rather tough. During the nineteenth century Shamo meat was favored as a “pep” food and slices of Shamo chicken were a part of many Sumo wrestlers’ diet.
The Shamo chicken is recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) and was admitted as a standard breed in 1981 in the following varieities: Black; Dark; and Black Breasted Red (Wheaten). In America males should weigh 11 lbs and females 7 lbs.
~*~Princess~*~

Hans Schippers, the Dutch authority on the breed, reports the following on the development of the Barnevelders:

Between c. 1850 and 1875 Cochin, Malay, Brahma and Croad Langshan arrived from Asia and were crossed with local fowl. One particular strain of brown egg laying fowl were like Black Cochins in appearance and were kept as a meat bird (these were not, however, purebred Cochins). Around 1885 these birds were crossed with Brahmas and the offspring of this cross was crossed with Langshan. In 1898 American utility birds ("Amerikaanse Nuthoenders"), a rough version of the Golden Wyandotte (apparently not dissimilar to the American Winnebago, a ‘precursor’ to the Golden-laced Wyandotte, which is also now extinct) were crossed into the developing breed followed in 1906 by Buff Orpingtons. Overall in the development to follow the Croad Langshan continued to have the biggest influence and contributed hardiness, brown eggs and good winter production.


A similar account, bar the influence of the "Amerikaanse Nuthoenders", was given in 1930 by P. L. Wijk, District State Poultry Expert, Apeldoorn and P. Ubbels, State Poultry Consultant, Beekbergen, The Netherlands in his contribution on The Origin of the Barnevelder and Welsummer Breeds. The authors add that

"[i]n 1899 it was ascertained that the fowls on the farms in the neighbourhood of Barneveld showed some uniformity. This could be explained by the fact that poultry keepers always obtained their setting eggs from the farmers who came to market with the finest eggs, and who as a rule used dark-coloured cocks for breeding."

According to Wijk & Ubbels, efforts were made to obtain more uniformity in colour and type from 1910 onwards and the name Barnevelder dates from that time. An Association of Barneveld Breeders was established in 1921 which fixed the standard.

Indian Game (Cornish) may have been crossed into the Barnevelders in Britain sometime after their importation into Britain in the 1920s.

The breed gained worldwide recognition and was exported to many countries because of its ability to lay approximately 180-200 large brown eggs per year.

Today, Barnevelders are bred both as a utility breed and a show breed. They are medium heavy dual-purpose chickens laying a good number of eggs but also yielding a reasonable carcass. They are hardy birds and good foragers. While they became famous for their dark brown eggs in the first half of the 20th century most birds now appear to be in the hands of show breeders and not much attention has been given to maintaining the dark brown egg colour or to productivity with the focus being on external characteristics instead. Many flocks now lay eggs of a much lighter brown than before and are sometimes not quite as productive as befits their reputation. They are good winter layers and have a quiet disposition.

The original and most well known Barnevelder is the double laced variety with a single vertical comb and yellow legs, but white, black, brown, partridge, blue and double laced blue varieties also exist. Not all countries recognize all these varieties in their Poultry Standards. There are large fowl as well as bantam versions of most of the different colours.




Double-laced (large fowl) Late 19th/early 20th century. Bred in Barneveld, Netherlands. History as above.

Double-laced (Bantam) Recognized in 1931 in Germany. Bred from a 'petite' double-laced hen and a Bantam Rhode Island Red cock, followed by crossings with Bantam Golden-laced Wyandottes, Bantam German Langshan, and Bantam Indian Game (Cornish).

Black (large fowl) 1920s. Black came as a sport from the partridge. Black Plymouth Rock and Black Wyandottes were crossed in to achieve pure black.

Black (Bantam) Recognized in 1954 in Germany. Bred from Black Barnevelders and Bantam Black Wyandottes in Germany.

White (large fowl) 1934. Occasionally occurring recessive white birds were crossed with white Plymouth Rocks and White Leghorn to produce White Barnevelders.

White (Bantam) Recognized in 1960 in Germany. Bred from Black Barnevelders and Bantam White Wyandottes in Germany

Autosexing barred (large fowl) 1930-1939. Produced by Haagedorn. Don't seem to have persisted.

Autosexing barred (Bantam) Recognized in Germany in 1988. Bred in Germany with the aid of autosexing Bantam Bielefelder. Bantam Niederrheiner and Bantam Italiener (German-type Leghorn) were also crossed in.

Dark brown (large fowl) 1978? Recognized in 1982 in Germany. Bred from Black Barnevelders, Rhode Island Reds and New Hampshires in Germany.

Dark brown (Bantam) Recognized in 1987 in Germany. Bred from Bantam Black Barnevelders, Bantam Rhode Island Reds and Bantam New Hampshires in Germany.

Partridge (large fowl) Partridge Barnevelders were still kept in Britain in the 1990s, possibly still derived from early imports.

Chamois(Large fowl & Bantam) Double laced feather pattern of gold-mahogany and white, recognized in New Zealand Poultry Standards 2013.

Double-laced Blue (large fowl) Recognized in New Zealand Poultry Standards 2013.

Double-laced Blue (Bantam) Originally bred in the Netherlands. Bred again in Germany from a Bantam double-laced Barnevelder cock and a Bantam blue-laced Wyandotte hen; recognized in 1987.

Blue (large fowl) Recognized in Germany in 1997. Bred from Black Barnevelder and Blue Niederrheiner. Not recognized in the Netherlands.

Silver (large fowl) Appears to be a recognised variety in the British & Australian Poultry Standards. Single-laced.

Silver-black double-laced (Bantam) Developed in the first years of the new millennium by Dutch breeder Bert Beugelsdijk from crosses of double-laced Barnevelder bantams and Silver-pencilled Wyandotte bantams. Recognised in 2009.

Silver-black double-laced (large fowl) Developed by the Dutch breeders Gerrit Simmelink and Cor Tensen from crosses of a large Silver-pencilled Wyandotte rooster and large double-laced Barnevelder hens. Recognised in 2013. Also recognized in New Zealand Poultry Standards 2013.

In 1930, C. S. Th. Van Gink, Vice-President of the World’s Poultry Science Association, Voorburg, The Netherlands, wrote the following:

When in 1921 the Barnevelders were exhibited at the First World’s Poultry Exhibition at the Hague a number of visitors from abroad saw this breed, which was then just acquiring its definite type of colouring and marking, and suggested verbally and in print its relationship to the Indian Games. Why? Just because the double-laced marking of the female’s feathers supported this opinion! This conclusion was wrong, and there was little or no excuse for the error made, as with the exception of the resemblance in markings there was no other point that could suggest a relationship between these two breeds. How could there be, as there is no blood of the Indian Games in the Barnevelders? For years and years they were within certain limits variable in colouring and marking until here and there a female appeared with markings which were more or less like the double-laced pattern as we know it in the Indian Games. The appearance of these double-laced females remained fairly well unnoticed by the breeders of the Barnevelders, but we happened to see these birds and suggested, - where the breeders were looking for a suitable colour-type of which both standard-marked males and females could be bred from the same breeding pen, - that this type of marking be given a fair chance, as it had proved in another breed to fulfil these requirements. Since then this colour-type has been adopted in Holland and it will in the future safeguard the breed against otherwise perhaps unnoticed crosses, as no cross can possibly be found that will not upset the adopted colour-markings in some respect."

Genetically, the double-laced feather pattern phenotype has been shown to depend upon homozygosity of both the linked eumelanin extension melanotic (Ml/Ml) and the feather pattern arranging gene (Pg/Pg). In the Barnevelder (large fowl), the pattern is expressed on a brown (e^b/e^b) background. Only the females express the double-laced pattern, whereas the males are melanized black-breasted reds.




The Westfälischer Totleger is a German breed of domestic chicken. It is more than 400 years old, and is a rare breed. As of 2009, only 301 roosters and 1353 hens were officially registered. Although the German word "Tot" means "death" and "Leger" means non-sitters (hens which lay eggs), the real meaning is another. Due to the considerable ability to produce eggs, the breed was called "Alltagsleger" (each day nonsitters, it means it lays an egg each day) or "Dauerleger". Under the influence of Low German the name changed into "Doutleijer". Later, from this Low German word, it developed into "Totleger". Derivation from "lays eggs till the death" is thus not correct. It is an old landrace from Westphalia. It is closely related to the Ostfriesische Möwe and Braekel. It is kept in 2 colours: Gold Pencilled and Silver Pencilled. The roosters weigh 5-5 1/2 lbs and the hens from 4-5lbs. The hens are non-sitters, produce 200-243 eggs per year of 55-65 g weight. Not much is known on the history of this breed as they are not well documented

The Shamo chicken’s ancestors are believed to have arrived in Japan during the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1867) from Siam (Thailand). As with many other Oriental fighting breeds, the Shamo chicken was designed with strength in mind for striking and endurance for sustained combat; qualities necessary in the naked-heel “boxing” form of fighting practiced in the Orient. Without a doubt, Japanese breeders admired many qualities of the original birds and applied much care into enhancing those qualities. The end result of their efforts was a breed uniquely Japanese.

Across Japan the Shamo can be found in some variety of colors and sizes according to region – different regions favoring fowls of different sizes for boxing. The O-Shamo is a large bird with males weighing 12.4 lbs and females 7.5 lbs. The Chu-Shamo is a medium bird with males weighing 8 lbs and females weighing 6 lbs. The Kimpa Shamo is a smaller bird with males weighing 4 lbs and females 3 lbs. Kimpa-Shamo males are also hen-feathered, that is the plumage of their hackles, saddles, and tails have wide, blunt feathers like a hen, lacking the classic well-furnished tails typical on roosters.

The first documented Shamos outside of Japan were noted by German poultry author Bruno Duringen. He wrote that the first breeding pairs of Shamos arrived in Germany in March 1884 and were owned by the Countess of Ulm-Erbach. It is not until 1953 that a second importation of Shamos to Germany is recorded; this time the owner of the Hagenbeck Zoo was able to obtain birds from the Tokyo Zoo.

In 1941, to protect the breed from possible extinction, the Japanese government placed the breed under protection of law. The first Shamos known in America returned home with G.I.s after World War II; some probably being transported as eggs in a pocket. In America’s south, the breed was admired and became popular for crossbreeding to produce superior fighting stock. Even today the majority of Shamos in America can be found in southern states.
In appearance, the Shamo is a large, tall chicken with upright, nearly vertical, body carriage, well-muscled thighs, wide, muscular body, and hard, closely held feathers that often do not completely cover their bodies. Shamos have pea-shaped combs, pearl colored eyes, and exhibit a rather cruel expression. In temperament the breed is quite friendly to humans, though considerably pugnacious to other chickens of the same sex.

Shamo chickens are fair to poor egg layers but are devoted mothers. The meat is noted for being excessively firm, even rather tough. During the nineteenth century Shamo meat was favored as a “pep” food and slices of Shamo chicken were a part of many Sumo wrestlers’ diet.

The Shamo chicken is recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA) and was admitted as a standard breed in 1981 in the following varieities: Black; Dark; and Black Breasted Red (Wheaten). In America males should weigh 11 lbs and females 7 lbs.







~*~Princess~*~



Often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”, the Brahma chicken is appreciated for its great size, strength, and vigor. By 1901 some individual birds were documented to have reached the incredible weights of 13-14 pounds for hens and 17 to 18.25 pounds for cocks – though 10 pound hens and 12 pounds cocks were the rule. This breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as “Hen Fever” – a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850.

Brahmas are large chickens with feathers on shanks and toes, pea comb, smooth fitting plumage with dense down in all sections, and broad, wide head with skull projecting over the eyes – termed “beetle brow.” They come in three color varieties – the Light, the Dark, and the Buff. Both the Light and the Dark Brahma were accepted to the American Standard of Perfection in its first printing in 1874. Though from the beginning some buff specimens were produced periodically, it was not until 1924 that the Buff Brahma was accepted as standardized as well.

Few breeds have as much controversy as to their origins as does the Brahma chicken. While many varied claims were originally accepted as fact by early authors, the truth of the matter is that this breed was developed in America from very large fowls imported from China via the port of Shanghai. It also seems clear that Chittigong fowls from India (now Bangladesh) were used to a very small degree and stamped head and comb characteristics onto the breed – differentiating it from the Shanghai breed (now known as the Cochin). In those early days it should be remembered there were no written standards, no poultry associations, and no registries. Since what became known as the Brahma chicken was being presented under at least twelve names, there was much confusion. The credit for shortening the name to Brahma goes to T.B. Miner, publisher of The Northern Farmer, who in 1853 or 1854 did so for very practical reasons – saving space on the printed page!

In December 1852, to promote his stock, Mr. George Burnham shipped nine of his finest as a gift to H.M.G. Majesty Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150. Burnham’s stock proved of quality and formed the basis for the Dark Brahma variety – which was developed in England and later shipped back to America. Dark Brahmas tended to be about one pound lighter in weight than the Light Brahma.

From the beginning Brahmas have been recognized not only for their unusual appearance and size, but also for their practical qualities. First and foremost Brahmas are found to be extremely hardy chickens. They are also good egg-layers for their size. Considered a superior winter-layer, they produce the bulk of their eggs from October to May. The eggs of the Brahma are large and uniformly medium brown in color. The hens tend to go broody in early summer and will sit devotedly on their nests. But because of the size of the hen, trampling of the chicks must be guarded against for the first few days after hatch.

The Brahma was generally considered the leading meat breed for the period of time from the mid-1850’s through about 1930 – some 70 plus years. As broilers, Brahma chicks were killed quite young, about 8-10 weeks of age. They made a most profitable roaster at 8 months, later than many breeds, but it was found that virgin cockerels were still tender as roasters at 12-13 months – making them competitive against capons. As a family fowl they were unequaled, and a large Brahma could feed a moderate-sized family. Brahmas thrive best on dry, well-drained soils and moist, cool climates. The feathering of their shanks and toes is a negative where the ground is damp and muddy – the mud clinging to the feathers and frostbite then being possible for their toes. The breed is easy to contain, not being able to fly low fences very easily. They also stand confinement extremely well – having calm and docile personalities. Like the Cochins, Brahmas are not wide ranging fowl or as active in scratching as the Mediterranean breeds. The Brahma is an ideal fowl for northern climates. It was popularly known as the least susceptible chicken to cold and exposure – owing this strength to its pea comb and tight feathering with down through all sections. It is not an ideal fowl for southern climates.






This one arguably even more spectacular than the wild and domestic bird (yes, they’re the same species, Meleagris gallopavo) so common across North America.Meet the ocellated turkey.Found only on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, the ocellated turkey (Meleagris ocellata) certainly bears a resemblance to the American wild turkey. But it’s a different species. It is smaller and lacks the “beard” typical of the more familiar wild turkey. Its mating call is higher pitched than the usual “gobble.” The most striking difference, though, is the color. The vibrant, almost unreal color: iridescent feathers, large spots on the tail, a bright red ring around the eye and a blue head covered with red and yellow nodules (nodules that swell and become brighter in males during the breeding season). It’s a turkey as conceived by Dr. Seuss. Or perhaps Alexis Rockman. Science writer Darren Naish, a fellow gamebird enthusiast, has the definitive blog on the ocellated turkey’s natural history and evolution. Despite Naish’s excellent information, it is striking how little we know about this beautiful bird, especially information critical for its conservation. As ornithologists with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Neotropical Birds program note: The current conservation status of this species should be interpreted recognizing the paucity of research on population levels, especially in habitat strata inaccessible to humans. Additionally, published research is often based on observational data from birds inhabiting protected areas that are habituated to humans and may not be representative of wild counterparts.  Some call it the "other" turkey, the ocellated turkey of the Yucatan Peninsula. There is at least anecdotal evidence that reserves could work well for ocellated turkey preservation. The heavily-visited Mayan ruins, like Tikal in Guatemala, are known by many birders and biologists to be the best places to observe these birds. These archaeological reserves are well guarded against looters and also have the regular presence of visitors that keep poachers away. But protected areas also must benefit local people so they are not forced to poach turkeys. While some conservationists find it distasteful to attach dollar values to wild animals, when birders and sport hunters provide income to local communities, it provides an incentive to manage the turkeys sustainably.The American wild turkey’s restoration is one of the most successful conservation efforts ever. Could we duplicate that success with the ocellated turkey? Only if people know the bird and care about its fate. The body feathers of both sexes are a mixture of bronze and green iridescent color. Although females can be duller with more green, the breast feathers do not generally differ and can not be used to determine sex. Neither sex possesses the beard typically found in wild turkeys. Tail feathers of both sexes are bluish-grey with an eye-shaped, blue-bronze spot near the end with a bright gold tip. The spots, or ocelli (located on the tail), for which the ocellated turkey is named, have been likened to the patterning typically found on peafowl. The upper, major secondary wing coverts are rich iridescent copper. The primary and secondary wing feathers have similar barring to that of North American turkeys, but the secondaries have more white, especially around the edges. Both sexes have blue heads with some orange or red nodules, which are more pronounced on males. The males also have a fleshy blue crown covered with nodules, similar to those on the neck, behind the snood. During breeding season this crown swells up and becomes brighter and more pronounced in its yellow-orange color. The eye is surrounded by a ring of bright red skin, which is most visible on males during breeding season. The legs are deep red and are shorter and thinner than on North American turkeys. Males average 11lbs and females average around 6.6lbs full grown.

The editor's own turken, Masked


As we are aware in the United States, in any number of media (film, literature, music, dance), the swan is a symbol of peace and tranquility.  What we maybe aren’t aware of, however, is that swans are closely associated with many Native American peoples.  It is actually connected to one of the most sacred mysteries of the Lakota/Dakota religion, in which the swan acts as a messenger of faith.
In England, the swan is a symbol of loyalty and strength.  Swan is a royal bird and it is even illegal to kill a swan in the United Kingdom.  Swans are present in many European fairy tales, symbolizing chastity (partly because of their white plumage), artistry, and beauty.  On a related note, swans are associated with fidelity, loyalty in marriage, and monogamy, because they mate for life.  Man’s connection with swans goes back further than European fairy tales, however.
The swan was seen as a traditional symbol of beauty and grace in ancient Greece, and was sacred to Aphrodite.  The swan was also sacred to Apollo, the god of music (among other things), in Greek mythology.  At the time, the people believed that the swan sang a sweet and beautiful song when people died.  The swan song was supposed to be the most beautiful song the bird had ever sung, since swans aren’t known for their singing.
The swan is one of the most powerful and ancient totems.  Even the word swan is one of the oldest names in the English language, coming from the Anglo-Saxons.  Most of swan’s associations come from its appearance—it is a graceful, white bird, and the largest of the waterfowl.  But swans are also powerful birds.  From this, they reflect the power and longevity that is possible when we awaken to the power and beauty within ourselves.  Swan is not only a widely known symbol, but also a very personal one to the individual. Another thing to think about when swans come to mind is the trumpeter swan and its dying call.The idea of the "swan song" recurs from Aesop to Ovid to Plato to Tennyson. Ovid described it, "There, she poured out her words of grief, tearfully, in faint tones, in harmony with sadness, just as the swan sings once, in dying, its own funeral song." But it's based on a sweet fallacy.
Because of its pure white color, the swan is a symbol of light in many parts of the world. As a dream symbol, the swan can signify self transformation, intuition, sensitivity, and even the soul, the ‘higher. Self’ within each person. Though in some regions it was considered a feminine symbol of the moon, in most it was a masculine symbol of the sun. In ancient Greece, for example, the swan was linked to Apollo, the god of the Sun. The god Zeus took the shape of a swan to get close to Leda, with whom he had fallen in love. And in Celtic myth, a pair of swans steered the Sunboat across heaven. As a feminine symbol, the swan represents intuition and gracefulness, and goddesses such as Aphrodite and Artemis were sometimes accompanied by swans.As a symbol in alchemy, the swan was neither masculine nor feminine, but rather symbolized hermaphroditism or ‘the marriage of the opposites’, fire and water. It was an emblem of mercury, as it was white and very mobile, because of its wings.  
In Germanic myth the Valkyries had the power to transform into swans. They were warrior goddesses bringing victory to one side and defeat to the other, and deciding which warriors could enter Walhalla after death. They would sometimes take off their swan-plumage and appear in human form, but if a man then stole their plumage, they were forced to obey him.However, the Valkyries could also be united with a man through love instead of force. The Valkyrie Kara accompanied her lover Helgi in war, flying over the battlefield in her swan’s plumage. She sang a song so soothing that the enemy lost the will to fight. Also in Celtic and Siberian culture stories existed of swans taking off their plumage and turning into maidens.
~*~Princess~*~

American Bresse
Photo credit to GreenFireFarms.



This remarkable table breed is considered a national treasure in its native France. Reputed to be the best-tasting chicken in the world, a roasted Bresse can cost hundreds of dollars at a Parisian restaurant. Greenfire Farms is the original and only importer of this extraordinary breed. Bresse chickens have a long and colorful history that underlies their unique claim in the poultry realm: They are reputed to be the best-tasting chickens in the world. From that simple but powerful claim flows a fascinating story that his rich in tradition, intrigue, and nationalistic pride. Bresse stand at the pinnacle where food and fowl intersect. 

About 500 years ago, Bresse (rhymes with “bless”) emerged as a distinct chicken breed in the former province of Bresse in eastern France. Somewhere between the Rhone River and the French Alps sits a 60-mile by 25-mile swath of fields and woodlands. Here the breed was formed from a now-forgotten mix of local fowl. Through a combination of luck and selective breeding, small flocks of poulet de Bresse that dotted the French countryside soon earned the reputation of having a unique and exquisite flavor.

There are four varieties of Bresse: white, black, blue, and gray. The white variety is the best known and mirrors the red, white, and blue pattern of the French national flag with its large red comb, bright white feathers, and steel-blue legs. (As newly hatched chicks their legs are yellow.) Greenfire Farms in particular  has focused its efforts on curating this variety of Bresse. White Bresse produce a medium to large-size cream-colored egg. 

In order for a chicken to taste like a Bresse chicken it must, perhaps inconveniently, be an authentic Bresse chicken that can directly trace its genetic lineage to the flocks of eastern France. Bresse belong to a genetically distinct chicken breed that metabolize feed in a certain way, distribute certain types of muscle across their frames in a certain pattern and at certain rates, and produce meat with a unique and distinct flavor. Bresse are known to have unusually light bones and thin skin. These many physical differences flow from the singular genetics of Bresse. More than a half-millennium of breed selection has produced a Bresse that cannot be replicated by simply crossing other unrelated breeds of chickens to create a Bresse facsimile. 

As early as 1825, the prototypical epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin described Bresse as “the queen of chickens, and the chicken of kings.” Bresse have been said to possess “the tastiest, the firmest and most succulent flesh of any chicken anywhere.” And so, because of its legendary meat quality, Bresse command a huge premium compared to conventional commercial poultry and are the basis of a thriving agricultural industry in France. There is a single center in France that is in charge of producing the finest Bresse breeding stock. These breeders are distributed to three hatcheries that use them to produce more than 1.5 million Bresse chicks each year. The Bresse chicks are sold to about 400 small farmers. The birds are raised according to the exacting Bresse production protocol and processed by a small number of butchering facilities. 


The French argue that for a Bresse to be called a Bresse it must have been raised in France, (Hence the name American Bresse) Americans can, however, approximate the traditional methods of raising Bresse in this country by providing them access to pasture and finishing them on organic grains and dairy products. As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, the Bresse imported by Greenfire Farms are at the forefront of a movement to re-position chicken at the top of the list of gourmet table fare. By raising American Bresse in the French tradition you can be a part of this revolutionary shift, too.

~*~Princess~*~



Ayam Cemani 



Ayam Cemani is an uncommon and relatively modern breed of chicken from Indonesia. They have a dominant gene that causes hyperpigmentation (Fibromelanosis), making the chicken entirely black; including feathers, beak, and internal organs. Ayam means "chicken" in Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia. Cemani denotes the village, where this breed of chicken originates from, on the island of Java. The breed originated from the island of Java, Indonesia and have probably been used for centuries for religious and mystical purpose. The breed was first described by Dutch colonial settlers and first imported to Europe in 1998 by Dutch breeder Jan Steverink. Currently, these breed of chicken are kept in the Netherlands, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It is thought that Ayam Cemani may have also been brought to Europe by Dutch seamen. Their beak and tongue, black comb and wattles; even their meat, bones and organs appear black. The blood of the Ayam Cemani is normal (though it is remarkably dark). The birds' black color occurs as a result of excess pigmentation of the tissues, caused by a genetic condition known as fibromelanosis. This gene is also found in some other black fowl breeds. The roosters weigh 41/2- 5lbs and the hens from 21/2- 3 lbs. The hens lay cream-colored eggs with a slight pink tint, although they are poor setters and rarely hatch their own brood. Eggs weigh an average of 45 g. In the past individual birds in the United States of America have been priced at $2500.


~*~Princess~*~




(credit to FeatherSite for the use of the picture of the Barbu De Watermael)

The Barbu de Watermael is a bantam chicken developed in Belgium and named after the town of Watermael-Boitsfort. In French the name means "bearded chicken from Watermael". Belgian Bantams are “true bantams” having no large counterparts; the Belgians love their bantams.
They are classified as a "Light Bantam" weighing only 18-22oz
They are a rosecomb bantam With over 30 color varieties
They are believed to of come from Belgium or Netherlands (its not well documented) 
For the time being these birds are not in need of conservation but it should always be of highest concern to make sure it never needs to be on the conservation list by keeping a good flock of them in the world.
 
It’s considered a purely ornamental fowl, available in over 30 color varieties, including Mille Fleur (1000 flowers-due to the speckled coloration), Quail, White, Blue and Cuckoo. As with all bantams, the eggs are small and much less frequent than standard laying breeds. And, as is common with bantams, when they go broody they are steadfast setters and diligent mothers.
This little chicken from Watermael or Watermaal, is related to another Belgian breed: Bearded d'Anvers but sports a crest of feathers, small rose comb, clean legs and a lower tail carriage. It’s the smallest of the three prominent breeds: D’uccle, D’anvers & Watermael.
Barbu d'Uccles, also known as Booted Bantams, are more placid and easy going. They always have a single comb and feathered legs and are slightly larger than the d'Anvers, but otherwise very similar in characteristics.
Bantam chicken fanciers are busy in this part of the world, producing new breeds and color varieties quite often. This is one of the reasons that this little bird is so well liked and special.
~*~Princess~*~