Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A little bit about Chanteclers

Have some time this morning, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about the chickens I own.  I have only one breed I am working with, the bantam White Chantecler. A bantam is a smaller size (1/4-1/3) the size of a standard breed. White, obviously, refers to the color pattern, a solid white. And Chantecler is the name of the breed. 

The Chantecler is a fairly new breed, a composite one actually, bred in the 1900s by a Trappist monk in Canada. He was looking for a hardy, all purpose farm stock that could endure the cold Canadian winters. It has Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, Leghorn, Rhode Island Red and Cornish in it's blood. Check out this site if you're interested in learning more, les oiseaux.  Its in french, so you'll have to run it through Google Translate. Very interesting and thorough with lots of good birds pictured. Translation is not entirely accurate, but humorous. 

Breed is characterized by a very small comb, called a "cushion" and small or non-existent wattles. They have abundant feathering that leans toward being hard feathered, given the Cornish in its blood. They are active, proud birds, with a good amount of breast meat and they lay well. You should be able to see a hint of the Leghorn in it's demeanor and stature. They are officially considered a critically endangered breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.

Without any further ado, here is the main man in the coop:

This is one good looking bird, trust me. His name is Buck. He won a "Best in Show" at the poultry show in Richland Center, Wisconsin in 2008. A very hard thing to do to begin with, much less with a rare breed like the Chantecler. It is a matter of good breeding, good luck, good timing, and a judge who is familiar how your rare breed should look. It may never happen again to me. He is part of a trio I was lucky enough to acquire a few years ago. I am still using him, but will soon be passing the honors on to a great grandson who I think will be better than him. This summer should tell. I'll get a picture of him up soon. 

Buck will be retired soon, but to pet status. Doesn't happen much with chickens, much less a rooster, at my house. Otherwise, you're soon overrun with "pets", and no room for the breeding stock coming up. This guy is special, however and gets a place of honor in the coop. The only other pet rooster we have is Mr. Moto and he is pictured in the sink on the right hand side of this blog. Take a look.

That's it for now............more on the Chanteclers soon!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post, I was thinking of getting some Chanteclers. Mostly because it is endangered and it would be nice to help get their name back out into the chicken world. Also because I heard they are hardy birds and I'm in Canada. I though it would be cool to add a bit of white to the flock and keep the brown eggs that people seem to like. Thanks for writing about the breed.