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The Top Ten Poultry Rare Breeds

(the late) Ian Mullins
Poultry Species Co-ordinator (Reprinted from Paddocks and Perches, Vol 6 no. 1, February 2006)

If you are looking for something rare to keep, I have revised my list published a few years ago. Members will need to select bird carefully for breeding purposes, buying only those birds which can be shown to have been bred true and kept pure for many generations (we currently wonder even if our 40 years is enough). Whilst none of the listed breeds are those we know to be under reconstruction (the genetics of such birds can be anything!) they are all breeds needing astute keepers who will try to keep the lines genetically pure and breed for the best characteristics of the breed that make them wonderful utility birds.

*Several of our members keep some of these breeds and they can all be found on our website at the page http://rbta.org/MemberBreeders.htm.

1: Favorelles - A French meat breed with feathery feet and a feathery beard. Main colour is the Salmon Favorelles. This is an excellent old meat breed and one which we selected for inclusion in the collection set up at the Collingwood Childrens Farm honouring the year 2001 Centenary Celebrations. There is a newly formed club to support them (see main article elsewhere in this edition) called The Faverolles Club Of Australia - Secretary, Irene Hannan (02) 6550 7295.

2: *Croad Langshan - A beautiful large British Breed of fowl (but Asiatic in origin), used extensively as a table bird. There is a Langshan Club of Australia - Secretary, Kim Birchall-Blayney (02) 9580 2895.

3: Sebright – One of the true bantam types (there are only six). Bred in England, they were used to create other laced breeds like the Silver & Gold laced Wyandottes. A bit tooth-picky to eat and more ornamental, but they have a long and useful genetic history because of their unique colour lacing. The True Bantam Club of Australia may be able to help you find birds. The contact is Ted or Karen on (07) 4662 8562.

4: Transylvanian Naked Neck — A great layer and used as France’s top table fowl. Very pleasant personality and tough in hot conditions. No club appears to be supporting the breed in Australia at the moment, but members of the Victorian Rare and New Breeds Society may be able to find someone for you. Secretary is Judy Witney (03) 5626 1201.

5: Black Orpington Fowl - The utility fowl of the 1890s. Known for its excellent table qualities and its superb egg laying. Its cousin the Buff Orpington Fowl is a favourite on the show bench. The club supporting the breed is The Orpington Club of Australia, Secretary - Dallas Smith (02) 4953 2149.

Silver Grey Dorking Fowl

6: *Silver Grey Dorking — A top English table bird (with five toes) dating back to Roman times. I always describe it as the “Kentucky Fried Chicken of 1901” when it was a popular source of poultry meat. No club appears to be supporting the breed in Australia at the moment, but members of the Victorian Rare and New Breeds Society may be able to find someone for you. Secretary is Judy Witney (03) 5626 1201.

7: *Bourbon Red Turkey - Now selected by our USA cousins for its table qualities – it has been added to their “Ark of Taste”. Supporting group is our own RBTA Turkey Breeders Interest Group. Contact Daryl Deuschers (03) 5359 5220.

8: Spanish – A very stately fowl, pure black in colour, with a white face and large comb. A most ancient egg laying breed which lays large white shelled eggs. Not currently a good layer and bred too much for its “pretty face”. Need help to keep it alive and to re select for utility purposes – egg laying ability. The Mediterranean Poultry Club of Australia has members who are passionate about the breed. Secretary, Ian Pollerd (03) 5446 9211

9: Embden Geese — Pure breeds of this breed are increasingly hard to find and they are a superb table birds of great size. Supporting groups are Waterfowl Fanciers Assoc of Queensland – Secretary, Jim Innes, email: ministryofducks@hotmail.com and the Victorian Waterfowl Assoc - Secretary, Dr Hamish Russell (03) 9752 0262

10: *Aylesbury Duck — The top duck for the table – the very best eating. Supporting groups are Waterfowl Fanciers Assoc of Queensland – Secretary, Jim Innes, email: ministryofducks@hotmail.com and the Victorian Waterfowl Assoc - Secretary, Dr Hamish Russell (03) 9752 0262

Last updated, 22 May 2006


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| Produced by - Cheryl Hardy Flowerdale, Victoria - Maintained by Ian Mullins, Elphinstone, Victoria|