Bielefelders and Niederrheiners

Two beautiful and useful breeds from the farm country of the Lower Rhine

Bielefelders and Niederrheiners
Add to Favorites Reading Time: 6 minutes Imagine living in European farm country, many years ago, and raising chickens that had to forage almost entirely on their own. Not just any chickens, but roosters that could reach 10 to 13 pounds and round-bodied, meaty hens that that could easily tip a scale between eight and 10 pounds. Hens that were notorious for laying extra-large or jumbo brown eggs, for two or three years. The hens set and raised their own babies. Add in an inordinate gentleness of both hens and roosters, and it sounds like the fantasy bird all chicken keepers dream about. Such birds actually did exist, and still do today. To temper my glowing descriptions with reality, however, not every bird had or will have all of these characteristics, and some will not measure-up at all. Nonetheless, these birds and their ancestors, as a whole, were able to develop and maintain such characteristics in open farm-flock mating and self-foraging over a period of at least 150 years. 

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