The Brakel (Braekel) Chicken

The Brakel (Braekel) Chicken
By Stuart Sutton, United Kingdom Although not exceptionally rare, the Brakel (alt. Braekel) breed always needs more keepers and is also a historic, interesting race. In Flanders, Belgium where it originates, the “Brakel Hen” is known as the oldest large laying breed that still exists today, the Ardenner being the oldest Belgian breed of the French speaking Waloon area of Belgium. According to the Association for Promotion of Belgian Poultry Breeds, the Brakel was already known in the Oudenaarde and Nederbrakel region around 1400. From this region, the Brakel slowly spread to the extent that was a familiar site in most farmyards across the country. This is why the breed was also known as the “Farmyard Hen.” Other names for the breed were “The Everyday Layer,” “The Grey White Neck” and “The Nun’s Hen.” They were admired by the people who kept them because they laid well and provided a good table bird; the meat had a slight game flavor. Keep Your Hens Laying Strong for Years to ComeWant fresh eggs at your

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