Breed Profile: Lakenvelder Chicken

Lakenvelder Hens Make Excellent Ornamental Layers

Promoted by Happy Hen Treats

Breed of the Month: Lakenvelder chicken

Origin: The Lakenvelder chicken developed in the early 19th century near the border of Germany and the Netherlands. The word “Lakenvelder” translated from Dutch means “a shadow on a sheet,” which is fitting since the birds are white with black hackles and tails. Admitted to the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1939.

“The history of Lakenvelder chickens is a bit clouded, but reveals an ancient lineage. The breed seems to have been developed in the area of southern Holland and just over the border in Germany. The Dutch painter Van Gink wrote that as far back as 1727 the breed could be found near the village of Lakervelt, in the southeastern corner of Holland. The breed’s first appearance in poultry shows was 1835, in West Hanover, and by 1860 was quite well known and bred in Westfalen and the Northern part of the Rhine province. Lakenvelder chickens were first shown in England in 1902, shortly after their arrival in that country.  Although the breed arrived to America about 1900, they were not admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection until 1939.” – The Livestock Conservancy 

Recognized Varieties: Silver

Standard Description: A stunning, smaller bird that’s quite active and likes to forage, but can be flighty. Hens are not broody. Known as a productive egg layer that also produces a delicious meat, although they are not plentifully fleshed.


Active – good foragers, can be flighty.

Beak – Dark horn
Eyes – Dark red
Shanks and toes – Slate
Skin – White
Male – Rich black plumage on head, neck, saddle, and tail stands out against a bright white body.
Female – Black on head, neck, and tail; white body.

Combs, Wattles & Earlobes:
Single comb with five distinct points held upright. Medium-length, well-rounded wattles. Small, oblong earlobes. Comb and wattles are bright red; earlobes are white.

Lakenvelder Chicken

Egg Color, Size & Laying Habits: 

•  White to tinted

•  Small to medium

•  150+ per year

Lakenvelder Chicken

Conservation Status: Threatened

Size: Cock 5 lbs., Hen 4 lbs., Bantam Cock 24 oz., Bantam Hen 20 oz.

Popular Use: Eggs and meat

Testimonial from a Lakenvelder chicken owner:

“If you are looking for a beautiful bird that holds their own, Lakenvelders are it. Behaviorally like Leghorns, they are great at foraging and slightly flighty and wary. This characteristic has helped them survive opossums and other vermin, where other breeds have failed. This small Dutch breed is threatened and needs our help and would make a great addition to a backyard flock.” – Kenny Coogan

Lakenvelder Chicken

Promoted by: Happy Hen Treats



The Livestock Conservancy
Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds 

One thought on “Breed Profile: Lakenvelder Chicken”
  1. Ordered Lakenvelder chicks because they are so pretty. Love them, great addition to my small flock. Mine aren’t flighty, they’ll sit on my knee.
    BTW, I have an 8 yr old Sexlink that still lays, on average 3 eggs a week!

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