10 of the Best European Chicken Breeds
Chicken breeds from Europe include:
The Ancona is a breed of chicken originating in, and named after Ancona, Italy, but they have also been known in England since the late 19th century. It is noted for its ability to produce white or sometimes tinted eggs, which are sometimes small in size. It also can lay a blue tinted egg depending on its genes. It is considered a good layer with an average of five eggs a week.
- Belgian Bearded d'Anvers
The Belgian d'Anver varieties are often referred to as 'quail' bantams. These true bantams were first developed in the Anver region of Belgium. The Belgian d'Anver bantams are tiny, and suited to a more intensive, indoor system.
The Campine is a breed of chicken originating in Belgium's Campine region. They are a fairly small breed in Silver and Golden varieties, with solid white or golden hackles and iridescent black-green barred bodies.
The Faverolles is a French breed of chicken. The breed was developed in the 1860s in the Loire area of France in the vicinity of the villages of Houdan and Faverolles. The breed was given the name of the latter village, and therefore, the singular is also Faverolles, not Faverolle.
- German Langshan
The Langshan is a German breeding product that was created in the beginning of the twentieth century. It was created by crossing Croad Langshans with Minorcas and Plymouth Rocks. The German breeders imagined a good egg-laying chicken, that would have non-feathered legs (opposed to the Croad Langshan). The creation of Langshans almost meant the end of the Croad Langshan in Germany.
The origins of the Leghorn are not clear; it appears to derive from light breeds originating in rural Tuscany. The name comes from Leghorn, the traditional anglicisation of Livorno, the Tuscan port from which the first birds were exported to North America. Leghorns are good layers of white eggs, laying an average of 280 per year and sometimes reaching 300–320.
The Maran is a heavy, soft feather breed. It is very hardy, a superb layer of dark brown-shelled eggs, generally disease resistant and simple to keep. Marans originated in western France in the town of Marans, is best known for its dark chocolate coloured eggs.
- Mille Fleur d'Uccle
One of the Belgian true bantams, the bearded and booted Mille Fleur d'Uccle is one of the prettiest of fowl. The d'Uccles also occur in other color varieties, such as Porcelain, Black Mottled, Self Blue (self means solidly one colour), and Blue Mille Fleur.
The Minorca is a breed of chicken originating in Spain. They lay white eggs. Color varieties include buff, black, white with the British recognising a blue phase. Minorcas mature quickly and begin crowing sooner than other breeds. It closely related to White-faced Black Spanish and Castilian Black. Minorcas tend to be very flighty.
The Vorwerk is a breed of chicken originating in Germany. Vorwerks are hardy, adaptable birds with economical appetites. In temperament, they are alert and active, but not necessarily flighty. In terms of plumage, their head, neck and tail are solid black, with the rest a buff colour.