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Heritage Breed Spotlight: Welsh Harlequin Duck

Welsh Harlequin ducks swimming in a pond

The Welsh Harlequin duck was developed in Wales in 1949 from a pair of light colored sports hatched from Khaki Campbell ducks. The breed was first imported to the United States in 1968 and admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 2001. Physical Attributes Welsh Harlequins are slightly heavier than Khaki Campbells, but similar […]

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True Bantam Chicken Breeds

A d'Uccle Hen from Cackle Hatchery

Nearly every chicken breed has a bantam version. But some bantam breeds have no larger counterpart. The latter are true bantams. Cackle Hatchery® offers the following true bantam chicken breeds: Belgian d’Anvers Belgian d’Anvers bantams get their name from the Belgian municipality of Antwerp, which is “Anvers” to the French. The word d’Anvers therefore means […]

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11 Cold Hardy Bantam Breeds

A Wyandotte bantam in winter

Chickens, including bantams, tend to do better in cold weather than in hot weather. However, some bantams tolerate the cold better than others. Certain features — such as dense plumage, leg feathering, beards, and small combs — contribute to a cold hardiness. Often the country of origin provides a clue to a breed’s climate tolerance. […]

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10 Chicken Breeds with Beards

A Bearded Polish chicken

Chicken breeds with beards came about as a genetic mutation. Chicken keepers liked the appearance, and so they continued to breed more of the same. Other than the cuteness factor, scientists have yet to find any significant advantage or disadvantage to a beard on a chicken. A beard appears as elongated feathers growing beneath a […]

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Chicken Breed Abbreviations

A BBROEGB Chicken

Chicken keepers often use abbreviations and assume their listeners know what they mean. Here are some of the more common chicken breed abbreviations, along with abbreviations for variety features and those used for show that may be puzzling when you see them in poultry publications, forums, and websites. Note that abbreviations may be combined to […]

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Breed Spotlight: Aseel Chicken

An Aseel Chicken

The Aseel chicken is an ancient game fowl from India. The name of this indigenous breed means trueborn or purebred. Aseels have an upright stance, square shanks, and short legs set wide apart. Their ears are red, and they have a pea comb and minimal wattles. These slow-growing chickens have well developed muscles, although their […]

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Why Can’t Chickens Fly?

flying chicken

Who says chickens can’t fly? Some chickens fly really well. Others not so well, or not at all. So rather than ask “Why can’t chickens fly?” we should be asking “Why don’t chickens fly?” Wing Power The short answer is that chickens have small wings relative to their heavy bodies. Why that matters relates to […]

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What is a Purebred and What Is a Hybrid Chicken?

two young girls each holding a chicken

Defining the differences between a purebred and a hybrid chicken can be complicated. Some breeds are not purebred. But even a pure breed may have started out as a hybrid. What is a purebred chicken? Purebreds, also called straightbreds, will breed true. That means all the breeder roosters and hens have uniform bloodlines, and their […]

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What Is a Dual Purpose Chicken?

white wyandotte chicken standing outside

To some chicken keepers, a dual purpose breed is one that’s suitable for both meat and eggs. To other chicken keepers, dual purpose refers to a breed that’s suitable for neither meat nor eggs. So exactly what is a dual purpose chicken? Meat or Eggs Before the poultry industry developed into the behemoth it is […]

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