Santa Barbara, California
Other name(s): Bielefelder Kennhuhn
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Germany
History: The Bielefelder chicken was created in the early 1970’s in Bielefeld, Germany. The intention was to develop a new breed which was good in cold weather and a strong egg layer. The Bielefelder was created by crossing Amrock, New Hampshire, Rhode Island Red and Mechlin breeds. The Bielefelder is an auto-sexing breed.
Current Uses: Meat and Eggs
Appearance: The Bielefelder is a stocky and large breed. They have moderately large red combs, wattles, and earlobes. Legs are thick and yellow. Bielefelders only come in one color, which is the cuckoo red partridge.
Average weight: 6 - 10 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: Bielefelder chickens do well on a basic commercial diet. Birds should be supplemented with fresh fruits, veggies, bugs, and grit if not permitted to free-range. Hens may need oyster shells added to their diet, if their feed is not high enough in calcium. Fresh water must be available at all times.
Housing: Housing can be simple, but does require planning. You will need a coop that provides your birds with a safe place to escape the weather, night and day-time predators, and is well-drained, clean, ventilated, and comfortable. Roosts should be provided for sleeping, and nesting boxes for egg laying. If housing bantams an enclosed pen is recommendable if hawks are a problem in your area.
Health issues: The Bielefelder is relatively healthy, and tolerate of most climates. It can develop frostbitten combs, so you may have to heat your fowl, or rub oil on their combs during the winter. Birds will need proper housing, care, feed, and parasite control and treatment to live full healthy lives.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: These birds are very friendly, and make great and useful birds for the backyard.Written by Jamie Clark