Bosnia and Herzegovina
Other name(s): Kokoš Hrvatica
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Croatia
History: The Croatian Hen was created in 1917, by breeder Ivan Lukas, in the Podravina Province. The breeds' hardy nature, foraging abilities, meat and egg quality, good health, and mothering abilities made it an ideal fowl, and the Croatian Hen quickly became popular throughout Medimurje and Podravina. Today, it is still one of the most common chickens in Croatia.
Current Uses: Meat and eggs
Appearance: The Croatian Hen is a sturdy dual-purpose breed. They have single combs, and white earlobes. Legs are clean, and are yellow or black depending on the birds plumage color. The breed comes in four colors: black, black gold, gold partridge, and red.
Average weight: 5 - 10 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Croatian Hen requires a basic diet, that can consist of quality commercial feed and grains. Feeds high in corn should be avoided, as they offer little nutritional value. Free-ranging your bird’s is ideal, but if not possible be sure to give them fresh fruits, veggies, and bugs. Hens may require higher protein diets while laying, and oyster shells if their diet does not supply them with enough calcium. Grit which is small pebbles consumed to help digestion will need to be given, if birds do not have access to it naturally. 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. Wooden roosts should be provided for sleeping, and nesting boxes for egg laying.
Health issues: The Croatian Hen chicken is very hardy. Health and climate issues are rarely a concern. However, during extremely cold weather, rubbing oil on your roosters combs will help prevent frostbite and chapping. To keep your birds healthy parasite control and treatment is necessary. Quality feed and clean housing is also an important step.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: This breed is active enough to be a good forager, while being calm enough to easily handle.Written by Jamie Clark