Other name(s): Géline de Touraine;
Black Touraine, Touraine Old hen, Géline
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: France
History: The Géline de Touraine is an old breed that was used for centuries as a backyard fowl in the French province of Touraine. During the nineteenth century new breeds of chickens where brought to France. These breeds, particularly the Asian races where crossed to the Géline in order to improve weight and egg laying ability. In 1909, dedicated breed Jean-Baptiste Martin set out to preserve and spread the breeds popularity. A club was created, and the Géline became very popular before World War I. The war destroyed most of the breed, but Mr. Martin fought to bring the breed back to it’s former glory. He was successful, and approximately 50,000 Gélines where reported to be on the market before World War II. World War II caused the death of many European breeds, and by the end of the war very few Gélines where alive, and they where scattered throughout the land. Thankfully, due to poultry hobbyists the breed was saved.
Current Uses: Meat and egg production, and Breed Preservation
Appearance: The Géline is a medium sized breed, with meat held closely to the bone. They have nice full tails, longer backs, and deep abdomens. Birds have red single combs, wattles, and earlobes. The Géline is recognized only in the color black.
Average weight: 6.5 - 9 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Géline does 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.
Health issues: The Géline de Touraine is relatively healthy, and tolerates most climates. However, during the winters frostbitten combs and wattles may be a concern. Rubbing oil on them will help prevent frostbite and chapping. Birds will need proper housing, care, feed, and parasite control and treatment to live full healthy lives.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The Géline de Touraine is known for its independent nature.Written by Jamie Clark