Other name(s): Poule de Gournay
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: France
History: The Gournay Chicken (Poule de Gournay) is from the town of Gournay en Brey, Seine Maritime, France. It was created by crossing the Mantes and Houdan. The Poule de Gournay almost became extinct before the first World War, and once again in 1945. Local poultry hobbyists in the early 2000’s, have helped to recover the breed.
Current Uses: Meat and egg production, and Breed Preservation
Appearance: The Gournay is an average sized chicken with a sturdy body. Birds have large red single combs, and wattles. The earlobes are white. The breed only exists in black mottled white.
Average weight: 5 - 7 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Gournay 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 Poule de Gournay 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 Poule de Gournay is active and enjoys foraging. However, they are large and steady in nature enough to make an ideal bird for the bird enthusiast, or small farmer interested in heritage dual-purpose fowl.Written by Jamie Clark