Other name(s): Groninger Meeuwen;
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Netherlands
History: The Groninger Meeuw chicken was developed at the end of the 18th century, in the province of Groningem. It was created by crossing Silver Penciled fowl to the German’s East Frisian Gull. The breed became respectably popular amongst locals, and the Silver variety was officially recognized in 1919. After, the introduction of the Leghorn, the Groninger Meeuw chicken’s popularity rapidly declined. Today, the breed is extremely rare, with only 30 birds left in 1978. To help preserve the bird, the Groninger Meeuwan was established, in 1980.
Current Uses: Eggs and Breed Preservation
Appearance: The Groninger Meeuw is a lovely small bodied bird with a sleek body and long full tail. They have red single combs, wattles, and white earlobes. Legs are clean and a gray color. Birds are found in bantam and largefowl, in three colors. These colors are Silver Penciled, Gold Penciled, and Lemon Penciled.The breed is very similar to the East Frisian gull. However, the breed varies by tail angle, weights a bit more, and has brown eyes.
Average weight: 4 - 6 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Groninger Meeuw 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 Groninger Meeuw 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 very active and has a nervous nature. They prefer a large area to roam and forage, and are capable of flying. Taming is not easy, and will require daily handling. Hens rarely brood, but are dedicated mothers when they take up the task.Written by Jamie Clark