Other name(s): Westfalische Totleger;
Westphalian Totleger; Westphalian Deathlayer
Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus
Country / Place of origin: Germany
History: The Westphalian Chicken (Westfälischer Totleger) is believed to have been created in Ravensburger, Germany in the 16th century from the Sprenkelhühner chicken. In the mid-1800's the breed’s popularity began its decline, and it nearly became extinct in World War II. Today, the Westfalischer Totleger is very uncommon. The nickname “Westphalian Deathlayer” means that the hens keep laying until their death.
Current Uses: Egg Production and Breed Preservation
Appearance: The Westfalischer Totleger is a lovely light weight breed that closely resembles the Braekel. They have white earlobes, and slate blue legs. They have rose-combs, and found in Silver and Gold Penciled colors.
Average weight: 3.75 - 5 lbs.
Lifespan: 8 - 12 years
Diet: The Westfalische Totleger does well if left to forage, and fed 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 breed is relatively healthy, and tolerates most climates. Birds will need proper housing, care, feed, and parasite control and treatment to live full healthy lives.
Behavior / Temperament / Activity level: The Westfalische Totleger is a very active breed that loves to be on the move. If allowed, they will roost in trees at night. Hens make good mothers, and chicks grow quickly.Written by Jamie Clark