Chantecler chicken

Ark of taste
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The Chantecler chicken is a composite breed derived from Dark Cornish, White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, White Wyandotte, Columbian Wyandotte and White Plymouth Rock. Its body is long and slopes towards the tail; its comb is attached towards the front of the head. The wattles are very small and tucked close to the neck. The head is broad, the beak curved and breast wide. The bird is white with a yellow skin. The only other color other than the white is the Partridge that was developed in Alberta and accepted as a breed in 1935. The standard size calls for the males to weigh between 3.4 kg and 3.9 kg depending on age, while the female weighs between 2.5 kg and 3 kg. A female can lay up to 210 eggs per year: each egg weighs from 58 to 60 grams and is light brown in color. The breed is dual purpose, meaning it produces a reasonable number of eggs and the meat has value at the end of its productive life. The world population size of Chantecler chickens is estimated at between 1750 and 2250. Most of the birds outside Canada are in the USA. Current Canadian population size is about 1000-1500 and most of this population is based in Quebec in small farm flocks. The breed has been reassessed and most young birds are sold before brooding. In December 1999 the government of Quebec officially recognized the Chantecler as a native Quebec breed. The steadily increasing interest in the breed has resulted in one breeder setting up 4 families of Chantecler with the aim of bringing the breed back to the original standard. The future of the breed will mainly be on small farms; The most urgent need is to obtain permission from the various Marketing Boards to maintain a genetically viable breeding group of the breed: this group would be monitored by the Boards and qualified geneticists to ensure that it was maintained as a pure breed. The origins of the breed can be traced back to Brother Wilfrid, a poultryman at the Cistercian Trappist Monastery at Oka, Quebec, a small community situated west of Montreal on the north shore of the Ottawa river. He realized there were no chickens of Canadian origin at Oka, and decided to breed a truly Canadian bird. Brother Wilfrid wanted a breed that laid a lot of eggs during winter, with frost resistant comb and wattles. An association created in 1918 adopted strict rules to control breeding and ownership of Chantecler birds: breeders could not sell, lend or exchange birds of the new breed, nor even sell hatching eggs to breeders who were not members of the association. Breeders were also requested to give the association a list of the Chantecler birds they owned. The Chantecler breed gained a lot of popularity after the first Canadian National Poultry Conference in 1919 and was officially declared a breed in 1921.

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Quebec / Québec

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Andre Auclair