Gara Tavuk Chicken

Ark of taste
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The Black Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) is known as Gara Tavuk can be seen in villages where ex nomadic pastoralists settled in the Southwestern Anatolia. It is an aboriginal landrace chicken. It is distinguished by its black plumage, red earlobes, dark grey legs with white nails, and dark brown eyes. It lays creamy shaded, white-shelled eggs with. The roosters have red neck feathers in varying degrees. Some roosters with fewer red feathers look full black. Red speckled chests are rarely seen in hens. It has a narrow to medium wide head and medium size black and a slightly curved beak. The face is red and covered with some short black feathers. In some birds, but especially in hens, skin hyper pigmentation on the combs is seen. The rooster comb is usually single and relatively large with 6–7 points. Roosters with rose combs are rare. In the hens, the comb is a straight and small. The combs size is equal to the wattle size. The wattles are small and oval. The neck is of medium length and well feathered. It thrives under uncomplimentary conditions like poor feeding, presence of predators and disease outbreaks. It stands upright, moves on the ground in a straight line like a wild pheasant and when feeling threatened by a fox and other predators, can fly up to 30 meters horizontally or three meters vertically. The rooster has small sickles. It actively defends hens when attacked by hawks and stouts. The hen does not have sickles. It is not unusual for them to spend the entire year perching on a tree for the night. It thrives when not caged or penned. It browses all day and prefers bugs and worms to plants. Some of the hens become broody. No industrial chicken breed infusion is seen in this chicken. The roosters weigh 2kg while the hens are 1.5kg. The hen lays 150 eggs/year. The eggs weighing 40-45gr are oval, white, or light beige and almost narrow compared to ISA Brown eggs. Poultry is consumed in occasion, but usually before winter. The leading threat for this landrace is industrialized chicken breeds replacing them because this landrace’s annual egg production is almost half of what the industrial hen’s is. However, Gara Tavuk can continue laying up to six years without any significant decrease in the annual egg yield. Realistically looking it can only be preserved by hobby poultry keepers.

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Akdeniz Bölgesi

Production area:Sarikecili and ex-Karagonlu Yoruk Nomads

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Breeds and animal husbandry

Nominated by:Guvener Isik