Thüringian

History

The Thüringian originates from the Thüringer forest region in Germany and dates back to the 1790's. They were first called Thüringer Barthuhner in 1907 (Barthuhner means 'bearded chicken') and bred as a dual purpose breed for meat and eggs, but now they are mainly seen at poultry shows and for rare breed conservation. In fact it was the fluffy beards that earned them the nick name 'Chubby cheeks'. They only really started to appear in the UK in the year 2000.

Behaviour

Thüringians have a distinctive beard, ear muffs and small comb making them very winter hardy. They can cope very well with harsh cold winters, but like most chickens, detest the rain. They are active foragers and as such prefer to free range, however they will tolerate confinement if the run area is large enough. Thüringians are generally a friendly breed, coping well in a mixed flock. They are confident chickens and usually the first to explore new surroundings or an unusual treat when placed in the run. Hens rarely go broody; when they do they make excellent mothers but can be very defensive of their young. Their eggs are white and of a decent size, you can expect around 160 per year. They are a fast growing, active breed and the hens that are known for laying very early/young.

Cocks weigh between 4.5-5.5 pounds and hens 3.5-4.5 pounds. A miniature version is also available with the cocks weighing 700g and the hens 600g. The hens have a similar disposition to their larger counter parts, but the cocks are feistier and more protective.

Varieties

White, Red, Buff, Cuckoo, Partridge, Blue, Black, Silver/Gold, Spangled.

Status

Fairly common

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