La Fleche Chickens

La Fleche Chickens

La Fleche Chickens – Engraving from the 1867 Poultry Book

On of the popular French table breeds in the 1800’s, La Fleche chickens were somewhat similar to the Crevecoeurs with their combs being horn shaped. I’m not sure I’d like to meet one on a dark night though!

The Poultry Book of 1867 has just this to directly say about the La Fleche chickens:

La Fleche chickens

Now, for the La Fleche—long, weird, hobgoblin-looking birds, prolific layers of tremendous eggs of moderate fertility; large and turkey-like, they are far superior to Spanish as table birds, and fully equal them as layers.

They are less hardy than Houdans, and their chickens much more difficult to rear, being like the Crevecoeurs, subject to throat attacks. They are liable not only to the disease known as gapes, but also to inflammation of the windpipe, accompanied by mucous deposit, producing what is familiarly known as ” the rattles.”

The specimens we see in the show-pens are invariably jet or brown-black; but I find the chickens are by no means true to this colour, for in the blackest, white feathers appear on the wings, and many come with chestnut and grey wings and breasts.

I would warn those who must have them black, not to breed from brown-black hens, but from jet-blacks.

The adult cocks, as might be supposed from their length of limb, and size of body, are much subject in this climate to leg-weakness and disease of the knee-joint, and suffer much from travelling to and from shows.

In the foregoing remarks I have treated these breeds from an economical point of view, not as exhibition birds; and I believe the best interests of the community will be served by making all points subservient to size, health, and condition.

Related to Malay Chickens?

Later in the book, there is some conjecture that the La Fleche breed’s heritage includes the Malay breed as there is a similarity in head shape.

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