The Braekel is one of the oldest European chicken breeds, dating back to the 15th century. They were developed for egg production, producing around 200 eggs per year. They can provide meat, but they are more commonly used for egg laying because the meat has a game-like flavor.
Braekel hens produce medium-sized white eggs and are not prone to become broody.
Braekel Chicken Breed Quick Info
Braekel Chicken Description
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Origins of Braekel Chicken
This breed originates from the Brakel region of Belgium. They are thought to have been brought to Belgium during the Middle Ages and seem to be related to the Fayoumi chicken breed, which still exists in Egypt today.
Their numbers decreased after World War II. Today, they are rare and being protected. It is not common to find this breed outside of Belgium.
Some Things to Know About Braekel Chicken
The Braekel chicken resembles the Campine chicken in its appearance, although the Braekel is larger and not hen-feathered. The hens of the two breeds are nearly identical, but the Braekel roosters have normal male feathering.
There are several color varieties, although the most common are golden- and silver-penciled. They have single combs, white earlobes, and slate-blue legs. There is also a bantam version of the breed.
How Easy is it to Keep Braekel Chickens?
This breed is one of the few in the world that is both cold and heat-hardy. The chicks mature quickly and are hardy and disease resistant, making them ideal for homesteaders and beginning chicken owners alike. They prefer to be free-range and like to fend for themselves.
Special Care and Considerations for Braekel Chickens
Like all chickens with a large single comb and wattles, the Braekel chicken is at risk of developing frostbite in the winter. You can use vaseline to protect their comb and wattles from freezing in low temperatures.
The males have long tail feathers, so they require perches that are separated from the wall of the coop. The silver-penciled variety also needs shade in the sun, so they do not change color.