Bielefelder Chicken: A Friendly Egg-Machine
Get ready to meet the charming and rare Bielefelder chicken. Hailing from Germany, these pleasant birds have what it takes to conquer every backyard. They lay plenty of extra-large brown eggs and flaunt a gorgeous cuckooed red partridge plumage. And the best part is- the hens are as docile as can be.
- Bielefelder hens lay up to 4 eggs weekly
- Heritage breed, considered rare
- Very friendly and docile
- Auto sexing breed originating in Germany
|230 eggs yearly
|6 – 8 lbs
Bielefelders are known for their striking appearance. These birds show a beautiful color pattern, similar to the crele pattern found in other breeds. The hens have a brown ground color overlaid with faint bars of white and gray. In contrast, males sport orange-barred hackles, backs, and saddles, with black and white barred tails and breasts.
Bielefelders are valued for their dual-purpose abilities. They are a suitable breed for both meat and egg production. Bielefelder hens weigh around 6 to 8 pounds and roosters reach up to 8 pounds. This makes them well-fleshed and suitable for meat production.
One of the standout features of the Bielefelder chicken is their autosexing ability, which means that male and female chicks can be easily distinguished at hatch. Male chicks have a unique white spot on their heads, making gender identification easy.
Bielefelder chickens are known for their impressive egg production. The hens are great layers, consistently producing extra-large brown eggs. On average, a Bielefelder hen will lay approximately 230 eggs annually. This high level of productivity places them among the top layers in the chicken world.
Bielefelders tend to show a lower inclination towards brooding compared to some other breeds. Broodiness refers to a hen’s desire to sit on her eggs and hatch them into chicks. While some chicken keepers appreciate broody hens for natural incubation, most others prefer hens that are less inclined to go broody, because it temporarily stops egg production.
Bielefelder chickens are known for their friendly personalities, making them a delight to have as backyard companions. They have a calm temperament, so are excellent choice for families with children.
Bielefelders are known to be relatively tame and easy to handle. They have a curious nature, often approaching their owners without hesitation. Their gentle disposition makes them less likely to exhibit aggressive behavior or become skittish around humans.
Due to this friendly personality, Bielefelders can make excellent pet chickens. They become accustomed to human presence and enjoy being around their owners. Some owners even report that their Bielefelders enjoy being held and petted.
Another unique aspect is their low level of aggression. While roosters of other breed can sometimes display territorial or dominant behavior, Bielefelder roosters are known to be relatively mild-mannered.
Bielefelder Chicken Breed History
The Bielefelder has an interesting history that traces its roots back to Germany. It was developed in the 1970s in the area of Bielefeld, in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. They were created by a breeder named Gerd Roth, who set out to develop an autosexing, dual-purpose breed with desirable characteristics.
To achieve this goal, Roth implemented a crossbreeding program. He crossed Malines and Welsummer chickens, breeds that are known for their productivity and utility, with Barred Rock chickens. The Barred Rock lineage added the autosexing element to the breed.
The initial focus was on creating a single color variety known as crele, characterized by the cuckoo pattern with black-breasted red coloration. Over time, a silver variety was also created, showing the same cuckoo pattern but without the red or yellow. The silver color variety is unique to the Bielefelder breed.
The Bielefelder was first exhibited in 1976 under the name Deutsche Kennhuhn (German Utility Chicken) and was officially recognized by the German Poultry Breeders’ Association in 1980. After that, the name changed to Bielefelder.
In recent years, Bielefelders have been imported into the US. The breed is commonly sold by hatcheries, but remains quite rare.
The Bielefelder is a rare and captivating breed with a fascinating history. Developed in the 1970s by crossing a Malines, Welsummer, and Barred Rock to create an autosexing, dual-purpose breed.
These birds are friendly, making them excellent pets. With their prolific egg-laying abilities, Bielefelder hens produce approximately 230 X-large brown eggs per year. Their calm temperament and beautiful plumage have made Bielefelders highly sought-after worldwide.
To learn more about chicken breeds, check out our ‘Chicken Breeds Page‘ to see every specific breed we address. Or go to our listicle breed summary on ‘The Classroom‘, or, if you’re unsure where to start, take a look at our ‘Chicken Breeds: Ultimate Beginners Guide‘.
Credits Featured Image: @brandy_l_m_ (IG)