Depending on who you ask, the Lakenvelder chicken is either a Dutch chicken or a German chicken. However, in the grand scheme of things, it shouldn’t really matter too much. At the end of the day, if you end up with a Lakenvelder chicken, you are going to be ending up with a very handsome chicken breed that is well known for its high egg production and a chicken breed that is centuries old!
Let’s take a look at this breed in a bit of depth, shall we?
Lakenvelder Chicken Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||150-200 per year|
|Egg Shell Color||White to tinted|
|Temperament||Active, can be flighty|
|Recognized Variety||One variety (black-and-white)|
|Weight||Male Standard: 5 lb. (2.2 kg) |
Male Bantam: 24 oz. (680 g)
Female Standard: 4 lb. (1.8kg)
Female Bantam: 20 oz. (570 g)
|Country of origin||Netherlands or Germany|
|Admitted to APA||1960|
The Origins of the Lakenvelder Chicken
As we said before, we don’t actually know where this breed of chicken originated from outside of the fact that it is probably from the Netherlands or in Germany. Some chicken enthusiasts say that it was near the border between these two countries.
We do know that it was first recorded in the mid-1700s, though. However, it is likely that the chicken had been bred for a good amount of time before that.
We also know that for a good few decades, the Lakenvelder chicken was regarded as one of the most productive chicken breeds in Europe. It was extensively used for egg production. However, it wasn’t too long before other, far more productive chicken breeds entered the mix.
That being said, to this day, a lot of people still opt for the Lakenvelder chicken around their homestead. This is because for an average family, the production of this chicken is high, particularly if you have a flock of them. They are just not going to be all that brilliant for those that are looking to raise chickens commercially.
Despite the chicken no longer being used in the same way that it was in the past, there seems to be zero indication that this is a breed that will be dying out any time soon. As we said, it is still going to be one of the favorite breeds used among homesteaders.
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The Look of the Lakenvelder Chicken
Some have likened the black & white coloring of the Lakenvelder chicken to that of a cow. We suppose it is hard to argue.
The head and the neck of this chicken is completely black, as is their tail. The middle of the Lakenvelder chicken is completely white, although they may have a bit of speckling in the center of their body from the odd black or gray feather.
The face and ear lobes of this chicken will be red. Their legs will be blue.
They may be large or bantam and have a single comb (read more about chicken comb types).
Despite the age of the Lakenvelder chicken, this is one of those rare breeds that only has a single recognized color variant in the USA. However, there are some hatcheries that are selling a Golden Lakenvelder.
As a Show Chicken
Due to the high standardization of the Lakenvelder chicken breed, this makes a very good show chicken breed. There will be no breaking down of color or whatever. All of the chickens will be entered into the same show.
That being said, the high standardization of the breed also means that the competition at these shows will be incredibly high. This is because these chickens have breeders that are always trying to work with the absolute best look of the chicken within strict criteria.
As a result, you can expect the competition at these shows to be very, very high. We can’t imagine that many newcomers to breeding the Lakenvelder chicken will be winning that many competitions with it.
As always, you don’t really need to be taking this chicken along to chicken shows anyway. It is a good looking and unique bird. This means that it could work well as an ornamental breed of chicken, while also a breed of chicken that is going to be highly productive at the same time!
The Lakenvelder Chicken Eggs
This is a breed of chicken that has almost always been raised with the idea of producing eggs. On average, the Lakenvelder hen can lay between 150 and 200 small eggs per year. While there is a small drop off in their egg production as they get a little bit older, it is not going to be an absolutely massive fall.
If you are looking to breed chickens from these eggs, you will be pleased to know that this is a breed of chicken that sits on its eggs quite well. They do not get broody. This means that it should be a difficult chicken to raise.
Their egg shells are with white to tinted color and are very small.
Raising the Lakenvelder Chickens
The Lakenvelder chicken was bred in a time where you really, really wanted your chickens to do a little bit of everything.
So, while the Lakenvelder chicken is always going to be primarily an egg chicken breed, it can also be used for meat. It grows fairly fast, and it is quite a weighty bird.
So, any chickens that you are not using for breeding or for eggs can be slaughtered pretty young.
Raising this chicken breed shouldn’t prove to be all that tricky. It is a bird that has somehow managed to last many, many centuries after all. This is because this bird is hardy.
It has been bred to deal with colder conditions, and it is going to be resistant to the vast majority of diseases that can impact other chicken breeds.
You may also be pleased to know that this chicken breed is also going to be fantastic for those that want a starter chicken. It is a friendly breed that you shouldn’t have that many issues dealing with.
While there are some territorial birds, they tend not to fight all that much. This means that you will be able to keep a large flock of them without too much fighting. Although, you may want to keep an eye on these chickens if you have multiple roosters in the mix. The Lakenvelder roosters can become aggressive sometime.
All in all, if you are looking for some good starter chickens, then you will almost certainly want to pay attention to the Lakenvelder chicken. It is great to introduce some of these to your homestead.
They could even be your main chicken breed if you wanted.