- Country of origin: France
- Primary uses: Meat production
- Lifespan: More than 8 years
- Egg production: 160 – 200 eggs per year
- Egg size: Large
- Color: White
- Cock: More than 4.5 kg
- Hen: More than 3.5 kg
- Cock: Black plumage with green shimmer
- Hen: Glossy black feather
- Useful to know: non-aggressive and can get along with other chickens. Barbezieux can be a good choice when creating a mixed chicken flock.
Nowadays, trying to raise different types of chicken breeds becomes more common with poultry keepers.
They do not raise only one chicken breed that brings the most benefits, but get an attempt to tackle more interesting tasks with various chicken breeds.
This is mainly because it can generate more happiness for them when raising poultry and also be a chance to find other suitable breeds.
If you are one of the people who are looking for a new chicken breed, let’s take time to learn about Barbezieux chicken breed to see whether or not they are right for you.
Background and History of the Barbezieux Chicken Breed
Barbezieux chickens first appeared in a small town named Barbezieux of French a few centuries ago. At that time, they were not popular with people and nearly on the edge of extinction in the eighteenth century.
Luckily, with poultry scientists’ effort to recreate Barbezieux chickens in their previous form, there were some Barbezieux clubs in France at the end of the nineteenth century.
Nowadays, this chicken breed is becoming common and considered as one of the best meat supplies not only in France but also all over the world.
Barbezieux chickens are on top of the group of the tallest chicken breeds. To be more specific, male Barbezieux chickens height about 70 centimeters tall, and female Barbezieux chickens are 65 centimeters tall.
They have large sizes and powerful bodies covered with glossy black feathers. In roosters, their black plumage is a little bit different with green shimmer.
Barbezieux chickens’ heads are rather large with high combs. Their combs have a leaf shape with clear denticles. They are big and can stand straight or fall to aside. Barbezieux chickens’ wattles are also long and huge. All their combs, wattles, and faces have bright raspberry color.
On the contrary, the earlobes of Barbezieux chickens have white color, outstanding and opposition with other raspberry parts. Their big brown eyes are mixed with a red color.
Barbezieux chickens’ lower bodies develop well with wide backs, quite prominent shoulders, and convex bellies. In addition, their wings are tight to the body. Barbezieux chickens have strong thighs and elongated shanks. Their legs are stale-blue tint.
Barbezieux chickens are rather calm and docile. They are considered as non aggressive chickens but very curious and active.
Therefore, they spend all their time walking around, studying the cracks and looking for natural food. That is the reason why Barbezieux keepers should provide them with large spaces to make them happy and comfortable.
Barbezieux chickens rarely go broody and they are not mother material. So, if you intend to raise more of these chickens, you are better to buy an egg incubator.
Barbezieux Chicken Productivity
Is the Barbezieux Chicken Good for Eggs?
Actually, yes. Though Barbezieux chickens are outstanding for meat production, most chicken keepers raise them for egg purposes.
Barbezieux chickens can lay a good amount of eggs, about 160 – 200 eggs per year. Their eggs also have large sizes with a total weight that is roughly equivalent to the best chicken layer breeds’ annual egg weight.
Furthermore, Barbezieux egg productivity does not have any considerable change during the year.
Barbezieux chickens become mature and start laying at 5 or 6 months old, however, they produce the highest quantity of eggs a year after. This productivity can continue for 2 years and will decrease over time.
So, you should replace old Barbezieux chicken hens with other younger generations to achieve high quantities of eggs. It is necessary for people who are interested in egg purposes.
Is the Barbezieux Chicken Good for Meat?
Absolutely yes since their primary use is for meat production.
Barbezieux chickens have large sizes so they give chicken raisers a considerable amount of meat. Most people rate Barbezieux chicken meat as delicious, rich in nutrition and vitamins. Especially, gourmets also appreciate this chicken breed.
Common issues of the Barbezieux Chicken
Barbezieux chickens are not known for any special health problems. They are quite strong and can adapt with all types of climates well, especially cold weather.
The main problem of Barbezieux is frostbite. Since they have large combs, wattles, and earlobes, Barbezieux is prone to be frostbitten in severely cold weather.
Frostbite can cause incredible pain to them, therefore you should have some solutions to prevent Barbezieux from being frostbitten such as giving them draft-free coops, heaters or covering outdoor run, etc.
In addition, you also need to watch Baberzieux chickens’ behaviors to recognize their signs of frostbite to have timely treatment when they are frostbitten.
Though Barbezieux chickens are active and love free-range areas, you still need to provide them with coops to sleep at night and prevent them from dangerous predators.
Here are some tips that you should take into account when building Barbezieux chickens’ coops:
- Firstly, roosting perch. A roosting perch is a place where chickens sleep. It can prevent chickens from vermin, parasites and make them feel safe when sleeping at night.
Roosting perch should be installed at high positions and made from natural materials such as wood for adult chickens and trees for baby chicks.
- Secondly, make sure to give them generous spaces. One square meter should not accommodate more than 3 chickens.
- Finally, ventilation. You have to equip Barbezieux chickens’ coops with ventilation systems to keep their living spaces dry and comfortable.
As we mentioned, Barbezieux chickens are prone to be frostbitten, so you should provide them with enough heat during winter.
Besides, Barbezieux chickens tolerate hot weather weaker than cold weather, that is why you need to install some heaters in their coops to keep them warm in cold months.
Light is one of the most important factors during the chickens’ laying process.
To be more specific, it would be better to equip light with a soft yellow color to assist Barbezieux chickens to lay eggs. You also need to set up a natural time mode so that the light will turn off at the night.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Raising Barbezieux Chickens
Benefits of Raising the Barbezieux Chicken
Barbezieux chickens have quite a lot of advantages that attract chicken raisers such as:
- Firstly, though Barbezieux chickens are mostly raised for meat production, chicken keepers still can make use of their good amount of eggs.
Barbezieux egg size and quality can be equal to the eggs of other best layer chicken breeds, therefore, they can bring a lot of benefits like a dual-purpose chicken breed.
- Secondly, Barbezieux chickens have good health and a great survival rate. Their survival rate is approximately 98% and their life expectancy is up to 8 years.
- Thirdly, Barbezieux tends to tolerate hot weather better.
If you live in an area with high heat, you definitely need not worry whether or not you can raise this chicken breed. Barbezieux’s huge combs, wattles, and earlobes can help them adjust their body temperature, release heat and keep them cooler.
- Fourth, Barbezieux chickens can live with other chicken breeds in harmony.
Barbezieux chickens are considered not aggressive and can get along with other chickens, so they can be one of the great options if you want to create a mixed chicken flock.
- Last but not least, Barbezieux chickens are easy to gain weight.
Since their primary use is meat production, the more amount of meat they supply, the more benefits chicken raisers get.
Barbezieux does not take a long time to reach the meat standards for serving if they are taken good care of, so it is one of the advantages when raising barbezieux.
Challenges or Drawbacks of Raising the Barbezieux Chicken
Apart from those benefits, Barbezieux chicken keepers are still able to encounter some difficulties like:
The first thing is that Barbezieux hens are not good mothers.
Barbezieux hens rarely go broody so farmers might have trouble intending to raise more of these chickens. The best solution for this problem is that you have to purchase an egg incubator to own more Barbezieux baby chicks.
One more thing is they are prone to be frostbitten.
Even though Barbezieux chickens can adapt to any type of climate, extremely cold weather still makes them difficult to deal with.
During cold months, Barbezieux’s large combs, wattles, and earlobes are easy to frostbite and lead to incredible pain for them.
Therefore, make sure to watch their signs of being frostbitten and provide them with heater systems to prevent them from this problem.
How to Raise the Barbezieux Chicken?
Barbezieux chickens’ diets are also similar to other chicken breeds’ diets with sufficient nutrients like carbohydrate, protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamins.
Their carbohydrate can come from grains, oats, wheat bran, etc. In wintertime, it would be better for them to consume more of those high-calorie foods at night.
Barbezieux chickens can get protein content from natural sources such as insects, worms, bugs or from their own formulated food.
Calcium always has a crucial role in chickens’ diets since it contributes to forming their strong bone systems and strengthening their eggshells. Therefore, you should provide Barbezieux chickens with some calcium supplements coming from oyster shells, eggshells, aragonite, etc.
Besides, you also need to allow them to access fresh and clean water sources to complete their diets perfectly. Water and food intake are closely correlated. If the chickens do not consume enough water, their feed intake will decrease.
You may also like: Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens
Baby chicks caring
Since baby chicks are weaker, they require more attention and complicated caring methods. There are some notices that you can refer to take good care of Barbezieux baby chicks:
- Do not allow baby chicks under one-month-old to be outside. Those fragile baby chicks should be kept in warm places with a temperature of 28 – 30 degrees Celsius.
- Keep in mind to serve Barbezieux baby chicks mineral supplements. The reason is that Barbezieux baby chicks grow quickly and create strong pressure on their backbone, so they need to consume more minerals to avoid bone problems.
- 8 weeks old Barbezieux baby chicks should take the first vaccination. Vaccination is the best preventative method to prevent chickens from diseases, therefore, chickens need to be vaccinated at the right time and fully.
So, with a lot of benefits, Barbezieux chickens can be a great chicken breed that you should try.
To be more specific, you not only gain advantages from their meat production, but also utilize their high-quality eggs.
Furthermore, those chickens have strong resistance to diseases and a great survival rate so you can relieve worries about their health problems.
Barbezieux chickens also do not require too many complicated caring methods, that is why they are one of the best choices for both beginners and professional chicken raisers.
Apart from their advantages, Barbezieux chickens still have some troubles like frostbite issues or low broodiness but it would be fine if you have the right solutions.
So, if Barbezieux chickens are right for you, let’s give it a try and wait for great outcomes.
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