Bielefelder chickens breed
- Country of origin: Germany
- Primary uses: for egg and meat production
- Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
- Egg production: 230 eggs
- Egg size: Large
- Egg color: Brown
- Cock: 3 to 4 kg
- Hen: 2.5 to 3.25 kg
- Cock: 1.3 kg
- Hen: 1.1 kg
- Colors: Gold
- Useful to know: calm and gentle. They have very active lifestyles together with good resistance to many external factors.
Bielefelder chickens can bring many benefits to their owners including beautiful feathers, large eggs and easy-to-handle nature. So it is not difficult to understand why many chicken keepers want to raise this breed.
In case you have not much knowledge about chicken breeds, this article would be helpful for you to learn more about Bielefelder chickens. Then, you can make the right decision to raise them or not.
Background and history of the Bielefelder chicken breed
A poultry breeder called Gerd Roth developed this chicken breed in Bielefeld, Germany in the early 1970s. Right after that, it became a national breed with high value.
To create Bielefelder chickens, Gerd Roth used many different breeds including cuckoo Malines, Amrock, Wyandotte, and the New Hampshire.
This chicken breed was imported to the US for the first time in 2011. And in 2013 and 2017, they started to import unrelated bloodlines of the Bielefelder chickens.
The Bielefelder chicken breed has the auto-sexing ability. In other words, their cocks and hens will hatch in different colors. So, it will be easier for any chicken raiser to determine the sex of their chickens.
For male chicks, they have a yellow or white spot in their head when it hatches and this color would be lighter over time. Meanwhile, it has a chipmunk stripe on the back of female chicks.
Their stunning beauty would become clearer when they get older. Specially, the complex feather pattern seems to be more fascinating if Bielefelder cocks mature completely.
In some special cases, they even get pink undertones to their shape of feathers. Therefore, it can make them identifiable among other chicken breeds.
Besides, in general, all Bielefelder chickens are large-sized together with a large single comb, red earlobes and wattles. And it is common to see those chickens in golden color.
Bielefelder chickens are known as one of the most gentle breeds in the world. They would like to interact with humans a lot and are willing to join many activities with their owners.
Most of those chickens are active and intelligent. They have the ability to react quickly against many external factors. Walking around the garden is also one of their most interesting activities.
Bielefelder chickens are free-rangers which would like to forage around instead of eating from a bowl or container.
In addition, despite their calm temperament, Bielefelder roosters still have the impressive vocal ability. Those cocks get a very loud voice but they tend to keep quiet regularly.
Unlike other egg producers, Bielefelder hens rarely go broody. They begin to lay eggs at a very young age and are able to give a large number of eggs each year. Nevertheless, it seems not to be broody regularly.
On the other hand, Bielefelder chickens still have good mothering skills. They can take care of your eggs and chicks well until they are able to be independent completely.
The Bielefelder chicken productivity
Is the Bielefelder chicken good for eggs?
- This chicken breed is considered as one of the good layers. They can start laying their eggs at a young age. Each year Bielefelder hens are able to lay an impressive number of eggs up to 230 eggs.
Their eggs have a stunning shade of brown which usually contains pink undertones. Most of them are medium-sized eggs with about 60g per egg.
For the bantam hens, their egg production is much lower with approximately 160 eggs per year and 49g weight per egg.
Bielefelder chickens have the ability to produce a lot of eggs even during the winter months. They do not go broody often but still take care of their eggs and chicks well.
Is the Bielefelder chicken good for meat?
Beside their good egg production, Bielefelder chickens would also give you meat with high quality. Their meat tastes very delicious compared to other chickens. With their large bodies, they are able to offer you a lot of meat which is suitable for many dishes.
The reason for the good quality of their meat is mainly because of their active and free lifestyles. They would like to walk around all day and eat mostly organic food. All of those things make their meat more nutritious and tasty.
Common issues of the Bielefelder chickens breed
This chicken breed is strongly resistant to the cold with a good immune system. However, it does not mean that they can not be sick or suffer from any severe disease.
Bielefelder chickens are very healthy and fertile. So there is a small number of healthy issues arising when you raise them.
Nevertheless, to assure their good condition, it is necessary to find a trustful source to buy those chickens. Once Bielefelder chickens come from any place where they do not give them appropriate care, this would lead to further health problems for your chickens.
This chicken breed has no complex requirements about their living environment. However, it is necessary for you to consider the following factors:
The maximum temperature for their survival is around – 15 degrees F. Bielefelder chickens are able to go through such cold weather without many difficulties. However, when the temperature falls below that number, it can cause many severe problems for them.
Besides, they are also resistant to high heat. Nevertheless, it ought to be within an acceptable range for chickens. So those chickens can still grow in a healthy way.
A clean and not too dry environment is a good choice for your Bielefelder chickens. This can protect them well from many potential diseases.
Benefits and drawbacks of raising the Bielefelder chicken
Benefits of raising the Bielefelder chicken
- One of the most gentle and friendly chicken breeds: In spite of their large bodies, they are still very calm and bonding well with humans. Unlike other chickens, you can remove their eggs from the nesting boxes without being perked by Bielefelder hens.
- Great egg production: A Bielefelder chicken can lay up to 230 eggs per year throughout the year. The cold weather condition can not have any negative impact on their egg output. Their eggs are large with a beautiful brown color on them.
- Delicious meat: You can benefit a lot from their meat. In addition to the large amount, it tastes so decent and impressive. And the level of nutrition value in their meat is also high due to their good lifestyles.
- High adaptability with the harsh living conditions: Bielefelder chickens are very hardy which can withstand different intensive weather conditions. Therefore, it is not too complicated for them to adapt to a new living environment.
- Easy to raise at home: Those chickens do not have complex requirements about their feed or living space. You can put their feed on the ground so that they can forage all day. Besides, a basic coop is good enough for this breed.
- Low-cost feed: Due to their favorite foraging activity, you do not have to pay much money in order to use a complicated feeding system or a huge amount of food each time.
Challenges or drawbacks of raising the Bielefelder chicken
- In spite of their cold resistance, Bielefelder chickens still require a good place to stay during the winter months. It is very harmful if you keep them outside in the cold season.
- High cost: Because they have many outstanding features, it is not too strange when their price is so high, especially in Germany. Therefore, it would cost you a lot to raise only some Bielefelder chickens in your backyard.
How to raise the Bielefelder chicken?
There are some recommendations for the suitable methods to raise Bielefelder chickens as follows:
Prepare a comfortable place for your chickens:
Although they are hardy chickens, you still have to have them a place to protect them from any sudden climate change. You should keep them indoors in the extremely cold season or have some shade on too sunny days. Besides, it is useful to prepare the coverage with a roof so that no predators can get inside easily.
Have spacious walking area:
Bielefelder chickens have active lifestyles and do not like being captured in a small space for a long time. You should raise them in a spacious garden where they can forage and walk around comfortably.
Feed them in the open air:
With free-rangers like Bielefelder chickens, you should have their food available in your garden with a large amount. Thus, your flock of chickens are able to get enough food throughout the day.
In case you want to raise a Bielefelder chick instead of their hens, a daily diet that contains 20% protein is ideal for their good development. Besides, it is necessary for you to prepare organic food for your chickens. The more organic their diet is, the higher quality of chickens you can get.
Keep the coop clean:
Once the coop becomes dirty, this can cause many serious diseases for your chickens. Therefore, you have to clean their coop regularly to assure their clean and healthy living environment. Besides, this can help you to have more eggs from Bielefelder chickens.
Some questions related to the Bielefelder chicken
Which foods are safe enough for your chicken feed?
A varied and balanced diet is essential to keep your chickens healthy all the time. To give them the most ideal feed, you should consider some options including:
- Various vegetables such as pumpkin, beets, cabbage, corns or peas
- Crushed egg shells, chalk, shell rock
- Oats, bran, grain
- Meat and fish-based meal
For 1.5 months old chicks, you should prepare boiled fish, chopped barley and wheat so that they are able to digest their food easily.
How to keep Bielefelder chickens healthy besides routine vaccination?
There are many additional methods to protect your chicken health even when they are fully vaccinated as belows:
- Add vitamin-rich and green food to their diet to improve their immune system
- Feed a suitable amount of food and clean water
- Prepare extra small rooms so as to quarantine all of the sick chickens from your flock.
- Use a canopy in their walking area to keep them away from any wild bird which might contain many dangerous viruses.
So, is the Bielefelder chicken right for you? In case you are looking for a large breed with many impressive features, the Bielefelder chicken breed is the best option for you.
Those chickens have stunning feathers with some unique patterns. It is also easy to distinguish male and female chickens based on their colors. Besides, Bielefelder chickens have both great adaptability along with highly potential egg and meat production.
Moreover, they are very calm and gentle to their owners. Therefore, you do not cope with many problems when raising them as pets in your home.
However, they still have some disadvantages. They require much more proper care during the cold season. And their purchasing price is so expensive for many amateur chicken keepers.
Hopefully, this article can sum up some necessary and key information which can be useful and contributes to your right decision.
Links to useful resources:
- Green Fire Farms, https://greenfirefarms.com/bielefelder.html
- Joseph Hudson, https://cs-tf.com/bielefelder-chicken/
- Garden, https://garden-en.desigusxpro.com/kury/porody/bilefelder.html