- Country of origin: Germany
- Primary uses: exhibition purposes
- Production: 140 – 180 per year
- Size: Medium
- Egg color: White
- Cock: 2 – 2.5 kg
- Hen: 1.5 – 2 kg
- Cock: 700 g
- Hen: 600 g
- Colors: White, Yellow, Silver Spangled, Chamois Spangle, Gold Spangle, Black, Blue, Partridge, and Cuckoo.
- Useful to know: rather friendly, docile, and active. They can be one of the perfect choices to make a mixed chicken flock since they are well paired up with other chickens.
Have you ever heard that chicken keepers raise chickens not for egg and meat purposes? Thus, what is their goal?
Actually, this issue is quite common and usual with chicken keepers who are interested in collecting and raising rare chicken breeds.
Today, we are going to learn about one of these rare chicken breeds named Thuringian that is primarily used for exhibition purposes.
History of the Thuringian Chicken Breed
The Thuringian chicken breed comes from Germany, specifically the Thuringian Forest region in the 1790s. In 1907, it was officially standardized and called with the name “Thuringian Barthuhner” chicken breed.
Initially, Thuringian chickens were dual-purpose chickens for egg and meat production, but they are more famous and mainly used for exhibition purposes nowadays.
This is mainly because they are a rare poultry breed. Therefore, you can usually behold Thuringian chickens at most shows of rare poultry breed conservation.
The appearance of Thuringian chickens
Thuringian chickens come in a variety of colors including White, Yellow, Silver Spangled, Chamois Spangle, Gold Spangle, Black, Blue, Partridge, and Cuckoo. In there, the common colors are Silver Spangled, Chamois Spangled, Gold Spangle, and Black.
Male Thuringian chickens have strong and full bodies.
Their breasts are broad and wide with well-developed bellies. Thuringian chicken roosters also have moderately wide and long backs tapering toward their tails.
Their tails are spread well as well as fluffy. Besides, they are slanted about 45 degrees from the horizontal.
Male Thuringian chickens have medium-size heads with single and upright combs. Male Thuringian chicken roosters’ combs are also not too big and have clearly serrated shapes with a light raspberry tint.
Thuringian chicken roosters’ earlobes are small and totally covered by their fluffy beards. Their wattles are also the same since they are very tiny and almost invisible due to their beards.
Thuringian roosters have full and long beards around their faces and cheeks. Their beards are not divided, which is different from several bearded chicken breeds with trilobed formation.
Male Thuringian chickens own moderately long and richly feathered necks. The amount of feathers is more extended backward.
Thuringian chicken roosters’ thighs are short and robust with full feathers. In addition, they have shanks with medium length and four well-spaced toes.
Female Thuringian chickens are quite similar to males apart from their especially full hackles at the back. Full hackles form the distinctive ruffle of Thuringian hens. This special characteristic becomes clearer with older Thuringian hens.
Another thing is that female Thuringian chickens have smaller combs than males.
The behavior of Thuringian chickens
Thuringian chickens are very active and good foragers, that is why they are usually the pioneers who explore new areas or unusual treats in their run.
Though Thuringian are more suitable with free-range because of their dynamic personality, they can also tolerate confinement well if space is not too narrow.
Besides, Thuringian chickens are generally friendly and can live with other chicken breeds in harmony if managed well. Therefore, if you intend to create a mixed chicken flock with Thuringian chickens, it would be a great idea.
Broodiness of Thuringian hens
Thuringian hens seldom go broody, however, they have good mother’s characteristics. To be more specific, once they are going broody, they beware of and shield their babies.
Thuringian Chicken Productivity
Is the Thuringian Chicken Good for Eggs?
Yes, but in the past. Like we said, Thuringian chickens used to be raised for egg and meat production, therefore they are definitely good for eggs.
Thuringian hens mature quite quickly and begin giving birth early, they will lay about a hundred and forty – a hundred and eighty eggs each year. Their eggs have white color and medium sizes.
Though their egg range is a smaller amount than different layer chicken breeds, it is a moderate amount of eggs. Moreover, Thuringian eggs are top quality with tasteful flavor, in order that they were an ideal twin purpose chicken breed.
However, since they used to become extinct and be recreated, Thuringian chickens are thought of as a rare chicken breed and mainly served for exhibition purposes.
Is the Thuringian Chicken Good for Meat?
The answer to this question is similar and has the same reason as the question “Is the Thuringian chicken good for eggs?”. Thuringian chickens were great for meat in the past since they were used as twin-purpose chickens.
Thuringian chickens have quite a heap of benefits that are appropriate for meat functions. For instance, they grow quickly in order that they take a brief time to achieve the quality weight to serve for meat functions.
In addition, even though they do not have massive sizes to give a rich amount of meat like other meat chicken breeds such as Jersey Giant, Cornish Cross, Buckey, etc, their meat is high in nutrients and tastes delicious.
However, currently, Thuringian chickens do not seem to be raised for this purpose thanks to their rarity.
Common problems with the Thuringian Chicken
Thuringian chickens do not seem to be illustrious for any specific sickness, so it might be fine if you have got some preventative strategies and correct solutions to keep them healthy.
Several popular health problems
Here are several popular health problems that chickens typically encounter and suffer:
Firstly, coccidiosis. This is an intestinal disease caused by some parasites like oocysts and microscopic eggs.
To be more precise, these parasites enter into chickens’ intestinal lining through contaminated droppings, stop them from taking in necessary nutrients and cause their death.
Since Thuringian chickens are active and excellent forages, they are highly possible to encounter disease sources and suffer coccidiosis. Coccidiosis disease is usually beholden in young chickens more than adult chickens.
Secondly, mites and lice. Being bitten by mites and lice is a common problem in chickens.
It sounds quite simple and seems like there is not any serious result, but if this problem lasts for a long time, chickens can die because they lost a lot of blood.
Last but not least, fowl cholera. This disease is caused by a parasite named Pasteurella through infected farming equipment, soil, or feces.
When chickens are infected, they will lose their appetite, get diarrhea, discharge at eyes, noses, mouths and die.
Older chickens are more susceptible to Cholera than young chickens and Cholera has more dangerous impacts on cocks than hens.
So, it is very crucial and necessary to have preventative methods as well as proper solutions to handle those health problems in order to keep your chicken flocks safe:
Keeping your chicken flocks safe.
Firstly, cleanliness. Keeping chicken living areas and other stuff related to them such as protective clothes or farming equipment clean is one of the best methods to impede parasite appearance and prevent chickens from diseases.
Also, you need to allow chickens to access clean and fresh food and water sources.
Secondly, vaccination. Vaccination is the best way to reduce the risk of infection since they provide chickens with essential substances to resist diseases.
Therefore, you should vaccinate your chicken flocks at the right time and sufficiently. Moreover, make sure to ask poultry vets for useful advice and check some basic information like expired dates or types of vaccination before vaccinating your chickens.
These things will help you to reach high efficiency and keep your chickens safe.
Finally, boosting immunity. Apart from chickens’ normal diets, it would be better to give them some supplements to enhance their immunity systems.
For example, you can feed them garlic, herbs, apple cider vinegar or yogurt, etc.
Environment demands of Thuringian chickens
Thuringian chickens do not require any complicated environmental demands, so they can grow well if provided wide, clean, fresh living spaces. You can refer to some basic requirements to build chicken’s coops:
To start with we need to give Thuringian chickens enough large spaces.
This is because wide spaces not only make Thuringian chickens more comfortable, active but also impede the parasite’s appearance and spread. Furthermore, overcrowded areas are the best environments for bacteria to thrive and transmit.
Next, Thuringian chickens’ coops should be well ventilated.
Thuringian chickens have a stronger tolerance for cold weather than hot weather, so it is necessary to keep their coop cool and open during hot months.
In addition, Thuringian coops need to be sufficiently equipped with furniture such as perches, flooring, etc.
To be more specific, Thuringian perches should be installed in high positions to avoid mites or lice at night as well as their flooring should be covered with dry materials like straw or wood shavings.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Raising Thuringian Chickens
Benefits of Raising the Thuringian Chicken
Raising Thuringian chickens can contribute to conserving this rare chicken breed.
Challenges or Drawbacks of Raising the Thuringian Chicken
The most concern of raising Thuringian chickens is the expensive cost.
Since Thuringian is a rare chicken breed, you have to spend extra money to own them. This is a big problem with people who have limited budgets.
Besides, it is also quite difficult to find and purchase Thuringian chickens because of their small number.
How to Raise the Thuringian Chicken?
Thuringian chickens’ dietary feed is the same as other chicken breeds without any special notices. Their diets include grains, protein, fiber, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Thuringian chickens can consume some types of grains like oat, barley, wheat or sorghum.
Their protein content can come from natural sources such as insects, bugs, worms, etc while scratching and looking for food around their living spaces.
However, it would be difficult for them to seek natural food in winter, so you need to provide them with protein supplements during cold months.
Besides, Thuringian chickens also need to eat chopped and boiled vegetables like potatoes, carrots, etc to balance their diets.
Since Thuringian chickens are not raised for egg purposes, they just need to consume a moderate calcium content. Chicken raisers can feed Thuringian chickens with oyster shells or eggshells to supplement their calcium demand.
Furthermore, they also need to give them some essential vitamins and minerals to ensure their healthy development.
Like we mentioned above, Thuringian chickens tolerate hot weather weaker than cold weather, therefore it is necessary to keep their living areas cool and well ventilated during hot months.
You just need to pay more attention to Thuringian baby chicks since they are weaker and more sensitive to heating problems.
To be more specific, Thuringian baby chicks require warmer living spaces during 6 first weeks and you need to watch their behavior and adjust the heat to meet their needs.
So, is Thuringian chicken right for you? If you are looking for a chicken breed that can bring egg and meat benefits, Thuringian chickens are not for you. However, if your main goal is not profit, the Thuringian chicken breed is worth a try.
Firstly, they please your eyes with colorful and gorgeous feathers.
Secondly, they can bring happiness and joy to you with their docility and bright personality.
Thirdly, they are a perfect choice to create a mixed chicken flock since they are generally friendly and can pair up with other chickens well.
Fourth, Thuringian chickens are quite robust and not known for any particular disease, so you can feel relief when raising them.
And most importantly, you can contribute to conserving this rare chicken breed if you are willing to afford a decent amount of money to buy and raise them.
So, if you would like to explore more interesting experiences, Thuringian chickens can be the choice that you should take into account.
Links to useful resources:
- “About Thuringian Chickens”, https://www.livestockoftheworld.com/chickens/Breeds.asp?ScreenWidth=838&speciesID=13&BreedlookupID=2979.
- “THÜRINGIAN”, https://www.rarepoultrysociety.com/thuringian.html.
- “Thüringian Chickens”, https://poultrykeeper.com/chicken-breeds/thuringian-chickens/.
- “Thüringian Chicken”, https://www.domesticforest.com/thuringian-chicken/.