LAST UPDATED AUGUST 5, 2022
Bielefelder chickens are autosexing, hefty dual purpose birds which begin to lay at six months. This breed lays an impressive 230-260 big beautiful brown eggs annually starting at 23 weeks old. The eggs start off small, and gain size as the hens reach full weight about a month after they begin to lay. Their eggs can be light brown with a pinkish hue to tan with big irregular speckles. Not only do they make an excellent choice for a homestead as a dual purpose active forager, they are know to be calm and gentle, therefore are a good choice for farms with small children.
Our hatchery is closed for Spring 2022. We traveled 2,968-miles in May to collect excellent stock from several states along East Coast, including our first ever bantams and quail. We have live mealworms for sale in the meantime.
Due to the increased demand for sexed female chicks locally over the years, I decided to research autosexing breeds over the winter since losing our flocks last fall. It was hard to let them go, and it was so strange to not have livestock to tend to over them winter months. Now that we have a few hens and are finally collecting eggs again things feel much more normal around here.
Bielefelder chicks are autosexing, which means the chicks hatch with obvious differences in coloration. The males have a pale yellow spot in their head with their color becoming lighter over time. The females have an adorable chipmunk stripe up their back.
This Bielefelder chicken breed was imported to the US in 2011. Then in 2013 and 2017, unrelated bloodlines of the Bielefelder chickens were imported. With such limited stock in the US we decided to start off on the right foot by getting our hands on as much genetic diversity as possible.
It took some serious digging, but we were able to come up with three lines from high quality NPIP stock without having to have any eggs or chicks shipped. Racing Feathers Farm in PA and Dolly Mountain Farm in NC are two of the breeders we purchased Bielefelder hatching eggs from this spring on our road trip. We recently purchased a trio of lovely laying young hens from a local woman who purchased them from Greenfire Farm in FL.
When we picked up the three mature girls at a homestead in Maine, I was surprised how hefty those girls are. They were so gentle and settled in great in our quarantine coop, where they will stay until our NPIP testing is done in five weeks. They even gifted us two eggs before the first day had even passed in their new home. I love the barring and wild-looking feathers. Their plumage reminds me a bit of a partridge.
Bielefelder dual purpose chicken roots:
The Bielefelder was concocted in the 1970s using Barred Rock, (possibly Cuckoo Marans), Maline, Rhode Island Red and New Hampshire chicken breeds. For a German breed, the Bielefelder has a lot of American heritage. The well-traveled heritage resulted in autosexing gentile giants, which boast huge roosters, some report up to 12 or more pounds.
Now, you might think that Bielefelder (bee-la-fel-der) might be difficult to pronounce and spell––but not if you knew their original breed name was Bund Deutscher Rassegeflügelzüchter. No, really. Go ahead and say that out loud, I dare you. Bonus points for saying it with a german accent. Somewhere along the way, someone decided to name it after the German town where it originated. Phew, hats-off the them.
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