As you may know, the Bielefelder chicken was methodically engineered in Germany by Gerd Roth relying heavily on American poultry breeds. It would seem a tribute to American standard bred large fowl or possibly a secondary attempt in the 1980's to create a coloured large growth chicken. The breeds used in creation of the Bielefelder consist of New Hampshires derived from strains of Rhode Island Reds, Amrocks, Wyandottes, and Belgian Malines (which we've had at the farm prior to their flight south across the border to the USA market) It’s amazing how far we've come as well. Did you know that when we first imported them it required subsequent imports to increase the odds of producing better breeders? We worked steady for their first 2 years in good numbers line breeding the best looking bird that we felt was worthy of the praise originally bestowed upon it by all of the farmer bloggers hawking it as the ultimate uber chicken.
Originally we found that there just wasn't the vigor needed for good stock. Trap nesting was required for a period of time to select the best and earliest layers since our original imports didn't lay eggs until almost 9 months of age. We were able to improve point of lay by almost 4.5 months in our stock after only 2 years. Then came the detective work as I methodically retraced Gerd Roth's steps. Since the Silvers were an original part of Gerd Roth's breeding of Bielefelders, you can carefully use them to increase genetic vigor in your flock. We have maintained the auto sexing feature and calm demeanor in both our Silver and Creole lines.
Our new lines have been selected from large breeding programs of the original breeds Mr. Roth used to create the birds you see today. With good partners and friends, we hope that by 2020 there will be enough of our stock in hands across the continent that it will allow for much better growth traits. I feel that it is possible to have a Bielefelder available in a 16 week point of lay and additional males growing fast enough for the dinner table by 12 weeks.
Industrial breeders choose to lock up their genetics in large multi-national corporations and protect their market by using hybrid breeds like the Caramel Queen, Black Star, and Isa Browns to keep you coming back. If you buy birds that don't breed true or to a standard you will not be able to accomplish a respectable breeding program. Much can be said for industry in the way we have become reliant on huge freezers packed full of frozen goods flown in from all over the world. Our goal is to have open source birds available to the hard working hobbyists and farmers. I'm not trying to impress you, I just hope you give us a try and let our birds that I've worked with over the years speak for themselves.
Thanks for dropping by. I'm Matthew Nelson, farmer of Grade Eh Farms. I post on where my love and passion for life intersect with family, farming, food, & chicken for the soul.
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Below are links to websites that gardeners and chicken owners may find helpful and interesting:
Unique chicken coop for a small backyard:
Best source for backyard henhouses in BC. Locally-crafted chicken coops made of repurposed BC cedar:
Useful information on raising healthy, happy free-range hens:
A portion of our ordering policy was stolen from Legbars of Broadway. Thanks Philip. :-)