My life has sure become more interesting since encountering the Lakenvelder chicken. Let me tell you these ladies are a handful! If you are new to the breed read on to find out more about the Lakenvelder. As a bonus you will get to meet my very own Lakenvelder, Stalker.
The Lakenvelder Chicken History
The Lakenvelder was first recorded in 1727. This domestic chicken is from the Nordrhein-Westfalen area of Germany and neighboring areas of the Netherlands. The Lakenvelder is mainly for egg purposes though there are some that are show birds. They are small birds weighing only 4 to 5 pounds. Their light body makes them very athletic and flighty. In my experience the Lakenvelder is the hardest bird to contain. It is recommended to clip their wings if you are going to insist they stay in an open fenced area.
The Lakenvelder despite their flighty attitude does fine with confinement and are heat tolerant. They are not best suited for very cold climates as they are not cold hardy. These birds are great foragers. Their temperament is a bit wary, quicky, and at times quite witty. The Lakenvelder is not ideal for small children due to their weary nature. If you want a pet Lakenvelder you must start training it to human interaction at a very young age.
The Lakenvelder Chicken & Eggs
Since the main purpose of Lakenvelder are eggs you can expect a pretty good windfall for breakfast. Hens start to lay eggs around 22 weeks old. Eggs are cream to porcelain white. You can expect a range of 130-170 eggs per year. The Lakenvelder lays consistently throughout the year but egg production usually slows in the colder winter months.
If you want to hatch baby chicks the Lakenvelder is probably not your best choice of bird. They are not broody and lack good mothering skills. If you are going to breed the Lakenvelder you may require a broody hen of another breed or incubator.
Meet My Odd Ball Lakenvelder, Stalker
I have just explained how MOST Lakenvelder’s are. My Lakenvelder fits some of these traits well and others not so much. She is very flighty and is actually becoming bit of a problem here on the farm. Since she has figured out how to get in and out of my poultry netting she is training my other birds how she does it. Stalker pretty much comes and goes as she pleases. She defiantly likes exploring but also likes her human.
So How Did She Come to be Named Stalker?
Stalker came by her name because of her insistent habit of greeting me on my porch steps each morning. She waits for me to open the door and as soon as I exit the house she flies to my shoulder to hop into my container of scratch. This started out when she was just a small chick but continues still today. Lesson in this, don’t let a baby chick do anything you do not plan to let a grown hen do. I don’t really mind except outside the fence she is more open to predators and some days she is really rough with her now much longer claws.
Hint: If you start this habit do not expect to feed and then be clean. Rain and snow often leaves me with muddy chicken claw prints on my jacket. I noticed just this morning my headset also now has those same tiny prints. I am always covered in corn dust. You can also expect some accidental scratches from unbalanced birds sliding to the ground. I have a new battle scar on my hand and wrist today. I also think in another life my chickens were hairdressers. They love destroying a fresh ponytail or braids. Yes those results are often painful an quite unexpected.
The Lakenvelder Chicken in Closing…
So there you have it. A quick run down of the Lakenvelder. I honestly think quite highly of my little Stalker. She is one of the most friendly birds in my flock, despite nature saying she shouldn’t be. I think maybe her friends and tribe are Polish, the Polish are almost their polar opposites and very loving.
She is the only Lakenvelder that I currently have. Her little squawk is very distinguished and makes me laugh every time I hear her. She sounds like a dog chew toy! Really bad that while she is roaming on her own my big part Great Pyrenees and Commodore is often only a few feet away. She has only wandered into his field once and thank goodness he was off doing his dog duty job while she was visiting. Would he hurt her, I don’t know. I would like to think not but don’t want to test it to find out. He was with chickens as a tiny pup but has not been with them since.
Reader’s Time to Share
Do you have Lakenvelder experience or is it a breed you would like to have? Tell me why or why not in the comments below. Share any helpful tips or advice if you have experience with them please. Remember sharing our knowledge is just one way we can help others learn and grow.
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