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The Fayoumi Chicken

History

The Fayoumi chicken is a truly ancient breed and has been raised along the River Nile in Egypt for centuries. They were bred for egg production and are incredibly resistant to disease giving them the reputation of being virtually indestructible by bacteria or virus. They are fairly small chickens with tails held high and large dark eyes. They have a single medium comb, red earlobes and slate blue legs. The male has silver neck and saddle hackles with silver and black barring all over the body and a green black tail in the more common silver pencilled variety. Females also have silver neck feathering and a very darkly barred tail. The plumage is similar to that of the Campine.

Behaviour

Fayoumis do not like being handled at all and will become very vocal when picked up. They can be tamed to a degree with treats but will never be fully tame. They are lively birds and are very flighty so care needs to be taken with boundary fencing as they love to roost in trees. They are happiest free ranging because they are excellent foragers. Their foraging skills are so well honed that they need very little feed to survive so are a very economical breed. They are very hardy birds and although bossy, they are not particularly aggressive and males are tolerant of each other. The hens rarely go broody so incubation is required for egg hatching. The chicks are born red brown and are fast to mature. Cocks actually start crowing at 6 weeks of age while the hens will come into lay at 16 weeks. Cocks weigh 4lbs and hens 3lbs.

Varieties

Gold and silver pencilled.

Status

Rare

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