BREED NAME: North Holland Blue
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: The North Holland Blue is a rare breed little known outside Holland and the UK as we embark on the 21st century. They are only Cuckoo patterned with similarities to Cuckoo Marans and share a common ancestor, the “Malines”.
In Holland the standard calls for clean legs, but in the UK the standard promoted is a feathered leg Holland Blue version. (Marans are traditionally feather legged, though this characteristic seems less favored in recent times.)
North Holland, The Facts:
Class: Heavy / Dual Purpose
Size: Standard Male: 8-9 Ibs. / Standard Female: 6.5 Ibs.
Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: Red, single comb, significant wattles, lobes and facial skin.
Color: Skin is white, body feathering black and white Cuckoo markings
Place of Origin: North Holland province
Conservation Status: Rare
Special Qualities: North Holland hens are good layers producing a lightly brown tinted egg. The breed is known to be calm and was originally developed as a laying breed near the end of the 1800’s.
Roosters tend to be lighter in color than hens, but color and markings have historically taken a back seat to production value in this breed.
Being large, fast growing and fast maturing made the North Holland popular before WWII. The war took its toll on Europe’s human and animal populations.
Many long -time, well established and popular breeds became threatened. A man named: Les Miles of Brigadier Hill, Enfield is credited with saving the North Holland by breeding and distributing birds and eggs. They were also preserved in Dorset, England, at Gillingham Rare Breeds hatchery.
If North Holland hens are bred to a non-barred rooster, chicks are visually sex-linked. All male chicks will have a white or yellow spot on the head.
This is a feature that they share with Cuckoo Marans and is a big plus when breeding and selling or raising chicks for meat and eggs.