La Fleche Chickens are an ancient breed and a good dual purpose bird. This French breed is also considered ornamental because of its unique comb and wattle.
La Fleche Chickens The Facts:
Class: Standard: Continental Bantam: All Other Combs, Clean Legged
Size: Standard Male: 8 Ibs. Standard Female: 6.5 Ibs. Bantam Male: 30 oz. Bantam Female: 26 oz.
Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: They have a large V-shaped comb that looks very similar to horns. They also have long, well- rounded wattles and large earlobes. The comb and wattles are bright red and the earlobes are white.
Color: The beak is black shading to horn at the tip and the eyes are reddish bay. The shanks and toes are dark leaden blue. The plumage is standard black.
Place of Origin: France
Conservation Status: Critical
Special Qualities: They are a good dual purpose breed.
This breed is playfully called the "devil breed" at times because of its shiny black plumage and unique V-shaped comb that gives off the appearance of horns.
It is believed to have been developed by crossing the Crevecoeur and a Mediterranean breed such as the White-Faced Black Spanish or the Minorca.
The breed is named after the village of the same name in Northern France. The breed is ancient and was first written about in 1580 by Prudens Choiselat, an economist of the period who mentioned them in his paper "a discourse on husbandry, no less profitable than delectable."
In this he described how farm wives could raise hens and make good profits for the farm.
These birds are known as good foragers and do well in free range situations. Also, they will adapt to confinement.
The breed is known to produce large breast meat portions and are known in France for this. They are active and slow to mature and usually rather standoffish from their handlers.
These guys are also good fliers, so fencing needs to be high to keep them contained. The hens lay a decent amount of of large white eggs and lay well in the winter months. They rarely go broody.
The breed was first recognized by the APA in 1874.