Vorwerk Chickens From Germany

BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Vorwerk chickens are a medium utility, or dual purpose, breed of chicken providing a viable source of meat and eggs for their keepers. They originated in Germany around 1900 and are named after the breeder, Oskar Vorwerk. Their coloring is buff and black with clean legs.

The breed carries the belted neck plumage of the Lakenvelder, one breed used in creating the Vorwerk. The main and most obvious difference between the two breeds is the Vorwerk has a dark golden or buff base color and the Lakenvelder has white. Often, in North America, The Vorwerk is called “Golden

Lakenvelder”, but purists insist these are two distinct breeds. The Buff Orpington, Buff Sussex, and Andalusian were also used to create the breed and by 1913 the Vorwerk was a recognized breed in Germany.

Today this is considered a rare breed, but its striking black and gold feathering is uniquely its own and has not been lost. Two independent strains of bantam exist: one from Europe and one from the US.



The Facts

Class: Heavy Dual-purpose

Size: Standard Male: 5.5 – 7.5 Ibs. / Standard Female: 4.5- 5.5 Ibs. / Bantam Male: 27 oz. / Bantam Female: 23 oz.

Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: Red wattles and a straight comb with white earlobes.

Color: The primary color of the Vorwerk is buff with a solid black tail, neck and head with slate shanks and grey down. Ideally there should be no black on feathers in the buff plumage, though this standard has been difficult to maintain.

Place of Origin: Germany

Conservation Status: Rare

Special Qualities: There are two bantam varieties. One created by an American coincidentally named Vorwerk. Wilmar Vorwerk of New Ulm, Minnesota became interested in the German standard breed in 1966. Unable to obtain Vorwerks in the US, he decided to create a bantam using Lakenvelders, Buff and Blue Wyandottes, and Columbian Rosecombs.

In Europe fanciers of this German breed independently created a bantam by selectively breeding down from the standard Vorwerk, the most common way to create a miniature. The bantam is also considered dual purpose.

Vorwerk chickens are considered hardy in cold climates with a good feed/production value. Terms like adaptable, active and alert have been used to describe them and they are considered a calm breed. The standard Vorwerk has neither attained widespread popularity, nor commercial use and is largely unseen outside the European continent.

The Standard German Vorwerk and the European Vorwerk Bantam were never admitted into the APA, though the US Bantam is recognized by APA and American Bantam Association.

Return From Vorwerk Chickens to Poultry Breed

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