The Black Shumen Chicken Breed

The breed known as the Black Shumen or Shumenska chicken originated in the Shumen region of Bulgaria. This is an old breed dating back to the early 20th century, possibly earlier. It reportedly was cross bred with the Rhode Island Red and Minorca some time mid 20th century, bearing a striking resemblance to the Minorca in current photos, but with red earlobes and smaller stature and weight.

Black Shumen, The Facts:

Class: Light, Layer, Fancy

Size: Standard Male: 4.4 Ibs. / Standard Female: 3.3 Ibs. / Bantam Male: oz. / Bantam Female: oz.

Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: Single exaggerated comb and wattles, Red lobes, hen combs often tip.

Color: Black only

Place of Origin: Bulgaria

Conservation Status: Rare

The breed survives in the hands of the Bulgarian Poultry Institute in Stara Zagora and the Bulgarian Poultry Breeders Association has a few members actively maintaining the Black Shumen in hopes of maintaining true blood lines of expected standards.

Contrasting jet black feathering, the skin is white, the hens lay a white egg weighing 50-52 g and approximately 150 – 160 per year.

There is neither report of a Bantam variety in existence nor one being worked on.

Return From Black Shumen to Poultry Breeds

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