Eye catching, unusual, docile and large are just some of the words that could be used to describe the wonderful Faverolles fowl.
This is a French breed that has existed since the 19th century as a dual purpose bird, being both good laying and a great table fowl – but I would go one step further and describe them as a triple purpose breed for their wonderful unusual appearance would certainly be another reason why you would keep this breed.
Sadly, the standard-sized Faverolles fowl is in just a few hands here now and although they were never as popular as some of the other dual purpose breeds, certainly a few years ago there were more Faverolles keepers in the Province and a good display of them would be found at local shows.
In the 1980s and 1990s there was great competition among a number of Faverolles breeders, especially at the Ulster Poultry Federation Show where a wonderful award, ‘The Annett Perpetual Trophy’ was presented for the champion Faverolles.
On one occasion Chris Laird’s Salmon Faverolles female won the Show Champion award at Balmoral Show.
Over the past couple of decades, thankfully, the standard Salmon Faverolles have been well maintained by David Neill and his sons Matthew and Ryan from Portadown, who have enjoyed great show success here and at the big events in England – even winning best of breed award.
The breed definitely needs more support here, especially in the large standard bred version.
If you are interested in keeping this yesteryear breed of fowl why not contact David Neill via Facebook.
They are not the easiest breed to produce to the exact standard for showing as they have wonderful endearing features such as a beard, feathered legs and five toes, but it is worth the effort.
In the Salmon variety, which is the most popular, breeding birds to the required colour is hard work, as is hatching early enough in the year to produce a big enough bird for exhibition – but when all these breed requirements are mastered you have an eye-catching superb specimen.
Having kept the breed myself, I must say they are lovely docile birds that produce wonderful eggs and on one occasion an accidental cross with a Light Sussex produced massive table fowl.
David Neill kindly supplied photographs of his Salmon Faverolles fowl.