- Breed Purpose:
- Dual Purpose
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Light Brown
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly and Docile
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- White and Partridge, Buff Widely Bred but not Recognized
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl and Bantam
- APA/ABA Class:
- Buy URL:
- http://www.chanteclerfanciersinternational.org/ (Look for Breeders Directory)
The Chantecler is a dual purpose Canadian breed that was developed starting around 1908 by Brother Wilfred Chatelain, in the agricultural school associated with, Cistercian Abbey in Oka, Quebec. He set out to create a tough and hardy breed that was well suited to the harsh Canadian winters, as well as being a good layer and good meat bird. The breed was introduced to the public in 1918, and became a useful breed for very cold climates. The Chantecler is notable for having a very small cushion comb and almost no wattles, making it very resistant to frostbite. Its temperament is generally calm and quiet, though young birds can be flighty. They are generally very good foragers. The hens are excellent winter layers of large brown eggs, do go broody fairly often and make good mothers. They are considered an excellent table bird.
The Chantecler is one of only two chicken breeds developed in Canada. The name Chantecler was created from the combination of the French ‘chanter,’ “to sing,” and ‘clair,’ “bright”. The original Chantecler developed by Brother Chatelain was a White bird, later Dr. J. E. Wilkinson of Alberta, Canada developed the Partridge color for a bird more suitable for keeping free range. Buff and Red among other colors have also been developed. Breeds were used in the creation of the Chantecler, including Dark Cornish, Cochins, Leghorns, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Wyandottes.
Commercial breeds replaced the Chantecler over time, and by 1979 the Chantecler was no longer found in the university or commercial hatcheries and in danger of extinction. A number of small flocks persisted, and it has regained popularity in the last ten years or so, and can again be found available in a number of commercial hatcheries.
The White variety was created by brother Wilfrid, a Trappist monk, at the Oka Agricultural Institute in the Province of Quebec. It was first presented to the public in 1918 after 10 years of effort and refinement, but it was not admitted to the Standard until 1921. Four crosses were used in the production of this variety: a Dark Cornish male over a White Leghorn female and a Rhode Island Red male over a White Wyandotte female. The next season, the pullets from the first class were mated with a cockerel from the second class. Select pullets from their offspring were bred to a White Plymouth Rock male and the subsequent breedings produced the fowl as it is today.
The Partridge variety originated in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Four breeds were used in the production of this variety: Partridge Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin, Dark Cornish, and Rose Comb Brown Leghorn. Some claim Dr. Wilkinson also used Orloffs to create this new bird. It was originally named the Albertan but upon presentation to the APA for recognition they deemed it so close in character to the existing White Chantecler they classified it as another variety of Chantecler.
The Buff variety is a commonly bred and quite spectacular bird that unfortunately has not been recognized as of yet. There are many dedicated people working on it, however, so I expect we will see it in some future edition of the Standard of Perfection.
It was recognized by the APA in 1921 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Critical list.
For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-chantecler.1076088/
- Average User Rating:
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Climate Tolerance: Cold
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: Light Brown
Friendly, bears confinement well, noisy
Breed Colors / Varieties:
White and Partridge, Buff not recognized
In my experience Chanteclers are a great bird. They lay a medium sized egg that is a light brown to pinkish in colour. They are good layers, they give an egg almost every day, and only take a break once in a while. They are great birds for places with cold weather, because their combs and wattles are small enough that they don't get frostbite. They're also nice and plump and have firm feathering to keep the cold breezes out. They probably would not do well in places with high temperatures at a constant rate. They will go broody (some birds more than others) and they are great mothers that can cover a large amount of eggs. I would highly recommend Chanteclers to anyone.
White Rooster (Photo credit @Folly's place )
Partridge Rooster (Photo credit @duluthralphie )
Buff Pullets (Photo credit @nissalovescats )
White Hen (Photo credit @Folly's place )
Recent User Reviews
"Wonderful cold weather bird"
I've owned a whole gamut of breeds over the years, but Chanteclers are easily the best of all of them. They're very cold hardy and have small combs and wattles, so I don't have to deal with winter trimming every year. They have nice large frames that makes processing old hens and extra cockerels worthwhile, and those same large frames give extra room for egg production. They're docile, yet range wary and certainly not dumb birds. If you live up north, please give these birds a shot.
Pros - Good layers, Have Great temperments, Roosters are super frendily, Can handle the worst bilzzard no problem!
Cons - Roosters can get a little agressive with each other, Can't think of anything else
Got some white ones, and I was love at first sight, Great brids, I have 2 that raised 3 white ones together!
They are good, I just got myself some of the buff, and I'm not dissipointed!
Just fantastic brids, double thumbs up!
"A great breed"
Pros - friendly and calm, beautiful, cold hardy
Cons - none so far
I see a lot of people are saying that Chanteclers are flightily. That has not been my experience at all! They are the most friendly and curious of all my breeds. When I'm in the run there is usually at least one tapping at my leg wanting treats or picked up. Yes they like to be picked up and just being near you. They are also good foragers and are brave. Very smart. They do have a bit of an attitude like they just know they are special. They make unique noises, not loud just chatting. They are not bullies but will stand up for themselves. My rooster is very much the gentleman and sweet natured he has never shown any aggression at all, a bit shy in fact. He doesn't crow much and when he does its a bit different than your average, less obnoxious. The
hens are quite a bit heavier than my other heritage breeds. They would be a very good dual purpose bird if thats what you are looking for. When I chose to get them my reasons were primarily that they would do well in a cold climate and I also have to say that they have done just as good or better on hot days compared to my others. If I could have only one breed they would be it. In the pic my roo is 4 1/2 months old.