- Breed Purpose:
- Dual Purpose
- Climate Tolerance:
- All Climates
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly,Easily handled,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Black, although blue is also available in other countries.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
The Crevecoeur is a rare chicken breed originating in France, where it was kept as a dual purpose chicken, raised both for its white eggs and for meat. It is named after the town of Creèvecoeur in Normandy and is one of the oldest French chicken breeds. It may be the progenitor of the La Flèche, Houdan, and Faverolles breeds.
The Crèvecœur has uniformly black plumage, a V-shaped comb and a large crest. In the United States and the United Kingdom, where consumers prefer table birds with light colored legs, it is primarily bred for ornamental purposes and exhibition.
The Crèvecœur was added to the APA's Standard of Perfection in 1874.
For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/crevecoeur-thread.371947/
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Climate Tolerance: All Climates
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: White
Friendly,Easily handled,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Docile
Breed Colors / Varieties:
Black, although blue is also available in other countries.
These are very interesting birds and although not reputed as amazing layers, in my own experience, the hen lays a large white egg almost daily. They are very calm and friendly birds that bear confinement well. They are not good forgers and should have protection against wind & cold/wet conditions. They also do not handle excessive heat well.
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Recent User Reviews
Pros - Very pretty feathering (iridescent). Endearing. Friendly. Curious. Fair layers. Easily trained. Mellow, quiet, gentle rooster. Excellent fliers.
Cons - Crests may require maintenance and get dirty when free-ranged. May get bullied when placed with other breeds. Slow maturation rate (usually does not begin lay until 7-10 months). Escape artists.
I got some Crevecoeurs at a feed store. They where not kept in the greatest environment (overcrowded, quite a few sick chicks and all the chicks where really young). However, I fell in love at first sight... I ended up with one rooster, who was really sweet and gentle but also had good flock-keeping instincts. The females did not begin lay until ~9 months. However, all are really friendly and where easily trained (they come at my call). They lay white eggs that begin rather small but increase in size quite a bit (medium to large by the time the birds are 1 yr old). This breed (like the polish) is particularly good at acrobatic maneuvering. Combined with their natural curiosity, they are prone to roosting in trees and escaping. They bear confinement well (as long as they are not being bullied by other chickens). However, they are often energetic, fun to watch and love to explore/play free-range. I absolutely am taken by their crests and love watching them. They are a joy to own. To read more about the Crevecoeur breed and my experience with them, please visit my website, The Way of the Chicken: http://thewayofthechicken.com/index.php/2017/05/30/crevecoeur-chicken-breed/
The pullet above, named Elly, has cross beak (which you can read more about here: http://thewayofthechicken.com/index.php/2017/11/09/crossed-beak-chickens/). A crossed beak (also known as lateral beak deviation or scissor beak) is not highly common... but not rare. It is primarily noted in crested breeds, Easter Eggers and Amaraucanas.
Don't worry... the cat was gentle. She never even chased peeps.
"Crevecoeurs are my favorites!"
Pros - Good layers, amazing meat producers (short muscle fibers mean tender meat), cold-hardy, good foragers, easy to keep in smaller spaces.
Cons - Hard to find other breeders because they are rare.
For about 20 years, now, Crevecoeurs have been my favorite chickens.
I have had other chickens, including Ameraucanas, Delawares, Rocks, Nankins, Sultans, Houdans, Polish, Belgian d'Uccles, Booted Bantams, and Dominiques, to name a few of them.
The Crevecoeurs are the most easy-going of all. One year we had to lock all of them up together in a small shed because our barn was flooded. Twenty-eight of them, hens and roosters together, coexisted peacefully in a tight 6x6 foot space for almost three weeks until we got the roof fixed and the floor drained and dry. Their main complaint, voiced as the sun went down, was that the roosts weren't high enough. I have to say, in my experience they want to roost higher than most other chickens I have raised.
The roosters seem to still have all their courting instincts intact even as cockerels, unlike the Ameraucanas. I have put other chickens in with them, mostly Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers, and the roosters maintain order and prevent fighting among the hens, and call everyone for food and fresh straw in the nest boxes. You don't ever hear much squabbling in the Crevecoeur pens.
Crevecoeurs are non-setters, so I have used a combination of broodies (mostly Nankins) and incubators to maintain my flock over the years. My original Crevecoeurs were from Murray McMurray. More recently I have picked up a flock, which I am maintaining separately, of Crevecoeurs from Jeannette Beranger of the Livestock Conservancy. (I always try to maintain two separate flocks of the same breed, for breeding purposes.) Jeannette's Crevecoeurs are better layers than my original Murray McMurray flock. Over the years I selected my original flock for size and for meeting the APA standard, and I continue to show them in local fairs for the judge's opinions. Crevecoeurs stay good-looking and healthy longer than most of my other chicken breeds. At the Missouri State Poultry Association Show in 2015, I showed a Crevecoeur hen who took first place, Best of Breed, and best Continental, despite being 10 years old. Usually, I stop showing most of my chickens around 4-5 years old.
The Crevecoeur hens continue laying longer than most breeds and at a decent rate into their seventh and eighth year, then they age gracefully from egg producers into backyard pets.
(Addition in October 2018: The oldest Crevecoeur rooster I have right now is 14-1/2 years old, and the oldest hen will be 16 in February. And both sexes continue to eat bugs and weeds into their old age, giving you that chicken manure which, when composted, is the gold standard of compost for gardening.
I know I said they only come in black, but that's in the APA standard. France and England both accept white and blue in their standards. The white Crevecoeur was derived from a white sport, which has some smoky or sooty feathers. Jeannette Beranger gave me a white Crevecoeur sport, which you can see on her Facebook page for her Crevecoeur project. I have included photos of her foraging, and with her rooster, who is all black. I have hatched a lot of her eggs, and so far they were all blacks. Now, hatching some of the grandchildren, hoping to find another white sport, preferably a boy, but I will take what I get!)
Crevecoeurs are not heavy eaters, and they don't get fat even if they have more food available to them, unlike my Rocks and Delawares. They like to forage and I think their crests allow them to focus on the food search on the ground. Like most good foragers, they can be quite destructive in the garden; they are best used for plowing rather than for insect control. If they have nearby cover they are quite good at keeping out of the way of the flying predators, but I have lost a few to foxes and raccoons, the same as my other flock birds.
I keep the Crevecoeurs in outdoor cages, all year round. They have cover from the rain and snow, shade in the summer, and some wind protection in the winter. I make sure they have water to drink twice a day. The Crevecoeurs are hardy, and it's not unusual to see them out in the snow or rain, digging around. In subfreezing weather they occasionally develop icicles on their beards from dipping into their water; I do thaw out their beards sometimes, more for my comfort than theirs. I have now included a photo in my gallery, so you can see what this icing looks like. You will usually notice this because the Crevecoeur keeps flipping his/her head to see past the icicles!
Overall, if you are looking for a backyard laying hen or for eating, Crevecoeurs are great birds. Because they are rare, Crevecoeurs show well for kids in 4-H and junior shows. Crevecoeurs are hard-feathered birds, and can be easily washed and groomed for shows. Crevecoeurs in this country mostly come in the one color, black, but they always manage to make it look good!
"I love my male. He's looking for a hen if you..."
Pros - Great foreger, great personality, sweet, great with hens, loyal to his girls, great fighter! Docile, handome, sleek, doesn't eat much.
Cons - Doesn't like to be held, looks like a greasy teenager in need of a shower when wet. that's all I got. I love my male, named him Bob Marley
Hi guys, I'm looking for a female for my boy. I want this breed to populate again, and so I'm trying to find him a lady. if you have crevecour hatching eggs please hit me up.
Bob is amazing to his girls. He gets along great with my other rooster and they work in great harmony against predetors. Bob is quite the scraper when his girls are in trouble, while my Araucana leads the girls away from danger.
Bob's got spurs that could kill a cougar. His afro impairs his vision a little so he runs sideways most of the time. He's an amazing bird, but I wish he'd let me pick him up sometimes.
when I first got him years ago (photo included) he was malnourished, infested with mites and had anemia very badly and had lost his tale due to feather eating, his feet were turning inward due to a lack of vitamins. He recovered beautifully after several months. I'll try to find a new photo for an updated picture.