- Breed Purpose:
- Single. Often floppy. Not as big as in the most of the Mediterranean Breeds.
- Very often after the first laying season. At least two times annually after the first laying season.
- Climate Tolerance:
- All climates. Very heat tolerant and very cold hardy in the Greek towns and villages it was developed.
- Egg Productivity:
- Very good.
- Egg Size:
- Small. Medium. Their eggs were a bit elongated but normally oval shapped.
- Egg Color:
- Creme, off-white, tinted, white.
- Breed Temperament:
- Excellent forager, very noisy, alerted to sounds, shy, highly stressed, friendly to other breeds, flighty, independent, not aggressive, not competitive, prefers roosting in trees.
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Usually laced. Not a standard color, not capable of breeding true in color, like the serama and the swedish flower breeds. A small number of birds can be feather legged.
- Breed Size:
- Large fowl.
- APA/ABA Class:
- Mediterranean. Not recognized. Not standardized.
Our old greek friend, who lost its value and its crest due to Greek owners, who never took care and did a correct breeding to save the pure lines. Crossbreeding made it lose its ability to be an 100% pure line, inbreeding made the breed lose some of its vigors and the preference for commercial breeds and hybrids that were better money makers made it be very rare, uncommon and hard to find nowadays.
There are many strains of crested single-combed chickens developed in different parts of Greece.
The most important lines were developed in many different villages of Greece. All these heritage, true and authentic strains were CRESTED (houded, katsouliera, skoufata, skoufota, kapelata) in both sexes. Their crests were medium sized, almost having the same size of the Crested Swedish Flower, the Styrian and the Legbar and the Sulmtaler.
A very small number of old greek crested birds can be feather legged (just a bit) and a small number is said that can be naked necked (always crested of course), but it is a recessive gene.
The not inbred lines of these chickens have a resistance to the most common diseases of chickens.
Color of the earlobe, of the leg and of the egg's shell: After so many years of bad breeding we can not selectively breed for these characteristics. The true authentic Greek Crested many many years ago was laying white and off white eggs and had a white earlobe. Nowadays, we can only say that both red and white earlobe are accepted. Birds with a white earlobe will lay white and off-white eggs, while birds with red earlobe will lay creme, tinted and mid-brown eggs.
The JUMBO Version of crosses: Many professional poultry breeders in Greece make some interesting hybridization programs. They sell much larger and much more vigorous crossed offsprings or hatching eggs of a meat bird based on the Old Greek Crested, the "jumbo greek broiler" which maintains the excellent taste and quality of meat and is a much more prolific chicken and a better money maker. They cross stock of the Old Greek Crested chicken with stock of heritage chicken breeds that make excellent meat birds. Most of them use the cornish breed.
The black baby chicks in the photo are Jumbo Greek Broilers. Based on utility strains of black copper french marans and old greek crested. Both crested and feathered legged because of the marans blood inside them.
All the other chicks are pure (linebred) old greek crested. Some became white with some brown or black feathers, others light brown with some black lacings on their feathers. They all had wonderful crests.
The chicks were all a present (as hatching eggs) from a friend of mine.