- Breed Purpose:
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly, Easily handled, Bears confinement well, Quiet
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Color for this breed is pure White, outside the US other colors like Blue are being developed.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
- APA/ABA Class:
- Other Standard Breeds
Sultans are an easy to identify breed. With their usually pure white feathering, their full crest, beard, muffs, V-shaped comb, large nostrils, low wing carriage, vulture hocks, profusely feathered shanks and toes, and five toes on each foot, they have more distinguishing features than any other breed.
Sultans are an old breed that originated in southeastern Europe and were bred in Turkey, where they were known as the Serai Taook/Tavuk (Sultan’s Palace Fowl), legend having it that they were primarily used as ornamental fowl in the Sultan’s gardens. It is not known what breeds went into their makeup originally, but Polish chickens were used by early breeders in the UK and US to improve the breed. They were first imported into England from Istanbul in 1854, and into the US in 1867and today they are a rather popular show bird and ornamental bird. The APA recognizes solid White, by far the most popular color, they are also occasionally found in Black and Blue.
Sultans tend to be active very friendly gentle birds and are said to be very talkative. They do well in confinement and many breeders raise them indoors. They are popular in urban gardens since they do little damage to the grass. Their mild temperament means they can be bullied by more aggressive breeds and do best in flocks with similar temperaments. They are fairly temperature tolerant but because of all their extra feathering they do not do well in wet or muddy weather and do not do well free ranging. The hens are fair layers of small/medium white eggs, they usually are non-sitters.
It was recognized by the APA in 1874.
It 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-sultan.1015131/