Chicken Breed Focus - Chantecler

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    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.

    It was recognized by the APA in 1921 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Critical list.

    Details:

    Breed purpose: Duel Purpose, Meat Bird.
    Comb Type: Small Cushion comb
    Broodiness: Frequent, good mothers.
    Climate Tolerance: Good, very cold hardy.
    Weight: Rooster 8.5 lbs, Hen 6.5 lbs.
    Egg Productivity: Fair-Good, very good winter layer.
    Egg Size: Large
    Egg Color: Brown


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    BYC Breed reviews:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/chantecler

    General breed discussions & FAQ thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/243277/chantecler-thread/0_20

    Do you own Chanteclers? Are you a Chantecler breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

    · What made you decide to get this breed?
    · Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
    · What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
    · Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    I guess these would not do well in our hot, humid weather but I've always admired their looks and winter-laying ability. Hope members with them share some pictures and experiences with these.
     
  3. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Overrun With Chickens

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    "Details:

    Breed purpose: Duel Purpose, Meat Bird."

    That would be duAl Purpose, we don't want our chickens to fight [​IMG]

    I had 2 Partridge Chanteclers from Ideal, hatched June 2012. They were pretty birds and fairly calm, not aggressive in the flock. They laid the low end of USDA Medium ... occasionally, and went broody several times a year. Only 1 was a winter layer after their first winter as laying pullets.

    One died of unknown causes March 2014 after she started laying again mid February. Fine at 8 AM, dead, warm and still pliable at 11. I couldn't find any external issues nor anything internal by palpitation.

    The other was a laying machine when she wasn't broody. Averaging 3.3 eggs a week through her laying life, she just about matched my Black Australorp and EE that have never gone broody. Sadly she was a better forager than lookout and was taken by a fox in April 2015.

    I would give these birds a thumbs up, but with the caveat that at least the ones I got didn't lay anywhere near a USDA Large egg and their broodiness would be a positive only if you are breeding them. They spent a fair bit of time in the broody buster, I have no roosters and sitting for weeks in an empty nest is not healthy for a hen.

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    Last edited: Jan 29, 2016
    2 people like this.
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately this breed was a huge disappointment for us. My husband wanted to start a flock of them. We have other breeds and mixed breeds. Winter hardy they were. Heat tolerant they weren't. I would label them meat birds more than layers. They were heavy birds. They laid at best medium sized mostly round eggs. They weren't the best layers and as for winter laying, even their first winter they skipped long periods. Only my marans were poorer layers. As youngsters they were somewhat aggressive to the other young birds they were raised with. When combining young ones. they were more aggressive than the other breeds. Thankfully this was curtailed when I quickly added them to the adult birds and they settled down. We lost them for all kinds of reasons, while the other birds/breeds had no problems.
    For us this breed was a bust, but every now and then I'm tempted to add one or two to a hatchery order to see if hatchery chanteclers are more successful.
     
  5. duluthralphie

    duluthralphie Chicken Wrangler Premium Member

    I have Partridge Chanticlers.
    I call them PC for short.

    I love the PC's, I just got the hens so I really cannot tell you much about them. They seem docile enough. I have them mixed in with my flock at the moment and do not know which egg or if they are laying eggs. I am guessing they are considering I got 19 eggs for 19 hens yesterday.


    I got them from a fellow BYC'er from Minnesota. He had an extra EE rooster with Blue egg gene and I needed one. He told me he was going to give me a PC rooster too. I have to admit I was not that excited. That rooster has changed my mind! I love the PC!

    We have a terrible time with frozen combs up here. Not a problem with the cushion comb. He is a large bird. I am thinking of using him over my Dixie rainbows for a larger dual Purpose chicken. I am also going to use him on a couple EE hens as I have almost all blue eggs in my EE's. I hope to get an olive eggs. But I am getting off course..



    The PC rooster is now my head rooster. He was very slow integrating into the coop. He was never a pushy rooster and is not yet. BUT he does not allow any monkey business in his coop. He is the perfect gentleman. When treats are found or thrown to them he never eats them. He calls the hens over to eat. I have joked many times he is going to starve to death as I never see him eat.

    He is respectful of people, he does not attack the dogs, he watches them but he watches everything. He does not roost high, he roosts low and near the chicken door to the enclosed covered pen. I like a rooster that sleeps by the door instead of up high, to me it indicates he is doing his job. When I put them to bed at night he will let me pet him, but he allows lets me know he is above being touched by a human. ( a little grumble).


    I was offered a chance to get two hen from the same BYC'er this winter. I jumped on it. I really like him and if the hens are half as good as he is, I will be more than happy. I am hoping to spread his young all around the state. We have many on the surviving Minnesota thread that want PC's because of what the guy I got them from says about them. The guy I got them from says he has a larger better rooster than he gave me. That must be a super rooster because Ed (my rooster) is no slouch!

    The EE I originally wanted I gave away, he did not work out. The "junk" rooster I did not want has changed my view of birds and the PC completely! I will try to find some pictures of them.


    BTW I give them 5 thumbs up.


    Here he is hanging out in front of the coop his normal spot.

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    Below is him this fall in molt, he lost some royal looks then!
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    Below he is just watching during Chicken TV time. He points out treats to the girls. When I rotor till he follows me and points out grubs to the girls.
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    The picture is not very good below. but I had some new chicks and poults I had just moved from my brooder to FR and tractor living. This was the chicks first day out. He actually sat with the chicks, protected then and let them crawl all over him. You would have thought he was a broody hen. This is normal for him. You see no hens there, just him baby sitting!

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    The next two picture are what he looked like the day I got him. and he did his quarantine time.
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    Ed and Ole on day of arrival here. I was so happy with Ole when I should have been happy for Ed.

    As far as the originating place of my "flock" I have no idea, the fellow BYC'er keeps tight lips on that. I do know they are not hatchery stock.


    Below are my girls during their quarantine time. They are as pretty as a bird can be! Perfect 10s! They have now joined my FR flock,

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    Last edited: Jan 28, 2016
    2 people like this.
  6. iamfivewire

    iamfivewire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 person likes this.
  7. iamfivewire

    iamfivewire Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. ejb3810

    ejb3810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have all three color varieties of Chantecler, White, Partridge and Buff. They are all calm in temperament and good productive layers of large eggs. I would recommend them to all and especially to those who live in an area with harsh winter conditions.
     
  9. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious, for those who say their chanteclers were good layers of large eggs, were these hatchery birds? Supposedly hatchery birds lay more than birds gotten from breeders,
     
  10. ejb3810

    ejb3810 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Buffs originated from Sandhill Preservation, but the whites and Partridge came from breeders. I see that some have only gotten a medium egg, but mine have produced large eggs. My birds are fed free choice egg maker pellets and are free range when there is not substantial snow cover. I do not attempt to promote winter lay with additional light.
     

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