Chicken Breed Focus - Erminette

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    The name Erminette is given to both a color and a breed in progress in the United States. The Erminette color is a very attractive white with, ideally, even black spotting, it is not a true breeding color, crossing two Erminette colored birds also giving white and black birds.

    Birds of this color, but various types and breeds (clean and feather legged, different combs, body style etc) were shown starting in the 1870s in the United States, first apparently by John H. Sutliffe of Bristol, Connecticut later followed by a number of other breeders. There was never a set type for the bird, but geneticist Mr F.B. Hutt and breeder Mr. Burr starting around the 1940’s studying the genetics of the Erminette pattern developed a line of single combed birds of Plymouth Rock body type, that eventually became the generally accepted type by default.

    The breed was considered extinct by the SPPA in the 1980’s, but as luck would have it, in the 1990’s Ron Nelson came across a flock in Wisconsin from which he obtained hatching eggs. He worked on improving the breed, but his untimely death lead to his flocks being dispersed and the remaining Erminette flock was crossed with other breeds. Glenn Drowns of Sand Hill Preservation Center eventually obtained some of these birds and, along with a number of other breeders is currently attempting to bring back the Erminette as a breed. Besides the original black spotted white birds, they are also working on a red spotted line, and blue spotted also exist.

    The Erminettes as obtained from Sand Hill, are fairly large birds of Rock type, some are featherlegged, the coloring is quite varied. The hens are good layers of 180 plus large light brown eggs a year. They are broody and will set. They are quite winter hardy and good foragers. They have nice temperaments and get along with other large breeds.

    BurrOakHill has written a wonderful account of the history and current status of the Erminette:


    Breed purpose: Eggs, Meat
    Comb Type: Usually single
    Broodiness: Average
    Climate Tolerance: Cold hardy.
    Weight: varies, generally a large sized bird
    Egg Productivity: Good, 180 plus a year
    Egg Size: Large
    Egg Color: Light Brown

    All pics by @Kelsie2290



    Few spot pullets
    Red cockerel

    BYC Breed Discussions:

    Do you own Erminettes? Are you an Erminette 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!
  2. guest21

    guest21 In the Brooder

    Oct 29, 2013


    Not sure if these guys are the same. I hatched them from eggs someone gave me
  3. silly4buttons

    silly4buttons Songster

    Jul 5, 2013
    Billerica Ma
    I love them so pretty
  4. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Very unusual and beautiful birds. Does the color breed true or is it simply Paint (heterozygous dominant white) as seen in other breeds?
  5. BPelton

    BPelton In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2016
    Cottageville, SC
    Evening my name is Becky and I breed a Erminette colored Ameraucana. They are project AMs but I truly love there color & personalitys. My first Erminette was a genetic flaw in my Ameraucana's. And I just said she was a Dalmatian Chicken. Her name was Peppermint. Since then I have specific breed for the Erm color pattern. I have been told by many people what I have done can not be done. But I am happy to tell you it can me done and I have a very small flock of these birds. I am very excited to say I have been invited to my very first Chicken Show ! ! I don't think I will win anything but I can't wait to see peoples faces light up when they see my BEAUTIFUL BABIES.
    I can not add any photos. So here is the address to my farm page.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  6. BurrOakHill

    BurrOakHill Chirping

    Nov 10, 2015

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