La Fleche - devil chicken from France

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by splady, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. splady

    splady In the Brooder

    Aug 3, 2011
    We have a La Fleche hen - our first to hatch from an incubator. She's beautiful, and because she was an only chick, I kept her with me far more than I should have - so she was very definitely a house chicken until at 2 months old she became the foster mum to 8 more incubator babies.

    Anyway, so we were in France - driving back from the UK (where we're from) to the Czech Republic (where we live) and stopped in to see the town La Fleche in the Loire valley - from where the breed originates -

    went into the tourist information place and they had t-shirts, tea towels, aprons all decorated with La Fleche chickens, but when we asked if we could go visit a farm to see a flock they said nobody had them any more!!!

    Such a shame as I'd have loved to pick up some hatching eggs.

    I think maybe we were their first chicken tourists.

    From their tourist website:
    "La Flèche black fowl’s reputation comes from the excellence of its meat. This fowl is a very old French breed known to have existed since the XV century. The colour, including that of the legs and feet, is always black.
    Its origins can be traced to the towns of La Flèche and Malicorne in the Sarthe departement. The meat of this fowl is so exquisite that is was formerly renowed in all the Angevine city.

    Besides, in 1831 a prodigious quantity of fowl is sold on the market of La Flèche under the name of Le Mans fowl.
    This breed was about to disappear and has yet recovered its former luster. You can find again the “La Flèche” black fowl in traditional farms and sometimes on markets."
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    It's too bad they're gone from their ancestral home. Maybe the town will bring them back; now that they know about "chicken tourists".

    Imp- beautiful birds
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I've hatched 5 chicks....they're about 11 weeks old. Mine have a fair few white feathers, but I'm told they may moult these out to become totally black....otherwise not great examples, but still fine by me.

    Whatever, I have really warmed to this breed which I was warned could be flighty, unfriendly and liable to fly over 6 feet fences never to be seen again. Well, they're not. Energetic, yes. like they are permanently on speed. Raised on an incubator and in the house, they have taken to free ranging like troupers. They come when called for food and treats and make their way without any fuss back into their coop in the evening. As for the 6 feet high fences, I don't have any. Mine are no higher than 3 feet and are wire fences which they can go through at will. They DO fly very well and like trees , but I have no problem with them doing that in the day.The appearance is 'unusual' even at this early age, particularly the one who is definitely a male.As for the 'exquisite flesh', I'll never know as I am a vegetarian of many years standing.

    But I can, so far, recommend them. Oh and they make an odd sound like the startle call of a blackbird or water different from other chickens!

    Here are a few of them.


    Last edited: Sep 4, 2011
  4. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Crowing

    Jun 22, 2009
    Barrington, NH
    Thank you so much for taking the time to post this. It is sad to read that they are said to be gone. In the States, they are exceedingly rare. They are, though, delicious eating. They are certainly in need of a champion.

  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Yes, it is a great tragedy, there's quite a few breeds out there, La Fleche especially, they are just too rare, and sadly they aren't getting any better. In the US there's only TWO people I've heard of with La Fleche that are not from a hatchery, and both people shared the same stock/bloodlines.

    I'd get a hold of this breed if I weren't so confined at the moment to my small poultry population limit.
  6. AuroraSprings

    AuroraSprings Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    I might be interested in these birds. How big are their eggs? And can someone PM me the contact info of the two breeders? Does Sandhill Pres. have them from a different bloodline?
  7. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Sandhill is kinda hatchery-esque, but still a good choice. Their lines are different, but again, not top notch.
  8. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    I'd fully encourage you folk in the States to bring this breed back into the arena.

    I'm told that they reach a fairly good 'large fowl' size cocks about 8 lbs and hens 6.5. Though mine are not yet to the laying stage, the eggs I incubated were off white and good big eggs.

    Their growth rate has been excellent and they are eat a great deal of forage.

    They DO have a 'flighty' reputation, but I haven't found any problem with them at all, and they certainly don't seem to be aggressive.(My chicks were hatched with a cockerel Naked Neck and there is very little 'scrapping' amongst the chicks going on).

    So....good luck to you guys in bringing back this lovely breed from the edge of extinction in the States. They are VERY uncommon in Britain as well, maybe it's the horns and 'snout'!
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  9. OSUman


    Apr 17, 2009
    Central Illinois
    Theres a guy in Indiana with bantam Le Fleche, black and white.
  10. mjgigax

    mjgigax Crowing

    Jul 15, 2010
    Choctaw, OK
    I know a breeder in Texas that has 2 separate lines. He has gone as far as Maine to get birds. I don't think he "BYCs".

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