La Fleche x Black Minorca?


10 Years
Jul 29, 2009
Fort Worth, Tx
Would crossing black La Fleche with Black minorca for diversity and breeding only the V combed birds back together be a good cross? I imagine I would need to do this over several generations of course to get back to a good bird. It seems la fleche are very difficult to find. Both birds have the large white earlobes, and both have glossy black feathers, I would need to breed back for the U shape of the la fleche as well. I am not all UTD on the SOP of the la fleche. Can anyone give me some pointers?
Before grading (crossbreeding) anything into your line, you should have a single goal & a very good reason to do so.

Black Minorcas have been graded in some La Fleche lines in the past to increase the size of La Fleche. It also messed up the combs. There is no other reason to grade in Minorcas except perhaps size. However, I would advise against it. It is not necessary for diversity. IMHO, if you are seeking to grade because of diversity in your La Fleche, use the Crevecoeur. I specifically sought La Fleche lines when I started that had nothing crossbred into them in the last 50+ years.

I don't understand what you mean by U-shape. Comb? The SOP says a V-Shaped comb is "A comb formed of two well defined hornlike sections joined at their base." La Fleche are the only SOP breed that have a "Rather large" V-shaped comb (for the male) and a "moderately large" for the female. All other breeds with V-shape combs are smaller.

By contrast and comparison, the Crevecoeur's comb is medium size (M) and small (F) and unlike the La Fleche which has no further description, the Crevecoeur description adds specificity, "like the letter V in shape" -- this is not in the La Fleche comb description which just says V-shape allowing you discretion to have the V-shape you like -- deferring to your tastes. (see my two different V-shape combs below.)

Size and weight are the most concerning issues with La Fleche. I toyed with the idea of grading (crossbreeding) but not for increasing diversity but for size. I decided against it and work with what I have. This has proved successful. Without crossbreeding, I have added more than a pound to my average La Fleche weight, both male and female. I have even had a couple of birds to make SOP weight. I use the Livestock Conservancy methods (Hogan) when selecting my birds for breeding. I also weigh each bird at different ages. We are actually using La Fleche for one of our two meat birds. I have eaten several heritage breeds and the La fleche is the best tasting chicken I have had.

I am writing an article for the SPPA (Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities) on La Fleche which I will address there what I have learned in breeding them. It will be in the SPPA's bulletin in the near future. There is also a La Fleche Breeders of America FB page. Good Luck to You!

Some of mine I have shown in 2016.

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