Bionda Piemontese

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Bionda Piemontese
Conservation status Recovering
Other names
  • Bionda di Cuneo
  • Bionda di Villanova
  • Rossa delle Crivelle
  • Nostralina
Country of origin Italy
Use Dual-purpose breed
Traits
Weight
  • Male: 2.5–2.8 kg
  • Female: 2.0–2.3 kg
Skin color Yellow
Egg color Pinkish brown
Comb type Single
Classification

The Bionda Piemontese is a traditional dual-purpose breed of chicken originating in the Piemonte region of north-western Italy, from which it takes its name. It may also be called the Bionda di Cuneo, after the comune of Cuneo or the surrounding province; Bionda di Villanova, after the comune of Villanova d'Asti in the province of Asti; Rossa delle Crivelle, after a village near Buttigliera d'Asti; or Nostralina.

History[edit]

The Bionda Piemontese was once widely distributed in Piemonte. In the 1960s, industrialisation and intensive agriculture caused a decline in the breed, which is suitable only for free-range management. Recovery began in 1999 under the auspices of the Istituto Professionale per l'Agricoltura e l'Ambiente (professional institute for agriculture and the environment) of Verzuolo, in the province of Cuneo.[1] A breed standard was approved by the Federazione Italiana Associazioni Avicole, the federation of Italian poultry associations, in May 2007,[2] based in part on a description of the breed by Vittorino Vezzani in an article published in 1938.[3][4]

Breed numbers remain low. A study published in 2007 used a figure of approximately 1400 for the total breeding stock, of which approximately 400 were cocks.[5]

Characteristics[edit]

The Bionda Piemontese is buff, with either a black or a blue tail. It has yellow skin and legs; the ear-lobes vary from yellow to creamy white. The comb is single and large, with 4–6 points. Average weight is 2.5–2.8 kg (5.5–6.2 lb) for cocks, 2.0–2.3 kg (4.4–5.1 lb) for hens.

The eggs are pinkish brown and weigh 55–60 g.[6] Ring size is 18 mm for cocks, 16 mm for hens.[2]

Uses[edit]

The Bionda Piemontese is a dual-purpose breed. Hens lay 180–200 eggs per year.

The Bionda Piemontese grows fast. In meat production, birds may reach their final weight at about 16 weeks, or be slaughtered at about 10 weeks at a weight of 1.5 kg.

The Bionda Piemontese is used in the production of the Cappone di Morozzo, or capon of Morozzo, a traditional agricultural product raised under strict conditions in the comuni of Morozzo, Margarita, Castelletto Stura, Montanera, Sant'Albano Stura, Trinità, Magliano Alpi, Rocca de' Baldi, Mondovì, Villanova Mondovì, Pianfei, Beinette and Cuneo. Capons are slaughtered at no less than 220 days, and weigh 2–2.7 kg.[7] The combs and wattles removed during caponisation, at about 10 weeks, are an essential ingredient of the traditional Piedmontese dish la Finanziera.[6][8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gallina Bionda Piemontese e gallina Bianca di Saluzzo (in Italian) Presìdi italiani di Slow Food. Archived 22 March 2012. "Bionda Piemontese chicken and Bianca di Saluzzo chicken".
  2. ^ a b Bionda Piemontese – Standard di Razza (in Italian) Federazione Italiana Associazioni Avicole. Accessed January 2012. "The Bionda Piemontese – breed standard".
  3. ^ Vezzani, Vittorino; Giuseppe Franceschetti ([1938]) La selezione della gallina Piemontese Torino: Istituto zootecnico e caseario per il Piemonte.
  4. ^ Bionda Piemontese – Bozza di Standard (in Italian) Federazione Italiana Associazioni Avicole. Accessed January 2012. "The Bionda Piemontese – draft standard".
  5. ^ Spalona, A.; H. Ranvig, K. Cywa-Benko, A. Zanon, A. Sabbioni, I. Szalay, J. Benková, J. Baumgartner and T. Szwaczkowski (2007) Population size in conservation of local chicken breeds in chosen European countries – Populationsgrößen in Erhaltungszuchtprogrammen für einheimische Hühnerrassen in ausgewählten Ländern Europas Archiv für Geflügelkunde 71 (2). pp.49–55. Stuttgart: Eugen Ulmer. ISSN 0003-9098
  6. ^ a b Atlante delle razze di Polli - Razze italiane: Bionda Piemontese (in Italian) Accessed January 2012. "Atlas of chicken breeds - Italian breeds: Bionda Piemontese".
  7. ^ Cappone di Morozzo (in Italian) Consorzio per la Tutela e la Valorizzazione del Cappone di Morozzo e delle Produzioni Avicole Tradizionali. Accessed January 2012. "The capon of Morozzo"
  8. ^ La Gallina Bionda Piemontese (in Italian) Consorzio di tutela delle Razze Avicunicole Piemontesi. Accessed January 2012. "The Bionda Piemontese chicken".