La Flèche chicken

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La Flèche
La-fleche M SDA2013.JPG
Other names French: Poule de La Flèche
Standard France (in French)
Use dual-purpose
Traits
Weight
  • Male: Standard: 3.5–4 kg[1]
    Bantam: 900 g[2]
  • Female: Standard: 3–3.5 kg[1]
    Bantam: 800 g[2]
Skin color white
Comb type two vertical spikes[3]
Classification
APA continental[4]
ABA all other comb clean legged
PCGB rare soft feather: heavy[5]
La Flèche cock and hen by Jean Bungartz (Geflügel-Album, 1885)
La Flèche hen

The La Flèche, French: Poule de La Flèche, is a rare French breed of dual-purpose domestic chicken. It originates from the Sarthe département, in the Pays de la Loire region, and is named for the town and commune of La Flèche in that area, not far from the capital of the Sarthe, Le Mans. The breed was once famous for the fine quality its meat; since the Second World War, numbers have fallen very low.[6]

History[edit]

Many authors date the origins of the La Flèche breed to the fifteenth century.[7] An early description dates from 1846.[8] The breed enjoyed a period of fame and success in the first part of the twentieth century,[7] but, as with all native French breeds other than the Bresse, numbers fell heavily after the Second World War.[6] In the 1960s and 1970s it came close to disappearing. There has since been a gradual recovery.[7] In 2011 a rescue project was launched by the Conservatoire des races animales en Pays de la Loire, the regional animal breed conservation body of the Pays de la Loire region.[6]

Characteristics[edit]

Their main distinguishing feature is their unusual V-shaped comb. They are of medium size, with males usually weighing between 3.5–4 kg and females weighing between 3–3.5 kg.[1] They have white eggs. They are usually used as ornamental birds, but still are appreciated in high-level restaurants in France for their fine meat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Volailles: Poule La Flèche (in French). Écomusée du pays de Rennes. Accessed August 2014.
  2. ^ a b La Flèche (in French). La Flèche Club. Archived 28 August 2014.
  3. ^ Victoria Roberts (2008). British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405156424. p. 157–58.
  4. ^ APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties as of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Accessed August 2014.
  5. ^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Poule La Flèche (in French). Conservatoire des races animales en Pays de la Loire. Accessed August 2014.
  7. ^ a b c Jean-Claude Périquet (2006). Coqs et poules, les races françaises (in French). Paris: Rustica; cited in: Historique de la La Flèche à travers divers auteurs du XIXème à nos jours (in French). La Flèche Club. Archived 28 August 2014.
  8. ^ Historique de la La Flèche à travers divers auteurs du XIXème à nos jours (in French). La Flèche Club. Archived 28 August 2014.

Media related to La Flèche (chicken) at Wikimedia Commons