The Faverolles History of Development

This beautiful, docile utlity fowl was developed in the Eure & Loire region of France during the 1860's by farmers local to the villages of Houdan and Faverolles, from whence the bird derives its name (which is 'Faverolles' in both the singular and plural). It was these poultry farmers who supplied the Paris markets with chickens and eggs. The demand of the growing urban population for more poultry coincided with the import of the 'Asiatics' - Brahmas, Cochins and Langshans. These foreign birds, with their white meat and thin skin, were introduced to the local Houdan fowl, which were proven layers, and to Dorkings which were also known in France. After years of careful and selective breeding, the large Salmon Faverolles emerged - and was known as the fowl with the 'tete de hibou': the head of an owl. The ability of the owl-faced Salmons to adapt to foraging in woodlands or to the nineteenth century version of battery cages meant that they soon increased in number and were standardised in France in 1893.

During the late 1890s some early battery type cages were being used and Houdans the most common utility fowl did not take kindly to them, but the Faverolles were much more amenable. Therefore their popularity increased and in 1909 the then Houdan Club of France became the Houdan Faverolles Club de France - and so it remains. The standard was revised in 1909. By this time Faverolles were spreading throughout France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It was not until 1929 that bantams first appeared in Germany. Lewis Wright wrote in 1899 that Faverolles were the last important breed to be developed in France. Although they came in all ' nondescript colours the salmon/buff and cream found the most favour in England as most distinctive from other breeds.Possibly the first illustration of Faverolles in England is the 1902 Harrison Weir painting of a quartet - not very much like the ones we know today:Twelve years later a painting by Ludlow illustrates that in that short time they were beginning to develop to something like the Faverolles of the present day:. Bantams made their first serious appearance in the early 1950's. The salmon, ermine and white bantams were made standard in 1960 and the other colours in 1976, except the cuckoo which had to wait until 1991 .

 

Possibly the first illustration of Faverolles in England is the 1902 Harrison Weir painting of a quartet - not very much like the ones we know today 

British Faverolles Copyright 2009

 
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