The hens also have their champions! There are different categories: layers, dwarfs and large. We are interested in the latter. Who are these large hens?
1- The Indio Gigante
It is undoubtedly the tallest hen with a record measured at 1.26 m. This breed was bred in the 1980s in Brazil from a Malaysian Fighter and Shamo, along with other large free-range hens. To reach such dimensions, it is necessary to carry out a work of selection precise and fans are willing to shell out a lot of money, up to nearly $ 49,000, to acquire an exceptional specimen. This price is likely to rise in the coming years as the market for these birds is growing. These hens have a very particular physique, completely inherited from the Shamo. The legs are very long, the body is proportionately small, the neck long and powerful, and the head flat.
2- The Jersey Giant
The Jersey Giant breed combines size and weight. It was created in New Jersey in the United States around 1870. Castrated roosters could then weigh over 9 kg. Today, these hens more commonly reach 7 kg for 65 cm in height. The breeds at the origin of this one are Orpington, Black Brahma, Black Java and Black Langshan. The first two were used for their size and we find them later. As for the other two, it was the color of their plumage that was important. In the middle of the 20th century, a white mutation was created. The blue variety (actually gray) is the last one created. The feathers have green reflections. Despite their large size, these hens retain beautiful proportions. The legs are featherless. The underside of the feet is yellow. The eyes are dark brown and the crest is bright red. She is a calm and docile hen, robust and quite resistant to the cold, who cannot fly.
The Brahma is a large hen created in the United States from the cross between a Cochin and a Malaysian Fighter. It generally reaches 60 cm in height for 4 to 5 kg, but can more exceptionally reach 8 kg. Besides her size, she is best known for being a good layer, between 120 and 170 eggs per year. Its plumage is rich and downy, covering the legs. The patterns of the feathers are varied: mesh, hermine, camaille or unicolour. Because of the thick layer of feather, it is not recommended to adopt a Brahma in a very hot region. Her character is calm and she cannot fly. She even enjoys the caresses like a dog or a cat might.
4- The O-Shamo
It is a breed of fighting roosters: Shamo means “fighter” in Japanese. This breed is derived from the Malaysian Fighter; from Thailand, it was first imported to Japan and then to Europe where it has been present since 1953. It comes in different sizes: ko-shamo (small), chu-shamo (medium) and O-shamo (large) and other varieties, some of which have disappeared. Like the Indio Gigante, the animal’s posture is all vertical and the chest is well muscled. The plumage is short. They are hardy gallinaceans and as you can imagine roosters are very aggressive. In combat, they never back down and fight to the end of their strength. O-Shamo roosters weigh between 4 and 5 kilograms for about sixty centimeters.
5- The Bielefeld hen
There are two versions of this German breed: a large and a dwarf. The large one is among the large hens and, while the dwarf only lays 120 eggs per year, the large one lays 200. These are called “autosexuals”, That is to say that the male and the female present easily recognizable morphological characters as soon as they hatch. It has “classic” proportions and a beautiful spotted plumage, brown in the upper part and gray in the lower part. They are hardy and lay large brown eggs.
6- La Cochin
There were large hens with plucked feet originating from Cochinchina called Cochin. But those who are now called Cochin have nothing to do with them, even if they look like them. The current Cochin hens were imported from Shanghai. They are voracious and can easily suffer from obesity. Their large size and thick plumage make them resistant to cold. They fly little and hardly scratch the ground. Their plumage, which makes them so attractive, requires careful attention. Indeed, mud pellets can accumulate along the legs and promote frostbite and fungi. Feathers can hide injuries. Finally, by accumulating around the cloaca, reproduction can be prevented.
7- Cuckoo clock in Mechelen
Like the Cochin, it is a large hen with abundant plumage that goes down to the fingers. Roosters can weigh up to 6 kg. This breed is renowned for its finesse and tenderness of his flesh. Unlike the hens at the top of this ranking, its back is horizontal. It is a bulky bird with a short tail. But that did not seem sufficient because a crossbreeding was carried out at the end of the 19th century with Fighters from Bruges to make the hen even heavier. It is the hen called Mechelen with a turkey head which is a really massive animal.
8- La Faverolles
The Faverolles hen is a beautiful large hen, with a powerful and majestic silhouette. Very good broiler, it was created in the 1870s and supplied the population of Paris at the beginning of the 20th century. Its provided plumage favors the presence of parasites and these hens can be bothered by their beards and barbels to the point of not feeding themselves properly. The character of this breed is gentle and the hens are easy to tame.
9- The Orpington
The Orpington is a hen very popular with breeders. It is one of the best laying breeds with 250 eggs per year. Its flesh is also tender. Thanks to its plumage provided, it does not fear the cold. However, she fears humidity. She is a calm and sociable hen who will never create problems in the chicken coop. Her rounded silhouette makes her all the more sympathetic. She is easy to catch and may even enjoy being petted.
They are built hens. Among the breeds selected for crossing are Langshan, Brahma and Cochin. Today, the Barnevelders are few. They can be good layers as long as they do not get fat. Their flesh is excellent. They are known to be lazy, so it is all the more important to get them fresh air.