Breda are my favorite breed of chicken. With their exotic, almost prehistoric looks and their sweet and intelligent disposition they are a perfect bird for a pet or small flock. After being extinct in the U.S. for nearly a century, new imports of the breed were brought in about 2010. They have been slow to gain popularity because people either love their appearance or hate it. Recently however they have gained popularity and are very difficult to find.
The Breda is a medium bodied fowl, with a well-developed prominent breast, strong thighs, rather long closely feathered legs, vulture hocks, broad slightly sloping back, short well arched neck, long strong head with a stout well curved beak and no comb. A tassel or small tuft of feathers (usually very small) rises from the head at the rear of the flat depressed area where the comb should be. Bredas also have large cavernous nostrils.
The Breda is generally conceded to be a composite breed, but a rather early one. No definite records exist as to how it was produced. That it has some crested ancestry is obvious. It is considered a Dutch breed, but minority opinions argue for a Belgian or French origin. The Malines is often mentioned as a probable ancestor and certainly would account for the feathered legs. That leaves us without a ready explanation for the vulture hocks. Suggestions have been made that Sultans crossed with Malines or Asiatics could have produced them, but this is a fowl that developed long before any Sultans or most Asiatics appeared in Western Europe.
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