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The Salmon Faverolle chicken is sure to be one of your flock favorites. They are sweet, gentle with kids, and dual purpose chickens!
What’s not to love about these feather footed fowl? They are absolutely adorable with their big birdy beards and fluffy feathery muffs.
Not only are they eye catching but they are also some of the most docile chickens you can add to your flock. This breed is an all around perfect breed for everyone from backyard chicken enthusiasts all the way to chicken farmers of all ages and experience levels.
Let’s take a look at the history of Salmon Faverolles chickens as well as their appearance, behavior, and other important breed information.
Everything About The Salmon Faverolle
The Salmon Faverolle is a dual purpose chicken breed, originally developed by French farmers in the Faverolle region of France. They are prolific egg layers as well as they are large enough to be good meat birds; not just the roosters, but even the hens too! However, they are best known these days as an ornamental show breed, frequenting American Poultry Association sanctioned chicken shows.
|Size||Hen: 6.5 lbs|
Rooster: 8 lbs
|Egg Color||Light Brown or Light Pink|
|Temperament & Personality||Docile|
History and Origin
The earliest known appearance of Salmon Faverolles chickens is in the mid 19th century.
There is a lot of speculation on how the Salmon Faverolle first came about. They do get their name from the region in France from which they came. An interesting fact is that both “Salmon Faverolle” and “Salmon Faverolles” are correct. That is because of the French pronunciation and not a pluralization; the ‘s’ is actually silent.
Record keeping for such crosses was not as common practice in the 1800s as it is now. However, it is believed that Salmon Faverolles breed is the result of French farmers initially crossing multiple chicken breeds:
Initially, Salmon Faverolles had no set standard. They would come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and feathering. But, by the mid 1880s some of the more desirable traits were becoming more apparent and starting to show up in more and more Salmon Faverolles.
Over the course of the next 25 to 30 years, the breed was starting to become more standardized and was introduced in England in 1894. Just a few years later, in “1901 or 1902” they were imported by Dr. A.H. Phelps to Glen Falls, New York in the United States.
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Two colors of Faverolles have been recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA); Salmon Faverolles and the White Faverolle. Salmon Faverolles were the first and they were recognized way back in 1914. The White Faverolle was recognized much later in 1981.
What Do They Look Like?
Salmon Faverolles certainly are unique looking chickens. Their most distinguishing feature has to be their feathered legs and feet. Most chickens do not share this trait. There are only a few other chicken breeds that do.
Additionally, just like with Silkies, they also have five toes on each foot.
Let’s look a little deeper into their appearance.
Feathering, Comb, & Wattles
As we mentioned, their feathered legs and feet are likely to be the first thing you will notice about them. You will also notice that they appear to be very fluffy; which makes them appear to be very large.
As with most other chicken breeds, the Salmon Faverolles rooster is considerably larger than the Salmon Faverolles hen. However, with this breed in particular, the differences in appearance are a bit more vast. In fact, both the hens and roosters vary quite a bit in their appearance.
Salmon Faverolles hens, for instance are salmon colored on their head, back, and wings. While their breast is white with a salmon splash. Their muffs, beards, and lower body are an off white/cream color. The feathers on their legs and feet are similar to their breast color; white with a touch of salmon. Finally, the Salmon Faverolles hen has a gray underbelly.
Their feathers tend to be especially fluffy. From their beards and muffs and across their whole body, their fluffy feathers make them appear to be very large. On some occasions, you may even see Salmon Faverolles with frizzle feathering.
Their skin is a pale white including their legs. Each foot has 5 toes instead of the traditional 4.
Roosters look very, very different. To start off, because of his fluffy feathers, he looks massive. He is already a large rooster weighing around 8 lbs. Unlike the hen, who is primarily salmon and white/cream colored, he is primarily black.
The rooster has a large black chest, beard, muffs, legs, while his underbelly is black and gray. His back, saddle, and hackle feathers are the only similarity he has to the hen, being cream with salmon speckles.
Both of his wings have a deep reddish gold with just a touch of white on the end. Finally, his tail is black with a mix of iridescent green!
They both have a single comb that runs a ridge along their head. Unlike some single comb breeds, like the Rhode Island Red, their comb is generally smaller. Although a bit smaller, it still has distinct spikes running its length.
Salmon, along with white, is a recognized color according to the APA. There are a few other colors of Faverolle in addition to the white or salmon color, as well:
One particularly interesting thing about Salmon Faverolles is that they are considered a large fowl chicken but they can also be Bantam sized.
The average size of Salmon Faverolle hens is usually around 6.5 pounds when fully grown. An adult Salmon Faverolles rooster can weigh up to 8 pounds. Bantam Faverolles breeds are generally about one third the size of the the standard Salmon Faverolles breed. Here’s a quick chart for a size comparison:
|Standard||6.5 lbs||8 lbs|
|Bantam||1.95 lbs||2.4 lbs|
Salmon Faverolles Chicks
Salmon Faverolle chicks, as you would expect from any baby chicks, are absolutely adorable. Once they dry after hatching, you will usually notice they already have slight muffs and beards. This is not an autosexing breed so you will need to know how to tell the Salmon Faverolles hens and roosters apart.
What Are They Like?
The best way to paint a good picture of a chicken breed’s behavior is to break it down into two categories; ; temperament (what they do) and personality (why they do it).
Salmon Faverolles are a pretty easy going breed of chicken. No matter your farm setup, they will likely do very well. They are great foragers and enjoy free-ranging.
They also adapt quickly to more confined spaces. If you do not have the luxury of space for a free ranging flock, a small run works just as well for these chickens.
You can also raise them just about anywhere. They do not particularly like extreme heat. However, they are very cold hardy.
You will want to make sure to keep their eggs out of the nesting box on a routine basis. These hens have a tendency to go broody if they have a partially full nest for even a small amount of time.
Finally, one of their more endearing quirks, you could say, is they are noisy. Not in a bad way though. They just have a tendency to talk all day long.
It isn’t very loud, so even in a neighborhood, they won’t disturb anyone. They are just very talkative to each other and themselves.
One of the most unique traits of Salmon Faverolles is how docile and laid back they can be. Most chickens are very scattered and flighty. This chicken breed is the opposite. Even the roosters are gentle.
If you have kids and are starting a backyard flock you may wonder if Salmon Faverolles are friendly. They absolutely are and are great with kids.
They do not pick on the other chickens in your flock. In fact, they are often bullied by other chickens because of how docile and submissive they can be.
Due to their attitude and tendency to be bullied, they tend to keep to themselves, for the most part. They are loners, in that way.
What Is Their Purpose?
Originally, this breed was bred to be a production and meat bird. This is evident in both their size and the frequency with which they lay eggs.
However, over time, they have become more of an ornamental breed than a market breed of chicken.
As we mentioned above, Salmon Faverolles tend to be an ornamental chicken breed, these days. What that means, is instead of being raised for their egg laying abilities or for meat birds, they are raised for a specific look.
Due to a combination of their flashy foot feathering and body confirmation, people have begun to enjoy showing their chickens.
Despite being an ornamental breed, Salmon Faverolles are not only good egg layers, their egg laying ability is fantastic! Fortunately, breeding for the show ring has not really hindered their egg production levels.
You can expect your hens to reliably lay around 4 medium size, light brown or light pink eggs per week. As an added bonus, this breed matures earlier than many other breeds. So you can expect to start getting eggs as early as 6 months from when they hatch.
This breed is also large enough to be a meat bird. The roosters can grow to 8 lbs and the hens are nothing to scoff at either, at 6.5 lbs. Salmon Faverolles are what is known as a dual purpose breed. That just means they are suitable for both egg production and as meat birds.
Finally, we know there is a growing trend to have backyard chickens as pets. If you are thinking of getting some of these chickens, you are in luck. Salmon Faverolles have sweet personalities which make them a very gentle, sweet bird. Even handling a rooster is something that anyone can do, even small children.
If you already have chickens, you will want to take some precautions when introducing new chickens to your existing flock. Because this breed is so passive, they tend to be lower on the pecking order and can get injured.
What Care Do They Need?
Salmon Faverolles need just a bit of basic chicken care to lead happy and healthy lives.
This breed does very well in both captivity and as a free range chicken. That means you can either keep their feeder full with a high quality layer feed as their primary source of nutrition or as a supplemental feed.
These chickens are very, very cold hardy. They can live just about anywhere and survive. But, just like any other breed, they will need to have a safe, clean, warm, and well ventilated shelter.
A safe shelter is one that has been designed to keep chickens in and predators out. Salmon Faverolles are already so docile, they are easy pickings for an aggressive predator.
In the winter, you will want to make sure their coop is warm enough for them. Chickens like to huddle for warmth but still need their individual space. A good rule to follow is each chicken will need 2 to 4 square feet of coop space and 12 square feet of run space.
The most unique problem for this particular breed is the occasional infestation of scaly leg mites. Due to the feathering on their legs, certain parasites have plenty of hiding and breeding space.
You can fix this by checking them periodically and providing them with a good place for dirt bathing. You can also follow the techniques you would use to treat lice and mites on any other breed.
Other than scaly leg mites, there are no illnesses that are unique to this particular breed. There are some fairly common health issues that bother chickens, in general.
Chickens are fairly susceptible to many respiratory problems. Some of the signs associated with a respiratory problem are “sleepy”, “crusty” , or swollen looking eyes. You may also notice some nasal discharge and/or their breathing sounding labored or like wheezing.
While the Salmon Faverolle is a unique breed, there are some other chickens that share similar characteristics. The most prominent features one will notice when looking at them is their feathered legs as well as their little beards and muffs.
- Black Copper Marans (leg feathering)
- Silkies (leg feathering)
- Easter Eggers (beards & muffs)
- Aracauna (beards & muffs)
- Ameraucana (beards & muffs)
These cute little guys have inspired a lot of common questions. Here are some of the ones we found the most often.
What age do they start laying?
The Salmon Faverolle will tend to start laying no earlier than at 6 months of age. However, don’t be surprised if it takes 7 or 8 months for them to really get going.
Are they good layers?
Salmon Faverolle lay an average of 4 eggs per week. That is 200+ eggs per year; more than enough for the average family.
What color eggs do salmon lay?
This breed lays light brown or pink hued medium sized egg.
Are they friendly?
As one of the most docile breeds, the Salmon Faverolle is very friendly. What is exceptionally nice is that the rooster is uncharacteristically non-aggressive. Unlike most roosters, this breed is very gentile.
How big do they get?
Salmon Faverolle chickens were initially bred as dual purpose chickens. Meaning they are suitable for both egg production and meat birds. This breed will grow to about 6 ½ lbs for hens and 8 lbs or more for roosters.
Are they noisy?
YES!!! One of the more unique personality quirks of this breed is that they are, what can only be described as, talkers. They will chatter all day long (whether anyone is listening or not).
However, while they are very chatty, they are not too terribly loud. So, no worries if you want to add them to your backyard flock.
Do Salmon Faverolle roosters crow?
Yes, like any other breed, the Salmon Faverolle rooster will crow. Their crow is a bit deeper and seems to have more bass than other breeds, however.
Are they cold hardy?
While they do very well in the cold, it is not without it’s fair share of effort. Since they have leg and feet feathers, it is important for them to stay dry. If their feathers become wet, they will easily freeze and chill the chicken.
If you are starting your own flock and growing your existing one, the Salmon Faverolle is a great choice for you. They are very sweet and docile. They are heavy egg producers and grow large enough to be a good meat source.
Why not pick up a couple for your flock today?
If you need more help with taking care of your chickens, check out The Organized Chicken Keeper for a complete system for managing their health through keeping their supplies stocked and coop clean.