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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Poultry Breeds -Friesian Chicken

Poultry Breeds -Friesland Chicken


Origins: Friesian fowls are one of the oldest of the Dutch breeds. Dutch authorities have claimed that both the penciled Hamburgs, and in later years the Belgian Silver Campine arose from the old Friesian fowl of Holland. According to archaeological evidence, the Friesian has existed in the Netherlands for a long time, around 1,000 years. The Friesian was the original Dutch "everyday layers," an appellation that has since been applied to Hamburgs, Campines and Lakenvelders. Unquestionably all of these breeds trace back to the old Friesian foundation. Breeds derived from the Friesian root are very quick to feather and mature early.

Characteristics: The Friesian is a medium-sized fowl with close together feathering. The majority of the Friesian fowls have single combs with small red wattles and white earlobes. The shanks are pale lavender or gray. The skin is a darker white almost gray color. The yellow penciled variety is produced by crossing the Silver and Golden Penciled or White on Golden Penciled. This cross produces a soft buff ground color in the female; and in the male the black of the tail is affected by the cross, and the black of the Golden Penciled becomes white in the Yellow Penciled. The ground color also comes of a lighter hue. The hens are non-sitters.

Standard Weights: Cocks: 5 ½ lbs.; Hens: 4 ½ lbs

Varieties: Silver Penciled, Golden Penciled, Yellow Penciled, White, Black and Cuckoo.

Egg Shell Color: White

Uses: The Friesian is a good layer, but the eggs are inclined to run small; the birds are easily scared by strangers but are tame with those who tend them.


All Breeds of Poultry, Origin: History: Description, Mating and Characteristics, by Frank L. Platt. Published by AMERICAN POULTRY JOURNAL, Chicago, Illinois.

Lewis, Celia. "Breed Profiles: Friesian." The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them. New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2011. 88-89. Print.


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