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January 17, 2012

In Praise of Salmon Faverolles

This first time I saw some Salmon Faverolle chicks I knew I had to have them.

My beautiful Jane.

They were adorable little puffballs and it was easy to tell the roos from the ladies by their different colors.  So quick as a wink I grabbed a trio, stuffed them in a sack, and ran for the truck before their previous owner could object. Salmon Faverolles are now one of my favorite chicken breeds.  Great layers, easy keepers, and they have excellent table qualities that make this dual purpose chicken a must have for everyone's barnyard.  And they are on the ALBC list.
Total Goof
The are, however, ridiculous. As in total goofballs. And nothing bad you've ever read about this is true. They are not shy, they don't get picked on my other chickens, and the roos can be formidable. They may surprise you. I once found the shattered remains of what was once a huge rat next to an over-agitated Salmon Fav hen who had obviously stomped that rat to death. You wouldn't expect it from a fluffy ridiculous chicken. Cool blooded killers.

Original trio, see the hens are light brown and the dark one is the rooster

I started with the ladies, Eliza and Jane, and their roo, Mr. Tibbles. I am currently overrun with Salmon Faverolles and I just love it.  Mr. Tibbles is definitely my favorite rooster right now. However, he has the most annoying habit of not letting me talk. As soon and I start chatting with the Good Neighbor Mom, Mr. Tibbles struts over near me and starts screaming his head off. Goof. He's only flogged me once and I think he was just having a bad day. Despite his size he doesn't let the other bigger roosters push him around.

See that Mr. Tibbles with his fancy finery is really only as big as a normal hen. 

Salmon Fav's aren't big chickens. They are really plump and round in shape, have tuffed ears, fluffy little faces, and one weird extra toe. I am not lying. They have an extra toe. I do not know why but its a little creepy especially on the chicks. Except for that freaky fifth toe tho, everything about Salmon Fav's is rollypolly and beautiful.  Check it out in the picture below - see the extra toe on the hen?

See Mr. Tibbles' stunning feathers and coloring? He's showing this young hen where to find food.

My two mature Salmon Fav hens are complete opposites. Jane is lovely and refined and demure. Eliza is a nutbag. I'm not kidding. She is certifiable. She's flappy and ridiculous, likes to perch up high, doens't like to come in at night, and does not like to be told what to do. Eliza had exactly one chick hatch last summer - Doolittle. I call her that because she does little but be ridiculous. She's lovely tho and a keeper. Doolittle doesn't fit the light beige, salmon color standard - she's obviously a mix and is beautifully black and white splashed.
A close pix of that freaky extra toe and the roo's fancy coloring.

I loved that they were funny little chickens, really appreciated that they were good layers... but what got me was when we dressed one particularly mean roo. I figured I'd get a handful of meat from what was surely mostly feathers on that small, angry roo's carcass. But wow was I surprised! It was a lot of meat that was amazingly tender and delicious... dare I say.... delicate?

 All their extra fluff makes them cold hardy. Winter? What winter? This gal is still laying.

Chicken from your yard is always more chicken-y then what you get in the store but the meat from the Salmon Fav roo was sublime... that it was stunning. We'll have another Rooster Day here soon and dress the rest of the extra roos. I'll take some pix and better notes if I haven't sold you already on why you should have a couple lovely Salmon Faverolles in your barnyard.

So what do you think, Chai Chai? Are you ready for some Salmon Faverolles?

Happy Tuesday everyone, remember that the hatcheries will start cranking up their incubators soon. So why not add a couple of Salmon Fav's to your order? You won't be sorry...unless that freaky extra toe is just too weird.