Germany excellency in a chicken? Meet the Bielefelder chicken! These chickens are a truly gentle breed with fantastic egg and meat giving charatcteristics. Read on to find out more about this beautiful heritage breed of chicken!
Looks like the Germans have done it again – but this time with a chicken breed! There are a lot of great characteristics about the Bielefelder chicken (also known as the Bielefelder Kennhuhn). They are beautiful, friendly, lay big eggs and have excellent meat giving capabilities. The hardest part of owning this chicken breed is pronouncing its name – “BEE-LAY-FELDER”.
Our comprehensive and detailed overview of this breed will inform you of the characteristics of the Bielefelder chicken and enable you to decide whether they are the perfect addition to your flock.
What this article covers
This is a long article, so below are some quick links. Click any of them to go straight to that section – or just carry on reading for the full guide!
Overview of Bielefelder chicken characteristics
|Weight||9-12 pounds or <5.5 kg|
|Color||Crele and Silver|
|Egg Production||<280 eggs per year|
|Egg Color||Brown and speckled|
|Suitable for hot environments||They can cope with shade and additional water|
|Suitable for cold environments||Yes|
|Suitable for wet environments||Yes|
|Cost of Chicken||USD $8|
Pros and Cons of keeping a Bielefelder chicken
|Pros 👍||Cons 👎|
|✔ Friendly||❌ Eat more due to their sizing|
|✔ Suitable for families with children||❌ A more expensive breed to buy|
|✔ Very docile||❌ Not as readily available as other breeds|
|✔ Beautiful coloring|
|✔ Resilient and hardy|
|✔ Great egg layers and start laying earlier than other breeds|
|✔ Not overly broody|
|✔ Suitable meat birds|
History of the Bielefelder chicken
This breed was developed in Bielefeld, Germany in the early 1970s by a poultry breeder named Gerd Roth. The breed is highly valued Germany.
Gerd Roth used a number of breeds in developing the Bielefelder including the cuckoo Malines, Amrock, Wyandotte and the New Hampshire.
The Bielefelder chicken was first imported to the United States in 2011.
The Appearance and Personality of a Bielefelder Chicken
The Bielefelder is a relatively large chicken that can weight up to 12 lbs or 5 kg. They have a single red comb, red earlobes and wattles. As adults they have orange-red eyes.
Bielefelders have auto-sexing abilities, this means genetically they can be told apart as chicks due to their different markings.
A male chick has a white spot on their head and light brown stripes down their back. The females don’t have the white spot like the male chicks, and their stripes look more like a chipmunk’s. Females are also darker than the males.
As the chickens reach maturity at around 22 weeks, they have a lovely plumage of feathers with intricate patterning. Their patterning is great for camouflage and hiding them from any predators that are hanging around.
This breed comes in two colors being crele and silver. Silver is the rarest coloring as it was part of a cull early on in the breeding program. Roth wanted to breed his uber chicken in crele.
The Bielefelder also has unique pink undertones to their brown feathers. Other colors on the chicken include white, black, grey, and orange. These happen in patches around the body, particularly on the roosters.
Bielefelders are also some of the most friendly chickens you could meet. They make excellent pets due to their docile nature and are great with children.
They love interaction with people and will even seek our companionship. They are also quiet birds so no need to worry about complaints from the neighbours!
Cooping a Bielefelder Chicken
Bielefelder chickens are very resilient and hardy and will tolerate a wide variety of weather conditions – from freezing cold to 100F heat.
Just make sure they have the necessary dry, draft-proof shelter and other considerations such as shade, food and water to keep them comfortable.
Inside the coop they will need a minimum of 4 square feet per bird.
An average of 8 inches of perch space is enough. In the summer months they will like to spread out a bit more but in winter they will cuddle up together to keep warm.
Nesting boxes should be a 12×12 inch cube or similar. If you give them too much space you will find them nesting together which can lead to broken eggs.
As for roaming space, the Bielefelder requires a minimum of 15 square feet per hen is needed for their wellbeing. Remember this is a larger breed of chicken so allow extra room if you have the space.
Bielefelder Chicken Nutrition
You should feed Bielefelder chickens high quality feed.
Chicks should be fed a 20% crumble until they are 16 weeks old. Then they can be fed a 16% layer feed of crumbles or pellets when they mature. We like this crumble feed for our chickens.
Always provide a bowl of high quality grit to aid our chickens digestion.
Always provide a waterer with clean water they can drink and easily access.
Egg Laying Characteristics of a Bielefelder Chicken
Bielefelder chickens lay large eggs, not surprising considering the size of this breed!
Bielefelder hens generally lay around five eggs a week (250-280 per year).
Egg coloring is brown or speckled brown.
They generally mature and start laying at around 22 weeks old. This is a bit earlier than most other breeds which is a bonus!
Health Considerations for a Bielefelder Chicken
The Bielefelder chicken is not subject to any particular genetic ailments or health conditions. Bielefelder chickens are more resistant to the cold due to their size and breeding. Overall this breed is very robust and healthy.
Like with all chicken breeds, make sure you are providing them with plenty of exercise and a nutritious diet. Having some space for them to roam and forage will contribute positively to their overall health and wellbeing and keep them at a comfortable weight.
Another important consideration when buying this breed is the source or breeder where you buy them. Ensure you do your research on breeders and ensure you go to a reputable one with healthy stock.
Shopping list of items needed to look after a Bielefelder chicken:
- Chicken coop
- Wood shavings bale
- Nesting Box
- Layer pellets
- Chicken scratch/grain
- Shell grit
- Chicken Safe Disinfectant
- Coop cleaner
- Chicken dust
- Calcium supplement
Check out our article on the Black Australorp chicken next.