Chickens Bielefelder: description of the breed, how to care for them and how to feed them?
There are many breeds of chickens of various types of productivity. But Bielefelder hens differ from other birds in a number of positive qualities, including high productivity, large size of birds and their external beauty.
The origin of the breed Bielefelder
The Bielefelder breed has officially existed since 1984. But she appeared a few years earlier. These hens were first raised in the 70s of the twentieth century in the small town of Bielefeld by breeder Herbert Roth. He crossed among themselves five breeds of these birds with the highest productivity: Malin, New Hampshire, Amrox, Welsumer and Rhode Island. The result of crossing and became a new breed, combining all the positive qualities of these species. Subsequently, she was given a name in honor of the town in which she first appeared - Bielefelder. The birds bred by Roth were large, hardy, and beautiful. In addition, they showed a high rate of egg production.
Did you know? The total number of chickens on the globe is three times the number of people!
Representatives of the Bielefelder breed not only differ in special external beauty, but also have a calm disposition. The highlight of the breed is a kind of plumage color “krill”. Consider in detail their external characteristics, positive and negative sides.
Description of appearance
Bielefelder chickens look stately and stately due to their large size. They are leisurely and calm, have a dense and beautiful plumage. A detailed description of the appearance is presented in the table.
|Neck||Powerful, with good plumage|
|Chest||Wide and deep|
|Paws||Strong, without plumage|
|Plumage and color||Feathers fit tightly to the body, golden-black-striped or silver-black-striped|
Bielefelder birds are characterized by high productivity in terms of the number of meat and eggs. The period of egg laying lasts almost without interruption.
Important! The egg production of bielefelders deteriorates after they reach the age of three.
Representatives of the breed Bielefelder are people with calm sympathy. They do not show aggression towards other individuals, but may be attacked by stronger representatives of other breeds. This is especially common during feeding. Bielefelder chickens do not fight for food with other residents of the house. So that representatives of this breed receive plenty of food, it is better to keep them separately from other chickens.
Did you know? Initially, people became interested in breeding chickens in order to conduct cockfights.
Advantages and disadvantages
- In addition to high productivity, Bielefelder chickens have several advantages. Here are their main positive qualities:
- tolerate winter well (frost resistance up to –15 degrees);
- high resistance to diseases;
- the ability to determine the sex of chickens at birth;
- unpretentiousness in feeding and leaving;
- fast growth and good weight gain;
- high and regular egg production;
- tasty meat;
- early puberty;
- attractive appearance.
- Despite the long list of advantages, representatives of this breed have some disadvantages. Here are the main disadvantages of the Bielefelder breed:
- the period of maximum egg production lasts relatively short;
- require a lot of free space for walking;
- they are not able to protect themselves when attacked by hens of other breeds, therefore they can remain without food
- not prone to hatching chickens.
How to contain the Bielefelder breed?
The correct maintenance of the representatives of the Bielefelder breed will help not only to get the maximum eggs, but also to avoid possible diseases.
Arrangement of a chicken coop
For Bielefelder chickens you need to equip a spacious and warm chicken coop with a low ceiling. The basic rules for the arrangement of the premises are presented below.
- The chicken coop needs to be insulated for the winter so that the air temperature in it is not lower than 5 degrees of heat.
- In winter, it is necessary to illuminate the chicken coop for 13 hours.
- The gaps in the walls and on the roof of the room must be carefully closed to prevent drafts.
- For two representatives of the breed must be at least 1 square. m. of free space.
- The floor of the house should be covered with a material that will prevent the formation of dirt and will retain heat in the winter for a long time. Most often, large sawdust, dry straw or peat is used for bedding.
Important! The walls of the house must be covered with a layer of lime, to destroy pathogens.
Depending on the size of the house and the number of individuals, it is necessary to periodically clean the bird droppings from the floor. To make the chicken coop floor as clean as possible, you can treat it with special disinfectants. You can buy them in specialized stores.
In the warm season, it is better to let the birds out to an open area with vegetation, so that they can get their own food. Such a summer corral has a number of advantages:
- allow birds to receive the necessary nutrients from eating grass and the inhabitants of the soil;
- reduce owner’s feeding costs;
- provide birds with free space for walking;
- will allow for large-scale cleaning of the chicken coop and clean it of harmful microorganisms.
Important! Over the summer corral, you definitely need to make a canopy. It will protect Bielefelder hens from contact with wild birds flying in the area.
Nests and perches
Adult Bielefelder hens are quite large, so you can’t build too high perches for them, in which there are several tiers. Birds can be injured when flying from the upper high tiers. It is best to make perches about half a meter high. The perch itself must be strong to support the weight of the bird.The nest should be large so that the chicken is comfortable to sit in it. You can use a large box for this purpose. The inner surface is lined with hay. For four chickens, one nest will be enough. The slot installation location can be selected as you wish. But if the hens carry eggs outside the box with the nest, then it is worth rearranging it to another place.
Feeding troughs and drinking bowls
In the chicken coop, it is recommended to separate the area in which there will be feeders and drinking bowls for birds. General recommendations for arranging this area of the house:
- good lighting (natural or with a lamp);
- feeders are best made from plastic (to facilitate their cleaning);
- feeders and drinking bowls should be located at a small distance above the ground so that birds do not carry dirt and bacteria from the floor;
- regular cleaning of all feeders and drinkers.
Did you know? Hens are able to remember their owner and feeding time.
For normal health, Bielefelder birds need fresh oxygen-rich air. In the cold season, hens spend almost the whole day in the chicken coop. Therefore, you need to take care in advance of installing a good ventilation system that will perform air exchange and will not create drafts. Bielefelder chickens are resistant to disease, but they can catch a cold in a draft.
This breed of chickens does not need a specific type of food. But they require enhanced nutrition to ensure a high rate of egg production, as well as during the growth period. Therefore, the diet of birds must be varied, as useful and balanced as possible. Representatives of this breed are not picky in food.
These birds can be fed:
- vegetables (pumpkin, cabbage, carrots, beets);
- cereals (soy, peas, oats, corn, wheat, barley);
- wheat bran;
- shell, chalk or chopped eggshell;
- meat and bone or fishmeal;
- boiled fish;
- grated boiled eggs and cottage cheese (especially for young individuals);
- compound feed containing nutrients (especially in winter).
Important! For a good weight gain, Bielefelder chickens should be fed calcium and protein.
If you breed Bielefelder chickens only for the purpose of obtaining eggs, and not for meat, then you do not need to supplement them with additives for accelerated growth. The described diet will be enough.
Herd replacement planned
Since reaching the age of 6 months, Bielefelder chickens have remained high egg production for two years. After that, their productivity decreases and the old herd is most reasonable to send for slaughter. In this case, young birds are replaced by old birds. Such a planned replacement of the herd will surely bring the owner benefits in the form of tasty meat of representatives of this breed.
Shedding and egg laying break
Representatives of this breed molt in the autumn. During molting, the appetite worsens in birds and they look lethargic. For accelerated restoration of plumage of hens, Bielefelder needs to be fed with fish oil, vitamins and oats. During molting, chickens stop laying eggs. This temporary phenomenon ends with the onset of winter. During this period, egg production resumes, but becomes less active.
Did you know? Chickens exchange information with each other using various options of crowing and clucking.
The subtleties of breeding chickens
Breeding chickens of the Bielefelder breed is easy. For independent breeding of young offspring, it is enough to have an incubator and little experience in incubation. You can get chickens of this breed from your own eggs or from purchased ones. The survival rate of chickens is quite high.You can immediately buy young Bielefelder chickens. They quickly master in a new place and do not require such careful care as newborn chickens. Young individuals are usually bought at the age of several months.
Due to the fact that the sex of the chicks is determined immediately after birth, it is possible to separate the hens from the males.Some young chickens die in the process of growth, so you do not need to weed out the extra male chicks. It is better to leave three cockerels for every ten small chickens.
You can determine the sex of a newborn Bielefelder breed chick by color. For females, a darker color with pronounced black stripes near the eyes and on the back is characteristic. In young males, the stripes on the back have a pale brown tint, and on the head there is a yellow fluff with a large bright spot.
Bilefelder newborn chickens need to be fed with a mash of cereals, herbs and eggs. Then mixed feed, vegetables and greens are gradually added to the diet. Chicks should also receive cottage cheese, yeast, and boiled fish. Be sure to give vitamins to chickens to enhance health:
- Vitamin D to strengthen bones
- Vitamin E to strengthen the immune system and increase the fertility of eggs;
- B vitamins to improve digestion;
- Vitamin A for active chick growth.
For normal growth, chicks need to be fed 7 times a day. Newborn chickens can only be fed with warm water. This is due to the fact that the first two weeks their body temperature is about 42 degrees and cold water can cause overcooling of the chicks. Water in chickens should be constant.
There are several products that are strictly forbidden to give chickens:
- bread and pastries soaked in water (can cause constipation);
- stale greens (causes digestive upset);
- stagnant water.
Bielefelder's little chickens should be kept clean, warm and comfortable. For their maintenance, a large box with bedding is suitable, which must be changed twice a day.
Important! In unsanitary conditions, Bielefelder birds can die, because they are very susceptible to dirt.
- The room with the chickens should be warm enough. During the first week of life, newborns need a temperature of at least 30 degrees Celsius. Then you can gradually lower the temperature, bringing it to the level of 18 degrees to a month and a half age of chickens.
- Round-the-clock lighting of the room with newborn chickens during the first two weeks. Later, you can leave the chicks with light for 14-16 hours.
- Chickens of different sex need to be kept separately. Bielefelder roosters are larger than chickens, so they need more feed.
Representatives of the Bielefelder breed are resistant to disease, so each owner decides whether to vaccinate. If the birds live in good conditions, receive balanced food and clean water, then vaccination is not necessary. Be sure to vaccinate representatives of this breed only in two cases:
- visiting exhibitions;
- unfavorable epidemiological situation in the region of residence.
Possible diseases and their prevention
Good immunity and high frost resistance allows Bielefelder chickens to avoid diseases characteristic of other breeds of domestic chickens. But even they can get sick with improper care or feeding. Young breed representatives are most susceptible to diseases.
Did you know? According to one hypothesis, modern chickens are descendants of tyrannosaurs.
Fleas and parasites breeding in fluff
This disease occurs in chickens when cleanliness in the chicken coop or birds is not observed. Symptoms
- loss of appetite;
- the presence of small white holes on the feathers;
- feather falling out;
- restless behavior.
They treat it with the help of special aerosols, spraying them on the plumage of a bird. Choose a medicine will help the veterinarian.In the event of an illness, a thorough cleaning of the premises should be carried out using disinfectants and, if necessary, expand the territory of the house.
Rickets and increased fragility of bones
The disease occurs as a result of a lack of vitamins and calcium in the diet of birds. Symptoms
- the chicken does not stand or limp;
- decrease in egg production;
- sneezing, secretion of mucus from the nostrils;
- panting, coughing;
- lethargy and loss of appetite.
- regular cleaning of the chicken coop;
- sufficient space for birds;
- lack of drafts;
- eating foods with calcium and vitamins;
- regular examination of birds to identify symptoms of the disease.