Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, 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 so...so... 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.


Aly said...

I loved my Salmon Faverolles! Unfortunately, so did my neighbors dog.

My bantam Fav's went to live with a friend. They were the sweetest birds!

We're rebuilding our flock this year after horrible *cough cough* neighbors dog *cough cough* I mean predator issues wiped out half my flock (not to mention the 4 chickens my OWN dog took out). Have yet to decide of Favs are on the "to get" list. We'll see after the big barn is built I guess.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Did you cook my chicken? I didn't see her in the bunch!
Don't tell me something got her :o(

David said...

Adding the breed to my to-do notes for homestead.

erin said...

I love my Salmon Faverolle rooster! I plan on getting some hens next time around.

JeffJustJeff said...

I may have to give these a try. You know I love the heritage breeds. Isn't it funny how lack of size doesn't stop these roosters. Nobody messes with my bantam rooster. For my new porkers, it's the little girl that owns the feed bowl too. And I'm not hating them yet ;-) Right now, they're still fascinating.

Chai Chai said...

I really like the look of them and their cold weather heartiness. Them being just a bit "off" is just an extra bonus.

If I can make room I would like to get a few of them along with an Easter Egger and a chocolate egg layer, just for varieties sake.

I have to admit the "timid" and easily "henpecked" reputation they have in the journals put me off a bit. I'm happy it isn't true in real practice.

Anonymous said...

I have heard wonderful things about the Salmon Faverolles. Yours are beautiful! I will have to add this breed to my 'need' to get list :)

erin said...

Here is a link to a picture of my Salmon Faverolle rooster. I'm so proud of him: http://www.flickr.com/photos/36126318@N02/6450656619/in/photostream

Anonymous said...

I love Salmon Favorelles. Now looking for a nice rooster and hen since our neighbors dog us currently unavailable to catch any more. Had a beautiful rooster with just a small amount of smut in his cape. If anyone has one for sale near Indiana, please let me know. Loseybunnies@aol.com. thanks

Unknown said...

I have two Fav's one is obviously a hen and the other I am thinking a roo but he is all white and no feathers on his legs. Is this normal? They are around 2 mos old.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

LB - I've put the word out! Hopefully we'll get a response.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Scotty - nope thats kind of odd. I'm guessing you got a different roo! Does he have that weird extra toe? If you wanna email a pic of him to me I might be able to help you ID him. SF's are one of the breeds who's color at hatching indicates their sex so even if he's very young he should be mostly black. I have some mixes but the body shape, fancy plumage, and creepy toe are pretty distinctive.

you can email pix to me at ohiofarmG AT gmail dot com......NOTE ITS NOT "girl" she is tired of getting my emails

Mama Mess said...

I'm a little late to this party, but I love those little birds too! They are beautiful and hardy, and they will be on the bird list when/if God allows us to get up and runnin with birds again!

Vicki said...

I had Favs on order but not enough hatched out. Actually what I really just wanted was the rooster - the girls were a second thought. That breed of rooster is really appealing to me. I just picked up the baby today - I am soooo excited. Disappointed I didn't get the girls but excited for the boy! Wonderful blog, Ohiofarmgirl! Thanks for sharing :).

Kayla Thornton said...

Are salmon faverolles a quite breed of chicken? I'm very close to my neighbors and although there dogs are loud I don't want to add to the noise.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

yes, Kayla, they are a quiet breed. however, all roosters will crow (loudly) so if you just have the hens they should be just fine.

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