Other common names: Katsouliara Chicken; Hooded Greek Katsouliari; Crested Greek Chicken
The Hooded Greek Chicken, known as the Katsouliara in Greece, is an old, and now very rare breed. It is a hardy, cold tolerant breed which is known for its hood of soft feathers. Some appear as naked necks. Surviving flocks are believed to only be found in the Kapandriti, Levadia, and Peloponnese regions of Greece.
Varieties: Any color, some fowl are naked necked.
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Preservation
Weights: 5 - 10 lbs
Personality: Docile and sweet tempered.
Preferred climate: Any
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg size: Large
special local delicacy, leg skin hues, traditional family farms
Hooded Greek Chicken
This is a very rare breed. The Hooded Greek chicken, or ‘Katsouliara’ for the local population, is an old breed, abandoned by commercial breeders. It’s impossible to find a vendor selling Hooded chickens anymore, but you can spot this rare poultry in traditional family farms in Attica and Peloponnese. My grandma, who lived in an Attican village, had four hens of this rare and almost forgotten breed.
I remember them mostly for two things: the hood-shaped feathers on top of their heads and their unusual calmness. They would sit down when my grandma approached them, they would let her pet and handle them, and they would even nest in her arms for hours. I think they were the most pet-like chickens I’ve ever seen.
I am not 100% certain of this breed’s history, but I think they descend from the Bulgarian Starozagorska red chicken. They have many characteristics in common, like similar feather color, leg skin hues, egg productivity and size.
The Greek Hooded hens have a normal laying capacity of around 150 eggs per year and weight 2 to 3 kg maximum. They grow slowly and don’t have a lot of fat. However, their meat is very tasty and the roosters are considered a special local delicacy. These chickens were never used for commercial purposes and their home-based breeding for generations, have made them so calm and well adapted into living with humans.
I can’t really recommend this chicken, simply because you would be unable to find it anywhere. It was extremely hard to find even its photo (!). It is one of the typical cases of sacrificing conservation of a traditional breed for the sake of mass production and profit..
From skiagraphy Feb 12 2013 1:41PM