Around the 1979, the Venda was first recognized, by Dr. Naas Coetzee in Venda, Transvaal, South Africa. Subsequently, chickens with similar appearance were seen in the southern Cape and Qua-Qua. This is a classic village chicken which is believed to have originated from cross-breeding of various domestic village fowl introduced by the successive waves of settlers who came to South Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries. Selection pressures shaped them into a breed that can survived unsupervised in backyard and country situations.
Like another South African native chicken, the Ovamba, they are known for associating with grazing cattle where they pick off ticks from the skins of the cows. They have a diverse genetic heritage (though an essentially uniform appearance) and occasionally display genetic quirks such as pink combs, crests, beards and a fifth toe.
They have become a very popular breed in South Africa as well as the standard dual-purpose chicken it's now possible to buy show strains for display purposes. The breed is also very popular with subsistence farmers and is now being exported to Mozambique.
Varieties (Single Comb): Black Mottled, Red Mottled
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Exhibition
Weight: 3 - 4.5 lbs
Personality: Very energetic and alert, but can tame if regularly and gently handled in their youth. Roosters are aggressive amongst one another.
Preferred climate: Warm
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Fair - Good
Egg color: Tinted
Egg size: Medium
What else you should know:
Under village conditions, hens typically produce 70 eggs each year, but under more intensive rearing with improved nutrition they produce 153 eggs per year. Chicks reach sexual maturity at 143 days and reach adult weight at 140 days.