Posted Jan 30, 2012
These are adorable little birds and hand raised hens typically have equally endearing temperaments. Although typically friendly, some hens do not like to be held and some males are aggressive to people, so catching them can be a challenge at times. Otherwise, their small size and typically friendly nature makes them easier than most chickens to hold and handle. For somebody interested in a cute backyard pet or a couple of hens, the hens can't be beat with their personalities, low space and small food requirements. The hens lay large eggs for their size and typically put out about 3-5 eggs a week during the spring and summer, although egg production varies according to the strain. D'Anvers also tend to be well fleshed for their size and flavorful, but this also depends on the strain. Their small size and thick feathering makes dressing birds out quite a bit of work relative to the amount of meat you get (think quail-sized) and so this bird is not typically revered for it's production qualities. This thick feathering combined with their small wattles and combs help these birds cope with colder weather well in spite of their small size, and although they do not seem to handle the heat quite as well they can be acclimated to warmer conditions. They typically fare well in the show room and do not require the additional special care that higher maintenance crested or feather-footed show birds do. Out on the range these tiny birds are susceptible to predation by hawks and raccoons but can otherwise make good range birds provided they have a safe coop to retreat to and be enclosed in at night. Like most breeds of chickens, they can be aggressive with one another (particularly males) and do not always do well under crowded conditions. Roosters, unfortunately, tend to be aggressive and thus may not be ideal for young children or people with little patience, although hens are ideal for all ages. Health and vigor varies from strain to strain, but tends to be average compared to most breeds of chickens. Birds that come from breeders who select for genetic resistance to disease tend to be hardier than others.