Bred animal myself
Pennsylvania, United States
Posted Oct 22, 2012
The Breda is a rare treat for the eyes to behold, as even though the breed exists in many countries around the world, they still remain rather a rarity. Some reasons as to why, I have discovered after I started raising this fascinating breed by the hundreds. For even though I adore the Breda, their eccentricity makes them a bird I wouldn't recommend for everyone.
The Breda is an old Dutch country breed, that has been recommended for generations as a dual-purpose fowl. Perhaps, this is because historically they are the largest Dutch fowl available (with roosters clocking in at an astonishing 6.5 pounds). The Breda is incredibly slow to mature, but the hens are generous layers of white eggs, even in the winter.
Personality wise, the Breda has a lot to offer a pet owner. Hens make fabulous pets if handled regularly. Most of mine gather around my feet to be held, pet, and fed, and some love to snuggle in my lap. The hens are extremely passive and thrive in a docile flock. Many of the roosters sadly do not have the females sweet demeanor. A friendly Breda rooster is a treasure, most of mine have two personalities. One is, "I will maul you." and the other is "I would attack you, if I happened to be brave enough."
I have heard, that the Breda is an excellent forager. This seems logical based on the breeds lean and active body type. However, letting my Bredas forage has taught me otherwise. These birds have a habit of getting eaten and/or killing themselves. My birds also hate getting their feet wet. Nothing makes them more miserable than a rainy day, or a bit of snow. A barn, or a coop with a roofed run is desirable when raising Bredas.
In my experience, the hardest part of raising Bredas is their health. The bird stands upright on gorgeous, long, popsicle stick legs, and when playing in their youth, they have a habit of breaking them. The breed also has little resistance to common bacterial and parasitic issues. Chronic Respiratory Disease, Coccidiosis, and Bubble foot are the Bredas worst enemies.
I also want to lay aside one common misconception of Bredas, and other breeds that are imported. Just because you spent a lot of money purchasing these birds does not mean that you have quality animals. The Breda is in need of vast improvement. If you decide to breed Bredas keep an eye on their combs. The Duplex V comb does occur, and will need culled. Also, weigh your birds to make sure they aren't underweight. For some reason, the blues and splash tend to be smaller then the blacks. Tails are also another large concern, as most are pinched and lack general fullness.
Another special note: Feather footed birds will loose foot feathers, and bleed all over the coop. This is not a cause for alarm (it can be left alone to heal), but may surprise you someday if you see blood spotted around and can't locate an injury.