Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Jan 22, 2015
After two years of searching I finally found a Chantecler breeder close to me, and purchased three lovely pure white hens. A heritage breed that is somewhat rare, the breeder would only sell me three or I would have purchased more.
Chanteclers are reputed to be excellent birds for cold climates, and where I live winter is a season to be reckoned with. While I've never lost a chicken of any breed to cold, some certainly have fared better than others when the thermometer has dipped below minus twenty!
I acquired my three Chanteclers at about a year of age, and already laying. They were each producing a small, pinkish white egg every day, and were easy to handle, calm birds. I was delighted with them and found them to be worth the relatively high price I paid for them ($25 a hen vs. the standards $5-10 for more common breeds).
I particularly like how quiet they are, while still being a sturdy and self-reliant breed. Many calmer varieties of chickens have lost their instincts to take care of themselves. I let my birds free-range and expect them to forage for much of their own feed (except in winter) so I look for breeds that do well with my set-up. The Chantecler has passed my requirements with flying colours.
Sadly a fisher got into my coop about a month after purchasing my new girls and ate two out of three of them. The remaining hen seems happy and healthy despite her near death experience, although she did stop laying at that point. She has done very well over winter and I look forward to more pink eggs very soon. I am ordering a batch of Chantecler chicks for the spring to keep her company and add more of these genetics into my flock.
Overall, if you live where there are harsh winters this is a bird I highly recommend, provided that you can find them!