About the Breed: They are well mannered birds with both genders are protective parents. The history behind these birds is not well known, however they were common in the Southern United States before the Civil War which was the start of their downfall. Breeding programs came to a girding halt on top of hungry soldiers depleted the breeding stock. The whole population was knocked down to 12 birds before breeders finally took measures to save these beautiful birds. Dispute efforts there is an estimated 1,000 birds. Most are carriers of Bronze, Narraganett and maybe even Bourbon Red, that were introduced to expand the gene pool.
Production: These birds are meat and egg producers. They are excellent foragers and given a substantial plot of land can maintain a healthy weight without gaining during the spring and summer. They can reach whooping sizes without the problem of growing into bodies that are not able to walk or breed. At 6 months they are a about 10-15 lbs table bird with juicy, tender meat. Hens start laying in Apr - Mar and sit on between 12-24 eggs for 30 days. They may or may not try to start another clutch in Aug - Sep. Hens have also been known to set on a bad clutch of eggs for over two months.
Description: The name Chocolate describes the color of its feathers, shanks and feet. Any bronze patterns and/or white spots in the wings or white tipping in the feathers is a fault in this variety, however is very common and tolerated by most breeders. Chicks are born with light chocolate bodies and white to cream heads.
Size: Toms 35 lbs Hens 20 lbs.
Status: Currently recognized as a critically rare breed.