Vorwerk chickens are a rare, dual-purpose breed that originated in Germany. It was named after its breeder, Oskar Vorwerk.
Vorwerk chickens have a single comb that is average in size, white earlobes, and slate-blue legs. They are sturdy, adaptable birds that love to be raised outdoors and can be highly flighty.
History of Vorwerk Chickens
In 1900, Oskar Vorwerk, a poultry breeder, began developing a practical chicken breed with the same plumage pattern as the Lakenvelder type. The Vorwerk’s dark gold color, as opposed to the Lakenvelder’s white, is the most noticeable contrast in appearance.
As a result, this bird is frequently wrongly referred to as the “Golden Lakenvelder,” particularly in the United States. ( Golden Lakenvelder is a plumage variant breed from the Vorwerk.)
The breed was initially displayed in 1912 and is believed to have originated from the Lakenvelders, Orpingtons, Ramelslohers, and Andalusian breeds.
The Vorwerk was standardized by 1913, but it never really took off outside of Continental Europe. The breed is extremely rare, and it was on the verge of extinction after WWII. Wilmar Vorwerk of Minnesota acquired an interest in the breed in 1966 but discovered it had not been exported to the United States. He opted to start from scratch with Lakenvelders, Buff and Blue Wyandottes, Black-tailed Buff, and Buff Columbian Rosecombs to produce a bantam variant.
European fanciers have also developed a bantam Vorwerk variant on their own. The American Bantam Association has recognized the Vorwerk Bantam, even though APA’s Standard of Perfection did not accept the breed.
Vorwerk Chickens Physique And Characteristics
The Vorwerk chicken is a strong and compact creature. The back is broad, and the breast is deep and rounded. They have a single, medium-sized comb that is bright red in hue.
They have little white earlobes and wattles that are modest in length. Their legs have four toes and are slate blue in color. Their plumage is silky and lustrous. The rest of their body is a buff tint, with a solid black head, neck, and tail. Their eyes are orange-red, and their skin is slate gray. The ideal breed criteria are those that have no black patterning in the buff areas. However, breeding this kind is extremely tough.
The following are some of the Vorwerk chicken breed’s distinguishing characteristics:
- Comb with only one strand
- Earlobes that are white
- Grey under-fluff.
- Legs that aren’t feathered
Typical Vorwerk roosters weigh 5.5-6.5 lbs, while hens weigh 4.5-5.5 lbs. This chicken breed comes in two bantam sizes. Furthermore, the bantam standards of Vorwerk chicken in the United States differ from those in Europe.
In Europe, Vorwerk bantam roosters weigh 2 lbs, while hens weigh 1.5 lbs. In the United States, the weights are slightly different, with roosters weighing 1.7 lbs and hens weighing 1.4 lbs.
Personality And Temperament
Vorwerk chickens are tough, alert, and active creatures. They’re a dual-purpose breed that can produce both meat and eggs.
They are superb food foragers and make great farmyard and smallholding birds. They are content to roam freely but do not mind being confined in a run.However, they are good fliers, capable of flying up to 2 meters; thus, a higher fence is needed.
Vorwerk chickens are a resilient breed that will continue to lay eggs throughout the winter. You can retain more than one rooster in the flock because the roosters are tolerant of each other. Chicks are fast growers and mature quickly. They’re easy to train and aren’t afraid of anything.
Egg-Laying Capacity of Vorwerk Chickens
Vorwerk hens are excellent layers, laying about 170 light brown eggs of medium size per year. Bantams are similarly dual-purpose, but they produce smaller eggs and fewer of them.
|Bantam Vorwerk Chicken
|Annual Egg Production
|Age at First Egg Laying
|Average Egg Weight
4 Tips for Raising Vorwerk Chickens
There are several strategies to keep the chickens healthy, including proper immunization and keeping in touch with a veterinarian. The only drawback for this breed is that it cannot thrive in closed confinement. Thus large expanses would be ideal. Keeping them confined in a small space like the backyard would be a poor option.
Purchasing High Quality Chicks
To begin your Vorwerk chicken farming business, you must first purchase high-quality, healthy, and disease-free birds. Depending on the price and availability in your location, you can buy mature birds or day-old chicks. In the market, mature birds are more expensive.
The day-old chicks, on the other hand, are far less costly. As a result, we suggest starting with day-old chicks.
The chicks can be bought from local poultry chick vendors, chicken breeding centers, or Vorwerk chicken farms. You could also look through local online classified websites. Just make sure the ladies are fit and healthy.
Buying high-quality chickens is critical because high-quality birds are the key to high productivity and earnings.
Proper housing keeps Vorwerk chickens safe from wild predators and adverse weather conditions.
The type of house you build depends on your budget and the resources available in your area. The house can be constructed entirely of concrete or using low-cost, readily available materials such as bamboo or wood.
Inside the house, install an excellent ventilation system. An effective ventilation system is essential for keeping your birds healthy by reducing dangerous gases inside the house.
Vorwerk chickens, being a larger breed, require up to 5 square feet of space per bird.
Read more: 27 Easy Frame Chicken Coop Plans.
Feeding Vorwerk Chickens
The most crucial aspect of Vorwerk chicken farming is providing high-quality, healthful, and nutritious food to the birds. Because nutritious food not only keeps the chicken healthy but also encourages them to thrive and produce more.
You have the option of using ready-made/commercial poultry feeds or making your own feeds for your birds. Make sure your chickens’ diets are healthy and nutritious.
Never feed tainted feed to your hens. And, whenever possible, try to provide them with clean enough, fresh drinking water to meet their needs.
While Vorwerk chickens are adaptable, they thrive best in free-range conditions. However, rearing them in a free-range manner will help you save money on food. At the same time, it will aid in the production of higher-quality goods.
Vorwerk hens, like many other domestic chicken breeds, are excellent breeders by nature. If you keep a decent ratio of hens to roosters in your flock, they will quickly breed and produce fertile eggs for hatching. In most cases, one healthy rooster is sufficient to breed up to ten hens.
Vorwerk chickens are a strong, durable, and energetic breed. They typically necessitate less attention and supervision. Taking extra care of the birds can help them grow faster and produce more.
This breed is ideal for individuals looking to save time and money by breeding easy-to-care-for dual-purpose birds. For that matter, you can raise them in your own backyard. If you want to raise the best chicken breed, choose Vorwerk. You will not be disappointed!
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.