Salmon Faverolles lay light coloured eggs ranging in shade from white to tinted. They are good winter layers and the cockerels fatten well. They are very gentle and get very tame. It is possible to sex them by colour from a couple of weeks old – the cockerels are much darker than the hens, which should be pale ‘salmon’ colour – hence the name.
The Faverolles was originally bred in central France during the 1860’s by crossing heavier breeds such as the Croad Langsham and Brahma with the local Houdan layers. There was also Dorking bred in to the mix, which is where their characteristic five toes comes from. The different Faverolles breeds were standardised in France in the 1890s and came to the UK a few years after that.
Both hens and cockerels have feathered feet and beards and they also have feather bonnets around their faces – which often led people to described them as having ‘the head of an owl’. The feathers around their head can make them susceptible to panic attacks when their view of the rest of their flock gets obscured.
Combined with their utility and their friendliness, what’s not to like?