Holland Chicken
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Despite its name, the Holland Chicken is an American Chicken that was developed in the 1930’s and 1940’s to be a dual-purpose/utility chicken by the Rutger’s Breeding Farm. The goal was a Chicken that would be useful for both Egg Production (medium-large white eggs) and Meat Production, but with a twist. At the time there were very few, if any large, corporate egg-laying operations. Most farming occurred on small family farms where dual-purpose chickens were preferred. The problem was that most utility breeds lay brown eggs and the market in 1934 preferred White Eggs, even paying a premium for their supposed more highly refined taste.

Rutgers bred the Holland Chicken from lightweight egg-layers imported from Holland combined with white Leghorn Chickens, Rhode Island Red Chickens, New Hampshire Chickens and Lamona Chickens, creating the White Holland variety. The barred Holland variety (the most popular) was created from white Leghorn Chickens, barred Plymouth Chickens, Australorp Chickens and brown Leghorn Chickens. In 1949 the Holland Chicken was admitted as a breed by the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.

Holland Chickens have single combs, yellow skin and legs. They forage well, are cold tolerant and have calm temperaments. The Holland Chicken hens can be broody (maternal). Their major drawback is their slow to moderate fleshing qualities.

Production

Today, Holland Chickens are not used in commercial production and have become very rare. In fact, the Holland Chicken may be the rarest living breed of American Chicken.