Uses: Attractive, economical utility birds.
Origin: Hamburg, Germany. Eggs: 160 - 190 cream / tinted.
Weight: Cock: 2.5 - 3.2 Kg.Hen: 2.0 - 2.5 Kg.
Bantam Cock: 910 g. Hen: 680 g.
Colour: Black head, hackles and tail. Buff body and wings.
Useful to Know: Vorwerks are alert and active and generally docile, suitable for novices. They can fly reasonably well, so you may need to clip a wing or provide a covered run. Spare cockerels can be used as a more 'traditional' table bird. They are fast to mature and economical with food, especially if allowed to forage.
Photo: A Vorwerk female. Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson.
The Vorwerk Chicken was developed in Hamburg, German by Oskar Vorwerk. In 1902 he set out to create a fowl that was more useful than the Lakenfelder, replacing the white with buff so it would not show the dirt and creating a bird for smallholders for utility: a bird that would provide a good number of eggs with a good feed to egg ratio as well as meat for the table when required. The breeds used to develop the Vorwerk are thought to be the Lakenfelder, Utility Buff Orpington, Hittfeldern (now called Buff Ramelslohers in Germany), and the Andalusian. Oscar Vorwerk first exhibited his birds as new varieties in 1912 and by 1919 or a little earlier, they were well established and accepted by most breeders as an independent breed.
Vorwerks first appeared in the UK as Buff Lakenfelders in 1935 where they were exhibited but it wasn't until the 1970's that they made a re-appearance.
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