The Crèvecoeur – Rare Breeds

This chicken is one of the oldest of the standard-bred fowls of France. The breed gets its name from Crève-Coeur en Ange, a small town in Normandy, France. The breed’s name translates as “broken heart” as in the romantic sense. Little is known of the breed’s origins other than they were developed in Normandy and existed there for a very long time. Solid black in color, Crèvecoeur chickens have crests and beards of moderate size, compact, well-proportioned bodies, and short legs. Their heads are adorned with a distinctive “v” comb. In movement they are quiet and deliberate and have peaceful temperaments. The breed stands confinement remarkably well, appearing quite content. Crèvecoeur chickens are only moderate layers of large white eggs, but seem to be adaptable to most climates.
The breed was developed principally for the quality of its flesh. Crèvecoeur chickens have small, fine bones and the proportion of meat to offal can be quite high. The skin on this breed is white. And the meat is noted for being fine, short, and very white in the breasts and the leg meat can be quite dark and almost duck-like in color. They also fatten readily and were a French favorite to “gaver” or stuff – an old traditional practice of making birds eat more by inserting a tube into their mouths that introduces a specially blended wet mash and supplements their normal diet.

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