The Vorwerk chicken is a relatively new breed of chicken, so it isn’t a common backyard chicken in the US. Despite this, the Vorwerk chicken has a loyal fan following. You can even find social media groups dedicated to raising this particular breed.
Let’s find out why the breed is so popular.
Quick Facts About the Vorwerk Chicken
|Place of Origin:||Hamburg, Germany|
|Uses:||Eggs and meat|
|Cock (Male) Size:||5.5–6.6 pounds|
|Hen (Female) Size:||4.4–5.5 pounds|
|Bantam Cock:||2–3 pounds|
|Bantam Hen:||1.5–2.5 pounds|
|Color:||Black and gold|
|Lifespan:||5 to 10 years|
|Climate Tolerance:||Any climate|
|Production:||160–190 eggs per year|
|Egg Color:||Cream or light brown|
As we mentioned, the Vorwerk chicken is a new breed of chicken that’s only been around since 1900. The Vorwerk chicken was named after the man who created the breed, Oskar Vorwerk. Vorwerk wanted a dual-purpose chicken breed that was simple to raise, had a good feed-to-egg ratio and had decent meat production.
Like many farm animal breeds, Vorwerks almost went extinct after WWII. Wilmar Vorwerk of Minnesota created the Bantam version in 1966, a smaller version of the original. The Bantam version is the most popular type in the US.
Vorwerk Chicken Characteristics
The Vorwerk chicken is a sturdy, adaptable chicken that can tolerate any climate. This breed is tough and always alert and active. But don’t let them fool you! They make great companions and are easy to handle.
Vorwerk chickens are excellent foragers and work best in a free-range setting. Some backyards might not be a good idea for this breed because they love to roam free and explore their environment, so they might wander a little too far. However, Vorwerks also do well in confinement. They won’t cause problems for themselves or other chickens.
Vorwerks are also known to be flighty. They can fly up to 6.5 feet. So, if you do add this breed to your flock, you’ll need high fencing. Otherwise, your Vorwerk will find a way to escape.
Vorwerks are dual-purpose chickens, so you can use them for both eggs and meat. Vorwerks are dependable layers, even in the cold months. Their resiliency allows them to lay throughout the winter.
You can expect a Vorkerk to lay between 160–190 eggs per year. The Bantam variety is the most popular in America but produces fewer eggs of smaller sizes. Still, their egg production is dependable.
Appearance & Varieties
The most distinctive characteristic of the Vorwerk is the glossy plumage coloring. Vorwerk chickens have a gold body while the head, neck, and tail are solid black. They have a single, medium-sized comb, white earlobes, and slate blue legs.
Their backs are broad, and their breasts are rounded. Looking at a Vorwerk, you’ll see that it has a strong and compact body, much larger than other breeds of chickens. However, the Bantam variety is smaller, so it might be the same size as your other chickens. Even so, Vorwerks need about 5 square feet of living space to feel comfortable.
Many people confuse the Vorwerk with the Lakenvelder since they look similar. The biggest difference is the plumage coloring. Lakenvelders have white body plumage, while Vorwerks have gold.
The Vorwerk is a rare bird and it’s hard to say if the population will increase. Vorwerks are almost non-existent in Europe these days, as they were never popularized outside where they came from.
Regardless, there are plenty of American chicken keepers that adore the breed and plan to keep the breed alive for years to come.
Are Vorwerk Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?
Vorwerk chickens are great for small-scale farming as long as it’s not a small backyard setup. If you have the appropriate amount of space for your Vorwerk to roam and forage naturally, then this chicken could be an excellent addition to your small-scale flock!
Featured Image Credit: Manfred Ruckszio, Shutterstock