Brakel (Braekle) are a chicken breed that originated in the Flanders region that spanned northern France, Belgium, and Holland. Despite their striking ornamental appearance, Brakel were bred for the practical demands of the farmyard pasture. Powerful fliers and constantly alert for predators, Brakel survive well in a free-range environment. These medium-sized large fowl are most noted for their cleanly barred feathers and the disproportionately large white egg produced by the Brakel hens. Over time, their long bodies have become perfectly suited for egg production.
One hundred years ago you could find the Brakel on every smallholding. This is why the breed was also known as the "Farm Yard Hen". Other names for the breed were "The Everyday Layer", "The Grey White Neck" and "The Nuns Hen". They were admired by the people who kept them because they laid well and provided a good table bird. It is noted that in the past, the breed was only fed in the evening. The rest of the day the fowl scratched around the yard and fields, looking for worms, insects, seed and greens. In this way the breed became hardy and only the strongest, the quickest and the healthiest ones survived. A basic natural selection took place, creating a strong breed resistant to all climates.
The first World War caused the population of Brakels to decline substantially, due to the breed ending up as Sunday dinner. The small rebirth of the breed after the war was swept away by The Second World War. After WWII, the success of the breed was limited and infrequent. In 1968 the Brakel was scarce and time was running out. An old Flemish breed was at the brink of extinction. In 1969 the situation had become so bad, that the number of pure Brakels in Belgium could be counted on one hand. An urgent appeal to assemble all the remaining Brakels in order to try to save the breed was published in the newspapers but without success. The Brakel was about to disappear forever! In 1971 the second Brakel club was founded. All remaining silver Brakels were assembled, two hens, a rooster from Germany and twelve eggs. Also one golden rooster was found. A miracle happened, the Brakel was revived from just these few birds!
With the help of a few dedicated breeders around the world, the Brakel is making a comeback. Greenfire Farms was the first to import them into the U.S. in 2010, and luckily released a few pairs before losing their entire flock to a bobcat. We are blessed to have been one of those farms, and we are now collaborating with the help of the other breeders here in the U.S. to help resurrect this wonderful breed. In 2015 we added an imported Silver Brakel hen to our breeding program. She is completely unrelated to the original Greenfire Farms line and will offer both color and genetic diversity to our flocks. We are now the only breeder in the U.S. with a completely unrelated bloodline (our "B" line). We are extremely excited about this addition and already have many Gold and Silver Brakel chicks running about our brooders!
Gold Brakel Chick Price- $35.00
Silver Brakel Chick Price- $45.00