The Crevcouer (Pronounced ‘krev-coor’) is an interesting breed… With such a striking appearance, they are not easy to miss. Crevcouers themselves actually originated in France. In fact, Crevcouer means ‘Broken-Heart’ in French…
Crevcouers were bred mainly for ornamental purposes and are not very productive layers. A healthy Crevcouer hen will lay about 100-150 eggs per year. However, Crevcouers take somewhat longer to mature than the average and will likely not begin lay until 7-8 months (unlike Egyptian Fayoumis, which begin laying at around 4 months of age).
Crevcouer roosters weigh about 7-8 pounds and hens weigh 5-6 pounds. This puts them in the category of medium-large chickens. Crevcouers come in bearded, Ear-tufted or any combination of the listed or even clean (no beard or tuffs). However, all true ‘Crevies’ have crests. Crevcouers are clean-legged (no feathers on their feet) and have dark greenish/slate shanks and toes. However, the bottom of their feet is usually a yellow-ish color. Crevcouers’ beaks are similarly colored to their legs (dark with lightly colored tips). Crevcouers have dark, low-set eyes and large cavernous nostrils. Unlike most chicken breeds, their nostrils are set high on their beaks. This forms a slight protrusion on the top of the upper portion of the beak.
Crested are unique in the fact that their brains are about 20% larger than the average chicken. This causes a ‘quirk’ in the chick’s fetal development which results in a crest… At ~15 days into incubation, the chick’s skull begins forming a protrusion on the top of the chicks head. The purpose of this protrusion is accommodate the large brain. The result is what we call a ‘crest’.
Crevcouers are not known to be extremely temperature hardy (from what I have researched). However, they are more tolerant than many other breeds. My Crevcouers fared much better in hot weather than my Buff Orpingtons… They also where happily foraging outdoors (seemingly without a care) when the ground was frozen and it was below 20F.
Maintenance & Activity levels
Crevcouers are fairly low maintenance. They also bear confinement well. However, Crevcouers are not superb foragers… Although they enjoy the outdoors and love to stretch their legs, they are not among the most self-sufficient breeds. Like most crested breeds, Crevcouers’ peripheral vision is often somewhat impaired. This makes them more susceptible to birds of prey as well as other predators. Therefore, they should be kept in a secure place. However, Crevcouer chickens fly exceptionally well (better than any breed I have ever owned). For this reason, care must be taken when fences are involved. Given the above factors… if you plan to have free range chickens on a large piece of property, cresteds are probably not the optimal breed choice. They are better suited as pets and/or in small backyard flocks… with huge fences.
Crevcouers are rather friendly towards people (primarily when familiarized with humans). Crevcouers generally tolerate handling well. However, most Crevcouers are easy to spook.
Crevcouers are very docile. In fact, aggression is rarely seen with this breed… even with the roosters. This is a very desirable trait for many backyard chicken keepers. However, it means that Crevcouers are often near the bottom of the pecking order.
Need help determining the gender of your crested chicks? Please visit my other article on the subject here: How To Sex Crested Chicks and/or visit me through my Contact Page. I am always ready to talk chickens!