The Faverolle is a very unique breed of chicken. They are somewhat rare chickens that originated in France (like Crevcouers) in the village of Faverolles (which is, as you might guess, where their name came from)…
Faverolles where primarily bred for the purpose of egg production and exceptional meat quality. They excelled in both areas and are among the best of dual purpose breeds. In the 1900s, the Faverolle was considered the best of all French breeds.
A healthy Faverolle hen will lay ~150-180 light brown eggs per year (comparable to the Orpington). However, French breeders leaned towards characteristics that encouraged winter laying which resulted in their reputation as exceptional winter layers. Faverolles are also reputably good sitters (i.e. they are known to hatch their eggs when given the chance).
Faverolles have very fancy and distinct characteristics that they inherited from the many various breeds present in their ancestry.
Faverolles have beards and muffs. They also have feathering extending all the way down their lightly colored shanks and feet (which are 5-toed, like the Dorking). Faverolles also have pointed combs which is intriguing because chickens with beards/muffs usually have pea combs.
According to the American Standard, adult Faverolle roosters weigh ~8 pounds and an adult hen weigh ~ 6.5 pounds. This Makes them a medium weight breed. However, according to the British Standard, adult Faverolle roosters weigh ~9-11 pounds and adult Faverolle hens weigh 7.5 pounds. This would classify them as a large breed. Bantam variations exist but are even more uncommon than the standard size, which has become somewhat rare in the U.S.
Faverolles come in quite a few color variations but only Salmon and white are legally recognized in the U.S. However, in Britain, Buff, Blue-Laced, Cuckoo, Black and Ermine are also recognized.
The Salmon color variation of the breed is very unique for the reason that the exact variation in color is only present in Faverolles. The Salmon Faverolle color variation also appears very differently on the roosters than it does on the Salmon Faverolle hens.
Faverolles originated in France and where named after the village of Faverolles. They where bred from Houdans, French Rennes, Brahmas, Flemish Cucoos, Malines and Dorkings.
Although the Faverolle is an old breed, the physical characteristics present in the breed today did not begin to show consistency until ~1886.
Faverolles where taken to England in 1894. Then, Faverolles where imported to America (somewhere between 1901 and 1902). The new and interesting fancy chicken breed was readily accepted by chicken enthusiasts in the U.S. In 1914, The Salmon color variation was recognized by the American poultry Association as a true breed. The white variety was later recognized in the year 1981.
Faverolles are very known for their mellow temperaments and inquisitive natures. They are docile, friendly, gentle and very mellow. In fact, aggression is rather uncommon in the breed (even in the roosters). They also bear confinement well. However, since Faverolles are mellow and only medium weight, they tend to be at the bottom of the pecking order. For this reason, they do best in small flocks with other faverolles or other mellow breeds. Considering these factors, Faverolles are exceptional as pets. However, because of their fancy qualities, they make wonderful show-chickens as well.
Featured Photo of a Salmon Faverolle hen (named Squeak) at the top of this post courtesy of Sam C.