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Derbyshire Redcap - Chicken
Derbyshire Redcap Details
UsesModerate egg layer, small table bird
OriginDerbyshire, Southern Pennines
ClassLarge Fowl, light, soft feather
CombLarge rose with leader
Weight, cock3 kg
Weight, hen2.5 kg
ParentageUncertain: Gold spangled Hamburgh and others
Sitter?The Large fowl is mainly but not always a non sitter but the bantam often has reliable brooding instincts.
Derbyshire Redcap Description
The Derbyshire Redcap originates in Derbyshire and its surrounding counties, in England and has existed for several centuries. The light weight breed is energetic and very flighty in nature, requiring either ample pen area with a low stocking density or fencing atleast 5ft high to keep them confined.
Redcaps are famed for their giant rose comb, that is held confidently and proudly on its head. Both males and females exhibit larger than normal rose combs. The comb, despite its size does not appear to hinder the agility of the breed. Combs should reach 8.25 x 7cm in size.
The Derbyshire Redcap, a typical farmyard fowl of northern England, similar in habit and appearance to the Old English Pheasant Fowl and Hamburgh is ideally suited to a low maintenance diet, their thrifty and foraging nature makes them ideal for free range rearing.
Despite the Redcap having a breed society they remain surprisingly rare and continue to be predominantly found in the region of their origin.
However rare they may be, they seem to have retained a great hardiness at any age and are not found to suffer particularly from any ailment. Indeed the Bantam Redcaps that may number under 100 in Great Britain are very vigorous and wild in habit and even have, unlike the large fowl, some brooding instinct.
The Derbyshire Redcap would make an excellent breed for the smallholder who requires enough eggs of an acceptable medium size for their own uses. Eggs should be pure white but are often tinted which is a sign of past crossing, as tinted eggs are genetically dominant, but despite this there is little other evidence to show interferance from other breeds. They as far as known mostly breed true but sometimes vary slightly in the ground colour of feathers, some stock growing to have a pale/patchy brown ground colour rather than the preferred dark nut brown. The variation may be a genetic anomally.
The Redcap can also be used as a table bird, however they develop very slowly and produce comparatively very little meat by modern standards. One bird may be suitable for two people.
Ideally the breed is suited to continued use for domestic egg production and for exhibiting its large comb. No other breed has such as well developed rose comb with no noticable effect to the health of the bird. Perhaps the comb may well be an excellent means for the breed to help cool itselfs while roaming actively on pasture during a summers day. The comb is easily cut, so free-ranging through hedgerow and wooded areas may not be suited to the breed, although the breed is still managed as such by some breeders.