Composite breed derived from Dark Cornish, White Leghorn, Rhode Island Red, White Wyandotte, Columbian Wyandotte and White Plymouth Rock.
Breed was developed by Brother Wilfrid, the poultryman in charge of the flocks at the Cistercian Trappist Monastery at Oka, Quebec because he wanted a truly Canadian chicken that could withstand our winters and was good for both meat and eggs
Took 9 years to develop and was officially declared a breed in 1921
Characteristics are a small comb and wattle so it will not succumb to frost bite in cold temperatures
Ark of Taste
Quebec named it a heritage breed in 1999
Breed is on the brink of extinction. It once served as a good commercial bird until the poultry industry created today's "high performance hybrids," which grow fast and pump out eggs.
Estimated only 2,000 birds left
Good dual purpose bird as produces good eggs and meat is more flavourful than other broiler chickens
Key figures in the breeds survival are three organizations representing Quebec's egg and poultry producers that recently signed an agreement to allow commercial production of the Chantecler.
"The only way to save the breed is to eat it," Fred Silversides, a poultry research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Biggest problem is that it is a slow growing bird so it costs more to raise. However it has tender juicy flesh and is tastier than battery raised chicken so there is a specialized market.
Quebec hopes Ontario farmers will start raising the Chantecler as well. One farmer outside of Guelph has but not for commercial purposes
Plan to save Cdn chicken from extinction By THE CANADIAN PRESS http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/WeirdNews/2009/10/04/11291861-cp.html
Six pounds but what's its IQ? http://www.slowfood.ca/news_articles_view.php?id=49