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What breeds of chickens can not be found today in the farmsteads and household plots of Russia. Many people breed chickens not only for meat and eggs, but also for decorative purposes, and there are more and more such breeds. But in the vast expanses of our homeland, it turns out, there is a breed of chickens, which is recognized throughout the world as a standard to follow in many respects, but, above all, in its beauty. Moreover, Pavlovsky chickens are recognized as almost the most ancient breed of chickens in the history of Russia. They are akin to ancient fossil animals that anyone interested in paleontology dreams of reviving.
As for the Pavlovsk breed of chickens, it is almost like a Phoenix bird, it was revived from complete oblivion in the eighties of the last century through the efforts of several enthusiastic breeders, who also work in completely different parts of Russia. At the moment, we can already speak with complete evidence of the complete restoration of this breed, although its fate was very difficult.
History of the breed
Partly due to the antiquity of origin, partly due to the lack of written evidence, the very history of the appearance of the Pavlovian chicken breed is still, unfortunately, covered in darkness.
It is only known that the first chickens of this breed were bred in the village of Pavlovo, Nizhny Novgorod province, from where, in fact, their name came from. This village and its inhabitants became famous throughout Russia not only for chickens. In ancient times, it was called Vulkanovo, due to the fact that the main craft, which was owned by almost every adult man in the village, was blacksmithing. Probably due to the fact that blacksmithing was highly valued in Russia, the inhabitants of the village were issued passports by a special decree of Empress Catherine II, with whom they could freely move not only throughout Russia, but also abroad and trade their products. Although serfdom flourished on the territory of the rest of Russia at the same time, the Pavlovians had the opportunity, traveling, to bring various wonders from distant lands, it was not for nothing that they became famous for breeding the unique Pavlovian lemon, which grew and bore fruit in almost every hut.
They were also engaged in breeding various breeds of birds: geese, chickens, canaries, etc. The inhabitants of the village of Pavlovo, apparently, were surprisingly talented in everything, because they managed to breed, and even keep clean, a breed of chickens with very complex recessive genetics.
Since the 19th century, the Pavlovsk breed of chickens begins to spread throughout many countries of Europe and Asia, where it receives due recognition, and only in its homeland it was almost forgotten altogether. Due to the disdainful attitude towards domestic breeds and the preference even in those years of everything foreign, the Pavlovsk breed of chickens was placed almost on the brink of extinction. Although then, at the turn of the XIX - XX centuries, the extinction of the breed was still managed to be prevented.
In 1878, Pavlovsk chickens were presented in Moscow at an international exhibition, and in 1899 they received the status of a national breed. But then there was the revolution of 1917, the Civil War and the years of dispossession that followed, when many breeds of poultry and animals were lost or mixed with each other.
And only at the end of the last century, literally by a miracle, it was possible to restore the Pavlovsk breed in the form in which it existed at the beginning of the XX century.
Description of the breed
Pavlovsk chickens, the breed description of which follows below, is a small, tightly built, bearded-crested bird with legs covered with dense plumage.
- The live weight of a rooster of this breed is about 1.5-2.2 kg, respectively, the chicken weighs about 1.3-1.5 kg;
- The head is round, medium in size. The beak is almost straight, its color depends on the color of the plumage, thin;
- The eyes are rather large, round, dark;
- The crest is one of the main features of the breed. There are three varieties, but the third is usually discarded. Ideally, the crest should have a round or oval base and grow in the form of a sheaf upward, and then fall apart in such a kind of fountain in all directions. There are also helmet-shaped crests of a narrower shape, squeezed on the sides and slightly inclined forward. At the same time, they do not fall apart and do not interfere with the vision of the birds. The third type of crest, when it falls apart strongly and interferes with vision, is considered a marriage in the breed;
- The crest is very small, like horns. The earrings are very small, hardly distinguishable due to the feathers of the beard. The beard and bump are well developed, thick, covering most of the face and throat. The face itself is red;
- The neck is not long, also covered with a thick feather cover. The wings are wide, medium, usually tightly pressed. The tail is full, beautifully loose at right angles to the back;
- The lower leg is also densely feathered; a distinctive feature on it is the so-called hawk tuft. In birds, feathers in the area of the knee joint are fanned out in the shape of a spoon, so when the chicken crouches, a kind of feather bedding forms under its feet, thanks to which it can even sleep in the snow;
- The hocks (the so-called lower parts of the legs, naked in ordinary chickens) are blue or gray, densely feathered, while the feathers are pressed to the metatarsus, and do not stick out to the side, like in other uphill breeds of chickens;
- There should be four fingers, all should have plumage, at least a quarter of the length.
The appearance of the hen and the rooster of the Pavlovsk breed is quite similar, except that in roosters, the tail is much more pronounced and widely spread. The chicken has virtually no earrings. But, oddly enough, the crest, tanks and beard are usually more developed in chickens than in a rooster.
Many beginners who are just starting to breed the Pavlovsk breed are interested in at what age and how you can distinguish chickens from roosters. In this regard, the breed is quite difficult, it is unlikely that it will be possible to determine the sex before two months. Birds are good at camouflaging, but some signs can still be noted.
- In female chickens, the crest looks more like a round cap, while in cockerels, the crest is rather elongated in length in the shape of a miniature mohawk;
- If you look at the chickens in the total mass from above, then in the Pavlovsk breed cockerels on the wings and back the pattern is slightly larger and brighter;
- Females fledge faster and more evenly than males, which take longer to grow and may have large, well-defined bare areas on their bodies;
- The legs of the cockerels are usually larger and longer than those of the hens;
- Well, one cannot fail to mention the often used "folk way" of determining the sex of any chicken - gently lift it up into the air with one leg upside down. In this case, the chicken will press its head up, towards the chest, and the cockerel will sooner stretch its head down and to the sides, as if assessing the situation.
The gross shortcomings of the Pavlovsk breed, when birds are usually rejected, include the following signs:
- complete absence of a crest or a crest spread out in different directions, interfering with vision;
- legs without feathers;
- lack of a beard;
- the presence of a fifth toe or cerebral hernia.
Characteristics of the Pavlovsk breed of chickens with a photo
The breed is considered decorative egg, because despite its unearthly beauty, the Pavlovsk breed chicken is capable of laying from 150 to 170 eggs per year. She begins to rush at an average age of about one year. Eggs are white, and sometimes creamy, the mass of the testicles is quite large for such small birds - 50-65 grams. The taste characteristics of the eggs are excellent, with the yolk making up the majority of the egg.
Important! Eggs and meat of the Pavlovian breed of chickens can be eaten even by people with allergies to ordinary chicken eggs. In composition, they are more similar to quail. And the meat tastes like game.
Roosters of the Pavlovsk breed grow rather quickly and by half a year they reach a mass of 1200 to 1500 grams.
Layers have a well-developed brooding instinct and are very caring mothers who tenderly raise and raise their chicks. The hatchability is about 90%, and the chick survival rate is even higher - about 95%.
In general, birds of this breed are very affectionate to humans, they gladly make contact, communicate, although they have a rather restless and active character.
The endurance of these birds is also a miracle. In the frost of -36 ° C, they do not hide in the chicken coop, but prefer to voluntarily spend the night on the branches of trees and on the fence. Due to their abundant feathers, they do not freeze at all.
Finally, the color variations of the Pavlovsk breed are quite diverse. Breeders have golden, silvery, smoky, black, white, porcelain, salmon and yellow bird variations.
Pavlovskaya golden is one of the most popular and widespread varieties of the Pavlovsk breed of chickens at the moment. This is one of those colors, the stuffed animals of which have survived to the present time, and for them the selection of the appropriate specimens was made in due time for the withdrawal of the breed. The photo below shows the surviving stuffed rooster and hen of the Pavlovsk breed, and against their background a living modern rooster.
The general basic shade of plumage is golden. On the tip of almost every feather there is a black speck of a fairly regular shape. On some parts of the body, the spots take on a rather distinguishable form of the Latin letter V. The crest and tanks with a beard can be either black or variegated. However, it is difficult to convey in words all the brilliance of this plumage, for which birds are popularly called "gold".
The Pavlovsk silver breed ranks second in prevalence, and it was this color that was also found among the old pictures illustrating the representatives of the Pavlovsk breed of chickens.
In chickens and roosters of this variety, a white or silvery main color of plumage predominates. And on it, just like in golden chickens, black specks of various sizes and shapes and a fairly regular look are scattered.
It is known that the Pavlovsk breed had other color varieties, but they are much less common and are often rejected for non-compliance with one or another requirement of the breed standard. Nevertheless, white Pavlovsky chickens are quite common - the color of plumage of which, in accordance with the name, is snow-white-white.
Sometimes there are the so-called porcelain Pavlovsky chickens, the color of the plumage of which is so variegated that it is difficult to give preference to any one color. Look better at the photos of these handsome men and see for yourself what they look like more.
The yellow Pavlovsky chickens are quite interesting, the color of which can be called rather red or fawn.
Well, and, finally, there are black Pavlovsky chickens, which to a large extent resemble their close relatives - Siberian Uplands.
It is not for nothing that the Pavlovsk breed of chickens is very popular, because in addition to high decorative properties and rather high egg production rates for an ornamental breed, these birds are very unpretentious to keeping conditions. What they really need is a lot of space in order to move, because these chickens are unusually energetic. Therefore, it is better not to keep them in cages. The most important thing is to provide them with free range on a sufficiently large area, since the lack of outdoor walks can adversely affect the health of Pavlovsky chickens.
Roosters of the Pavlovsk breed behave quite calmly, provided they exist on a large area, in close conditions they must be separated, since they themselves may not divide the living space.
Pavlovsky chickens are unpretentious to feed and in the summer season they can practically provide themselves with food. In the winter, they, of course, need the usual good nutrition with vitamin and mineral supplements. Chalk, shell rock and sand are required, in which chickens love to swim.
As you can see, the maintenance and breeding of the Pavlovsk breed of chickens is not very difficult, but if you wish, you can not only join the augmentation of the domestic heritage, which is this breed of chickens, but also enjoy admiring them, as well as an additional tasty and healthy addition to the table in the form of meat and eggs.