Wyandotte – The first hen in New Zealand


Wyandotte: The first hen in new zealand !!
 Also called the Silver Laced  and was named after a Native American tribe. There are a range of other colours, and a bantam variety. This breed is a well-proportioned, medium-sized, multi-purpose chicken with yellow skin and brown eggs.
In 1773, on his second voyage to New Zealand, Captain James Cook gave hens to Māori in both the North and South islands. Missionaries in the Bay of Islands were the first recorded poultry farmers in 1814. Many early settlers had a few hens in the backyard to supply eggs. Chicken meat was a luxury, eaten perhaps only once or twice a year – often a non-laying hen or old rooster. Domestic poultry also included ducks, geese and turkeys, but chickens were by far the most popular and numerous.
In 1896 the New Zealand government appointed its first poultry expert. Soon after, several state poultry stations were set up to evaluate approved strains of poultry and farm and breed them. The emphasis at this time was mostly on egg production, although heavy breeds were recognised as being useful for both eggs and meat.
At the beginning of the 20th century, chickens – often called chooks – were kept in coops and runs in the backyards of about half of New Zealand households. Poultry farmers used similar set-ups, or kept hens in fields in ‘mobile arks’, which could be moved when the ground became muddy. Some farmers kept hens indoors in a barn, with a litter floor and nest boxes for egg-laying. The intensive system, where birds are kept indoors throughout their productive life, was first used in 1915 and soon became the most widespread.Improved laying strains were imported to the state poultry stations, and their eggs or chicks were sold to the public. These were such breeds as the Campine, White and Brown Leghorn, Minorca, Wyandotte and Orpington. White Leghorns and Orpingtons were the most popular.
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