Our Utility Breeds
In addition to importing rare breeds for their exhibition qualities, AvGen successfully imported several utility breeds of poultry for their fine table & egg laying traits. We selected a range of utility breeds to accommodate both larger commercial enterprises, and smaller self-sufficient, permaculture or farm to plate businesses.
We have a cross section of breeds from dual-purpose (meat and eggs) to single-purpose (meat or eggs) breeds including; the famous La Bresse Gauloise from France, dual-purpose Light Sussex from an old established UK line, the dual-purpose British breed Ixworth, the self-sufficient Derbyshire Redcap, egg-laying Egyptian Fayoumi, and white Siciliana, an egg-laying breed from Italy.
The Bresse Gauloise
Originating in the former French province Bresse, the famous Bresse breed, is well suited to supplying high-end or speciality restaurants for fine-dining. The Bresse (Poulet de Bresse) was given Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) status in 1957, and is revered in France for its gamey depth of flavour and tender flesh. We are proud to offer our Australian Bresse to growers. Australian Bresse are outstanding layers and would likewise be suited to a dual-purpose production enterprise. Available under contract conditions only
Developed by Reginald Appleyard in the 1930s, the Ixworth is a dual-purpose breed with white feathers, bone and flesh.
It was named after the village of Ixworth in Suffolk, from where it originates.
Ixworth are bred as fast-growing, high-quality meat breed with fair laying abilities. Despite their size, the bone is not too heavy and wasteful and consequently the mobility and fertility in males is excellent.
The Sussex is an old breed from southern England. Our line is a dual-purpose utility strain which originates from Fred Hams’ flock at Cherry Orchard in the UK.
They mature relatively quickly, yet more slowly than commercial layers and broilers. They can lay more than 260 large (~70g), light brown tinted eggs a year.
Some hens may produce close to 300 eggs per year.
A very early maturing ancient egg-laying breed from the Italian island of Sicily. They have a cup-shaped comb and lay an unusually shaped, elongated, white egg. Pullets can begin laying from as early as 15-16 weeks. They can produce up to 300 white eggs per year and would be suited to an enterprise looking to provide a different colour and shaped egg.
Photo: Luke Price
One of the oldest European breeds, the Crèvecœur originates from France. The breed was so highly prized in its glory days that only two prizes were allocated to poultry exhibited at the Paris World Exhibition in 1855; one for Crèvecœur and one for all other breeds of poultry.
Despite their ornamental appearance the breed was developed for its table qualities, and males can weigh over 4 kgs. They have fine bones and produce an abundance of tender breast meat. Females are competent layers and produce large white shelled eggs.
Photo: Mike Fidler
The Scots Grey is an ancient dual purpose Scottish Crofters/Cotters fowl from at least the 1500s. They are well suited to free-range and self-sufficient enterprises.
They are vigorous, hardy and excellent forages, thriving in a broad range of environmental conditions. They mature early, are capable layers, producing large, white eggs.
They are a useful table bird and adult males can weigh over 3 kg and the flesh is very tasty. The breed thrives on free range conditions, and will happily roost in trees.
Photo: Luke Price
An ancient Egyptian breed, extremely hardy, fast to feather and mature and excellent layers of smaller, off-white eggs. They can handle a wide range of environmental conditions, including very hot climates.
Research into the breed is revealing they are particularly resistant to viral and bacterial infections. There disease resistance and ability to forage and fend for themselves makes them ideally suited to organic free-range egg production enterprise producing eggs with a point of difference.
The Derybyshire Redcap is one of England’s oldest dual-purpose utility breeds, it developed as a favoured barnyard fowl of farmers in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, being prized for its excellent laying ability and fine table qualities.
They are self-sufficient, rarely have health problems and thrive on free range conditions. Females can produce 150 to 200 large white eggs per year. The meat is white and has a similar flavour to game birds. A breed well-suited to a minimal input, self-sufficient egg and meat production.
Photo: Mike Fidler
New Hampshire Red
Developed in the state of New Hampshire in the USA, as a dual-purpose breed. Our strain is of mixed origin and was sourced from Roy Edwards and Chris Wooley in the UK. They are excellent layers of light brown eggs, producing 200 to 280 eggs per year. Early to mature for a heavy pure breed and cockerels are heavy and well-muscled. An ideal breed for a dual-purpose enterprise wishing to produce a brown egg.
Photo: Jed Dwight
We also have an exceptional utility strain of White Leghorn, which are hardy, fertile and excellent layers, with females producing in excess of 300 eggs per year.