Use: The Crevecouer chicken breed is primarily used for exhibition, though it was originally developed for meat. Crevecouer hens are also respectable layers of medium-sized, white eggs.
History: The Crevecouer is an elaborately crested, muffed and bearded chicken breed developed in the town of Crève-Coeur Ange near Normandy, France. Little is known about the origins of the breed, but French poultry historians believe it was developed during or before the 17th century by crossing crested Polish chickens with the old-time, common chickens of Normandy. Crevecouers, in turn, were most likely used in developing the French Houdan and Faverolle chicken breeds. The Crevecouer chicken breed was admitted to the first volume of the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874.
Conformation: Both sexes of the Crevecouer chicken breed have shiny, black plumage with greenish overtones; crests and beards of moderate size; V-shaped combs; compact, well-proportioned bodies with short legs; white skin; and dark blue-gray shanks. Standard Crevecouer cocks weigh about 8 pounds and hens weigh 6½ pounds. Bantam cocks weigh 30 ounces and hens weigh 26 ounces. The breed has small, fine bones and its meat is noted for being fine textured, delicious and very white.
Special Considerations/Notes: Crevecoeurs are active but friendly chickens that do well in confinement. They can also free-range but are poor foragers. The breed is heat tolerant; however, due to their fancy plumage, the chickens are fair-weather fowl, somewhat delicate and require adequate protection when it rains or snows. The Crevecoeur’s name means “broken heart.” It’s listed as Critical on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List.