Day Old Golden Campine Baby Chicks
Hatching March to September.
Golden Campines are beautiful! They are also full of individual character and might surprise you with their independence and audacity.
Production: Campines are considered good layers, and you can expect an average of about 3 eggs per week or around 150 eggs per year. They have white skin, and while they can be used as dual-purpose birds, they are not usually raised for meat.
Temperament: Golden Campines are not exactly affectionate. They can be quite flighty, and most owners report that they don’t like much human contact.
History: Campines originated in Belgium, and have been bred there for hundreds of years. Interestingly, a bit of research into the breed reveals quite a bit of conflicting information. Campines come from an area of Belgium that is noted for its poor soil and have existed since before the time of Julius Caesar, and so must be a hardy breed. Yet, some sources report that they were never popular in the United States because they were “not found to be rugged.”
The same sort of conflict exists surrounding the breed’s laying ability. One explanation for their lack of popularity is that they are not good layers, but two excellent, reputable sources say that they are quite productive. The Livestock Conservancy reports that they will lay “150+” eggs per year, and Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds says they are “excellent” layers and that you can expect upwards of 200 eggs per year from one Campine hen.
Not many breeds have been removed from the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection, but the Campine can claim that dubious distinction. The first Campines imported to the United States arrived in 1893. By 1898, the breed had been dropped from the Standard, because it was not popular. In the UK, however, people took to the Campine and breeders worked on improvement. By 1907, more Campines were imported into the US, but, oddly still failed to catch on. There were once again added to the APA’s Standard of Perfection in 1914.
Golden Campines are beautiful, hardy, excellent foragers, very active and curious, as well as being productive layers. They have many traits to recommend them, but after WWII, their numbers were critically low, and the breed almost disappeared, even in its native home of Belgium. A few dedicated breeders brought them back from the verge of extinction, but more breeders are still needed to preserve this old variety of chicken.
Colors: Golden Campines have golden heads, with black-barred bodies. Males are “hen-feathered” meaning that they do not develop long sickle or tail feathers. Males and females are similarly colored. They do have large combs that sometimes fall sideways. They have white earlobes and slate-blue legs.
Livestock Conservancy Status: Critical. There are fewer than 5 breeding flocks of 50 or more birds in the United States.
Body Type: Campines are tightly feathered and appear smaller than they are. They hold their tails very upright and have clean legs.
Standard Weights: Rooster 6 lbs, Hen 4 lbs, Cockerel 5 lbs, Pullet 3.5 lbs
APA Class: Continental