lakenvelder chicken
Photo Courtesy Of ggkeams On Instagram
  • Purpose: Eggs
  • Eggs: White
  • Egg Size: Small to Medium
  • Color: Black And White
  • Comb Type: Single

With a rather poetic name that translates to “a shadow on a sheet,” the Lakenvelder’s stark coloration of white and black is truly a beautiful sight on a spread of green grass.

The fashion of these egg-layers is fierce, but so is their personality. This ancient breed does things on its own terms.

The Lakenvelder is thought to be related to the very first chickens ever domesticated, so the breed still seems to have a foot in the world of its undomesticated ancestors.

Wary of predators, alert, and able to forage for all of its needs, this breed does well with access to wide open spaces.

They are a robust breed, so don’t fear for the well-being of your birds out on the range–they’ll probably manage just fine!

The non-sitting hens are far too busy to sit on their eggs, so if you’re looking to help bring this breed back from its threatened state, you’ll need to enlist the help of a far broodier hen!


With all the instincts of a wild animal, the Lakenvelder is a superb forager…but also superbly flighty and aggressive. The dominating nature of this breed may have them beating up your gentler birds, particularly if you try to keep them in confinement. Lakenvelders are not for first-time chicken keepers.

Their smaller size also allows them to fly decently well for a chicken, so if you have plans to keep them in a certain area, you may find that these somewhat impersonal birds have other plans in mind. Anyone with just a small space to offer their flock should consider a different breed than these far-roaming birds. Many keepers report that their Lakenvelders didn’t just dislike being cooped up in a small area, but actively hated it!

It is also worth noting that the roosters were originally bred for their crow–and even though they are an ancient breed, they haven’t forgotten their original job. If you live in a small urban lot and want your neighbors to retain their sanity, you may want to find a quieter bird.

What’s the Yield?

Lakenvelders are on the smaller side of the chicken spectrum, with roosters reaching 5 pounds and hens around 4 pounds. Their meat is regarded as quite tasty, but not plentiful. Originally bred for their rooster’s crow, then later for egg production, the slim-figured Lakenvelder is probably best used to supply eggs. Hens will typically produce about 150 small to medium white eggs.

Ancient Roots

Though the ancestry of the Lakenvelder is often traced back to Holland and Germany, the historical lineage of these chickens goes much further. They have ties to the very first domesticated chickens that were raised in ancient Mesopotamia more than 4000 years ago.

The Wise Men who bred them along the Brahmaputra River then brought them along with their travels to Israel, where the chickens were then referred to as “Tel Meggido.” Jewish Immigrants then carried on the poultry tradition to Europe, where the birds have been used as livestock ever since. So next time you eat a bagel (one of the first breads to be baked with eggs as an ingredient), thank a Lakenvelder!

Photos of Lakenvelder Chickens


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