Breeds of chickens: Ardennese

Breeds of chickens: Ardennese

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Origin, diffusion and economic characteristics

From some it is considered a Belgian breed, from others French (name in French Ardennaise, in German Ardenner).
The origins are very ancient; according to some scholars it derives from the ancient Gallic breed Gauloise. The first description dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. Lunione Avicoltori di Liège, founded in 1893, promoted the spread of this breed, which was bred until the First World War. The destruction caused by the world conflict and the introduction of Italian chickens to Belgium led to the near extinction of the Ardennese. It was recovered thanks to the passion of many amateur breeders. Rather popular in the French speaking area of ​​southern Belgium. Rare in the north but in the interest in this breed it is growing. Rustic, wild, she prefers to perch on tree branches rather than take refuge in shelters. It needs large spaces. Discreet laying hen, lays around 120-150 eggs per year (hatching aptitude). The flesh is white.

Morphological characteristics

There are many varieties of plumage: black, white, golden, silver, silver salmon and golden salmon, golden pernic and silver pernic.
Small, elegant and proud head. Simple crest, medium in the rooster and small in the hen. Large eye with brown red iris. Small dark red mumps; round wattles. Short dark gray beak. Short and thick neck. Wide and prominent abdomen; back wide and inclined towards the tail. In the rooster the feathers of the rump are long and numerous. Wide tail. Medium legs, with 5 toes, with naked tarsi and dark gray.

Medium weight:
- Roosters 2.0 - 2.5 kg
- Hens 1.5 - 2.0 kg

There is also the rumpless Ardenner (without tail) which has a latrphy of the caudal vertebrae and is devoid of tail feathers (a decidedly rare variety that has the same varieties).
The dwarf variety was also selected.

Ardennese rooster (photo Johan Opsomer

Ardennese rooster and hen (photo Johan Opsomer

Ardennes without tail - Ardenner rumpless (photo Johan Opsomer

Breed standard - FIAV


Ardenne. Breed developed more in the Belgian than in the French part.

Minimum weight g. 60
Shell color: white.

Rooster: 18
Hen: 16

Medium-sized chicken that has the characteristics of the old country chicken. Proud and lively appearance; has maintained a wild disposition. Fairly elongated shape. The rooster has the plumage of the cape and the rump very developed. Face with dark pigmentation.

General appearance and characteristics of the breed

Trunk: fairly elongated and slightly inclined; proud and proud bearing. In the hen, more horizontal habit and transition with a well rounded tail.
Head: of a good medium size and strong.
Beak: strong; medium length; slightly curved; dark horn color.
Eyes: large, bright. Dark brown iris; dark eye ring.
Crest: medium sized; simple; straight; rather fine texture; regularly cut into 4 or 5 teeth; lobe that detaches from the nape; color according to the variety. In the smaller ridge hen.
Bargigli: medium sized; rounded; fine texture; color according to the variety.
Face: smooth; fine texture; color according to the variety.
Mumps: almond-shaped; color according to the variety.
Neck: long enough; gracefully arched; abundant cape covering the shoulders.
Shoulders: wide and rounded.
Back: wide enough at the shoulders, medium width, slightly inclined towards the back. Croup with long and abundant lanceolate.
Wings: long; well tightened to the body; in the cock extremities hidden under the lanceolate of the rump.
Tail: oblique flow. Long and wide sickles that shrink without ending with a fine point; wide helmsman; overall, a tail detected but not exaggerated. Little open helmsman in the hen.
Chest: quite wide; well fleshy; prominent and raised to medium height.
Legs: legs in sight, without being prominent; of medium length. Medium length tarsi, fine bone structure; color according to the variety. Four fingers, well spread and of medium length.
Belly: well developed; brought not too low. In the well-developed hen.

ROOSTER: Kg. 2,0 / 2,5
HEN: Kg. 1,5 / 2,0

Serious defects: delicate, short, clumsy or narrow body; flat chest; narrow habit, too high or too low; narrow sickle-shaped cock; tail habit too horizontal; little developed belly in the hen; head attributes too large; pivoting ridge; red face except for the white variety; white in the mumps.

Conformation: well tightened to the body; wide feathers; long sickle cells; abundant cape and rump; very developed down jacket.


Orange head. Orange red cape, each feather with black flame that does not break through. Golden red croup, as much as possible with flames. Golden red back, shoulders and small wing coverts. Black wing bands with green reflections. Primary black remiges with fine brown edging in the external beards. Secondary remiges with internal beards and black pen tip and brown external beards, which form the wing triangle. Chest, legs and belly black. Black tail with green reflections.
Dark gold head; dark gold cape, each pen with black flame that must not break through the hem. Back, shoulders and wing coverts gray brown with fine black peppering, distributed as regular as possible. Clear spine clearly visible. Rust red breast that fades to gray towards the belly. Remy like the wing coverts. Black brown tail.

Face, wattles, mumps and crest of blackish to blackish color. Dark brown iris. Dark blue tarsi. Dark horn beak.
Serious defects:
Rooster: cape feathers too light; flames that break through strongly; chest and legs design; remiganti with strong floury traces.
Hen: background color too light, light hemming; absence of the drawing of the spine; strong floury traces in the remiges.

Silver white head. White silver cape with faint black flames that do not break through and whitish spine. Silver white rump without flames. Back, shoulders and small wing coverts pure silver white. Sides of the black wing with green reflections. Primary black remiges with narrow white outer rim. Internal beards and tip of the secondary remiges black and white external beards that form the triangle of the wing. Black breast with light white edging. Black legs with white edging. Belly with white edging. Black tail, sickle-shaped with green reflections. Gray down jacket.
Silver white head. White silver cape with black flames that do not break through and whitish spine. Back, shoulders and small coverts of the wings silver gray with regularly distributed black pepper and whitish rachis. From the cape to the tail, each pen must have a narrow light silver gray border. Back and wings without rust or faded traces. Salmon breast. Ash gray belly. Black gray tail, on large coverts the drawing must reach the end of the pen. Gray down jacket.

Face, wattles, mumps and blackish to blackish crest. Intense dark brown iris. Dark horn beak.

Serious defects:
Gallo: flames of the cape that break through strongly; yellowish back; absence of pattern in the chest and legs.
Hen: lots of rust or soot, banded pepper; insufficient silver edging.

Dark golden orange head, cape and rump with black flames. Small coverlets of the wings golden dark orange. Chest and rest of the intense black plumage, light golden edging allowed on the feathers of the chest.
Dark golden orange cape with black flames. Chest and rest of pure black plumage, refined green reflections. Black nape allowed. Slight golden edging allowed on the feathers of the upper chest.

Orange red to chestnut brown iris.

Serious defects: strong hemming in the chest; clear flames on the chest; drawing in the cloak of the hen; drawing color too light or brownish red.

Silver white head, cape and rump with pronounced black flames. Silver white shoulders, back and small wing coverts. Black breast with light silver-white hemming above the goiter, which reaches lower in the older roosters. Remnant of body plumage, including wing triangle and wing bands, black with green reflections.
Silver white head and cape with black flames. Black breast with light silver edging. Remnant of the black plumage.

Face, mumps, wattles and dark red to blackish purple ridge. Dark horn beak.

Serious defects: absence of green reflections; hemmed splash that falls too low or white spine on the chest; hemming in white and belly; white in the triangle of the wing in the rooster; drawing in the cloak of the hen; violet reflections on the background color.

Intense black with bright green reflections.
Face, mumps, wattles and blackish to blackish crest: deep dark brown iris. Dark blue to blackish tarsi. Dark horn to black beak.

Serious Defects: opaque plumage; violet reflections; red feathers; floury tracks.

White, light yellow reflections allowed in the rooster's cape and rump.
Deep red face, mumps, wattles and crest. Bright ruby ​​red iris. Tarsi and blue beak.

Serious defects: strong yellow reflections; feathers of other color.

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