Are you considering getting Campine chickens but before you make the decisions want to know more about the breed? What chickens you have in your backyard coop is an important decision and you need to know if the breed is suited for you.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the Campines. You will learn about their history, their appearance, their egg-laying abilities, and their temperament. Keep reading to have your questions about the Campine chicken breed answered.
The Origins of the Campine Chickens
Campines have their origins in the northern part of Belgium, and more specifically in the area called Campine, which has given the breed its name. The breed is very similar to another one, the Belgium Braekal, and for a long while the two were classed as the same breed. The Campines were simply considered a small variant of the same breed.
However, chicken keepers began to notice several differences between the Braekels and Campines. As a result, people began to refer to them as two separate breeds. Until the 1920s anyway, when the breeds were again reunited. They are sometimes referred to as Kempisch-Braekel.
Physical Features of Campine Chickens
Campine chickens are medium-sized birds that are well suited for backyard flocks but are also popular chickens in poultry shows. They are not considered a meat-producing breed since they are rather slim. Campines usually weigh between 4-5 lbs. Because they are slimmer birds, they are known for speed and agility.
There are two stand colors which are silver and golden Campine. Both male and female chickens have the same appearance. The Campines have a single comb, which sits like a crown on top of the head. In younger chickens, those that have not yet reached maturity, the combs will be smaller. Both their combs and small wattles are red.
The head and neck of the bird are either golden or silver, depending on the variant. On the main body, the pattern is entirely black mixed with gold or silver, including the tail feathers. They have close-fitting feathers.
Other color variants are also available but they are not yet officially recognized. Only the Gold Campines and the Silver Campines meet the American Poultry Association’s standard specifications.
If you are looking for a docile breed, then the Campines are not for you. However, they are not an aggressive breed either. They simply like being active and exploring around the coop because they are very curious by nature. If you let them free range, they will roam around the space for hours very happily.
Because the Campines are curious, it can sometimes lead them into sticky situations. Luckily, they are also intelligent and usually manage to get themselves out of trouble as easily as they got into it. They are also very alert of predators and will let others know about the danger, too.
While Campine chickens will not mind being picked up and held briefly, they are not fond of cuddles and will not become lap chickens. They are generally fine around children since they are not an aggressive breed. However, always supervise children around Campines, especially roosters, until you have established their temperament.
Campine Chickens Health
The Campines are known to be a healthy and hardy breed. They are not susceptible to disease or illness and you mainly have to worry about general health issues that can affect all breeds of chickens. One of these is checking them for parasites and treating them as necessary. This video shows you how to check chickens for parasites.
Because of their hardiness, the Campines are suitable for colder climates. However, their wattles and combs are vulnerable to frostbite. Spreading Vaseline on the wattles and combs can help prevent frostbites. In the summer, they tolerate heat well but can get dehydrated. Therefore, ensure they always have fresh water available to drink.
Egg Production of Campine Chickens
One of the key questions people usually have when they are considering a new chicken breed is its egg-laying ability. The Campines are good egg layers and will give you around 200 eggs per year. Some people have even gotten over 200 eggs per year from their Campines.
You can expect your Campines to start producing eggs when they are 18-20 weeks old. To support their laying abilities ensure their living environment is clean and that they get all the nutrients and vitamins they need to stay healthy and keep laying eggs.
While the Campines can be reliable all-year-round egg producers, they will need some help if you live in an area with long and dark winters. In these circumstances, you will need to provide them with artificial daylight but don’t overdo it. Think of a ratio of 16:8 for daylight to dark hours.
If you are looking to raise baby chicks from your Campine hens, you need to know that they are not broody hens, which means they are not good at setting. They are an active breed and not that interested in being mothers. Therefore, if you want to hatch Campine eggs, you may need to find a surrogate mother or use an incubator.
Setting Your Coop For Campine Chickens
As mentioned, the Campines are active and will love nothing better than to free-range. Being able to roam free will also keep them both mentally and physically healthier as their minds are occupied and they are getting the exercise they need. However, they still need a coop for egg laying and to keep them safe from predators.
For your coop size, you need to think of at least four square feet for each Campine. This will keep them happier indoors and prevent aggression between them. When a coop is too small, it will also increase the chances of diseases and affect the Campines’ egg production.
Line up the floor of the coop with absorbent bedding material. Many people like to use wood shavings or shredded paper. The bedding needs to be changed and the coop cleaned regularly. You should do this weekly, or more often if you notice a smell.
Chicken Run for Campine Chickens
While the best option for Campines is to let them roam free, it may not always be possible. If you need to keep them in a chicken run, ensure it has plenty of space to keep your flock happy. Because they are an intelligent and curious breed, provide them with plenty to do and explore inside the run.
Make sure there are many perches for them, shady places, dust baths, and toys and treats to entertain them. If they get bored or feel too confined, this can come out as more aggressive behavior and increased pecking. If you need to keep your chickens in a run, provide them with at least eight square meters of space each to avoid trouble.
You need to provide your Campines with food and fresh water every day. The best food to give laying hens is layer feed, which has the nutrients and vitamins they need even when they are foraging for food in your backyard. You may also want to consider giving laying hens a calcium supplement such as egg shells or oyster shells to help with their egg production.
Are the Campines the Right Breed for You?
While the Campine is no doubt a wonderful breed that will give you plenty of eggs, you need to consider if you can give the breed what it needs. Because they are active and curious, they will not take well to spending long periods in confinement and you should only get Campines if you can provide them with the space they need.
You also might not want to pick Campines if you live close to your neighbors or in a noise-restricted area. This breed can get fairly noisy but they will be quieter at night. Campines can also be quite expensive to purchase because they are a relatively rare breed.
However, if you can provide your Campines with everything they need and the noise is not an issue, you will get very reliable egg producers that can handle both hot and cold environments and are resistant to many diseases common among chickens.
The Campines can be kept in your backyard chicken coop as long as you can provide them with the right environment. While they are reliable egg producers, some people keep them for ornamental purposes or as pets. However, it should be remembered that they are not fond of confinement and will not make the best lap chickens.
We hope you now have a better understanding of the breed and whether it is the right option for you. If you have any questions about the Campine chicken breed, write them in the comments section.