Breeding beautiful chickens of french origin in Ballarat is an easy feat- there are a number of chicken enthusiast groups in the western victorian region.
The main advantage to raising more exotic and interestign breeds of chickens whose ancestors emanate from europe is that, depending on the breed, they can be significantly more intelligent, and interesting to look after.
Invariably, more intelligent birds can be much easier to maintain, as they will not stand in the heat, cold or rain, waiting to die of a chill, and will flee to safety from urban predators such as foxes, cats, dogs and snakes which may threaten to eat them.
It is a great pleasure coming home, to find your chickens already back in their run, roosting in the henhouse, while other breeds with limited intelligence, such as Isa Browns, while excellent for laying eggs, are not much good for anthing else, including looking after themselves. This breed was somewhat designed for the battery hen environment, where the chickens are separated into cruel little cages. Ironically, Isa browns are short lived, ill tempered, verging on psychopathic personalities, where solitary confinement can be best for their own safety from one another.
Chickens with superior mental capacity are less prone to backyard accidents, are lower maintenance, and less likely to manifest antisocial behaviours such as violent pecking, and killing fellow members of their flock.
Above is a fairly boring, but more well known chicken breed originating from France, the Bresse Gauloise.
Why settle for a standard white chicken though when theare are much more exciting french breeds out there to choose from?
To the right is an example of the coucou de rennes, a very rare but beautiful breed, with exceptional speckled and banded plumage.
That said, the best type of chicken for the inland Ballarat climate, consisting of extreme heat in summer, and biting cold in winter is the gold laced Wyandotte. though not french, and american in origin, these birds are hardy, smart, and very, very good looking.
Fiona Ludbrook of Pets and plants Ballarat is also a big fan of these beautiful birds, and writes here on the wyandotte on her blog