The Fayoumi is a breed of domestic chicken that was developed in Egypt in the Faiyum Governorate, the area from which it was named. It is thought that this breed is a descendant of junglefowl hybrids that were created when wild fowl bred with domestic fowl about three thousand years ago. The breed has been known to be present in the Western world since the 1940s, but it is not recognized by the American Poultry Association.

The Fayoumi varies in weight depending upon the sex, with roosters reaching a weight of 4.5 pounds and hens reaching a weight of 3.5 pounds. Members of this breed have a single comb and red wattles and ear lobes. Although it only comes in a silver coloration, males vary in appearance from females in that they have silver on their heads, necks, saddles, and backs, while females only have silver on their heads and necks. Because of its coloration, it is thought to have played a role in the development of the Campine chicken.

The Fayoumi is a hardy breed, capable of persisting through hot temperatures and it is thought to be highly resistant to bacterial and viral infections. If placed in a free range environment, it is capable of taking care of itself. Hens are not typically broody until about three years of age and they are known to lay eggs efficiently.

Image Caption: Fayoumi cock. Credit: MikeLane45/Thinkstock.com