The Vorwerk chicken is a breed of domestic chicken that was developed in Germany during the twentieth century. Oskar Vorwerk used many breeds to develop this chicken including the buff Orpington, Andalusian, and the Lakenvelder. Although it was given a standard in 1913, the breed never became popular, so it is rare outside of Europe. A bantam type of this breed was developed by Wilmar Vorwerk in 1966 in the United States of America using the Lakenvelder, buff Columbian rosecomb, the blue and buff Wyandotte, and the black tailed Columbian. This breed has been accepted by the American Poultry Association, although the larger breed has not. A bantam type was also developed in Europe, but this is not the same as the American bantam.
The Vorwerk varies in weight depending upon the type and sex, with standard sized males weighing up to 5.7 pounds and hens weighing up to 5.5 pounds. The American bantam type weighs between 1.4 and 1.6 pounds, while the European bantam is heavier, weighing between 1.4 and two pounds. The standard type is black on the head, neck, and tail and buff on the rest of the body. Although the standard calls for a completely buff body, with no black spots, this is extremely hard to accomplish. This breed has a single comb, white earlobes, and buff colored under-feathers.
It is alert in nature, but not nervous, and hens can lay up to 170 eggs per year. Both the standard and bantam types can be used in the meat and egg markets.
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