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Campine Bantams

 

Though once well established, Campine bantams have since become extinct in North America. The large fowl campine - of which our bantams are a miniaturized version had been bred for egg production in Belgium for hundreds of years. The breed is now most noted for its exquisitely barred plumage and for being one of the only American Poultry Association recognized large fowl breeds that is henny feathered.

We began the work of resurrecting the golden campine bantam in 2002. Our flock was created by using golden campine large fowl, golden penciled hamburgs bantams, and a common line of 'campine colored' old english game bantams (OEBG). The latter are often sold as true campine bantams, but have red earlobes, are rooster feathered, and have short OEGB style bodies. Our selection has been for small birds with distinct barring to the tip of the tail, white earlobes, blue shanks, henny feathering, long campine style bodies, and hens with lopped combs. We do still maintain a few birds with rose combs in keeping with early breed descriptions by Weir (1904).

On par with all the birds here at One Earth Farm this little trooper is thrifty and cold hardy despite its single comb and delicate appearance. Indeed, as we will not sacrifice vigor or productivity in our quest for the perfect little campine, some traits like ideal show quality coloration are slower in coming. This year all of our breeders are of exquisite campine body type with blue shanks, henny feathering, white lobes and lopped combs. The coloration of this year's flock of breeders is approaching the ideal, but to maintain genetic diversity we have not excluded those individuals that typify the breed but lack clear breast and tail barring.

We still consider our flock of campine bantams to be a work in progress. Of course this is true of any population upon which a breeder applies his craft. Perfection is never to be had, save for the joy and stillness that arise from its pursuit and there is a good plenty of that bred into the flock of campine bantams here at One Earth Farm.


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