I love my chickens. I was given some fancy chickens to transition into my flock of Easter Eggers and I love them too. At first, I was nervous about having a Silkie and two Polish Chickens but everyone gets along just fine.
Having new chickens is exciting! I follow a lot of chicken forums and Facebook groups about chickens. Recently I learned about a super rare chicken breed called The Pavlovskaja from Russia. These are now available here in the U.S. but the farm only hatches less than 100 chickens a year so you have to get on a waiting list. Green Fire Farms has some amazing breeds!
What is the Pavlovskaja hen?
One of our sweet pumpkin Pavlovskaya hens strikes a pose in the freshly mowed grass. Mowing unearths a plethora of high protein treats in the way of beetles and grasshoppers!
The Backyard Chickens site tells us that this is a rare breed that is not well known in the U.S. It has feathered legs and feet. This breed has 5 toes and each toe must have feathers individually. They're extremely cold hardy and the comb must be as per Barbanter, the V-shaped comb.
What about its heritage?
Backyard Chickens also talks about this hen as "an extreme rarity" and The Pavlovskaja is one of the oldest Russian breeds.
"In the 1980s a couple of cock birds were found by a poultry breeder and crossing these with some other crested breeds, the Pavlovskaja Hen as been saved from extinction. There is now a Russian standard for the breed. Its name comes from the village of Pavlovo in the province of Nizhniy Novgorod."
They have a large upright crest, muff, and beard.
Only one farm is helping keep this breed from going extinct
Greenfire Farms say this was one of their most challenging import projects. They located a small breeding group and brought them to the United States in 2012. In 2014, they followed up with a second import of an unrelated bloodline of pure white birds. In 2015, they imported a new bloodline of pumpkin-colored Pavs with black crests. These flocks should contain enough genetic diversity to keep this breed healthy in America for centuries to come.
I'm super tempted to order some chicks but I need to wait for a broody hen. I'll let you know if we end up ordering a few.
Know someone who would like to add chickens to their flock? Tell us in the comments below!