The Potch KoeKoek is a free-range, dual-purpose chicken breed developed in the 1950s, at Potchefstroom agricultural college in South Africa. It is a cross between the Black Austrolorp chicken breed and the white leghorn chicken breed with a strain of the Barred Plymouth Rock chicken breed.
Common in Southern African Countries, the potch Koekoek is loved for its dual-purpose production of both meat and eggs and also for its ability to hatch its own eggs. It is a good brooder with great maternal instincts.
Potch Koekoek Chicken Breed Background Information
In 1947, Chris Marais, working at the Research Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairying at Potchefstroom Agricultural College, South Africa wanted to come up with a chicken breed that would be well suited for the Southern African climate and Conditions. The research team:
- Crossed White Leghorn with Black Austrolorp
- The resulting F1 chickens were mated with each other resulting in a few stripped feathered offsprings.
- The stripped feathered offspring hens of the F2 and F3 were mated together Barred Plymouth Rock.
- The roosters of the resulting offspring with yellow skin were then crossed with Black Austrolop hens so as to introduce as many of the characteristics of Black Australops as possible.
- Throughout the 1950s, the Potch Koekoek Hens and roosters were mated repeatedly until all the resulting chickens had yellow skin and striped plumage.
- The final result is what we know as the Potchefstroom Koekoek chicken breed today.
Potch Koekoek Chicken Breed Characteristics
The Potch Koekoek is characterized by its black and white striped feathers, with distinct patterns in the roosters and hens. This makes it easier for breeders to sex (identify and separate the roosters and hens) the chicks. With yellow skin, the Potch Koekoek is a heavy breed with soft feathers, that weighs 1.84 kgs for roosters and 1.4kgs for hens at 16 weeks and 2.4kgs for potch Koekoek roosters and 1.7 kgs for potch Koekoek. The potch Koekoek roosters can grow up to 1.7kgs at 20weeks.
The name Koekoek is attributed to the stripped plumage.
The Potch Koekoek’s sexual maturity is at 130 days, with the hens able to lay an average of 198 eggs per year. The eggs weigh an average of 55.78 grams. The hens get broody well, are good sitters and the eggs have a hatchability rate of 78%.
The ability to forage for its own food makes the Potch Koekoek a great bird for free-ranging and ideal for smallholder farmers.
Breed Name: Potchefstroom koekoek
Scientific Name: Gallus domesticus.
Other Names: Potch Koekoek, Koek, Potch
Temperament: Good at free-ranging, gentle and friendly.
Purpose: Meat and Eggs.
Maturity: Starts laying at 6 months
Eggs Productivity: 198 eggs Per year
Body Size: Large, good size for a meat bird.
Broodiness: Good, with excellent brooding and maternal instincts
Climate: Most Climates.
Size of Eggs: Large.
Colour of eggs: Brown.
Colour of bird: Greyish white to white stipped with black feathers. Similar to Barred Plymouth Rock