Salmon Faverolles {The Beautiful French Chicken That Lays PINK Eggs!}

The Salmon Faverolles is a dual-purpose French heritage breed that lays up to 240 PINK eggs annually while also providing excellent meat for your table. This gentle, fluffy chicken is docile, hardy, BEAUTIFUL, an excellent forager — and still quite rare of a breed. Definitely worth considering for your homestead or backyard flock.

Salmon Faverolles hen on white background

Salmon Faverolles Quick Facts

  • Primary use: Dual-Purpose (Meat & Egg-laying)
  • Size (Roosters): 8 lbs
  • Size (Hens): 6.5 lbs
  • Egg production (Annual): 240
  • Egg size: Medium
  • Egg colour: Pink or Pink-ish Light Cream
  • Origin: France

Top Reasons To Choose The Salmon Faverolles For Your Flock

  • Gentle temperament
  • Dual-purpose breed useful for both meat and eggs
  • Lays up to 240 PINK eggs annually
  • A very pretty and fluffy breed with feathered feet!
  • Starts laying eggs between 18 and 20 weeks of age
  • Hardy and able to endure cold temperatures
  • Well suited for free-range and confinement
  • An old heritage breed that goes back to 1860s France

This is the breed I’m most considering adding to my current flock of Orpingtons, Bresse, Azure Blues, Red Rangers, and Olive Eggers.

Well, the Salmon Faverolles and the Wyandotte both top of my list of dual-purpose heritage breeds I’m obsessing over.

Both for their beauty and temperament and their reputations as excellent egg layers and meat birds to boot.

As for cons?

As a heritage breed, if you are raising them for meat, it will take longer time (and more money) for them to reach acceptable slaughter weight.

A Salmon Faverolles can take about 24 weeks — or longer — to reach market weight, whereas a breed like the Red Ranger will be ready by 12 weeks, and some like the Cornish X even earlier.

Of course, there are advantages to slow food and heritage, but the cost is not one of them.

It’s why I always look for creative ways to cut down on feed costs (like I talk about in my article 25 REAL Ways To Save Money On Chicken Feed Costs)

While the Faverolles chickens are gentle and friendly, they can be bullied in mixed flocks depending on the breeds.

Many backyard poultry owners will keep them with the same breed or other gentle breeds, like the Plymouth Rock

The Faverolles chicken is a large bird, so think about how much room it’ll need before introducing one to your flock.

The docile breed is also considered one of the gentlest chickens and is a popular choice to keep as a pet, especially for children.

However, if you’re looking into the Faverolles more for eggs than a pet, you’re in luck: a healthy salmon Faverolles hen will lay about four eggs per week.

And on top of that, you will get an excellent meat bird for your table.

Salmon Faverolles in a very green garden

History & Origins

The Faverolles chicken is a French breed developed in 1860 near the villages of Houdan and Faverolles.

They were bred for their meat and eggs and provided most of the eggs for the Paris market during the early 20th century.

When the Faverolles reached the UK in the 1880s, the chicken breed was altered to better fit popular exhibitions.

British Faverolles, as a result, have longer, higher-raised tail feathers than their French and German counterparts.

Today, Faverolles chickens are popular at chicken shows.

Many people also choose to keep them as pets for their children. Their gentleness is one of their strongest traits, and they make good companions and show animals.

Salmon Faverolles rooster in the farmyard
the Faverolles rooster looks quite different from the hen!
close up shot of the face of a Salmon Faverolles hen
the fluffy muffs are a defining characteristic!

Appearance

The Faverolles is a larger bird, with males weighing, on average, 9 to 11 pounds for the British Faverolles and around 8 pounds for the American.

The American Poultry Association standard for males is roughly 8 pounds and 6 pounds for females.

Other variations in weight have been recorded for the Australian and French counterparts as well. 

Faverolles have beards and muffs, as well as feathered legs and feathered feet.

Unlike most chickens, they also have five toes on each foot instead of the usual four.

The most common color for this chicken breed is salmon, but there are others, including black, white, mahogany, and blue.

While a salmon Faverolles hen has a plumage of brown and creamy white feathers, a rooster is often darker with black and brown feathers.

Soft and fluffy, the feathers are often what categorizes the Faverolles chicken as a show bird.

Personality and Temperament

The Faverolles chicken is one of the gentlest breeds.

Their friendly, easy-going demeanour makes them the perfect pet for children and adults alike. They don’t mind being held and enjoy human interaction more than other breeds.

The Faverolles chicken breed is also a bit quirky.

They like to run around and run into things. They entertain themselves quite well and will enjoy free-roaming sessions as well as confinement in a chicken coop.

They’ll do well playing with children and spending quiet time on your lap.

Lately, the Faverolles have been enjoying increasing popularity among small home flocks, usually those that favor dual-purpose breeds that can be used for meat and eggs.

That said, they’re still primarily bred for show in the United States although that is changing fast.

woman holding up apron full of colored chicken eggs — pink, brown, cream, blue, green

PINK Eggs!

The Faverolles is a great, regular egg layer and can lay up to 240 eggs per year.

The eggs are medium-sized and often a light brown-cream color with pinkish hues.

Some are outright PINK and they are incredible to see!

If you’re as obsessed with colored eggs as many other chicken keepers are, seek out the Salmon Faverolles and its pink eggs. But be warned that the color or hue of pink your hen will lay will vary from one chicken to another.

If the color is important, seek out good breeders who focus on this unique trait.

And if you already have olive eggers and blue eggers (like the Ameraucana or Azure Blue breeds), a pink egg is a nice (and rare) addition to your rainbow.

Hens usually start laying eggs between 18 to 20 weeks of age, earlier than most chicken breeds.

As she is a heritage breed of old origins and not a modern industrial strain, you can expect your hens to lay longer on average as well.

Most modern industrial chickens peak at 3 years and then sharply decline, many even reaching the end of their lifespans by 3 – 5 years.

Heritage breeds like this are much longer lived and productive, albeit at a reduced capacity.

As far as broodiness, the Faverolles tend to go back and forth.

While some hens are quite broody, others are not. It tends to be on a case-by-case basis, and while some hens will make great mothers, others will not and should be watched closely.

See Also:

10 Chicken Breeds That Lay Blue Eggs (With Pictures!)

21 Best Egg Laying Chickens {With Pictures}

Meat

The meat quality of a Salmon Faverolles is very, very good.

They are ready for slaughter at about 24 weeks which is standard for heritage breeds.

This is not a traditional broiler chicken that will be ready for the table in 10 weeks.

Salmon Faverolles hen isolated on white background

Cold Hardiness

Having been bred in the cold temperatures in Northern France, Faverolles are incredibly cold hardy.

They almost seem unaffected by cold temperatures.

Faverolles will also continue to lay eggs throughout the winter months, which can be useful if you’re looking for a year-round supply.

These pinkish egg layers do well in warmer temperatures as long as they have access to shade and fresh water.

See Also:

10 Steps To Winterize Your Chicken Coop

How Cold Is Too Cold For Chickens? Get Your Flock Ready For Winter

Feeding Free-Ranged Pastured Chickens During Winter

The Deep Litter Method {Why I’ll Never Do Anything Else}

Free Range

Unlike many breeds, the Faverolles do well in both free-range and confined spaces.

When battery cages were introduced in the early 20th century, Faverolles tolerated close confinement better than any other breed at the time.

That said, they do well with a mixture of confinement and free-range—and it’s also a case-by-case basis. Some will prefer the safety of confined spaces, while others will thrive in the variety of free-range.

Of course, free ranges come with risks.

You may lose chickens to predators (coyotes, outdoor cats, and stray dogs, to name a few) and environmental factors (loose barbed wire, for example).

It’s important to consider these dangers when planning how to raise your flock.

See Also:

How To Free-Range Chickens {4 Methods}

4 fluffy baby chicks on table

Where To Find Chicks

It may be hard to find high-quality chicks or hatching eggs so joining some local online chicken groups (Facebook) and consider having the day-olds or eggs shipped.

Seek out passionate breeders — they are out there and they have gorgeous, healthy stock.

Don’t be intimidated by hatching your own eggs. It’s EASY, follow my thorough guide on wet or dry hatching chicken eggs.

Autosexing? Sort of.

Salmon Faverolles are autosexing — well, sorta.

In some chicken breeds, the sex can be determined at hatching by color or color pattern.

Very few chicken breeds possess this trait — the original American heritage breed the Dominique being one such chicken.

Salmon Faverolles can be auto-sexed but not until they are over a week old or more. It is done by the wing color.

The males will have a dark feather pattern on their immature, feathering wings.

3 Salmon Faverolles hens on white background

Care & Feeding of Baby Chicks

Baby chicks are a joy to raise! They’re adorable, tiny, and quite easy as long as you have the correct setup.

Fortunately, this is simple to do and not expensive — unless you choose to make it so.

See my articles on this topic: When Can Chicks {FINALLY!} Go Outside?, Chick Care: Raising Baby Chickens The Right Way.

And make sure you check out my thorough article on the best coop management system: The Deep Litter Method {Why I’ll Never Do Anything Else} as well as an explanation on how and why I feed my flock a bit differently than most: The MANY Benefits Of Fermenting Chicken Feed {& How To Do It}.

Final Thoughts

The Faverolles chicken is a great bird. Its gentle, easy-going temperament makes it.

A perfect companion for children, adults, and other docile chickens in your flock. Their stunning, colorful feathers and strong, hardy bodies make them wonderful birds for show.

If you’re on the fence about whether or not a Faverolle chicken is the right breed for you, consider their main purpose. Will you be using them for egg production or meat production? Are they going to be pets for your family? All of these are important to think about, but the Faverolles is a good dual-purpose breed if the answer to any of those questions is yes.

If you want a chicken to add to your flock that can withstand the cold climate, produces eggs all year, and has one of the best temperaments of any breed, the Faverolles is the right choice.

FAQ

Are Salmon Faverolles Friendly?

Salmon Faverolles are one of the friendliest breeds of chicken you can get, making them an excellent choice for families with children. They are also docile, and tame, and can enjoy human interaction more than many other breeds.

What Color Eggs Do Salmon Faverolles Lay?

Depending on the breeder and stock, the Salmon Faverolle will lay a pinkish cream to an outright PINK colored egg!

Are Salmon Faverolle Roosters Aggressive?

Generally speaking, the Salmon Faverolles is a docile and friendly breed — including the roosters. That of course can vary from one rooster to another.

When Do Salmon Faverolles Start Laying Eggs?

Salmon Faverolles start laying eggs at 18-20 weeks which is pretty early, especially for a heritage breed.

a flock of chickens on green pasture.

The Ultimate Guide to Homestead & Backyard Chicken Keeping 

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2 Comments

  1. Faverolles do not lay a pink egg. They lay a light brown egg just like many other breeds. And temperament can be flighty. They are not automatically super friendly. You may want to update this post once you have some actual experience with the breed.

    1. Hi Kat, thanks for your perspective! They can lay pinkish eggs, and many breeders select for this trait by breeding the hens that lay pinker hues as per my article. My hatching groups have breeders focused on this and it’s pretty remarkable. Some of my English Orpingtons also lay a light brown egg that has a pinkish tint.

      No chicken is automatically friendly, but some breeds have a better dispositions and tendency to calmness and, this one is an example as per breeders I have spoken too.

      They’re next in my list to hatch and raise so I’m pretty excited.