Free Range Chicken Breeds: Potchefstroom Koekoek Chickens or Potch Koekoek
The Potchefstroom Koekoek breed was developed in South Africa in the 50s by Chris Marais at the Research Institute of Animal Husbandry and Dairying which is situated in Potchefstroom. Initially, the the Black Australorps were crossed with the White Leghorn hens. The first generation hens and cocks were then mated with each other. Some of the progeny from this showed a striped plumage. The hens with the striped plumage were then crossed with Plymouth Rock cocks.
The progeny with yellow skin were then selected. The Potchefstroom Koekoek cocks were the crossed with the Black Australorp hens. The crossing was done in order to ensure as much Black Australorp blood as possible in the progeny. With time, only yellow skin cocks were used and the breeding was continued until all the progeny had only the yellow skin and striped feather color. Today the Potchefstroom Koekoek looks like this below. Note the yellow skin and striped plumage:-
The Potchefstroom Koekoek is specifically suited for South African conditions. It is a truly indigenous South African bird with bright yellow yolks. It is a dual-purpose bird that is highly suited for free range conditions. It lays enough eggs and is also sufficiently broody.
The Potch Koekoek is a happy and active chicken, a great forager. It will scratch around and catch the worms and also eats a variety of greens. Thanks to their varied diets from intensive foraging, they produce some of the richest yolks-very delightful orange yolks. They large brown-shelled eggs and their yellow meat is delicious! A study by FAO found that it performs better than all of the other indigenous chickens in South Africa. You can check it out here http://www.fao.org/docrep/012/i1353t/i1353t04.pdf.