Origin: This breed is not recognized as distinct by some of the French writers on Poultry. that is is a composite breed is unquestionable, due to a number of crosses made upon the common fowl of the Seine-et-Oise and Eure-et-Loir districts of France, where poultry breeding is a most important industry. M. Cornevin says that it is form by crosses between the Dorking and the Cochin, or the Houdan with the Cochin and Langshan. Neither of these crosses, however would account for the Faverolles, which have characteristics not found in any of the breeds named. In an article by the late Mr. Alexander Comyns he stated, speaking of the fowls in the Houdan market that "they are cross-bred, showing a trace of Houdan, Dorking, Brahma and, sometimes, Cochin," with indications of what he termed Cossacks, which we believe from other evidence to have been single-combed Creves, and he adds that he "saw a great many black, single-combed, bearded birds of good size." In a work published about 1894 by MM. Rouillier-Arnoult, of the Poultry School at Gambais, it is stated that "to get a true explanation of the breed it is necessary to go back about forty years. Faverolles then possessed a common race of fowls, and Houdans. When the great feathered races of Cochins and Brahmas, and also Dorkings appeared, the infatuation for those fine-looking birds were excessive, and cocks were used of these breeds to cross with the common fowl, particularly with that of Houdan. From these crosses, made without method, came mongrel fowls, but which contributes to the success of any fowl in France." Here we have, as far as can be traced, the origin of the Faverolles, shown in a sub-joined table of descent:
To the Dorking and Houdan influences may be attributed the white flesh and legs and the fifth toe; to the Creve and Houdan the whiskers and beard; to the Brahma the feathering on the legs and the dark-shelled eggs. The late Mr. J.P.L. Marx pointed out that when first imported into Britain the single comb and beards were difficult to breed, which explains the considerable amount of variation.
History: The name is derived from a village called Faverolles, in the Department of Eure-et-Loir, about midway between the small towns of Houdan, Dreux and Noyent-le-Roi, in a district where poultry-raising is carried on extensively, supplying a large portion of the fowls sold on the Houdan market, one of the most important in France. The Faverolles fowl was evolved without any definite seeking on the part of breeders to establish a new type. They had in view the production of good table chickens and layers of winter eggs. It was stated by a visitor to the district in 1896 that "out of ten farmers (in the Houdan country) nine kept Faverolles and one Houdans; also 98 per cent of the fowls on the central markets of Paris sold under the name of Houdans are Faverolles, which weigh several pounds more than the former." About 1895, an Irish lady, who had attended the French Poultry School at Gambais, imported a number of specimens into the Green Isle, where they were found most valuable; in the previous year the breed had been introduced into Britain, since which time they have won a fair amount of favour, due to their hardihood and prolificacy, though there has been a decline in recent years. This is the result of the uncertainty in colour and that they are not very attractive in appearance.
Economic Qualities: The Faverolles is essentially a business fowl. A French writer has said that "as farmyard fowls they stand unrivaled, their superiority being uncontestable, having large size, early maturity, excessive hardiness, are splendid sitters and mothers. No fowls are better adapted for could countries owing to their small combs not being liable to be frozen, and on account of their downy and warm feather clothing." The absence of a crest is an asset in a moist climate. The chickens are quick in growth, and are very fleshy. The Faverolles, whilst not equal to some of the other French races for winter fowls, are found most valuable for the Spring and Summer trade. As crosses they are excellent. In an experiment made at the College Poultry Farm, Theale, in 1904, the Faverolles--Buff Orpington cross made the most rapid growth out of sixty birds tested at the same time. Five cockerels of this cross attained an average weight of 2.9375 pounds, and the eight pullets an average weight of 2.3203 pounds, in twelve weeks. The hens are prolific layers, especially in winter, of medium-sized eggs, and are excellent sitters and mothers.